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jerzyjoe 09-07-2007 01:19 AM

first brew advice
Hey yall, I need some help/advice on my first beer. I started brewing my first ever brew last monday, nut brown ale. I did everything according to the instructions but somehow woke up to a little bit of a mess the next morning. When i went down into my basement to check and see how the brew was doing, I noticed the air lock on the otherside of the room and foam all over the place. Not sure how to handle the situation at 6 in the morning and running late for work I put the air lock back on and took off. I read later that I probably should have used a hose during the first day and than start using the air lock, but its to late for that. Its been 3 days and now I think that things are going the way they should be, but I cant be to sure. My main concern is that there is a crust on the glass inside at the top of my fermenter. Is there something I should do about that, or just leave it be? If you have any other advice Id love to hear it.


Yooper 09-07-2007 01:27 AM

In an ideal situation, you would have re-sanitized the airlock before sticking it back in there, but don't worry about. And you SHOULD have a ring of crud around the top after fermentation- that proves that the krausen fell and fermentation took place. Leave it alone for about a week or so and you'll be happy! Alot of people recommend the 1-2-3 method- 1 week in the primary, 2 weeks in the clearing tank and 3 weeks in the bottle before drinking. Many don't use the clearing tank and just leave the beer in the primary fermenter for 2-3 weeks total. Sometimes instructions tell you to bottle after 5-7 days. It's usually best to ignore those instructions and let it sit a bit longer. This ensures that fermentation is done, as well as let the yeasties "clean up" a bit after themselves. Your beer will be better for it. A hydrometer is an important part of the process- this tells you for certain if your fermentation is done.

I do my primary fermentation in a 7.5 gallon bucket with a lid and an airlock because you need some headspace for the fermentation. If you're using a glass carboy, you should use a 6.5 gallon carboy so the krausen (the big foaming head) has a place to go. A blow off tube is usually not needed unless fermentation is particularly violent or your carboy is too small.

Bernie Brewer 09-07-2007 02:05 AM

Wow, sounds like you joined the Mop The Ceiling Club on your very first brew! Great job! It took me a lot longer to reach that plateau!:D

Relax, you're fine. Your beer's gonna be awesome.

Bobby_M 09-07-2007 02:43 PM

Where in Jersey JerzyJoe?

jerzyjoe 09-07-2007 10:37 PM

So i should I strain the brew when I transfer into my fill bucket (the bucket with a built in spout at the bottom that came with kit) before I start botteling. Also, at the bottom of my carboy there is a thin layer white. IS that normal? Should I avoid syphoning that out?

Thanks again for all your help

And Bobby, Im from wyckoff

Thalon 09-08-2007 12:56 AM

By the way, welcome to HBT! :mug:

Generally it's a good idea to strain the wort when transferring from the brew kettle into the primary fermenter. But once fermentation has already taken place, most everything that would've gotten strained out settles to the bottom (trub) anyway, so there's no need. Just siphon the good beer off of the trub on bottom into the secondary and/or bottling bucket, and you'll leave all that stuff behind.

The thin layer of white is the yeast starting to precipitate. Again, nothing to be worried about, very normal. RDWHAHB :tank:

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