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Old 06-05-2006, 03:04 PM   #1
Spyderturbo
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Default Questions from a NooB!!

Hello everyone. I just wanted to introduce myself before I get down to my long list of questions. My name is Nathan and I live in Central Pennsylvania. I'm 28 years old, married and love beer. So with that out of the way, here we go!

I just starting brewing yesterday and have a ton of questions. I purchased an equipment kit, 2 stage fermentation, and an ingrediant package as directed by the store owner. He advised that for my first batch I use the ingrediant package so I could concentrate on the logistics of brewing as opposed to the recipe. He also said it takes some variables out of the equation when doing it for the first time. I am attempting to brew a Weizenbeir.

I followed the instructions that came with the ingrediant kit and read through a book that was included with the equipment kit and still have some questions.

1. I placed all of my equipment in the fermentation bucket and filled it with warm water and added my B-Brite according to the instructions. I have read on this forum that B-Brite is only a cleaner, but my equipment kit literature lists it as a sanitizer? Am I toast??

2. After sanitizing your equipment can you rinse it off and place it on a paper towel, or do you need to leave it in the solution until you are ready to use it?

3. Do you need to sanitize your brewpot, lid and spoon you are using to stir the wort during boling? I did, but I wasn't sure if it was necessary.

4. When cleaning my carboy before transfer from the bucket, do I need to fill it up to the top with water and add the sanitizing solution? Doing that seems like it will use a lot of sanitizing solution for one 5g brew. It isn't that expensive, but I think I will use the entire tub ($2.95).

5. When I transfer the beer to the carboy, I want to siphon it very carefully to avoid oxygenation of the beer, correct?

I am also in need of some "timeline clairification" since I have read opinions that vary widely.

1. How long should the beer be in the fermenter before transferring to the carboy? I was told to transfer after the bubbler stops bubbling (3 - 7 days).

2. How long should I leave it sit in the secondary fermenter? I was told 7 days.

3. How long do I need to let it sit in the bottles before it is ready to drink? I have read anything from 1 - 3 weeks.

Thanks for your time!!!

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Old 06-05-2006, 03:19 PM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Spyderturbo
1. I placed all of my equipment in the fermentation bucket and filled it with warm water and added my B-Brite according to the instructions. I have read on this forum that B-Brite is only a cleaner, but my equipment kit literature lists it as a sanitizer? Am I toast??
Dunno--probably not. But your best bet is to go with a no-rinse sanitizer such as Star San or Iodophor.





Quote:
2. After sanitizing your equipment can you rinse it off and place it on a paper towel, or do you need to leave it in the solution until you are ready to use it?
Either way. The best part about a no-rinse sanitizer is that you can do the latter.


Quote:
3. Do you need to sanitize your brewpot, lid and spoon you are using to stir the wort during boling? I did, but I wasn't sure if it was necessary.
No: boiling sanitizes them. BUT, if you're going to use the spoon for anything after the wort has cooled, it needs to be sanitized. The concern about sanitization really begins after the wort has cooled below about 160.

Quote:
4. When cleaning my carboy before transfer from the bucket, do I need to fill it up to the top with water and add the sanitizing solution? Doing that seems like it will use a lot of sanitizing solution for one 5g brew. It isn't that expensive, but I think I will use the entire tub ($2.95).
No, as long as the sanitizing solution comes in contact with all of the surfaces (and stays in contact for the recomendeded time), you're good. You can mix up a gallon or so, then shake and turn the carboy so that everything gets sanitized.


Quote:
5. When I transfer the beer to the carboy, I want to siphon it very carefully to avoid oxygenation of the beer, correct?
Sure, but relax--it's not a big deal.

Quote:
I am also in need of some "timeline clairification" since I have read opinions that vary widely.

1. How long should the beer be in the fermenter before transferring to the carboy? I was told to transfer after the bubbler stops bubbling (3 - 7 days).
Good advice. If you're not sure, wait until a week has passed.


Quote:
2. How long should I leave it sit in the secondary fermenter? I was told 7 days.
Consider that a minimum. You can leave it much longer if you want. After a few batches, you'll learn to assess visually whether the beer has finished clearing or not (which is the main function of a secondary fermenter)

Quote:
3. How long do I need to let it sit in the bottles before it is ready to drink? I have read anything from 1 - 3 weeks.
If you prime with corn sugar (which I'm sure is what your kit came with), 2 weeks at room or warm cellar temp should be good. Most styles of beer taste better after they've been in the bottle a little longer, but they should be fully carbonated (or close to it) in 2 weeks.

