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Old 09-18-2009, 10:11 PM   #1
mowilly
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We brewed our first batch ever from a kit from William's (I know-- Now I know better, so I'll do better...). It's a Holiday Ale. The instructions said to ferment at room temp, which is about 76 here in the South. I started out at room temp, but learned that Ales needed to ferment at a lower temp- on day 2 of fermentation ... I put it in the tub and brought it to around 70, then the tub (not the brew) started to form some 'scum', so I took it out for about a day. That was yesterday. Today, I have a new version of a swamp cooler and I'm slowly trying to bring the temp back down.

I guess my question is this: Do you think it will be drinkable before Christmas? It smells good- no banana or bubblegum smells.

Also, I need a little help convincing my husband that we need more bottles. We have enough for two+ brews, but I think HE thinks we need to drink what we have before brewing again (Even though our first brew is pretty much accounted for- we'll probably get about two for ourselves)... Help!

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Old 09-18-2009, 10:18 PM   #2
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First off, welcome!

Second, Mowilly...and you're female...hey, just connecting the dots here.....nuf said...

Third, yes, by all means get more bottles (I have over 20 cases of half liter bottles from Germany and 24-25 kegs) ...the cheapest place to get free bottles is to ask your friends for theirs...but NOT the screw off type.

70F is a good (enough) temp for an ale. If you aim a fan at it it aides in keeping the temp down some.

Ready for Christmas...well that really depends on the amount of spices used. If it's heavily spiced maybe not. Lightly spiced, definitely. Cloves, if used take some time to mellow. Either way it should be drinkable by then.

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Old 09-18-2009, 10:42 PM   #3
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Thank you! (and such a quick response!)

Quote:
Mowilly...and you're female...hey, just connecting the dots here
Yes, I'm the Mo and he's the Willy.

Because it's a kit, I don't really know what spices were in the spice pack, since William's doesn't disclose that kind-of stuff. We both cook rather extensively and I don't SMELL cloves, but I don't know... I know there's about 3# of honey in there and that's about it.

As for the brew, I have it down to about 72 right now. Does it matter, at this point, since the majority of fermentation has already occurred?

Quote:
I have over 20 cases of half liter bottles from Germany and 24-25 kegs
Where do you store all of that???

We'll probably just do as we've done in the past and drink commercial beer to get the bottles. No worries, we never drink 'screw-offs' and the only beer I drink that comes in a clear bottle is Newcastle. No Newcastle for now.

I want to brew again on bottling day, which should be in about a week from now. I'm thinking a Red Ale. Weinhard's had a brew, long ago, called 'Boar's Head Red' that we LOVED. I'd like to try to get close to that. if I can.
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Old 09-18-2009, 10:50 PM   #4
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Welcome to HBT.

In addition to adding bottles, consider getting more carboys. It's good to have AT LEAST enough bottles for 2-3 batches (48-72 bomber bottles or twice as many 12 oz bottles). After that, you can store your "inventory" in carboys. Since it takes 3 weeks (or more) to carb up, this allows 5-10 gallons for drinking, 5 gallons for carbing, and lots of carboys for aging (assuming 5 gallon batches).

Also, if you get into this brewing thing, kegs will likely be in your future. I have 4 kegs, maybe 8 carboys, and 100s of bottles... but I'm just a couple of years into it so I'm a noob. Also, my house is small so I am running out of space for "the brewery."

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Old 09-18-2009, 11:20 PM   #5
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My husband met a brewer last night who has all kinds of equipment he's no longer using. We're going to contact him and see what he wants for the stuff WE want. He has a thermostat for a chest freezer, but no freezer. Hey, we have a chest freezer! And the ceramic-stopper bottles, and ...

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In addition to adding bottles, consider getting more carboys.
I'm working on that, too. First, I have to convince him that it's OK to have more than one brew at a time in the works.
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Old 09-18-2009, 11:58 PM   #6
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Welcome to HBT!

Yes, you need more bottles and fermenters. That is a given for a brewer. It's just silly to only have one batch at a time going. At times, we've had 9 fermenters going and as many batches in bottles and kegs. I know that Bill (homebrewer 99) up there ^ has about that many going too.

Why in the world would he only want to have one type of beer at a time? You need to get him on here so we can talk some sense into that man.

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Old 09-19-2009, 12:30 AM   #7
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Current inventory is approximately:

8 kegs in the keezer
several waiting to get in
2 kegs on tap
4 - 5 liter minikegs (full, more than that empty)
about 100 bottles of ciders and meads aging
fridge is half-filled with bottles
8 batches fermenting...and
I'll probably brew on Sunday...


I brought back the 1/2 liter bottles from Germany when I moved back to the States.

I hope you guys can score the equipment from the other guy.

The chest freezer will be a good asset for the keezer (keg+freezer=keezer).

I was concerned about the spices, but if you don't think there's too many in there then your brew will probably be reason for the holidays.

Where are you guys located in SC? I've been to Charleston several times. I lived (stationed) in NC 3 times.

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