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Old 12-26-2005, 04:24 PM   #1
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Default Help With Irish Stout

Hi All,

I'm working on a TrueBrew Irish Stout kit. I've make a few batches in the past but I'm definitely still a novice.

Everything went well initially. I transfered the 1.5 gallons on the hot mixture into a glass primary fermenter that had 3 gallons of cold water in it. I topped it off to 5 gallons and then added the yeast when it was at 92 degrees, waited about 10 minutes, then stirred the yeast in and applied the airlock. Its now about 22 hours later and it appears to be fermenting, but all of the hops are now floating on the top of the wort. I am not sure if this is normal or not (the instructions do not specify) so I wanted to ask the pros. Will I just filter this out when I move it to the secondary fermenter?

Thanks in advance and happy holidays to all.

cheers,

Jason

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Old 12-26-2005, 04:26 PM   #2
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oh, also my beginning gravity in the primary fermenter was about 1.032 (as best I could read). The instructions said it should run around 1.043-1.045. I probably should have taken a sample to get a more accurate reading, but I was worried about contamination. Any thoughts on how this variation might affect its outcome?

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Old 12-26-2005, 04:31 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by alfista
oh, also my beginning gravity in the primary fermenter was about 1.032 (as best I could read). The instructions said it should run around 1.043-1.045. I probably should have taken a sample to get a more accurate reading, but I was worried about contamination. Any thoughts on how this variation might affect its outcome?
What was the temp of the wort when you took your reading? Temperature will greatly affect this. The documentation with your hydrometer will tell you what to add or subtract from your initial reading.

As far as the hops. Did you add some irish moss at the last 10 minutes of boil? This will help things settle throughout the fermentation. The hops will eventually start to settle in the primary. When you rack to the secondary, these little beauties will be left behind
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Old 12-26-2005, 04:34 PM   #4
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Assuming this is an extract kit, the difference in the target gravity and your reading are probably due to temperature and/or not enough mixing before sampling. Neither will change the results. Most recipes give a range for the target gravity.

I generally filter the hops going into the fermenter, but there is always some to be filtered out going to the secondary.

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Old 12-26-2005, 09:42 PM   #5
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Thanks to everyone for the tips. I did the beginning gravity reading right before adding the yeast so that would put it at 92 degrees. I do not have the instructions for the hydrometer so I can't correct for temperature but thanks to all for pointing this out to me.

My latest issue was that the fermentation expanded enough to overflow the airlock. I caught this within about an hour of it happening. I prepared some B-Brite and sterilized a hose and siphoned about two cups of the liquid out, and then re-sterilized the airlock and stopper and returned them to the bottle with fresh water in the airlock. I did all this in about 5 minutes so hopefully there was no contamination. Should I worry? This took place about 24 hours after I added the yeast.

Anyone have a recommendation for filtering the thick layer of hops when I go to bottle?

Thanks again!

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Old 12-26-2005, 09:48 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by alfista
Anyone have a recommendation for filtering the thick layer of hops when I go to bottle?
Cheesecloth or a hop bag, tied over the end of your racking cane or auto-syphon...sanitized first, of course.
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Old 12-26-2005, 10:42 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by alfista
I did the beginning gravity reading right before adding the yeast so that would put it at 92 degrees
I would probably pitch your yeast at or closer to 80 degrees.

Quote:
Originally Posted by alfista
My latest issue was that the fermentation expanded enough to overflow the airlock. I caught this within about an hour of it happening. I prepared some B-Brite and sterilized a hose and siphoned about two cups of the liquid out, and then re-sterilized the airlock and stopper and returned them to the bottle with fresh water in the airlock. I did all this in about 5 minutes so hopefully there was no contamination. Should I worry? This took place about 24 hours after I added the yeast.
I would recommend installing a blow off tube. Insert a tube into your stopper on one end then submerge the other in a sanitizing solutions. This will allow more pressure and foam to release out of your fermenter so the lid does not blow off when your three piece airlock is clogged.
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On Deck -
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Primary2 -
Secondary1 -
Secondary2 -
On Tap
Tap1 - Kelly's Rasberry Cream Ale 7/11/07
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Tap3 - Hefeweizen 7/05/07
Waiting for tap\Conditioning
Keg1 -
Keg2 -
Keg3 -
Bottles
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Old 12-26-2005, 10:56 PM   #8
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Better yet go to the hardware store and get some 1 1/4 poly hose which fits snug inside the 5-6 gal carboys. I have had a few stopper/ 1/4 inch hoses blow the heck out of the top and hit the ceiling with great force, and what a mess. Get like 3 feet and run it into a bucket with water in it for a blow off. Its a lot cheaper and easier than repainting the room to keep a wife happy.

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Old 12-27-2005, 12:47 AM   #9
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Again, thanks for the tips.

I went from this:


to this


You can see the hops at the top in the first image. The tube in the second image is draining into a B-Brite solution and I've since taped the tube in place. The runoff is pretty active. Does this look like an acceptable solution? If I get a couple more batches under my belt I'll invest in some better hardware.

Please let me know if you think (based on the description and pics) if this batch is doomed. I'd rather not spend the time bottling if I've goofed bigtime - we are expecting a baby next week time will be tight after that...

Thanks again for the tips!

Jason

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Old 12-27-2005, 12:58 AM   #10
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Looks good. I would not aboandon the batch now. Give it a taste before you bottle. If you have some real off flavors then maybe discard. If not.....

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Tap3 - Hefeweizen 7/05/07
Waiting for tap\Conditioning
Keg1 -
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