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Old 09-13-2007, 06:31 PM   #1
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Default First Brew, Gravity Issues

First Brew. Gravity Issues
Posted: Thu Sep 13, 2007 12:52 pm

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I'm totally new at this. During the past year my girlfriend and I have talked about brewing our own beer. So naturally on my birthday she had got us a 5 gallon glass carboy, the plastic bottles and keg from a Mr. Beer kit, a 5 gallon pot, Alexander's Sun Country Pale Malt Extract, Ironmaster American Light, a packet of dry yeast, Easy Clean sanitizer, priming sugar, directoins, and a zymurgy magizne.

We cleaned and sanitized the brew pot. Brought 3 gallons of purified water to a boil and added the Alexander's Sun Country Pale Malt Extract and the Ironmaster American Light. Brought it back to a rolling boil for an hour. While it boiled we read in the Zymurgy magizine about adding the yeast to a small amount of water to help disperse when pitched? After an hour of boiling we put the pot in ice water in the sink to cool. While it cooled we cleaned and sanitized the carboy and a funnel. Once cooled we poured the pot into the carboy using the funnel and added 2 gallons of purified water. Then we pitched the yeast. After a day foam started coming out of the airlock. Everday for about 5 days we removed the airlock from the stopper and cleaned the foam out and replaced the water with sanitized water. After about 5 days the foam stopped coming out of the airlock. We've read about transferring to a secondary after a week to clear the beer. So we bought a 6.5 gallon carboy to use to ferment for next time and used it this time for a secondary. We also purchased a hydrometer and got a reading of 1.018 when we racked to secondary. I don't think much but when racking to secondary we did get a little air. It sat in the secondary for 2 weeks now and I still get a gravity reading of 1.018. The homebrew store told me not to bottle untill the gravity is 1.010 or lower, but it hasn't changed in two weeks.

Any help would be appreciated. This is my first experience brewing my own beer.

P.S. After this batch is done and bottled I'd like to try a Spiced Pumpkin Ale for Thanksgiving. Any good recipes?

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Old 09-13-2007, 07:09 PM   #2
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what was the original gravity? or what was your exact ingredients?

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Old 09-13-2007, 07:25 PM   #3
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Didn't have a hydrometer to get the OG.

Ingredients:

4 lb can of Alexander's Sun Country Pale Malt Extract

4 lb can of Ironmaster American Light
Malt Extract and Hop Extract

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Old 09-13-2007, 07:42 PM   #4
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there's probably alot of unfermentables in there...if the specific gravity hasn't changed, i'd say you're ready to bottle. 1.018 isn't really that bad...you probably started with an og of 1.055 or something, so you're almost at 70% Attenuation.

how does it taste? if it's really sweet, you may wish to repitch.

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Old 09-13-2007, 07:47 PM   #5
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It did taste sweet when we transferred to secondary. Tastes pretty good now, not nearly as sweet as it did before.

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Old 09-13-2007, 07:52 PM   #6
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RDWHAHB...you're ready to bottle!

so, are you fermenting in the Mr. Beer keg? if so, you may wish to upgrade to a better bottle or 6.5 gallon carboy.

also, did you aerate your wort? if the water you added was just purified tap water, you're probably fine, but if it was boiled it won't have any oxygen in it. you need the oxygen at the beginning for the yeasties to be happy and reproduce.

also, you may wish to look into ingredients kits that use steeping grains and fresh hops...they'll make for better beer. most kits come with very good directions.

but like i said, for this batch you did great! bottle, wait at least three weeks and enjoy!

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Old 09-13-2007, 08:05 PM   #7
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Sounds like everything is on track, i bet it'll be great. To help you save a stepa nd a little time on the next brew, you don't need to sanitize your brew kettle, it will naturally do tha twhen you boil.

Cheers and welcome to the hobby!

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Old 09-13-2007, 09:01 PM   #8
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well, it may be sweet because you boiled hop extract for an hour. pretty sure that removed a fair amount of bitterness from your wort. you boil for an hour when using actual hops, so you can extract the bittering agents, the flavor, and the aromatics.

sounds more like you had a hopped extract, which really only needs to boil 10-15 minutes.

keep that in mind next ttime.

also, check out www.howtobrew.com for a more formal intro to better beer making.
you might need to dry hop in secondary to balance some of the sweetness.

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