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Old 04-26-2009, 04:01 PM   #1
Metz
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Default First brew day, some questions.

Hello everyone first time poster, but I've been trolling around these forums for a little while now getting info on my first brew. I got started with a basic kit that has a 2 6.5 gal buckets (one for bottling) and all the rest of the basics a kit would come with. I did pick up an auto siphon even though I'm not going to use a secondary on this batch. I'm also using a new turkey fryer with a 30qt aluminum kettle. On to the brew day!

I used a Cream Ale kit from my LHBS .5lb Cara Malt, .25lb Wheat Malt (steeped at 150F for 30 mins). Then started 60 min boil, added 5lb Briess LME, 1oz. Northern Brewer hops (45 mins for boiling), 1oz. Crystal hops (10 mins finishing hop), 1 clarifying tablet (10 mins), Safale US-65 Dry Yeast pitched at 80F. Took an OG reading, 1.050.

Some problems I ran into... I completely forgot to oxidize the new aluminum pot and just went straight into steeping. Also scorched the bottom of the kettle since I did not stir the LME well enough before I put the heat back on. I brewed outside on a sunny windy day and don't know how much evaporation took place since I ended up with closer to 4.5 gallons. It took waaaaay longer than I wanted to get down to 80F (around 50 mins). I added 2 gals of cold water to the kettle when the boil was done, then put in a bath tub since the kettle wouldnt fit in the sink. I also used a strainer when moving from the kettle to the primary, but not sure if that was necessary.

This post ended up being longer than I thought. I had counted on having some blunders on the first batch, but I have seen signs of bubbling in the airlock about 10 hours after so this must be a good sign! Let me know any advice you all may have.

Cheers

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Old 04-26-2009, 04:14 PM   #2
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Congratulations! You've made beer...

80* is a bit on the warm side for pitching your yeast...

Now the hard part starts; waiting 3 weeks to bottle and then 3 more for conditioning!!!



I'll be using a wort chiller for the first time next week!

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Old 04-26-2009, 04:15 PM   #3
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Congrats, I just brewed my first batch last night. A pale ale with a kit from my LHBS. Mine took a long time too, but I expected that on the first brew! I was up until about 1:30 AM...

I had similar blunders too, a little scorching and a tough time dropping the wort temp. I took my OG from the wort in the kettle and not after mixing w/ my 3 gal. of cool boiled water already in my fermenter! Didn't realize it until I woke up this morning, oh well.

Good luck

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Old 04-26-2009, 04:55 PM   #4
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Like you, I brewed my first batch yesterday. I found when cooling in the bath the temperature dropped quickly at first (probably 40 degrees in 10 minutes) but then really slowed down. It might have been quicker if you cooled in the bath for a while before adding the water to the pot.

Bear in mind I'm a complete newbie so be careful taking any advice from me

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Old 04-26-2009, 08:53 PM   #5
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Ya I was afraid 80F was a little warm to pitch, but the GF was hassling me to go out so didnt have much of a choice! Now its sitting in a closet covered bubbling away but the sticker on the side reads around 78-76F. Not sure how accurate those stickers are but that is a little warmer than I would like. Is there any safe way to drop the temp 20 hours or so into fermentation?

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Old 04-26-2009, 09:23 PM   #6
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search for swamp cooler.

The basic idea is you take a large tub, add water, ice if needed. Cover with a t-shirt and point a fan at it. The shirt draws water up and over it as the fan causes the water to evaporate. The thermal mass of the water will hopefully be great enough to cause the beer to equalize to it and drop the fermentation temp down.

Also, if you are brewing outside then you might consider an immersion chiller (coiled copper pipe basically) that you hook up to a hose. It will help you drop the temps down much faster as the colder water will help remove the heat from the pot.

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Old 04-27-2009, 01:09 AM   #7
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get a wort chiller. it will make life easier and the brew day shorter.

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Old 04-27-2009, 02:00 AM   #8
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If you're not certain that a wort chiller is a good investment yet, you might want to try (next time, obviously) to boil some water, then freeze it immediately, and add that to your wort to help cool it down... I'd recommend a few litres (1/2 gallon or so) to help get the temperature down quicker.

Other than that, look to the #2 post for more info than I can give

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Old 04-27-2009, 03:07 AM   #9
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Before I got a wort chiller, I would fill the bathtub with cold water and dump a couple of ice cube trays in it. When I put the brew kettle into the water, I would gently stir it every 5-10 minutes with a sanitized spoon. I'm not an expert in thermodynamics, but it seemed to help bring the temp down a little quicker because you were exposing warm wort to the cold side of the kettle.

After a couple of brews, you'll start to get into a pattern of when and how to do certain things that makes the most logical sense. Give it time and good luck.

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