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Old 04-20-2009, 12:07 PM   #1
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Default Notes from Brew Day #1

Well with all of the help provided by everyone here and Mr. Papazian I got through my first brew day!

I put together an Irish Red recipe and everything seemed to go well. My electric stove got 3 gallons of water to 210F in about 45 minutes and it stayed right there, so I had a pretty good boil, without having to worry about boilover. When it came time to cool the wort, my friend and I used the ice bath method. We filled my sink with about an inch of cold water, put the kettle in and surrounded it with ice. We rotated the ice/water out about 3 times and had the wort cooled to about 68-70 degrees in about 25 minutes!

The only things I have worried slightly about are:

1) I may have got some sanitizer in my wort. When using my baster to obtain my sample it wasn't completely dry and I watched as some of the Star-San went into the wort. Oh well hopefully it's okay since it was diluted (1 oz to 5 gallons of water)! I also did notice the strainer was still wet with sanitizer too when I used it.

2) I pitched the yeast at 68F and it's been hovering between 66-68 for the first 24 hours or so. I'm a little worried that fermentation will be slow to start, but there really isn't a warmer place in the house. Today the temps are dropping back into the 40's so I have some blankets around the bucket.

3) Somewhere along the way I ended up short on my volumes and I noticed that I only ended up with about 4.5 to 4.75 US Gallons. I'm not too concerned about it, but I guess I'll have to watch how much priming sugar I use at bottling time.

Other than those worries everything else went great. Hit my OG at 1.044, which I expected using extract, but it still made me feel good!

Thanks to everyone here, I don't know how smoothly things would've went if I hadn't read all these threads about staying...RELAXED!

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Old 04-20-2009, 12:35 PM   #2
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1. You're fine.

2. You're fine.

3. You're fine.

Good job!

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Old 04-20-2009, 02:26 PM   #3
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Yeah I figured everything would be fine. No matter how much you read and tell yourself that you won't worry, you still end up fretting about some stuff.

It's been in the fermentor for about 36 hours now. I've seen nothing in the blow-off tube. Would it be safe to assume I can go to the regular airlock at this point?

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Old 04-20-2009, 02:42 PM   #4
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No, it may not have started fermenting yet. Give it some time here. I've had to wait 3 or 4 days to see any activity, and as you said you're temp is around 68 it may take a little bit of time. Read your own words above and relax.

My mother always said patience is a virtue.

of course my father always said no one in our family has ever suffered from mental illness, we've all really enjoyed it.

....so take that for what you will.

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Old 04-20-2009, 04:26 PM   #5
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Yeah I figured everything would be fine. No matter how much you read and tell yourself that you won't worry, you still end up fretting about some stuff.
In a couple of months you won't. Or at least, not about the little stuff. Congrats on what sounds like a successful first brew day!
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Old 04-20-2009, 04:41 PM   #6
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Might want to make sure you get those fermentation temps down a little bit. 68* doesn't sound high but trust me when I tell you this, it can and most likely will lead to off flavors in your beer. I try to ferment in the mid 60's if I can. Rubbermaid tub, fill with water, drop in ice cubes for the first few days to get the temps to 65ish.

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Old 04-20-2009, 04:46 PM   #7
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Might want to make sure you get those fermentation temps down a little bit. 68* doesn't sound high but trust me when I tell you this, it can and most likely will lead to off flavors in your beer. I try to ferment in the mid 60's if I can. Rubbermaid tub, fill with water, drop in ice cubes for the first few days to get the temps to 65ish.
I was more worried about getting it started. My basement temps are about 63-65, but I didn't want to drop to those temps until I was certain that the yeasties were doing their job.

As of this morning the fermometer was reading 66 on the bucket.
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Old 04-20-2009, 04:53 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RedIrocZ-28 View Post
Might want to make sure you get those fermentation temps down a little bit. 68* doesn't sound high but trust me when I tell you this, it can and most likely will lead to off flavors in your beer. I try to ferment in the mid 60's if I can. Rubbermaid tub, fill with water, drop in ice cubes for the first few days to get the temps to 65ish.
What type of yeast are you using? My first batch was with Dry Nottingham yeast and i pitched it at the same temp and had a hard time to keep it up above 65.

Find out what the ideal temp is for the yeast before you panic. Nottingham has a really low threshold and is probably better fermenting a little low.

My first batch took a full 24 hours to start and it turned out great. One of my best batches to be honest.

The hardest part about the first batch is the wait. Don't rush it.
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Old 04-20-2009, 05:00 PM   #9
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I'm using Wyeast Irish Ale yeast. It works best in the lower 60's, which I am slowly getting it down to, but I didn't know what temperature would be best to start it at.

Honestly it was at 66 this morning, and I'm not too worried about it.

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Old 04-20-2009, 10:07 PM   #10
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I'm using Irish Ale for my stout that I'm doing right now and the Wyeast said the ideal range is 65-68 you should be good where you're at. I am actually shooting to keep it around 68 because I want the flavor.

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