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Old 08-31-2011, 02:58 PM   #1
MuchoGusto
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Default It's a "girl"... well, almost!

I'm more excited than a kid in a candy store! I feel like we're having a baby!!!

First-time brewer so I imagine you old-timers can understand the excitement. Ordered a mini-mash Texas Bock out of Austin. I've got an older frig I've converted to a "cellar", so to speak, with a digital temp control for a swamp cooler I modified which is working perfect.

Start out in the early evening this past Friday "cooking" up everything according to the directions. Took out the White Labs Bock around noon and left it on the kitchen counter.. Fired up the propane fish cooker, boiled the 2 gallons of store bought drinking H2O, soaked the grains, added the LME, hops, more H2O ect. according to the directions. Cooling down the wort to 80 in 15-20 minutes in an ice bath was a pain (going to make a wort chiller for the next batch). Everything in the carboy and shot the wort with a minuet worth of pure O2 through a sanitized tube/aerating stone. Took a sample and checked the SG (on target) then pitched the yeast. Poured it in the primary, the airlock goes on and I sit back. It's 10pm and I want to see some action. 12 hours post pitching... and nada. 24 hours post pitching... and more nada. I shake er' up. 42 hours and nada. I feel like my other half is in labor and I want to at least see the "head crowning"! Come on now... deliver something! I'm getting worried the yeast died in transport. Then.... I discover "HomeBrewTalk". Go straight to the lag time issues/questions and read everything I can. Still a little worried. Then at at almost 48 hours I open the modified frig (set at 75 degrees) and what do I have.... a freakin' NUCLEAR EXPLOSION!!! What a reaction! It was literally churning inside the carboy with a head on it half the size of an average cabbage. So much so I had to pull the airlock and put in its place a 1/2 ID blow off tube into a gallon jug. The "baby" has arrived!!! Not perfect, but on the way to maturity. I'm going to crank up another batch and do a time lapse video of the hopefully "projectile vomiting" out the top!

Here's the 2 major things I've learned so far...
1. DO NOT fill a 5 gallon carboy with almost 5 gallons of wort. You'll have to replace the airlock with a blow off tube. Get a 6 gallon plus carboy for a primary. Otherwise, if I didn't happen to have a new, sanitized, right size hose I would have had a very big mess late at night and into the morning until the hardware store opened.
2. Give the yeast due time to start. Lag time means just that... "lag" time.

My next problem is figuring out what to brew next and what I'm going to name the "new baby". I'm thinking "BAB". Bad A$$ Beer!!!

MuchoGusto......

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Old 08-31-2011, 03:16 PM   #2
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Is the Bock suppose to be fermented at lager temperatures? If not, you are way to high at 75 degrees even for an ale. Most ales ferment best between 62-68 degrees. If it truley is a lager, it needs to ferment at around 55 degrees. You could have some pretty funky off flavors being kicked off at that high of a temperature.

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Old 08-31-2011, 03:37 PM   #3
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Why do they even ship beginner kits with 5 gallon carboys? They should all ship with 6.5 gallon carboys. Imagine how many first batches might be saved.

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Old 08-31-2011, 03:57 PM   #4
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I don't think any of the beginner kits come with 5 gallon primaries, although some of them come with 5 gallon secondaries. Maybe the OP can direct us to where he got his kit, also he mentioned that he boiled two gallons of water, then soaked his grains. I would be curious if he let the water cool down to conversion temps(148-158) or if he soaked them at boiling temps? More info needed....

Either way, congratulations on the first brew, and welcome to the obsession!

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Old 08-31-2011, 04:26 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Deuce View Post
Is the Bock suppose to be fermented at lager temperatures? If not, you are way to high at 75 degrees even for an ale. Most ales ferment best between 62-68 degrees. If it truley is a lager, it needs to ferment at around 55 degrees. You could have some pretty funky off flavors being kicked off at that high of a temperature.
The recipe calls for cooling it down slowly (1 degree/hour) to 50-55 once fermentation begins. I interpreted that to mean room temp (75) until fermentation begins. That's what I did and it's now fermentating at 52 degrees. It's a lager yeast. 10 days in primary @ 50-55 and them 40 degrees for 3-4 weeks in secondary.
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Old 08-31-2011, 04:27 PM   #6
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Quote:
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Why do they even ship beginner kits with 5 gallon carboys? They should all ship with 6.5 gallon carboys. Imagine how many first batches might be saved.
I didn't buy a fermenting kit. I made that mistake all on my own!
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Old 08-31-2011, 04:36 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by Deuce View Post
I don't think any of the beginner kits come with 5 gallon primaries, although some of them come with 5 gallon secondaries. Maybe the OP can direct us to where he got his kit, also he mentioned that he boiled two gallons of water, then soaked his grains. I would be curious if he let the water cool down to conversion temps(148-158) or if he soaked them at boiling temps? More info needed....

Either way, congratulations on the first brew, and welcome to the obsession!
I gave the general process in a nutshell without the 'fine" details reading like instructions. Heated 2 gallons to 160. Tossed in grain bag with grain (inside bag ) and soaked for 45 minutes maintaining 155 degrees.

I followed the instruction to a "t".
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Old 08-31-2011, 07:14 PM   #8
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Try a 7.5 gallon bucket for your primary next time, unless you like nuclear explosions. (Personally I'd rather spend my time wiping beer from my upper lip than the ceiling, but that's just the way I roll.) welcome.

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Old 08-31-2011, 07:29 PM   #9
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Try a 7.5 gallon bucket for your primary next time, unless you like nuclear explosions. (Personally I'd rather spend my time wiping beer from my upper lip than the ceiling, but that's just the way I roll.) welcome.
Fortunately, I opened the frig at the opportune time. The airlock was spitting out CO2 and goop (yea, it's called krausen, but goop sounds more dramatic), but the top hadn't popper off yet. Nothing really to clean, but had I not checked a couples rolls of Viva would have been in order.

I'm ordering a bigger carboy, but I'll do the same thing again just to make a time lapse video for the heck of it with a blow off hose/tube in place.
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Old 08-31-2011, 09:48 PM   #10
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Lagers should really have a starter and fermented from start to finish at approx 50 degrees. You pitched less than 25% of the yeast needed. I'm glad its going for you. Make another batch and pitch onto that cake when its done in primary. Compare the two beers in a couple months. It will be noticeable!
Ill have a beer for your new "addition".

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