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Old 06-28-2009, 08:16 PM   #1
Mandan
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Default First Brew, a couple questions..

My first batch is from an IPA kit which contained instructions. Everything went pretty well. Had trouble keeping the 'rolling boil' going. I'd say that it was rolling for at least a half hour. But then I was trying to boil five gallons on the stove top. I'm reading in this forum that many of you are boiling three gallons and adding chilled water later as part of the cooling process. Is this chilled water boiled for sanitation first?

The wort chiller seemed to take too long. It got down to about 100˚ in about 15 minutes, then took another 15 to get under 80˚. I'm sure it was well under 80˚ when I transfered to the primary fermenter. There's the other issue I may have- I used a siphon to get into the primary. Should I have poured? I was worried that exposing to the open air while pouring would contaminate. Also, I did not siphon the last half-inch as it contained a thick sludge. Was this a mistake?

This morning the airlock is putting out a healthy bubble about every 4 seconds. Now what? My instructions say that it's okay to shake and mix during this primary fermentation process.

Any help is gratefully accepted.

tb

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Old 06-28-2009, 08:27 PM   #2
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It's a good idea to boil and then cool any top-off water. It just decreases your chances for infection. No problem with siphoning the wort or leaving the mess behind. But you can pour, too. It helps with aeration. The yeast need that oxygen to begin their reproductive process. If you choose to shake during fermentation, do so gently. If it were me, I'd leave it be.

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Old 06-28-2009, 08:31 PM   #3
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When you do a partial boil, many folks either boil tap water or use bottled drinking or spring water. I like to use bottled water for my top up and boiled tap water for everything else pre-boil.

When transferring to your primary, you want to aerate your wort to get oxygen into it for the yeast. This is important for their reproduction phase before they start fermenting the wort. I like to just pour from my kettle through a strainer to get hop gunk and stuff out and add O2 at the same time.

Once it's in the primary and fermenting, step away and leave it alone. You don't need to go shaking it up or anything. It'll do better if you leave it be.

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Old 06-28-2009, 08:34 PM   #4
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Yes boil and cool top off water
I would not shake during primary, just don't know what would be gained by this. Let it go until gravity is the same over a 3 day period. I usually primary for 2 weeks. Secondary with dry hop for 2 weeks. Welcome to brewing!

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Old 06-28-2009, 09:14 PM   #5
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You want to get oxygen into the wort before adding the yeast. (This helps the yeast grow) Siphoning is ok, if you cool the wort first. You can splash oxygen in with a spoon. Typically it's not recommended to shake the fermentor after the yeast is added. You want the yeast and grain particles to settle to the bottom.

A lot of people will recommend boiling the top off water. I never do. It's probably a little safer if you do. However, I think the risk is minimal. Of course if you have a boil order in your city, then you need to boil it first. I'd say do what you feel comfortable with knowing both sides of the argument.

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Old 06-29-2009, 02:23 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by brian_g View Post
You want to get oxygen into the wort before adding the yeast. (This helps the yeast grow) Siphoning is ok, if you cool the wort first. You can splash oxygen in with a spoon. Typically it's not recommended to shake the fermentor after the yeast is added. You want the yeast and grain particles to settle to the bottom.
Do you mean after the yeast starts "working" or immediately after it's added? When I added my yeast, I shook the carboy until the wort was milky all the way through.
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Old 06-29-2009, 03:37 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cl00bie View Post
Do you mean after the yeast starts "working" or immediately after it's added? When I added my yeast, I shook the carboy until the wort was milky all the way through.
That's fine. Lots of folks do that to oxygenate the wort and because they think the yeast need to get "mixed in" to the wort, but it's not really necessary to mix it up.

Once fermentation starts, there's no need to shake up your beer other than a gentle swirl if you're confirmed a stuck fermentation. It's passed the reproductive phase so it doesn't need O2 anymore and you'll just make it angry.

Don't make your yeast angry. You don't want to see them angry.
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Old 06-29-2009, 05:47 AM   #8
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Thanks everyone. Lots of good info for my next brew.

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