Happy HolidaySs Giveaway - Last Sponsor Giveaway of the Year!

Come Enter the BrewDeals/FastFerment Giveaway!


Home Brew Forums > Home Brewing Beer > Beginners Beer Brewing Forum > Started my first brew today... and I may need some advice.
Reply
 
LinkBack Thread Tools
Old 05-29-2008, 03:52 AM   #1
generalzod
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
Recipes 
 
Join Date: May 2008
Location: Toronto, ON
Posts: 7
Default Started my first brew today... and I may need some advice.

Hi Everyone...

I have been lurking here for a while, and checking out information online about brewing your own beer, as my friend and I have been talking about it for a while. We have tried the bottle kits where you just throw the tablet in, wait 2 weeks then consume, but were looking for something better, and decided to try out a beer kit.

I went out this morning after researching the last few days and went to my local home brew store and bought a complete beer kit, with included a 6 gallon bucket with lid, 5 gallon carboy, airlock, spoon, some tubes, a hydrometer and some cleaning stuff, plus I bought a can of Coopers Real Ale beer kit, 1kg of dextrose, and some corn sugar for later bottling. I read some online instructions at www.howtobrew.com and here, and though I had things figured out to make this simple kit, but it turned out we made several mistakes along the way, and I hope someone here can give me some advice.

The included instructions and the instructions on www.howtobrew.com gave conflicting directions on how much water to boil (2 litres vs 2 gallons!) so I chose to use 2 gallons, and dumped that into a clean stock pot and started to boil it. I ended up using tap water and had already put the can's contents and the dextrose in before it dawned on me that I probably should have used spring water.

Anyways, it boiled and boiled but I never got this "hot break" or foaming stage various instructions spoke of. I boiled it for over 30 minutes after I put the malt extract (which is pre-hopped) in, and while it did foam slightly, it never came close to looking like some of the pictures I saw. Is that bad?

Anyways I had sent me friend to buy spring water to fill up the sanitized bucket with, but he came back with distilled water instead, which i had combined with the boiled 2 gallons of tap water/malt extract before realizing that we had screwed up again by using distilled water.

So now I have 5 gallons of a combination of tap water and distilled water mixed with malt extract that I am unsure I cooked right.

Also, most instructions told me to rapidly chill the bucket to room temperature before adding the yeast, which I did, but how long is rapidly chilling? some instructions said about 30 minutes, but I took me over an hour in a combination of an icewater filled sink and a cold water filled bathtub to get it to the temperature I needed. The instructions included with the kit said that the wort was vulnerable at that temperature so adding the yeast in a timely manner is important. how do I get it to cool down faster?

When I took the hydrometer reading, it read 1.036.. I couldnt find anything on the kit that said waht it should be, which the LHBS said would be there.. Sadly it was after 6pm when this happened, so I could not call the LHBS to find out what they though, not that they were a whole of help anyways, unless I had a question about making wine (which I didnt).

One thing I did do hopefully right is preparing the dry yeast, by the instuctions on the wiki here, I added water, and it did rise, though it smelled more like beer to me than rising bread. Maybe that was just in my head though.

I was really stressed while making this brew, as I was trying to be really careful to make sure I was using sanitized equipment and trying not to screw up my beer, so it made the process a bit more difficult than it probably should have been. Is the combination of tap water(it was boiled)/distilled water and my extract not foaming going to be an issue? Is there anything I can do to help it? I can only imagine that the mistakes I made with this batch will only teach me how to do things right the next time.

Since my 6 gallon bucket is obviously for fermenting, what is the 5 gallon carboy for? Secondary Fermenting/conditioning?

Sorry for so many noob questions. Hope you guys can be of some help. Sorry for the long post... Too many questions to ask.

__________________
generalzod is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 05-29-2008, 04:01 AM   #2
Arneba28
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
 
Arneba28's Avatar
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Feb 2008
Location: Amherst, Western New York
Posts: 2,228
Liked 15 Times on 10 Posts
Likes Given: 6

Default

Welcome, but do a search. every anyswer is easily available in alot of the threads here.

The extract not foaming is a product of those coopers cans. I used to use them and they never got a spectacular hot break. That will only come when you start adding hops to your brews yourself.

Oh, and an hour is not bad to get it down to pitching temp. It used to take me 3 hours, sometimes longer.

