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Old 12-02-2008, 02:30 AM   #1
avaserfi
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Default First 'brew'

Saturday when I was visiting my folks in Dallas I went to Homebrew HQ and walked away the proud owner of their fancy pants deluxe brew kit (plastic carboys). It came with a Thomas Coopers Brewmaster IPA and 2 lbs of DME as well. I was originally planning on making up YooperBrew's DFH 60 minute clone as my first batch, but since I had the kit and zero experience and/or anyone around I know of who could help I decided to try my luck with the kit first. The clone will be next. Everything went well, I think? I used bleach, water and vinegar as a sanitizer after washing all my gear.

The concoction measured with an OG of 1.056 (there is no recommended OG or FG as far as I can see) and is sitting in a dark closet at 72 degrees or so. When I took the gravity reading I tasted the concoction out of curiosity. It was hoppy and far more malty than I expected. Then I remembered sugar is food for yeast . I think it will ferment well, hopefully no infection gets me!

Thanks for all the help and recommendations, I am sure I will need more in the future!



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Old 12-02-2008, 03:35 AM   #2
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Anything that touches the beer must be sanitary. This means it must be boiled or sprayed with a sanitizer like Starsan. You do need to buy some Starsan at the brew supply. Ask about how to use it.



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Old 12-02-2008, 03:43 AM   #3
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Anything that touches the beer must be sanitary. This means it must be boiled or sprayed with a sanitizer like Starsan. You do need to buy some Starsan at the brew supply. Ask about how to use it.
The creator of Starsan actually said that 5 gallons of water, 1 tablespoon of bleach and 1 tablespoon of vinegar was a perfectly suitable no rinse sanitizer. Check out Basic Brewing podcast:

March 29, 2007 - Sanitizing with Bleach and Star San found at this link.

I didn't just make up the solution I used. I trusted a professional .

I boiled all the water I used (wasn't sure if I needed to or not), sanitized all my gear and my 6 gallon carboy which is where the brew is sitting in primary.
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Old 12-02-2008, 03:55 AM   #4
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It sounds like you did good. Congratulations.

Homebrew HQ is a great HBS. I usually avoid going on a Saturday though, as they can sometimes get so busy you can hardly move around.

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Old 12-02-2008, 06:03 PM   #5
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It sounds like you did good. Congratulations.

Homebrew HQ is a great HBS. I usually avoid going on a Saturday though, as they can sometimes get so busy you can hardly move around.
It was pretty busy there, but I got all the help I needed. Everyone really seemed to know their stuff.

It looks like I have some signs of fermentation. There is a very slight, light brown, foam that has been developing. Right now it is extremely thin, but hopefully with some time I will have a nice krausen on my hands.
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Old 12-03-2008, 01:32 AM   #6
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There seems to be a pretty nice krausen on the brew and the air lock is bubbling steadily. I measured the temp in the closet and it is about 72-74 degrees, but carboy measures in at 78-79 degrees. I presume this higher temperature is caused by the exothermic reaction caused by the yeast. Since there is a large amount of liquid it is unlikely that the temperature will drop to the recommended 70 degrees. Is this going to cause issues with the final brew? Not really much I can do (I think) if it will effect final product, but I figure if there is an issue I can just let the brew age a little longer in the bottle.

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Old 12-03-2008, 01:50 AM   #7
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There seems to be a pretty nice krausen on the brew and the air lock is bubbling steadily. I measured the temp in the closet and it is about 72-74 degrees, but carboy measures in at 78-79 degrees. I presume this higher temperature is caused by the exothermic reaction caused by the yeast. Since there is a large amount of liquid it is unlikely that the temperature will drop to the recommended 70 degrees. Is this going to cause issues with the final brew? Not really much I can do (I think) if it will effect final product, but I figure if there is an issue I can just let the brew age a little longer in the bottle.

From everything i've read (i'm still a noob myself), you want to get that to a slightly cooler place. Mid 60's seem to be ideal. I don't think that is dangerously warm but it'd be better to move it somewhere that is in the low to mid 60's so the wort itself is in the mid to upper 60s. Good luck!
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Old 12-03-2008, 01:55 AM   #8
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From everything i've read (i'm still a noob myself), you want to get that to a slightly cooler place. Mid 60's seem to be ideal. I don't think that is dangerously warm but it'd be better to move it somewhere that is in the low to mid 60's so the wort itself is in the mid to upper 60s. Good luck!
I don't have a cooler place to put the carboy, sadly. I picked the coolest closet where the brew would be the least disturbed by light or vibrations. Are there any suggestions for relatively inexpensive cooling solutions? Being in an apartment I don't have many good options.
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Old 12-03-2008, 01:57 AM   #9
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I don't have a cooler place to put the carboy, sadly. I picked the coolest closet where the brew would be the least disturbed by light or vibrations. Are there any suggestions for relatively inexpensive cooling solutions? Being in an apartment I don't have many good options.
I stick my carboy into a cooler, and put some water in it. Then add a frozen water bottle. You don't want the fermenter over about 70 degrees. Mid-60s is better.
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Old 12-03-2008, 02:00 AM   #10
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I stick my carboy into a cooler, and put some water in it. Then add a frozen water bottle. You don't want the fermenter over about 70 degrees. Mid-60s is better.
Any specific cooler recommendations? I could go out tomorrow and pick up a cooler if they can be had locally.

When you do this do you just leave a floating thermometer in? What temp do you shoot to keep the water at?


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