Welcome to the obession!
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Old 06-05-2006, 03:31 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Spyderturbo
Hello everyone. I just wanted to introduce myself before I get down to my long list of questions. My name is Nathan and I live in Central Pennsylvania. I'm 28 years old, married and love beer. So with that out of the way, here we go!
Welcome to the forum neighbor. I live in Lancaster (we call it central PA here, too, but you and I know that's a lie...haha)

Quote:
Originally Posted by Spyderturbo
I just starting brewing yesterday and have a ton of questions. I purchased an equipment kit, 2 stage fermentation, and an ingrediant package as directed by the store owner. He advised that for my first batch I use the ingrediant package so I could concentrate on the logistics of brewing as opposed to the recipe. He also said it takes some variables out of the equation when doing it for the first time. I am attempting to brew a Weizenbeir.

I followed the instructions that came with the ingrediant kit and read through a book that was included with the equipment kit and still have some questions.

1. I placed all of my equipment in the fermentation bucket and filled it with warm water and added my B-Brite according to the instructions. I have read on this forum that B-Brite is only a cleaner, but my equipment kit literature lists it as a sanitizer? Am I toast??
Well, I'd say if you cleaned your equipment beforehand and are comfortable that you're equipment was pretty clean, you should be in good shape. Also, if the yeast took hold quickly and started fermenting, that's a good sign things are ok as well.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Spyderturbo
2. After sanitizing your equipment can you rinse it off and place it on a paper towel, or do you need to leave it in the solution until you are ready to use it?
I've done that the in past, or have cleaned and sanitized a countertop to place things on; either way, I've had no adverse effects I can speak of.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Spyderturbo
3. Do you need to sanitize your brewpot, lid and spoon you are using to stir the wort during boling? I did, but I wasn't sure if it was necessary.
I always do, but then again, I'm a sanitation freak.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Spyderturbo
4. When cleaning my carboy before transfer from the bucket, do I need to fill it up to the top with water and add the sanitizing solution? Doing that seems like it will use a lot of sanitizing solution for one 5g brew. It isn't that expensive, but I think I will use the entire tub ($2.95).
I fill mine up with water and sanitizer to about the 5.5-6 gallon mark, so I know everything the beer comes in contact with has also come in contact with sanitizer, I also wash it with soap and water before hand, and scrub with a brush with the sanitizer also (I use glass vessels).

Quote:
Originally Posted by Spyderturbo
5. When I transfer the beer to the carboy, I want to siphon it very carefully to avoid oxygenation of the beer, correct?
Yes, you are correct.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Spyderturbo
I am also in need of some "timeline clairification" since I have read opinions that vary widely.

1. How long should the beer be in the fermenter before transferring to the carboy? I was told to transfer after the bubbler stops bubbling (3 - 7 days).
I usually wait until the krausen (thick foam on top of the fermenting beer) falls back into the beer (usually 5-7 days).

Quote:
Originally Posted by Spyderturbo
2. How long should I leave it sit in the secondary fermenter? I was told 7 days.
This often depends on the style and the amount of fermentables in your brew. I usually let mine sit in the secondary for AT LEAST 2-3 weeks, even if fermentation has ceased. It will help to have sediment and extra proteins fall out of your beer.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Spyderturbo
3. How long do I need to let it sit in the bottles before it is ready to drink? I have read anything from 1 - 3 weeks.
Again depends on the style, the amount of carbonation you want, what kind of priming sugar you use (i.e. DME, corn sugar, etc). 2-3 weeks is a good basic estimate.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Spyderturbo
Thanks for your time!!!
Glad to have you aboard.

BREW ON
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Old 06-05-2006, 03:55 PM   #4
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Thanks everyone......a lot of good information there. The other thing that I have read, that wasn't in my directions, was that you are supposed to boil the water that you use in the fermenter? Is that required?

Obviously, the wort was boiled, but the water I placed in the fermenter to combine with the wort wasn't boiled. Damn instructions!

