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ColoradoHB 12-29-2012 11:02 PM

IPA: First Round Process & Advice
Hello folks.

I've been tooling with the idea of jumping in, and my bride finally took my hint and purchased a Brewer's Best Beer Kit. I'm finally out of the gates. As with most beginner's, I'm already learning as I go from my trusty Papazian book and reading posts here. Here's what I've got going on thus far....I imagine, I need to simply wait at this point, but any pointers/confirmation will set me at ease.

I started brewing an IPA. Started with approximately 3 gallons in a kettle with 1 lb of Briess Caramei 60 grains steeped for 20 minutes pre-boil (man did that smell outstanding), 8 lbs of Briess Pilsen Light Extract were added and brought to a boil, and 3 different rounds of Centennial Hops at 2oz. per round (60-10-0 minutes). All went well minus a rookie's boil over at first hop introduction....didn't lose a ton though. That sucked though.....

Cooled the wort to 80 degrees, transferred to a carboy via racking cane/siphon introducing a good amound of oxygen, and added enough H20 for 5 gallons....seemed to be about a 50/50 split of wort to water ratio, maybe bit more water. I then took at hydrometer reading (1.042-1.044 if I read it right), and then added a liquid yeast that I activated 3 hours earlier and shook the heck out of the carboy...then I placed my Econolock....within 10 hours fermination was in serious mode, as the lock was foaming and liquid had entered the lock chamber.....then 5 hours later, POP! went my lock and bung which also broke the plastic contraption. From there, I quickly sanatized some hose and the rubber carboy bung and re-sealed. I ended up without a sealed carboy after 10 minutes of being off (enough to sanitize) which then drained for the next hour, maybe two.

From there, the fermination has slowed to a point of no additional drainage, but man is there quite a fermination show going on in the carboy. It started at about 66-67 degrees, and has jumped to 70 which seems to be within range of temp. Quite a dance going on in that carboy! In addition, I have a quality amount of sediment at the bottom of the carboy and the top has a layer of hop/wort/yeast caked to the top where the airchamber lies.

Soooooo, I seem to have resolved a few rookie misses, but I was seeking a bit of advice from here. Shall I just let this puppy sit for the next 2-3 weeks and pour a beer to plan my next batch? And from there, move it to bottling after another hydrometer read, or would there be any reason to move it to a 2nd fermentor? The beer is a beautiful orange hue that you probably couldn't see an inch into since it's so cloudy. I imagine the cloudiness begins to disapate after a bit, but I guess I'm not sure what to expect.

Any advice, thoughts, observations?

Thanks folks!

Hammy71 12-29-2012 11:48 PM

Your on the way. Leave it be in the primary fermenter for 3 weeks, then transfer to your bottling bucket and go from there. Pay no mind to the color/haziness of the beer while it is fermenting. A couple of weeks in the fermenter and it will start to clear for sure. As far as the 'blow out', I learned early to always use a blow off tube for the first week of fermentations. Women just don't seem to be able to deal with the messes I guess....:)

swackattack 12-29-2012 11:51 PM

Looks good. Don't forget the dry hops!

aiptasia 12-29-2012 11:56 PM

Yep, all sounds well. Fun that you got to experience both a boil over previous to the hot break and a blow off all on the same batch. Whee! :)

I agree with Hammy, let it sit for three weeks on the primary. Boil 3/4 cup of dextrose (corn sugar) with a cup of water to make a simple syrup and pour it into the bottling bucket. Rack the beer onto the bucket gently (no splashing at this point), fill your bottles and cap them.

The hard part: Let the bottles condition for about three weeks to completely carbonate and bottle condition. Yes, you can try one in about a week but don't drink them all, they'll taste much better after about three weeks time. Young beers will often have a "green" flavor, meaning it might taste like green apples or lemon grass. This calms down a lot as the residual yeasts condition the beer.

ColoradoHB 12-30-2012 03:10 AM

Excellent! Thanks...I'll post an update on the final product.

One follow up: I wasn't planning on a dry hop add. Is that necessary?

Demus 12-30-2012 03:17 AM

Ditto on the blowoff tube! I also support the "primary only" school of thought. Some swear by a transfer to a secondary vessel, but I maintain that without experience, you have more chance of harming your beer than helping it if you use a secondary. It's just another chance for spills, oxidation, and infection, and if you don't have a feel for when to do it you can interrupt important functions of the yeast.
Good call on doing a simple IPA for your first batch by the way. They are tasty and all those hops tend to hide any "goofs" you may have made. Welcome to brewing!!!

ColoradoHB 12-30-2012 04:29 AM

Sounds good...

Hammy71 12-30-2012 12:05 PM


Originally Posted by ColoradoHB (Post 4727486)
Excellent! Thanks...I'll post an update on the final product.

One follow up: I wasn't planning on a dry hop add. Is that necessary?

No, some IPAs have dry hopping additions, but not all. Since your first brew, I'd stick with the recipe. Then you can begin to experiment. :tank:

ColoradoHB 12-31-2012 01:05 AM


Originally Posted by Hammy71 (Post 4728072)
No, some IPAs have dry hopping additions, but not all. Since your first brew, I'd stick with the recipe. Then you can begin to experiment. :tank:

I think that's the best approach, be it my first go. Things are looking really good thus far. Thanks for the feedback.

ColoradoHB 02-01-2013 09:49 PM

3 weeks in my primary fermenter and two weeks of bottle conditioning. Safe to say, this IPA is damn good! Thanks for the advice. The flavor is quite good, color is a bit richer orange then I expected. All in all, a success for my first go.

I do have a follow up question. The appearance of the beer is a bit cloudier in the glass then I expected and the mouth feel is a bit heavier then I expected. Is that because I likely racked a slight portion of the trub (tried hard to get as much liquid as I could) from my primary into my bottling bucket? None the less, darn good. So good, that I've just put my second batch into a primary today. Giving a English Brown Ale a shot now.

There was a suggestion in the bottling post I read to improvise a small piece of tubing in my bottling bucket to prevent any trub from moving into the bottle. Maybe that's my solution. Other thoughts?


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