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Old 10-08-2008, 08:10 PM   #1
uncleozzy
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Default First brew tonight

After months of deliberation and a couple weeks of reading everything I could get in pixels, tonight's the night. It's NB's Mild Ale extract-and-grains kit. I figured on starting with a low gravity brew so my impatience doesn't win out over making drinkable beer.

It's been cool the past few days, and about 70F inside without the heat on, but it's going to warm up, so I'm ready to swamp-cool inside a Rubbermaid tote (good thing I kept those from all the times I've moved), and hopefully keep it in the mid-upper 60s (it's dry Windsor Ale yeast).

Given the low OG (1.033 per NB), I'm hoping to get it into the bottle maybe on the 18th or 19th, but we'll see. I'll do my best to RDWHA(M)B while I wait.

Just wanted to thank everybody on here for all the great info; I definitely wouldn't have taken the plunge without a community like this to turn to. The only downside is that I saw all the coolers on clearance at Wal-Mart last night and couldn't help but seeing mash tuns; I had to remind myself that I live in a small apartment.

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Old 10-08-2008, 08:12 PM   #2
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Good Luck - We're here if and when you need us.

Take pics and post them if you can.

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Old 10-08-2008, 08:12 PM   #3
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Good Luck!

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Old 10-08-2008, 08:14 PM   #4
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Go ahead and get ready to get your second batch going. Two isn't much harder to do than one, and the one will be gone before you know it. If you don't have the equipment to do two at once, at least try and space it out a bit so that your next batch is ready to go the same day your fermenter is empty. You'll be glad you did.

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Old 10-08-2008, 08:20 PM   #5
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Oh yeah, I've got a second batch ready to go, too, and hopefully I'll be able to get it in the fermenter either on the same day the mild goes into bottles or the next day.

Still trying to decide if I've got room for a second fermenter (especially once I add a secondary), but I'm sure I'll want to squeeze it in someplace before too long.

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Old 10-09-2008, 02:34 AM   #6
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ozzy,

tonight is 14 days since i brewed my first non beer machine batch. since then i bought a 9 gallon bucket which i will get drilled and change it into a 2nd primary. i am also gonna get a cooler from walmart (the only place that seems to have it, too bad there are no walmarts in brooklyn) and use it as a fermentation chamber. give it a few days and you will be making plans for a 3rd

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Old 10-09-2008, 01:51 PM   #7
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Well, the wort's in the bucket, and the airlock is bubbling away. We got a slow start due to a warped bottom on the new brew kettle (ever see 3 gallons of water start to rock back and forth on a stovetop, faster and faster until you're afraid it might spill? You don't want to), but SWMBO came up with a slick idea for stabilizing it, and we were on our way.

Got a little distracted toward the end and pitched the yeast a little hot (77F), but the fermenter went right into a tub of 64F water, so I'm not terribly concerned about it. OG was around 1.032 at 77F (I need a wider test jar; the hydrometer kept sticking to the side and had nowhere to go). Wort was not too sweet, as expected, but roasty and with intensely vegetal (like fresh-cut grass) overtones, which I'm assuming will fade.

The bath water was at 71F this morning, so I added a bottle of ice to it, and probably another one tonight. Guess it's time to relax and get to emptying some bottles for this batch!

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Old 10-09-2008, 07:28 PM   #8
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Good luck with everything and make sure to get going on that second batch - the first one disappears all too quickly.

Just one word of warning - Windsor yeast is notorious for not attenuating very much. Even with your low OG you might not get below 1.020 or so, leaving you with a beer with very low ABV. It will still taste great, especially being your first batch, but just expect a high FG.

Welcome to the obsession!

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Old 10-09-2008, 07:57 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by Peregris View Post
Even with your low OG you might not get below 1.020 or so, leaving you with a beer with very low ABV.
I was expecting lowish attenuation, but more in the 60-65% range, for an FG of 1.011-1.013. A FG of 1.020 would give me, what, 38% attenuation?
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Old 10-09-2008, 08:34 PM   #10
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I brewed what was supposed to be an ordinary bitter - a Northern Brewer kit, actually - with an OG of 1.039. The FG was predicted to be 1.010. After a LONG time in the primary, I couldn't get it below 1.020 no matter what I did - agitation, temperate raise, etc.

I searched around to find out what the problem may have been and came across this post from rudeboy about a similar problem :

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Ya that's Windsor for you.
I did a NBA clone started at 1.056 FG 1.020.
A Bass clone started at 1.045 FG 1.020
A Scottish 60/- started at 1.036 FG 1.020.

I'm sure if I brewed a 1.021 OG beer Windsor would take it down to 1.020.
If you search "Windsor" on the forums here you'll come across scores of other posts to the same tune.

I'm never using Windsor again - for dry yeasts I have had no problem with Safale or Saflager, but I have become a recent convert to Wyeast smack packs.

But hell, maybe you'll get lucky or did something a bit different and you'll get down to 1.010 or so. Who knows.
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In the Bottle:
Devil's Leap Belgian Dubbel
New England Cider
Various meads

In the Keg:
Belgian Pale Ale

In the Planning:
Saison
IPA
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