__________________
My Kegerator Project
Arneba28 is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 05-29-2008, 04:22 AM   #3
Cheeto
Born again N00b
HBT_LIFETIMESUPPORTER.png
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
 
Cheeto's Avatar
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: Spokane, Washington
Posts: 4,251
Liked 50 Times on 50 Posts
Likes Given: 15

Default

Welcome to Home Brew Talk !!!!!

Most of the people here want to help you make the best beer that you can
but please try to search your questions before posting them

and if you need help right away go to the chat and there should be someone there that can offer you some advice

here are a few links that may help you

http://www.homebrewtalk.com/showthread.php?t=54362

http://www.homebrewtalk.com/showthre...200#post686200

http://www.homebrewtalk.com/showthread.php?t=67311

http://www.homebrewtalk.com/showthread.php?t=14860

http://www.homebrewtalk.com/showthread.php?t=7909

http://www.homebrewtalk.com/showpost...&postcount=101


these are very helpful

and may save you a bunch of time

Congrats on your first brew !!!

__________________
Cheeto is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 05-29-2008, 04:37 AM   #4
JustDave
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
 
JustDave's Avatar
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Jun 2007
Location: Mass.
Posts: 1,107
Liked 12 Times on 12 Posts
Likes Given: 1

Default

Welcome and congrats on your first brew!

One thing you'll find as you brew more (assuming you'll catch the brewing bug, if you haven't already) is that you can make a lot of mistakes and still end up with some pretty darn good beer. I think it's perfectly normal to be stressed the first time, especially with regard to sanitization. As you brew more, you'll get more confident and pick up a rhythm. When you feel like you can do it with your eyes closed, you've arrived.

As far as your OG, you can download a trial of Beersmith and plug in the recipe to see what it says it should be. It's fun to play around with ....

For cooling, faster is better, but I'd say an hour isn't too bad, especially for your first time. If you have extra room in your stockpot, you can mix in your topoff water (at near-freezing temperatures) to lower the temp even quicker.
Believe me, we've all been there -- relax and enjoy the ride!

__________________
JustDave is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 05-29-2008, 05:29 AM   #5
A4J
HBT_LIFETIMESUPPORTER.png
Feedback Score: 1 reviews
 
A4J's Avatar
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Mar 2008
Location: the Desert, CA
Posts: 1,349
Liked 25 Times on 23 Posts
Likes Given: 15

Default

Aren't the Cooper's kits no-boil? You're not supposed to boil the extract. You're supposed to just add 2L of boiling water, top-off water and then the yeast. My first brew was a Cooper's kit and I was trying to reconcile the included instructions and instructions on howtobrew.com. I ended up following the kit's instruction. The way you did is fine. My only advise is to keep your ferment temp to 68F. I fermented at around ~73F cuz the instructions said that was fine, but my beer ended up with fusel alcohol taste.

__________________
Primary 1: pale ale
Primary 2: blondie


My mid-century modern keezer build thread.
A4J is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 05-29-2008, 05:44 AM   #6
FatDuc
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
 
FatDuc's Avatar
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Oct 2007
Location: Leland, NC
Posts: 1,624
Liked 4 Times on 4 Posts
Likes Given: 1

Default

First off, Congrats, you just made your own BEER!

Quote:
Originally Posted by generalzod View Post
Hi Everyone...
Since my 6 gallon bucket is obviously for fermenting, what is the 5 gallon carboy for? Secondary Fermenting/conditioning?

Sorry for so many noob questions. Hope you guys can be of some help. Sorry for the long post... Too many questions to ask.
I don't suppose the bucket you got had a spigot on it, did it? If it does, then you'll probably want to rack (siphon) the beer into the carboy in a couple weeks and clean out the bucket for use when bottling. You can actually use the carboy as a primary fermenter and watch the process. If you want to go this route you will want to be at the ready with a blow-off tube, which you can learn about in the wiki. Many of us here are leaving our beer in primary for a number of weeks and simply skipping a secondary, but that's completely up to you.

