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Old 01-09-2012, 01:37 AM   #1
03rangerxlt
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Default Just finished our first brew!

So, even though I'm typing this, my fiancee and I are actually "writing" this...

We just finished up our first batch of home brew. We made something called "Shoultz-Meyer Brewery Don't Call Me Hefe" using our delux kit from Northern Brewing Company.

Briess-Bavarian Wheat Liquid Extract 6lbs 8oz
Sazz Chech Pellets 1oz @ 60min
Danstar Munich (yeast)

OG - 1.044 - 1.052
FG - 1.010 - 1.014
IBU - 8-15
SRM - 2 - 8
ABV - 4.30 - 5.60
(recipe here: http://www.brewmasterswarehouse.com/recipe/42345095/shoultzmeyer-brewery-dont-call-me-hefe)

Just yesterday, we attended a beer brewing class at a place called the Brewmaster's Warehouse (www.brewmasterswarehouse.com). The class was informative and fun, and I drank too much beer.

So back to today. We boild up our 2.5gallons of water, put in half the extract and the pack of hops, boiled for 40 minutes. We then took the pot back off the heat, and added the rest of the extract, and boiled for another 20 minutes. We are a little worried about the 10 or 15 minutes of time that passed before we were able to get it back to boiling because the extract was hard to stir in. After it was all done, we chilled the bew pot in a sink of water with ice around it until it was down to around 70 to 75 degrees.

From there we transferred it to a carboy, using one of those auto-siphon thing-a-ma-jobs and topped off with room temp. tap water. We then took a sample for the hydrometer test. I was a little worried because the OG was supposed to be 1.044 - 1.052. Ours read 1.060. We called the guy from Brewmaster's Warehouse who taught our class, and he told us to not worry about this and to enjoy it. I took a taste per his recomendation, and it tasted like sugary flat beer.

He then asked how much room was in the top of our carboy. Ummm, a couple inches. Oops, we used a 5 gallon carboy instead of the 6 gallon carboy. So, back to the auto-siphon thing, and we transferred the beer over to the larger carboy. We are thinking this was actually really good for us as it helped airate the stuff a little more. Stacey then pitched the yeast, and I followed that with the bung and airlock filled with Star-San.

Uh-oh! The bung would not stay in the bung hole of the glass carboy. It just kept slowly squeezing out, now matter how shallow or deep we pushed it down into the bung hole. I walked out of the bathroom (spare bathroom we are using the tub for storing this), and Stacey managed to steralize a different bung and get it to stay.

Then we started cleaning up everything. What a major pain in the butt. But its all done, and after approximately 3 hours (maybe less, we are seeing an occasional bubble in the airlock.

So, any concern, criticisms, or gripes for us? We are new and looking to improve! Thanks!

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Old 01-10-2012, 01:08 AM   #2
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OK, first day of fermenting complete, and we have some questions...

My fiancée just called me concerned about two things. First, there have been bubbles forming on the top of the fermenting beer, which is good I assume. But the fiancée says the foam has filled the airspace in the top of the container and is now starting to get into the airlock. We are using a 6 gallon glass car boy with a rubber bung, and a plastic 2 chamber airlock with star-san.

The second concern involves the tempurature. The main level of the house consistantly is around 68/69 degrees. The glass carboy is in a bathtub, in a bathroom, on the main level. The tempurature on the nifty thermometer label says our fermenting carboy is around 72 degrees. Is this due to the yeast causing an exothermic reaction and this is normal? Or is our yeast out of control? Thanks guys in advanced for any help you can give us! We're newbs!

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Old 01-10-2012, 01:25 AM   #3
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OK, just got off the phone with stacey and she said the airlock had one chamber filled with bubbles from the fermenter and the other chamber had almost no star-san left in it. She is now pulling the airlock, cleaning it, refilling it, and putting it back in the bung...

So is there anything here for us to be concerned about?

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Old 01-10-2012, 01:33 AM   #4
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Not to worry. Your 6 gallon carboy is a little too small to accommodate the foaming. Many people use a blow off tube - a plastic tube stuck in the bung hole and into a bottle of sanitizer. You could take the airlock off and just let the stuff ooze out. Then, replace the airlock when it calms down. As long as the gas is going out of the carboy, nothing bad will get in it.

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Old 01-10-2012, 01:44 AM   #5
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Relax, bro. -seriously. Everything is cool.

Fill your bathtub a quarter of the way with the coldest water you can get from the tap. Grab an old teeshirt and cover the carboy (like you are dressing it up). The shirt should dangle into the water. We're helping your beer to cool down. We want that carboy as cool as we can conveniently get it. (65-68 at the most)

if you have a spare fan, point it at your beer and then turn off the light and back away slowly.

Look at it again when you wake up tomorrow. Refill the tub if you need to.

Assuming that your beer stays under 70 degrees, do not touch it for two weeks. Then take a gravity reading. Then wait another day and take another gravity. Then bottle.

Yes, the wait will probably kill you.

If you can be patient, you will be rewarded.

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Old 01-10-2012, 01:45 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Brewham
Not to worry. Your 6 gallon carboy is a little too small to accommodate the foaming. Many people use a blow off tube - a plastic tube stuck in the bung hole and into a bottle of sanitizer. You could take the airlock off and just let the stuff ooze out. Then, replace the airlock when it calms down. As long as the gas is going out of the carboy, nothing bad will get in it.
Also, THIS.
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Old 01-10-2012, 01:53 AM   #7
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Haha we are a little nervous about this first batch. We have a lot of time invested in this and we were hoping to have a successful first batch. This particular beer, according to our local shop, should actually be ready to rack in 7 to 10 days. We were hoping to have a batch carbed in time for our Superbowl party, so the shop picked an appropriate beer for us. Thanks for the suggestions guys!

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Old 01-10-2012, 02:04 AM   #8
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Make sure the gravity is stable over a few days before you bottle it (assuming you are not kegging on your first brew?). Average time for proper bottle carbing and conditioning is 3 wks so having it ready for the superbowl will be pushing it a bit. I do agree this is a good recipe if you're trying to turn the beer around fast. I can get my wheat beers drinkable at 3-4 wks (but I also force carb in the keg which only takes me a few days). Patience is generally good thing in homebrewing.

Congrats on your first batch and welcome to the obsession!

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Old 01-10-2012, 02:26 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 03rangerxlt View Post

...From there we transferred it to a carboy, using one of those auto-siphon thing-a-ma-jobs and topped off with room temp. tap water.
Did you boil the tap water first? Even "good, clean" tap water can have little bits that will start growing in your fermentor. If you haven't seen anything ugly yet, don't sweat it, but next time boil it, cool it, pour it!
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Old 01-10-2012, 02:32 AM   #10
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No, didn't boil the tap water... the local brew supplier doesn't and says use the water like you drink it around our area. Might boil next time though to just remove that reason for something to go wrong. Everything else seems good maybe. A lot of yeast activity it looks like, with all of the bubbling that was in the airlock.

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