Spike Brewing 12.5 Conical Fermenter Giveaway - Enter Now!

Home Brew Forums > Home Brewing Beer > Beginners Beer Brewing Forum > Just brewed my first batch... a few questions

Reply
 
LinkBack Thread Tools
Old 01-25-2006, 02:12 PM   #1
jrabenhorst
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Jan 2006
Location: Baton Rouge
Posts: 16
Default Just brewed my first batch... a few questions

Hey everyone... I just brewed my first batch of beer last night, an American Light Ale- I know a pansy beer, but I wanted to start easy and cheap to make sure I understood the process before I got to the good stuff. I have a few questions...

While boiling the wort should you keep the lid on, or take the lid off, also once you place it in the ice bath- lid on or off?

I was following directions that called for 2.5 gallons of water to make the wort, then another 2.5 gallons to add to the wort in the fermenter. When I placed everything in the fermenter I noticed that I had boiled away about half a gallon of water. Did the recipe account for this or next time should I begin with three gallons?

After I placed everything in the fermenter I took a gravity reading and it only showed about 1.036. The recipe said it should be around 1.040-1.045. What could have caused this, and how will it effect my beer?

Finally, I checked the fermenter today (12 hours later) and I noticed a 1/2 inch head on top but no bubbles yet, am I still in the clear? I used a yeast starter to make sure I had enough yeast.

Sorry for all the questions, I'm new to this and I want to learn all I can before I attempt another batch in two weeks. Thanks for all of your help.

__________________
jrabenhorst is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 01-25-2006, 02:24 PM   #2
DeRoux's Broux
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
 
DeRoux's Broux's Avatar
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Nov 2004
Location: Beaumont, Texas
Posts: 2,966
Liked 6 Times on 4 Posts
Likes Given: 8

Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by jrabenhorst
While boiling the wort should you keep the lid on, or take the lid off, also once you place it in the ice bath- lid on or off?

I was following directions that called for 2.5 gallons of water to make the wort, then another 2.5 gallons to add to the wort in the fermenter. When I placed everything in the fermenter I noticed that I had boiled away about half a gallon of water. Did the recipe account for this or next time should I begin with three gallons?

After I placed everything in the fermenter I took a gravity reading and it only showed about 1.036. The recipe said it should be around 1.040-1.045. What could have caused this, and how will it effect my beer?

Finally, I checked the fermenter today (12 hours later) and I noticed a 1/2 inch head on top but no bubbles yet, am I still in the clear? I used a yeast starter to make sure I had enough yeast.

Sorry for all the questions, I'm new to this and I want to learn all I can before I attempt another batch in two weeks. Thanks for all of your help.
hey, welcome to the addiction!

you want to leave the lid off during a boil. this helps prevent a boil over (nasty and a pain to clean up!) and this allows some of the harsher water chemicals to boil off.

if you can, get a kettle that will allow you to boil as mush of the wort as possible. a full wort boil enhances the hot break (protiens to fall out of the wort) and aid in the clarity of the finished brew and hop utilization. it's tuff to do in a kettle that fits on the stove top. some (like me) have moved to outdoor propane cookers.

the lower OG was probably due to the addition of the extra water in the fermenter. it'll be fine. this kinda goes back to doing a full wort boil. that way you don't have to top up the primary to get the 5-5.5 gallons. it'll still taste good, just havea lower alcohol %.

nice job on the starter. not too many newbies come out of the gates w/ that trick! it sounds like it's working if you see the kraeusen forming (foam on top). you should see activity in the lock very soon.

don't appologize for the questions! that's what we're here for.
good luck and keep us posted!
__________________

Cheers!
DeRoux's Broux

DeRoux's Broux is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 01-25-2006, 02:27 PM   #3
loopmd
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
 
loopmd's Avatar
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Jan 2005
Location: Omaha, Nebraska
Posts: 665
Liked 3 Times on 3 Posts

Default

Sounds like you are off to a great start. You are really going to enjoy your american light. Next time you should try the "continental light". It's the european version of the "american light". I boil with the lid off because you want the nasties that evaporate to escape, you don't want them going back into your pot. When I cool, I put the lid on to protect the wort from any nasties in the air. As for the boil off, you are ok. Did you top off to make it 5 gallons or are you still at 4.5 gallons? Your gravity reading is pretty accurate. What temp did you take the reading at? Only 4 points off will not effect your brew too much. As for the bubbles today....patience grasshopper, you should be alright. No doubt, it will turn out to be the best brew you have ever tasted, until you try your second batch.

loop

__________________
loopmd is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 01-25-2006, 02:35 PM   #4
jrabenhorst
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Jan 2006
Location: Baton Rouge
Posts: 16
Default

Thanks for the help guys. As we were brewing a friend of mine asked why I didn't add the top off water to the boil (a full boil) I didn't know why, that's just the way the instructions listed it. But next time I'll try a full boil. I took the gravity reading at 70 degrees and adjusted it .001 as per the chart in the hydrometer instructions. . I also don't think I got all the syrup extract out of the bucket it came in, that also probably accounted for the low gravity reading as well. And no I decided to leave the finished wort at 4.5 gallons. I didn't want to water it down. Thanks for all of your help. I'll let you know what it taste's like.

