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Old 11-26-2010, 05:40 PM   #11
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Cheers, faustie!

Sorry about the "lost gallon"... for future reference, if you run out of bottles, but you have some empty plastic soda bottles (20 oz, or 2L, or whatever) you can bottle in those. Don't use water bottles unless it was carbonated water -- the original liquid should have been carbonated so that the bottle can handle CO2 pressure.

You have permission to try one or two beers early so you know what "green beer" tastes like, BTW.

Make sure all your homebrews get at least 48 hours in the fridge before drinking, if possible. A week is better.

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Old 11-26-2010, 05:45 PM   #12
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Originally Posted by mrkeeg View Post

2) Oh my god, what the heck do I do with the hydrometer?
- did it come in a little package or storage container? Leave it there.
You don't use a hydrometer? I guess if you never have problems, and if you don't mash, or if you measure Brix or something, maybe you wouldn't *need* it... but it is quite helpful.

The plastic tube the hydrometer comes in can be used as a test jar. Pull out the paper and the foam and all, then sanitize the tube and hydrometer. Fill the tube about 3/4 with wort (don't burn yourself) and then let the hydrometer float (weighted side down) in the wort. (Add more wort if you need to, so that the hydrometer doesn't touch bottom.) Look for the numbers closest to the surface of the liquid. Bam, that's the OG, original gravity. If you sanitized the tube and hydrometer you can dump it back in, or drink it or throw it away. When you think the beer is done, repeat the rigamarole again and if you get the same number two days in a row, bam, it's done and ready to bottle.

If you come on the boards asking for help and you don't have hydrometer readings, the help you get will be ... incomplete. Yeah. "Incomplete" is the word. If you don't need advice or help or you have some other means of knowing the sugar or alcohol content of stuff, then you don't need it.
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Old 11-26-2010, 05:51 PM   #13
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Congratulations on your patience for waiting the 3 weeks before bottling. You are now about where I was a year ago. Had you followed the instructions from Brewers Best Kits, you would have bottled at the one week mark as I have done. Your beer would have been fine but would have had a lot of yeast sediment in the bottom of the bottle (mine did). By waiting, your yeast settled out in the fermenter. Now you have the beer in bottles and yes, it will be reasonably if not fully carbed in the one week. Go ahead, have a sample, then put the rest in a dark place for another 2 to 4 weeks and notice the taste difference. Patience has a reward here and if you can wait another 2 to 4 weeks, you'll notice that the beer is even better. During this long wait, do yourself a favor and start brewing your next batch so it can have time to mature before you start drinking it.

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Old 11-27-2010, 12:37 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mrkeeg View Post

2) Oh my god, what the heck do I do with the hydrometer?
- did it come in a little package or storage container? Leave it there.
Many things are a matter of opinion, but this is not wise advice at all. There are too many circumstances when knowing your gravity is critical to success. It is not critical when doing strictly extract as the gravity is a given; now is the time to practice when it wont ruin your batch.
If you don't like the hydrometer, get a refractometer, but make sure you learn how to take your gravity readings.
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Old 12-06-2010, 05:08 AM   #15
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Default success! :D

unbelievably, I did not manage to screw it up my first time through! I cracked open a few over the weekend and was pretty surprised how normal the beer tasted ^_^; I'm bringing a few into work on monday, just in time for yearly performance evaluations (mwa ha ha) So yeah! I shall take the advice given here and go to the store and pick up ingredients for batch #2! That's sound advice about the 2 liter bottles too, thanks for that! Do you think I should head straight into the more hands-on stuff now, of picking your own grains and whatnot, or should I stick to kits for a few more batches? I don't want my success to go to my head, but I'm itching to experiment...

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Old 12-06-2010, 05:30 AM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by faustie View Post

if anyone is still interested in a week or so!
You are learning, this is a LONG term obsession, err I mean hobby.

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Originally Posted by faustie View Post

Do you think I should head straight into the more hands-on stuff now, of picking your own grains and whatnot, or should I stick to kits for a few more batches? I don't want my success to go to my head, but I'm itching to experiment...
Patience Grasshopper.

Get a few easy ones under your belt first. Then when you feel like a mighty Brewmaster, come back and ask permission again. We may grant it, if you are worthy.

Ok, just kidding. Congratulations on your first one. Do what you want now. I do however recommend sticking to the basics for now. Grab another kit of something you like. Read up on the different beer styles and what adding different steeping grains does. Grab a few different Craft brews and see if you really want a whole batch of a style before brewing up 5 gallons of it.
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Old 12-06-2010, 05:50 AM   #17
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Read up on the different beer styles and what adding different steeping grains does. Grab a few different Craft brews and see if you really want a whole batch of a style before brewing up 5 gallons of it.
totally agree!! Id recommend "designing great beers." Itll get you going on your learning... and keep surfing around on here. Ive learned far more than I would have just brewing.

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Grab another kit of something you like.
you can do that... or, if you really are jonesin' (spelling?--never tried that one) for something more "out of the box" (I know, shameless), check out some of the 4 or 5 star recipes on here.. something that you can go and buy your own stuff for (vs. buying a box with all of it in there)... that way you may start to think about what each part is bringing to the recipe.. plus, youll have the fun of going in and picking up grain, extract, etc.

Once youve gotten a few "copy cat" brews under your belt, thats when id start feeling comfortable with fiddling/recipe creation.

that said, whats the worst thing youre going to do.. make a bad batch that you and your buddies have to choke through.

so, I guess the moral of the story... do whatever you want. Just take lots of notes so you can learn from your mistakes. oh, and have fun.
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Old 12-06-2010, 06:45 AM   #18
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here is a good explination of what a hydrometer is for and how to use it. i know 20 minutes of listing to a guy talk about a floating meter. but he has alot of good info and i find him fairly funny and enjoyable to listen to. whats not to like about some canadian drunk in his basement making brew.


he has a lot more stuff for a newb brewer. (like me) but i like being able to use my hydrometer. lets me really know the brew im doing.
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Old 12-06-2010, 08:57 AM   #19
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What about using a growler to bottle in?

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Old 12-06-2010, 11:34 AM   #20
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What about using a growler to bottle in?
A swing-top growler is probably okay, it should be rated for pressure.

A screw-top growler is not okay, it's not rated for the pressure required for carbonation and it might explode.
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