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Old 02-25-2013, 01:49 PM   #1
Erickooo
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Default First Brew!

I brewed an Irish stout last night and im so nervous I did something wrong! I followed all the instructions but had some issues with my hydrometer and didn't take a big enough sample to check it before I sealed it up.

I did my best to clean and then sprayed everything with a spray bottle of the cleaner immediately before contact with the beer but I'm still convinced there's bacteria in there somehow. Will it be pretty obvious when I open the fermenter if that's the case? Even with a mid brew run to the gas station to get 2 more bags of ice it still took me way longer to cool my beer down that it should have (over an hour!) so that worries me.

The next 2 weeks are going to kill me waiting!! I had beer brewing nightmares last night where everything was exploding... I didn't know this was such a stressful hobby!!

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Old 02-25-2013, 04:01 PM   #2
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I don't even use ice, and my beer cools faster than that. I use a double sink. To start I fill both sides half full with the coldest water I can get from my tap. In the bottom of both sinks I have a metal grate thing that keeps the kettle off the bottom so water can circulate under, and around. I put my brew kettle in one side and let it cool a couple min. Then I gently swish the water around to mix the cold water with the warm water that is created by the heat of the kettle. Once the water gets to warm I carefully move to the other side of the sink where the water is cold, And repeat the process. Once it's in the other side and cooling, I drain the warm side fill half with cold water and ready it for the next switch. Of course all the while I'm watching the beer temp with my thermometer. If you don't have a double sink this obviously won't work, but you could get a plastic rectangular dish pan/ bucket you could simulate this process. I haven't had any problems cooling my beer in 15min. With this method. I think the key for me is cold water to start, the metal grates, and moving the water around the kettle a bit until it warms up, then the quick shift.

Beer brewing can be a bit stressful until you get your technique down, but you should not worry at this time....there is nothing you can do untill fermentation is done now. I'm sure your beer will be fine...don't rush it, don't open the lid, just wait patiently for two weeks, then take your final gravity reading, and rack to your secondary, if you plan to. As you become more familiar with the process, and are better prepared brewing becomes as easy as making pizza.

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Old 02-25-2013, 04:04 PM   #3
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Of course I keep repeating the switch process until my beer is at the temp I want. Usually between 100 degrees F, and 80 degrees, depending on how much top off water I need to ad in the end.

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- ToastedBlonde Ale in Bottles
- Zesty Pale Ale in primary #1
- Belma 60 IPA in primary #2
- Belgian Wheat IPA in primary #3
- White IPA on deck
- ESB on deck

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Old 02-25-2013, 06:08 PM   #4
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Great advice! I do have a double sink but for whatever reason only used one side and kept draining and filling it. I was using the other side to clean and sanitize my spoon and thermometer each time I used it but I would like to find a better system for that as well!

I didn't know if mine took longer bc I brewed almost all 5 gallons in my pot and most recipes I saw used a smaller 5 or 6 quart kettle? Is the same 15 minute time expected for a larger batch? The DVD my kit came with suggested freezing bricks of ice to add as your top off water to help cool it down as well so I may give that a go next time as well!

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Old 02-25-2013, 06:47 PM   #5
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I block the sink drain,put the kettle in,& fill the void with ice,then top off with cold water. Stiring wort & ice water till I get it down to 70F. 80-100F is still too hot to pitch. Get the temp down to within the yeasts' temp range. I keep jugs of spring water ice cold to top off with. This brings the wort temp down to about 64F. It's a good temp to start with most ale yeasts. Even the WL029 kolsh yeast I'm using at the moment.
And cleaner isn't the same as sanitizer for your spray bottle. Get some starsan,it's a wet sanitizer that's easy to use & works well.
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Old 02-25-2013, 06:54 PM   #6
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I use a fermenter, or PVC bucket to keep my equipment sanitized during my brew day, I siphon sanitizer from my bucket into my fermenter to sanitize it, then i pour it back into the bucket. Don't stir your beer while it cools, just stir the water around it, and you don't need to sanitize equipment while your at boiling temps/ during the boil. Get one of those metal thermometers with a clip and hook it to the side of your pot so you can keep your lid on most of the way while you cool the beer, I try to get the tip of the thermometer to project towards the middle of the beer for readings in the center, as apposed to the edge, the lid should hold it in place. 5 gal. Boil may take a bit longer to cool, maybe 20min. I find my beer cools about 10 degrees with each sink of cold water, you get more cooling per sink when the beer is hot, a bit less as it cools down.

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" life is like a case of beer, you must enjoy it every day"

- ToastedBlonde Ale in Bottles
- Zesty Pale Ale in primary #1
- Belma 60 IPA in primary #2
- Belgian Wheat IPA in primary #3
- White IPA on deck
- ESB on deck

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Old 02-26-2013, 03:49 AM   #7
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Relax, have a homebrew, it'll turn out fine.

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Old 02-26-2013, 04:12 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Cyclman View Post
Relax, have a homebrew, it'll turn out fine.
^^ what he said!

Snag a wart chiller or even better build one! I am glad my dad had one for me to use. seems to have made the process alot easier. Its pretty easy if you can bend stuff and use a screwdriver!! good write up ---> http://homebrewers-haven.com/wpress/...rsion-chiller/


I am just drinking my first batch tonight and I was scared as balls that it was no good (all kinds of crazy on brew night including blowing a airlock cork into the cooled wort in the carboy) it turned out amazing!
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Old 02-26-2013, 04:33 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Erickooo View Post
...im so nervous I did something wrong!
...I'm still convinced there's bacteria in there somehow
...The next 2 weeks are going to kill me waiting!!
... I didn't know this was such a stressful hobby!!
Welcome to homebrewing! I've been in for a little over a year, and I can tell you the waiting and worrying never gets any easier. Its usually worth the wait though. Look at it this way. By the time you're waiting and worrying over your next batch, you'll have about 50 bottles of this batch to keep you company

As someone suggested above - I prefer to mix up some sanitizer first. Use that to sanitize the fermenter. Then pour it into a separate bucket keep your equipment in the sanitizer while you brew. That should keep everything clean.

If you really did get an infection, it will be easy to tell. If it looks like any of these... its infected. Even if thats the case though, dont freak out. People brew intentionally infected beers (sours) all the time. They can be quite good. My first accidental infection happened in a belgian tripel this past summer. I bottled it anyway, and served it to my friends. They said it was one of my best so far.

Enjoy your new hobby. What is your next batch going to be??
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Old 02-26-2013, 05:23 AM   #10
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Sounds like you will be alright. Just wait for it to ferment out fully. Bottle it and then edit another 3 weeks.
Welcome to the wired world of brewing !
Slainte

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