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Old 06-05-2006, 04:02 PM   #5
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Unless your tap water is particularly suspect, I wouldn't advocate boiling it, although some people do.

You actually create another probelm by boiling it (lack of oxygen in the wort) that requires additional steps to correct.

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Old 06-05-2006, 04:07 PM   #6
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Thanks cweston......I actually just saw that questions posed in the "general techniques" section of the forum.

Here we go again, another noob not using the search button.

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Old 06-05-2006, 04:23 PM   #7
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Much of the 'it's not a sanitizer' thing stems from the fact that in the US the term 'sanitizer' is regulated by the FDA. Techically, to label a product a 'sanitizer' the manufacturer has to submit the product to the FDA for approval. This process is not free.

Thus: all products labeled 'sanitizer' do sanitize, according to the FDA standards for sanitation. However, just because something is NOT labeled as such does not mean it doesn't sanitize. It merely means they have not been approved by the FDA to make that claim.

Many people use chemicals that are technically 'cleaners' as their primary sanitizer and do just fine.

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Old 06-05-2006, 05:43 PM   #8
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Thanks for all of the excellent replies. I've learned more in the past 2 hours browsing this site than I did by reading all of the instructions and the book that came with my kits. (Just don't tell my boss that I'm not working)

I still have a couple of other questions........If I'm getting annoying you can just ban me.

I am storing my fermenter in a closet that hovers around 70 degrees, but I will be transferring to the secondary in the kitchen downstairs. Is it a problem moving the fermenter downstairs? Should I do it a couple of hours in advance so things can settle again? Also, the same will be true when I bottle, as I will have to move the secondary downstairs. Any suggestions?

How do you guys / gals remove a sample to fill your theif? When I took the OG reading, I just put the hydrometer in the fermentation bucket and took the reading that way.

The yeast I used was in a packet that came with my kit and the directions said to sprinkle the packet on top of the cooled wort and then stir to distrubute the yeast for a couple of minutes. I have read a lot of posts that talk about adding the yeast to hot water before putting in the wort. Did I miss something? Will it take longer for the fermentation to start because the yeast wasn't rehydrated.

Once again, thanks to everyone for their patience and taking the time to answer my questions!

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Old 06-05-2006, 06:24 PM   #9
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As for the yeast, you'll soon find out about liquid yeast cultures and the beauty of making a yeast starter. Once you've been "turned," you'll never go back!

BREW ON

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Old 06-05-2006, 06:58 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Spyderturbo
I still have a couple of other questions........If I'm getting annoying you can just ban me.
Better to ask now than wait til the wort is boiling. : )

Quote:
Originally Posted by Spyderturbo
I am storing my fermenter in a closet that hovers around 70 degrees, but I will be transferring to the secondary in the kitchen downstairs. Is it a problem moving the fermenter downstairs? Should I do it a couple of hours in advance so things can settle again? Also, the same will be true when I bottle, as I will have to move the secondary downstairs. Any suggestions?
70 is workable. Be careful moving then beer and let it settle before you rack and you should be fine. Few people have the space to be able to store their beer in the exact place that they'll be doing all the work so most of us have to move them to our work space from the storage location. Heck-- even Papizan (sp wrong) moved his from the pantry to the kitchen.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Spyderturbo
How do you guys / gals remove a sample to fill your theif? When I took the OG reading, I just put the hydrometer in the fermentation bucket and took the reading that way.
If you are using a wine theif, it should be able to draw the liquid in. I use my autosiphon to draw samples.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Spyderturbo
The yeast I used was in a packet that came with my kit and the directions said to sprinkle the packet on top of the cooled wort and then stir to distrubute the yeast for a couple of minutes. I have read a lot of posts that talk about adding the yeast to hot water before putting in the wort. Did I miss something? Will it take longer for the fermentation to start because the yeast wasn't rehydrated.
You best bet for the first round: follow the instructions on the kit. This way you have one source for the step by step process and will be less likely to skip something or do thing sout of order. Neither risk is huge but there are a couple points that hav eto be done in the right order or things go awry. Once you have a brew or 2 under your belt, then you can start refining your process.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Spyderturbo
Once again, thanks to everyone for their patience and taking the time to answer my questions!
No worries--- a website called homebrewtalk by definition lets people ask questions. : )
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