Welcome aboard!
__________________
Quote:
Originally Posted by olllllo View Post
Every brewer here would tuck in his junk to have this opportunity.
Quote:
A child-like man is not a man whose development has been arrested; on the contrary, he is a man who has given himself a chance of continuing to develop long after most adults have muffled themselves in the cocoon of middle-aged habit and convention. Aldous Huxley
Fat Duc Brewing
Special Character cheatsheets
FatDuc is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 05-29-2008, 05:48 AM   #7
generalzod
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
Recipes 
 
Join Date: May 2008
Location: Toronto, ON
Posts: 7
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Cheeto1977 View Post

here are a few links that may help you

http://www.homebrewtalk.com/showthread.php?t=14860
Well, I am not sure how sending me a link for Apfelwein relates to the other links you sent me, but seriously, thanks for sending it anyways (along with the others, which I have looked at), I just spent the last while reading that thread and think I need to buy another carboy and some apple juice now. That sure sounds easier to make than what I did today, though I will still have to make tons more beer. Is it okay if I tell my wife its your fault I am spending more money on homebrewing now?
__________________
generalzod is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 05-29-2008, 05:58 AM   #8
generalzod
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
Recipes 
 
Join Date: May 2008
Location: Toronto, ON
Posts: 7
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by A4J View Post
Aren't the Cooper's kits no-boil? You're not supposed to boil the extract. You're supposed to just add 2L of boiling water, top-off water and then the yeast. My first brew was a Cooper's kit and I was trying to reconcile the included instructions and instructions on howtobrew.com. I ended up following the kit's instruction. The way you did is fine. My only advise is to keep your ferment temp to 68F. I fermented at around ~73F cuz the instructions said that was fine, but my beer ended up with fusel alcohol taste.
Stupid vague instructions... I have the instruction list here... and it says

1. MIX
a) Dissolve contents of can and other fermentable sugars with 2 litres of boiling water (4 litres of hot tap water may be used).

the way I read that after reading www.howtobrew.com had me thinking I had to boil it with the water. I am almost sure that I read somewhere else that all kits should be boiled anyways. Hope that doesn't have some adverse effect on the taste of the beer in the end.
__________________
generalzod is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 05-29-2008, 06:07 AM   #9
generalzod
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
Recipes 
 
Join Date: May 2008
Location: Toronto, ON
Posts: 7
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by ma2brew View Post
First off, Congrats, you just made your own BEER!


I don't suppose the bucket you got had a spigot on it, did it? If it does, then you'll probably want to rack (siphon) the beer into the carboy in a couple weeks and clean out the bucket for use when bottling. You can actually use the carboy as a primary fermenter and watch the process. If you want to go this route you will want to be at the ready with a blow-off tube, which you can learn about in the wiki. Many of us here are leaving our beer in primary for a number of weeks and simply skipping a secondary, but that's completely up to you.

Welcome aboard!
No unfortunately my bucket does not have a spigot... from reading here and other places, I guess the advantage of doing a secondary is that the beer has time to clear up and it helps the taste. I guess I will just transfer it to the secondary in a week or so then let it sit there for a few weeks and see what happens, then bottle it directly from the carboy.. I guess that way, I could already have a second batch of beer busy formenting in the cleaned out bucket while my first batch is busy in the carboy.
__________________
generalzod is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 05-29-2008, 06:10 AM   #10
A4J
HBT_LIFETIMESUPPORTER.png
Feedback Score: 1 reviews
 
A4J's Avatar
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Mar 2008
Location: the Desert, CA
Posts: 1,349
Liked 25 Times on 23 Posts
Likes Given: 15

Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by generalzod View Post
Stupid vague instructions... I have the instruction list here... and it says

1. MIX
a) Dissolve contents of can and other fermentable sugars with 2 litres of boiling water (4 litres of hot tap water may be used).

the way I read that after reading www.howtobrew.com had me thinking I had to boil it with the water. I am almost sure that I read somewhere else that all kits should be boiled anyways. Hope that doesn't have some adverse effect on the taste of the beer in the end.
Like I said, your beer will be fine, especially if you keep your ferment temps in the mid-high 60's.

My kit was part of a whole kit and it came with a dvd. Here's the full instruction and i think you can find the dvd on youtube.
http://www.coopers.com.au/media/files/1451.pdf
__________________
Primary 1: pale ale
Primary 2: blondie


My mid-century modern keezer build thread.
A4J is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Reply



Quick Reply
Message:
Options
Thread Tools


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
so i started my chiller build today jonp9576 Chillers and Stir Plates 41 03-06-2009 10:08 PM
Tasted my first brew today, advice needed JamesJ Beginners Beer Brewing Forum 9 08-18-2008 04:59 AM
Yeast started, couldn't brew. Advice? nathan All Grain & Partial Mash Brewing 6 06-16-2008 05:48 PM
Started to cider today z987k Cider Forum 7 10-26-2007 05:41 PM
Looking to get Started, Need Advice Ramrod Beginners Beer Brewing Forum 6 03-14-2007 11:29 PM



Newest Threads

LATEST SPONSOR DEALS