__________________

Last edited by jrabenhorst; 01-25-2006 at 02:37 PM.
jrabenhorst is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 01-25-2006, 02:50 PM   #5
DeRoux's Broux
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
 
DeRoux's Broux's Avatar
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Nov 2004
Location: Beaumont, Texas
Posts: 2,966
Liked 6 Times on 4 Posts
Likes Given: 8

Default

i used to set my bucket of extract in a hot water bath. that way it was easier to got almost every bit of it out.

sounds like your moving in the right direction and did a good job!

__________________

Cheers!
DeRoux's Broux

DeRoux's Broux is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 01-25-2006, 02:55 PM   #6
cgravier
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Jan 2006
Location: Virginia Beach
Posts: 276
Liked 2 Times on 2 Posts

Default goopity-goo

Quote:
Originally Posted by jrabenhorst
. . I also don't think I got all the syrup extract out of the bucket it came in, that also probably accounted for the low gravity reading as well.

that syrup can be a pain to get out, what i used to do is place the extract bucket or pail whatever it comes in, in the sink filled with the hottest tap, water about 15 minutes prior to using it. the idea is that the hot water surrounding the bucket will loosen up the syrup making it easier to get out.
after getting as much goop out as you can then dip the bucket into the wort and essentially rinse it clean into the kettle.

or you could just use dry extract, its more expensive, but you dont need as much, and its lighter in color.

p.s. a good euphamism for 'american light ale' is 'english ale' just tell people its an 'english ale'
__________________
cgravier is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 01-25-2006, 03:16 PM   #7
david_42
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
 
david_42's Avatar
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Oct 2005
Location: Willamina & Oak Grove, Oregon, USA
Posts: 25,651
Liked 133 Times on 126 Posts

Default

Since I have a tap on my kettle, I just fill the extract bucket with hot water to get the last bits out (this is tricky when the LME is in a bag). I suspect the lower OG is mainly due to poor mixing in the fermenter, a common problem. Don't worry, all of the malt is there and will ferment.

__________________

Remember one unassailable statistic, as explained by the late, great George Carlin: "Just think of how stupid the average person is, and then realize half of them are even stupider!"

"I would like to die on Mars, just not on impact." Elon Musk

david_42 is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 01-25-2006, 03:18 PM   #8
loopmd
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
 
loopmd's Avatar
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Jan 2005
Location: Omaha, Nebraska
Posts: 665
Liked 3 Times on 3 Posts

Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by jrabenhorst
Thanks for the help guys. As we were brewing a friend of mine asked why I didn't add the top off water to the boil (a full boil) I didn't know why, that's just the way the instructions listed it. But next time I'll try a full boil. I took the gravity reading at 70 degrees and adjusted it .001 as per the chart in the hydrometer instructions. . I also don't think I got all the syrup extract out of the bucket it came in, that also probably accounted for the low gravity reading as well. And no I decided to leave the finished wort at 4.5 gallons. I didn't want to water it down. Thanks for all of your help. I'll let you know what it taste's like.

Don't do a full boil with extract. Next time do the same, with the exception of topping off to 5 gallons after you boil the 2.5 gallons. So, boil the 2.5 gallons, you will end up with about 2 gallons in the end. Top off to 5 gallons total. Cool, pitch yeast and you are set.


loop
__________________
loopmd is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 01-25-2006, 04:11 PM   #9
jrabenhorst
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Jan 2006
Location: Baton Rouge
Posts: 16
Default

So I'm getting mixed advice here. Next time should I boil all 5 gallons with the extract, or should I only do 2.5 gallons, then top off to 5 gallons. Or does it matter. Thanks for all the help guys.

__________________

Primary: English Ale

jrabenhorst is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 01-25-2006, 04:14 PM   #10
loopmd
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
 
loopmd's Avatar
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Jan 2005
Location: Omaha, Nebraska
Posts: 665
Liked 3 Times on 3 Posts

Default

Do 2 1/2 gallons and top off to 5.


loop

__________________
loopmd is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Reply


Quick Reply
Message:
Options
Thread Tools


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
I brewed my first AG, now I have some questions Dorsitron All Grain & Partial Mash Brewing 4 07-01-2009 12:22 AM
Just brewed our first batch barefoottourguide Introductions 6 06-08-2009 02:02 AM
1st batch brewed - now questions Grinder12000 Beginners Beer Brewing Forum 13 07-07-2008 07:23 PM
Just brewed third batch and have more questions? SkyDog Beginners Beer Brewing Forum 4 03-19-2008 05:46 PM
First batch brewed - quick questions riored4v Beginners Beer Brewing Forum 11 02-08-2008 04:05 PM