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Home Brew Forums > Home Brewing Beer > Beginners Beer Brewing Forum > First Brew - Hefeweizen...Is this ok?
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Old 01-09-2012, 11:01 AM   #1
roxy35
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Default First Brew - Hefeweizen...Is this ok?

OK, so I purchased my True Brew kit after hours upon hours of reading and making certain I knew what I was doing. I decided to take the plunge and brew a very simple (according to my LHBS) beer that would get me introduced - Hefeweizen. They gave me a very simple (albeit confusing at times) set of directions to brew this beer.

Well, I goofed in the first step. Instead of steeping the grains at around 150-165, I actually had them in at around 180, but then quickly brought it down within 10 minutes, and it steeped at 158-160 for about 30....Strike #1.

Next, my instructions said after mixing in the malts and bringing to a rolling boil to enter 1 packet (of 2) of hops. Boil for 40 minutes. Then it says "use 2nd pack of hops at end of boil." I'm not quite sure what that means, so I threw them in the last 5 minutes of the brew cycle, removed from heat after time expired, let sit for 5 minutes, then moved to my cold bath in the sink....Possibly strike 2??

I quickly got the wort down to a beautiful 68 degrees after combining with cold water in my fermenter. Here it says to "aerate." I stirred a little, but that was it. I pitched my yeast (white labs, liquid). Again, I stirred a little, but that was it. Is this enough to aerate? After securing my lid, I did a little "shake" again. If not, is it safe to reopen and "aerate" again. It will be 24 hours at 8pm eastern time tonight. ....Possibly strike 3?

Finally, I was anxious to wake up this morning to see if I had any activity in my airlock. NONE. It's only been about 10 hours, but I have no airlock activity. My fermenter temp is 68 degrees. I've read NOT to freak out about this as it takes some time (sometimes), but being my first batch I cannot help but be concerned.

I also wanted to note that I took several precautions to keep things sanitary, cleaning everything thoroughly and using that iodine solution. I'm sure this will improve as I brew more and more.

I'm a real quick learner, so I'll chalk this up to a learning experience. Thoughts?

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Old 01-09-2012, 11:43 AM   #2
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I had a few temp issues with my first batch (an American Pale Ale). I steeped at a slightly elevated temp, didn't reach a rolling boil (aluminum brewpot on electric stove), took over an hour to cool the wort, and pitched too hot.

It took over 24h for the airlock to show signs of fermentation, but it started. My primary was around 76 also.

All said and done, this quirky APA was delicious. Not the flavor profile I expected, but it was damn good.

You will learn how to dial it in and make it flow more smoothly. Timing and temp control are essential for your peace of mind and control. If you don't have them, you'll stress and come out with beer that isn't exactly what you expect, but that doesn't mean it will be bad. In the words of many on this board, RDWHAHB (Relax, don't worry, have a home brew).

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Old 01-09-2012, 12:01 PM   #3
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You will be fine. The elevated steeping temp might add a little bitterness from tannins in the grain, but I doubt it will be noticeable.

The hops will be fine, although the recipe probably intended for them to be thrown in right as you turned off your fire. This will only be a very slight difference in aroma. Nothing drastic.

You aerated plenty when you transferred to your fermenter and then stirred.

Trust me when I say I've done way worse and still truly enjoyed the beer it made.

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Old 01-09-2012, 01:22 PM   #4
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Just putching the vial of liquid yeast might give you a little lag time, the yeast need to multiply to the right amount before they start fermenting, this is why a starter is recommended for liquid yeast

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Old 01-12-2012, 01:21 AM   #5
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Yes, but it won't ruin his batch. A little lag time won't hurt. He might end up with a little more of the yeast by-product flavors in the beer, but it will still be drinkable and good. No worries.

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Old 01-12-2012, 03:45 AM   #6
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Make sure you save some of the brews for the long run - say, a six pack for a couple months down the road. You'll be surprised how good even a flubbed batch will taste with time!

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Old 01-12-2012, 12:46 PM   #7
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Relax - you made beer. It'll turn out, just be patient. Airlock activity is the worst indicator of fermentation - krausen (foam) on top of the brew is your indicator. It is common for the yeast to lag a little once they get started, this is a Hefe so it is supposed to be cloudy and a little yeasty - that's the style.

Did you take an OG reading with a hydrometer? Taking notes is a great idea when brewing. You'll know fermentation is done when the FG is stable over a few readings over a few days. Usually takes 7-10 days. Alot of people, me included, will leave it in the primary for longer to allow it to clean up, but with the Hefe, you can bottle once the FG is stable. Let it sit in the bottles for a couple of weeks at about 70F, then in the fridge for a couple of days and crack one open and enjoy. Patience is the key now.

Cheers!

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Old 01-12-2012, 04:17 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jmprdood View Post
Relax - you made beer. It'll turn out, just be patient. Airlock activity is the worst indicator of fermentation - krausen (foam) on top of the brew is your indicator. It is common for the yeast to lag a little once they get started, this is a Hefe so it is supposed to be cloudy and a little yeasty - that's the style.

Did you take an OG reading with a hydrometer? Taking notes is a great idea when brewing. You'll know fermentation is done when the FG is stable over a few readings over a few days. Usually takes 7-10 days. Alot of people, me included, will leave it in the primary for longer to allow it to clean up, but with the Hefe, you can bottle once the FG is stable. Let it sit in the bottles for a couple of weeks at about 70F, then in the fridge for a couple of days and crack one open and enjoy. Patience is the key now.

Cheers!


I pitched on Sunday evening. Monday morning it wasn't moving. By Monday evening (24 hours later) it was rip-roaring and bubbling like crazy.
It was pretty much the same on Tuesday. By Wednesday it had slowed to a bubble every 3-4 seconds. Now (Thursday) it is down to about 1 bubble every 6-7 seconds. I didn't take a hydrometer reading but will once the bubbling has ceased, then monitor for a few days. Thanks all for your help!
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Old 01-12-2012, 04:34 PM   #9
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Its funny, on my first brew i made many similar "strikes" but it ended up be delicious. Trust me you did better than I.

Some notes:

As mentioned previously you have to be careful when youre steeping the grain, otherwise too hot and you could get a bitter "puckering" aftertaste, this is called astringency. Try to maintain about 158 for 30 minutes.

Water: use spring water, the yeast needs minerals otherwise it can die or stress out causing off flavors. Dont bother with tap or distilled, just spend 65 cents a gallon at the store and do it right!

Aeration:looks like youre doing a partial boil so you will need to add water to the wrot once u pour into the fermentors. When pouring the water, make sure it splashes around ( just like an aerator you see in a fish tank). This will do the trick.

Yeast: i use smack packs wyeast, and activate three hoirs before pitching. You will notice the pa k expands with C02 until it nearly bursts. I almost always get fermentation within 12-18 hrs of pitching.

Other than that, just leave in the primary for 2-3 weeks, any earlier and you could get off flavors.

Good luck and happy brewing!

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Old 01-15-2012, 03:21 AM   #10
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I forgot to mention- if the lid isn't all the way on your fermenter, that airlock won't bubble. Might be you just didn't get it sealed all the way (I've done this).

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