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Old 12-22-2012, 07:26 AM   #1
Pickettj
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Default My First Batch

After much discussion about sanitizers I brewed my first batch Wednesday afternoon. I learned a lot in the brew process, found some pieces that I was missing and worried too much. After four hours of work and worry (yeah, I know, four hours) my yeast was pitched and my beer was on its way.

About 5 hours later I had a steady flow through the airlock and things were looking good. another hour or two and the airlock was bubbling fairly violently and basically non-stop. After 24 hours the bubbling had nearly stopped (about one bubble per couple of minutes) and I thought something was wrong but the LHBS guy assured me that it was normal so I relaxed again, picked up my used keg/co2 setup that I found on Craigslist for a steal and had a beer.

Now I have to decide if I want to leave it alone for 2-3 weeks or if I want to rack it out into a carboy to clarify. Either way, I'm less than 5 weeks from trying my first batch. I've already got a kit from the LHBS for my next batch that's a couple weeks longer to make than the first so I can brew it now and we will be looking at about a 2 week delay between the first and the second bottling. About perfect if you ask me!

I know this all seems random but I've found the best way to find out that you're doing something wrong is by telling people what you're doing. There's always one guy that will tell you that your an idiot, but I think most people really want to help.

I should also mention that I used the opportunity at the LHBS to pick up everything that I discovered I needed at my first brewing. I think this next time around it will go much smoother. I hope I'm about done buying the basics...I'm up to more than $500 already!

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Old 12-22-2012, 07:50 AM   #2
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Heh I just did my first brew and it sounds very similar to yours. I don't think I am going to move mine into my secondary carboy that I have, I will just leave it in the primary for 2-3 weeks.

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Old 12-22-2012, 09:31 AM   #3
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Yeah agree,am going to leave in primary for my 2nd batch for 17 days which is the 1st january then try my 1st bottling attempt....A german pilsner is waiting for my 3rd brew...lovin it..

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Old 12-22-2012, 10:06 AM   #4
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Originally Posted by Pickettj View Post
the best way to find out that you're doing something wrong is by telling people what you're doing.
you're making beer.

ain't nothin' wrong
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Old 12-22-2012, 10:25 AM   #5
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im a new brewer too, but i take hydrometer readings. I have found that 2.5 to 3 weeks in the fermenter is best. At least 2 weeks no more than 3. Longer than 3 starts to produce tannins (off flavors).

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Old 12-22-2012, 10:45 AM   #6
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New brewer here. Got a Mr. Beer kit for Christmas last year and made the progression to all grain over the Summer. I don't rack to a secondary anymore, don't find there is a need. I used to do it when the air lock slowed down or I was within 1/10th of final gravity, but I just don't bother now and find it to be "one more thing" that can go wrong. Chance to spill, chance to infect, another container to clean. I've got a converted chest freezer now, so I cold-crash before bottling if I'm looking for a super clear beer.
Don't worry about the air lock activity. The little yeasties had their party and are getting down to business. Sounds like you aerated well and have a happy brew on the way.

Good luck with the new hobby but a word of warning: You can ALWAYS do more, but it's the wrong direction. Less is better. Take this advice from a guy who got his first kit for free, and has since racked up about $3,000 of receipts for his new "hobby" (obsession is more like it). I find the less I screw with the yeasties while they're doing their business, the better the end product. So that leaves me on this board staring at amazing brew setups and dreaming up new ways to waste my disposable income. I'm currently converting to an ebiab setup, ditching the burner and will hopefully brewing again by New Years.

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Old 12-22-2012, 12:01 PM   #7
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im a new brewer too, but i take hydrometer readings. I have found that 2.5 to 3 weeks in the fermenter is best. At least 2 weeks no more than 3. Longer than 3 starts to produce tannins (off flavors).
Dang, I must be doing something wrong. I left a brew in the fermenter for 9 weeks and didn't get any tannins. Another guy posted that he had left his in the primary for 8 months without tannins. What are we doing wrong?

You really only extract tannins in the sparging step of all grain and then only with specific conditions. Your pH has to get over 6.0 and the wort temperature has to go over 170 to extract significant amounts.
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Old 12-22-2012, 12:03 PM   #8
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I hope I'm about done buying the basics...I'm up to more than $500 already!
If all you got were the basics and paid $500, you got ripped off big. I got a basic setup and a recipe kit and put in less than $100. I think you got a bit more than the bare necessities.
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Old 12-22-2012, 12:38 PM   #9
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im a new brewer too, but i take hydrometer readings. I have found that 2.5 to 3 weeks in the fermenter is best. At least 2 weeks no more than 3. Longer than 3 starts to produce tannins (off flavors).
Uh, no. I had a barley wine in primary for 3 months with no ill effects.
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Old 12-22-2012, 01:25 PM   #10
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Tannins are extracted from mashing at temps of 170F or more. Or if the PH goes up too much. Extracts have no worry of this. Much less any brew by the time it's in the fermenter. You want to keep the initial ferment temps down within the yeasts optimal temp range at that point. Once initial fermentation is doe,you can let it go up a couple points to help it finish. The average ale should be settling out clear by sometime during week three,on average.
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