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Old 10-20-2008, 12:37 PM   #1
beachman
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Default First Mistake - What Now

I'm sorry my first post is not introducing myself and saying how much I am enjoying this, but ... I need some quick advice. Background: Just got started, got supplies and two recipes from good homebrew store. I have two plastic pails and one glass carboy. Just bottled my first batch, English ESB, from Brewmasters Select. Did wet hop, primary ferment in plastic pail, secondary ferment in glass, then bottled at two weeks. Waiting now. Over the weekend I started second batch, Old Peculier, also from Brewmasters Select. I was advised to try dry hopping this one and I guess that through me off. Also, I decided to do the primary fermenting in the glass carboy which also might have thrown me off. Bottom line is -- I forgot to strain the wort putting it into the carboy. I did that Saturday afternoon, Oct. 18, about 4 pm EST. Fermentation started next day. This morning I realized I didn't strain the wort. Fermentation is going rapidly now. Should I a) just let it go and strain when I go to the secondary fermenter; b) strain immediately; c) toss it; d) something else. I hope I don't lose this batch as I was really looking forward to the Old Peculier. By the way, only thing I notice different is that the first ESB batch fermented with only bubbles coming through the water in the tube. There is a lot of foam coming up through the tube in this fermentation. Is that the different beer, glass vs. plastic, or my not straining. Thanks for any and all help.

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Old 10-20-2008, 12:43 PM   #2
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I rarely, if ever, strain my wort. That's fine- it won't hurt your beer, and in fact, some of those coagulated proteins are good for your yeast.

You may have a more active fermentation for a variety of reasons, like yeast strain, temperature, etc. Or, it could be that the bucket is larger than your carboy and gives you more headspace. If it's making a huge mess, like foaming out of the top, you can rig up a blow off tube. If it's just bubbling away, it'll be fine just like it is. Check the temperature (if you have a stick on thermometer, that's great) to make sure fermention isn't causing the temperature to increase too much. It actually sounds like everything is going just fine!

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Old 10-20-2008, 12:50 PM   #3
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Thanks. Now I can continue my real work without worrying. I think your answer about the carboy being smaller is the explanation, it is 5 gal whereas the pail was 6.5 for the first batch. It is making a little mess foaming out the top, but that's what a back porch is for, hehe. I will persevere.

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Old 10-20-2008, 01:46 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by beachman View Post
Thanks. Now I can continue my real work without worrying. I think your answer about the carboy being smaller is the explanation, it is 5 gal whereas the pail was 6.5 for the first batch. It is making a little mess foaming out the top, but that's what a back porch is for, hehe. I will persevere.
Well, there's the explanation right there. Now you know first hand that a 5 gallon carboy is a bit small for a primary. No harm will be done- you'll just lose some beer out of the top, and you'll have a mess. The beer will be just fine, though.
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Old 10-20-2008, 02:24 PM   #5
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Even though I have a bazooka filter on my kettle, sometimes everything just runs through it. My latest batch, it looked like I got a good break, but absolutely everything ended up in the fermenter. Just means a really thick layer of trub at the end.

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