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Old 01-10-2011, 10:21 PM   #1
sanigav7
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Default noob fermentation...possible problem

I've been reading some posts to get information on brewing and I brewed my first batch this past saturday.
I wanted to start slow to get the hang of it, so I just stuck with a hopped extract and added a light LME. I rehydrated the yeast packet that came with the hopped can in warm water and pitched it at about 75 degrees.
This is probably a repeat question but figured I would add my specifics.
The hydrometer read about 1.046 after pouring it into the fermenter. The airlock has since sucked water up into itself and dripped a few drips into the bucket but no bubbles or action has begun. There is no foam whatsoever on the top. I took another reading today and it was at 1.060.
I had the fermenter in the shower part of a spare bathroom (where a door from the toilet and sink separate it) and it was about 65 degrees. I have since moved it the main part of the bathroom where maybe it's a constant 68 degrees.
Is this thing stuck? I'm probably going to be told to wait it out...but I had to ask to see what people said...
I'm about ready to dump it and start over with a better quality recipe...
Thanks!

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Old 01-10-2011, 10:25 PM   #2
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Do not dump it! Your beer will turn out fine. I read that you had a little bit of suck-back from the fermenter and you had liquid fall in to the beer... Was the liquid sanitizer? A lot of people prefer to use a cheap vodka for that very reason ~ if it gets sucked in to the beer it won't hurt anything and may even add a little alcohol!

I'm sure your beer will be fine anyway. You may want to move it back to the 65 degree room because the internal temperature will rise 5-10 degrees above the ambient and 68 may be a little warmer than you would want it.

Edit: As for fermentation starting, you may have to wait 72 hours before you see any bubbling.. IF you even see bubbling. Just because you don't see the airlock activity doesn't mean it isn't fermenting. Relax! Drink a beer and hang tight ~ your beer has a stronger-will to live then you think!

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Old 01-10-2011, 10:29 PM   #3
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Are you sure the hydrometer readings are correct? It is not really possibel for it to go from 1.046 to 1.060. you have to add sugar or boil off water to make that happen.

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Old 01-10-2011, 10:31 PM   #4
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I originally put cooled, pre-boiled water in the airlock, then topped it off with sanitizer solution. I am now going to be using vodka from now on.
I figured that was going to be the answer I would get...so thank you for responding and assuring me to wait.

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Old 01-10-2011, 10:34 PM   #5
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whats the timeframe were talkin bout? there can be lag period up to 72hours (tho I havent seen that one with dry yeast so far).

as for water sucked in - no biggie, there is a slight risk of getting nasties into your brew, thats why I use vodka to fill airlocks - even if it gets sucked in, more ABV for me and no chance for germs.

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Old 01-10-2011, 10:40 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DubBrew View Post
Are you sure the hydrometer readings are correct? It is not really possibel for it to go from 1.046 to 1.060. you have to add sugar or boil off water to make that happen.
When doing extracts and mixing with water it is almost impossible to get a correct gravity reading when the beer goes in to the fermenter. The 1.060 is probably closer to his gravity since the wort and water had time to mix in.

Sanigav7, can you post the recipe that you used? It may also say on the recipe what your target OG is, while doing extracts it is almost always dead on unless you add way too much or too less water to top off the fermenter.
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Old 01-10-2011, 10:42 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DubBrew View Post
Are you sure the hydrometer readings are correct? It is not really possibel for it to go from 1.046 to 1.060. you have to add sugar or boil off water to make that happen.
Perpetual beer machine!
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Old 01-10-2011, 11:00 PM   #8
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To be honest, I didn't use a recipe. I just kinda jumped right in following the books I'm reading and going straight from the cans (since it was already hopped).
And to be honest, I already know what I'm going to do next...use unhopped and steep my own.

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Old 01-10-2011, 11:05 PM   #9
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You used extract - right! If that is the case, you can simply calculate your OG to see what it really was.

How many lbs LME, and how many lbs DME?

Multiply the number of lbs of LME by 36.
Multiply the number of lbs of DME by 45.
Add the two numbers obtained from the 2 lines above.
Divide this new number by how many gallons you made. The resulting number is the last 2 digits of the gravity.

Exmple: 3 lbs LME + 3 lbs DME in 5 gallons = (108+135)/5 = 243/5 = 49. Or an OG of 1.049.

Depending on what yeast you used, you might want to keep it at the higher temperature. Some yeasts don't work below 65 F.

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Old 01-10-2011, 11:08 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sanigav7 View Post
To be honest, I didn't use a recipe. I just kinda jumped right in following the books I'm reading and going straight from the cans (since it was already hopped).
And to be honest, I already know what I'm going to do next...use unhopped and steep my own.
Oh right, you did say you used a pre-hopped extract. Well, I'm sure the beer will turn out fine and the difference in gravity readings was probably water and wort not mixed 100% (don't worry ~ it's really difficult to mix water and wort perfectly to get an accurate reading).

If you're planning to use unhopped extract next time to brew your own just make sure you have a pot big enough to boil the volume you want! A lot of kits are scaled at 2.5 gallon boil and add water to 5 gallon, with hops according to that volume. The reason for this is the utilization of hops changes with the amount of water you have. If your kit is to boil 5 gallons of wort and you choose to boil 2.5 gallons, your beer will not be as bitter as the recipe calls for!

Either way, enjoy your beer!
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