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Old 08-06-2009, 03:48 PM   #1
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Default Help in Deep South!

Sooo... I have put my first ever batch in the fermenter. I made a few mistakes along the way. The primary one being that I did not let the wort cool enough before adding yeast (guessing 85-90 degrees). Total brain fart at the time and immediately realized my folly, but what can ya do. Anyway, it did begin fermenting strongly by the next morning, but by that night it had fallen to maybe a bubble every 45sec to a minute, if that. I noticed even with AC blasting and frozen water bottles in with it, the temp may have still gotten as high as 76 degrees (LA south in summer and not much you can do about it). Now that I had the temp down I thought hey I'll just re-pitch, but I didn't want take down my rig so sanitized a funnel and bowl and re-hydrated, then added little corn sugar and let sit for 30 min and just added to my fermenter as is. The next morning still no action and the temp was down to 72 so I figure maybe my yeast isn't distributed enough. With the airlock and stopper firmly in place I just raised the carboy and swirled it around. A few minutes later there seemed to be little more action. So I was wondering if I'm doing the right things and with these temps am I going to have much success? Is my primary problem the original pitching temp or temp since? Is shaking (well swirling) a good thing? I know this is a lot to digest, but I'm trying to wrap my head around what I'm doing right/wrong and what I should try next.

Any feedback is greatly appreciated. If you are interested in my process checkout my diary: My First Brew (aka Coopers Bl...

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Old 08-06-2009, 03:56 PM   #2
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First ever batch? I think your doing better than I did for mine, even with experience with must

You will have some unusual flavours, no doubt about that, but cannot be helped, especially in your area. What I would do is wait 3 weeks from start of fermentation, and get a gravity reading then. I assume you mean 1.071 for an Original Gravity (from your diary). It will be sweet, but not much you can do about it for now.

You are doing one thing better than me -- keeping a detailed diary so you can easier correct your mistakes... good going.

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Old 08-06-2009, 04:02 PM   #3
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The 1.071 probably isn't worth much as I had not mixed it in with the 1 gallon of water already in the fermenter (I can only boil about 4 gallons in my pot so boiled 1 gallon before hand and put in carboy). I am going to try to get a wine thief this weekend so I can get some more readings.

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Old 08-06-2009, 04:04 PM   #4
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If 1.071 was the OG for the four gallons, then the new gravity of 5 gallons is 1.057

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Old 08-06-2009, 04:39 PM   #5
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Thanks good to know!

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Old 08-06-2009, 05:56 PM   #6
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You think the ferment is stalled, but have you checked the current gravity? Don't see that in your notes.

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Old 08-06-2009, 06:01 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by david_42 View Post
You think the ferment is stalled, but have you checked the current gravity? Don't see that in your notes.
+1, Because of the higher pitching temps and fermentation temperature it may have finished fermenting very quickly check your gravity, it will tell you if it is complete.
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Old 08-06-2009, 07:15 PM   #8
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Ok thanks, I don't have anything that can really get down in there. When I can get to my local brew shop (hopefully this sat) I am getting a wine thief so I can.

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Old 08-10-2009, 05:25 PM   #9
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Ok, so I have been putting off a hydrometer reading since my local brew shop was out of wine thieves and I ordered one that won't be in for days. I could sanitize my siphon and everything, but that seems like a lot of work. It's still bubbling about every 1:30 mins so I assume we are still making headway in secondary fermentation.

My current plan is leave it be until Saturday that's about 10.5 days from boiling. If my wine thief comes in I will get hydrometer reading to see where I am at.

Saturday I am going to bottle it (with priming sugar) and then condition it for 14 days before tasting. Does this sound like a good plan of action or should I bite the bullet and go through the trouble of getting a hydrometer reading. Also, any GOOD and SAFE ideas on getting a reading without a wine thief? Turkey baster won't reach and I'm afraid of pouring or anything like that due to contamination.

Thanks again

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Old 08-10-2009, 05:47 PM   #10
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Hydro reading - yes. It's the only way to know when it's done. 3 readings the same over 3 days. Also helps you determine ABV.

Next Saturday is 10 days? how about leaving it for 2 more weeks after that - in the fermenter. (that gives you plenty of time for the thief to come in--)

August 30th (when you bottle) - leave it until Sept. 21st before your first sip.

Congrats on your first brew. Do work on your Fermenting temps - keep them within the range of your yeast specs. You'll make remarkable beers - just wait and see.

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