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Old 05-04-2008, 09:10 AM   #1
Tarka
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Default First 'real' brew, comments and questions

So yesterday I brewed up my first 'real' homebrew (having done kits at university but never really getting into it at the time). I brewed up an APA with some speciality grains (got a taste for the Cascade on a trip to SF ) and everything went pretty well as far as I can see (with the beer anyway), no boil-overs although the bastard tried.

One thing that has emerged is that my stove may be producing carbon-monoxide. At the end of the session (i.e. 2+ hours in front of the hob) I was starting to feel like I had a case of the flu. This only started to clear-up a couple of hours later and I felt rough into the evening. I'm arranging to have it checked out this week.

The other thing that emerged is that winter has come in rapidly in Sydney and it's colder here than I anticipated; the fermenter was showing ~14c on the strip thermometer (~60F) this morning and little sign of fermentation. I've ordered a heat-pad but it probably won't appear for a few days; is this likely to be a problem?

Regardless of all this, I'm heartened by I've been reading on this board. Part of what attracted me to brewing again was the 'hacking' aspect of it (I'm a programmer/sysadmin by trade and nature) and I love the pure intersection of art and science. However I've been pleasantly surprised by the community spirit I'm seeing here, the sharing of recipes and assistance. It's reminds me much of the best of the open-source community but run by adults

Sláinte

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Old 05-04-2008, 11:27 AM   #2
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Congrats on upgrading from kits to steeping grains! That sucks about your stove and the possible CO poisoning. It could be that your oven vent isn't up to the task of exhausting fumes for an hour while the boil goes. For an ale, 14ºC is rather on the low side. If you put a blanket over the fermenter the heat from the fermentation will warm it up a few more degrees and that should work until you get your heating belt.

And no fair calling us adults! Many of us are immature poopyheads!

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Old 05-04-2008, 06:50 PM   #3
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+1 on evils post. My house fluctuates heat quite a bit being an old house and the blankets kept the fermentation going very well. Just wrap it and check it. You can also swirl the beer around a little bit to arouse the yeast that remains(if you killed any at the cooler temp). I tried this method and it worked well. Good luck and let us know how it goes!s

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Old 05-04-2008, 10:40 PM   #4
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Welcome to the club.

Get yourself some fans and at least circulate the air in your place.

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Old 05-05-2008, 01:38 AM   #5
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i object to the use of "real homebrew"

otherwise man onward and upward

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Old 05-05-2008, 02:57 AM   #6
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Welcome mate! I don't envy you going into winter right now. Up here in the Pac. Northwest were finally emerging from one of the harshest winters in a long time. If I never see another snow flake again it will be to soon! Anyway, I hope you get your carbon-monoxide situation cleared up real soon cause that's nothing to play around with.

Cheers!

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Old 05-05-2008, 03:11 AM   #7
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Hack away; I know what you mean, as a programmer I get the same hacking buzz off of trying to recreate a recipe. Pick up "150 homebrew clone recipes" from BYO.

Welcome...

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Old 05-06-2008, 04:07 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dominator6 View Post
+1 on evils post. My house fluctuates heat quite a bit being an old house and the blankets kept the fermentation going very well. Just wrap it and check it. You can also swirl the beer around a little bit to arouse the yeast that remains(if you killed any at the cooler temp). I tried this method and it worked well. Good luck and let us know how it goes!s
Yep, I've wrapped the fermenter but it's still idle. I'm concerned about your 'killed' comment; I was under the impression that yeast would just lay dormant at that temperature, not actually die?
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Old 05-06-2008, 04:18 AM   #9
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Hack away; I know what you mean, as a programmer I get the same hacking buzz off of trying to recreate a recipe. Pick up "150 homebrew clone recipes" from BYO.
I've actually had that sitting next to me at work where a cow-orker left it but hadn't looked at it (he didn't rate it very highly). I've just had a flick through and noticed the Anchor Steam recipe which uses lager yeast instead of ale; this sounds perfect for a Sydney winter brewing.

Re. hacking: The thing the stopped me talking about starting to brew and actually doing it was this post on a US politics blog about culturing yeast from the bottom of imported Belgian beer.
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