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Old 05-12-2012, 09:47 PM   #1
adamjackson
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Default YAY! First Brewday. I think things went PRETTY well!



Here's my carboy in the cellar. I documented the whole thing in pictures. I had a couple of questions.

Here are the photos: http://adam-jackson.net/beer/homebre...st-weizenbier/

So, a couple of questions following this first brew day:
  • How do you read gravity? I put just water in a glass and the hydrometer didn't move. How tall of a glass do I need?
  • How do i get the hot water out to read the gravity? Do I just dip a pint glass into the wort?
  • I have no idea if I santized enough. I sprayed constantly and filled the carboy with the star san dilution all morning before brewing. Hope I did enough. I sprayed everything before touching / using
  • It took 25 minutes to cool the wort using an ice bath. Is this too long? I just filled the sink with ice and water. It took forever!
  • I think I pulled too much sediment into the carboy when siphoning. Is this going to ruin it? I had a strainer but forgot to use it.
  • All I had for the airlock was Grey Goose. Can you use any vodka? How much do you use? I filled it up and put a towel under the Carboy in case a big blow off happens

I'm sure most of these questions have been answered so I'll do a few searches and mark off ones I find answers for but these are the big ones.
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Old 05-12-2012, 09:56 PM   #2
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You take a sample of your wort and put it in a tube for testing. You then put the hydrometer in to take a measurement. You do this before you boil and after you boil.

25 minutes is ok but the faster the better for chill haze reduction.
Do not worry about the sediment it is no problem.
Any liquor will work in the airlock.

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Old 05-12-2012, 10:06 PM   #3
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I'll just add to clarify: your test jar needs to be deep enough that the hydrometer floats and doesn't touch the bottom, a wine thief or turkey Bastet are the best to grab the sample and be sure it's sanitized, you will also take a reading in about two weeks to verify fermentation is complete and you hit your final gravity

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Old 05-12-2012, 10:18 PM   #4
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You should get a Hydrometer test jar. Here is one
http://www.amazon.com/Hydrometer-Tes.../dp/B000NDHGEM
I like plastic ones. Normally you test before you add the yeast and throw away the sample. You also test at the end. You must correct for temperature if not at room temp.

You likely did ok for for sanitation as long as everything that touched the wort was sanitized. Startsan is great fro that and you can pour the wort right onto the foam when you empty the carboy. We use a "Dave Rag" to cover the carboy and wrap it around the bottom of the airlock. It is a paper towel wetted with Star San

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Old 05-12-2012, 10:34 PM   #5
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I just checked your pictures out from your brew day and have a couple things to suggest/ask.

1.) Are you using a propane burner indoors?

2.) Did you keep your wort covered as it was cooling (aside from while you were taking temp readings obviously)?

3.) You can scoop some hot wort out of the kettle and put it into the extract container which helps get all of it out. When I use extract I just dunk the extract container into the wort for a few seconds... you're going to boil the thing for 60 minutes anyways so theres no worries of having anything funky happening because of it.

4.) I noticed that you're siphoning the beer into the carboy. Before you pitch your yeast you can actually just dump it straight in. Put a funnel on top with a colander on it to catch hop particles and whatnot and just dump it right in. It is actually beneficial to aerate your wort before fermentation begins so this helps with that (you can also shake the living piss out of the carboy once you've got it filled and before fermentation beings).

5.) Congrats on your first brew day!

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Old 05-12-2012, 10:36 PM   #6
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Also, Star San works just fine in your airlock as well if you don't want to waste expensive vodka.

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Old 05-13-2012, 02:47 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Fid View Post
I just checked your pictures out from your brew day and have a couple things to suggest/ask.

1.) Are you using a propane burner indoors?

2.) Did you keep your wort covered as it was cooling (aside from while you were taking temp readings obviously)?

3.) You can scoop some hot wort out of the kettle and put it into the extract container which helps get all of it out. When I use extract I just dunk the extract container into the wort for a few seconds... you're going to boil the thing for 60 minutes anyways so theres no worries of having anything funky happening because of it.

4.) I noticed that you're siphoning the beer into the carboy. Before you pitch your yeast you can actually just dump it straight in. Put a funnel on top with a colander on it to catch hop particles and whatnot and just dump it right in. It is actually beneficial to aerate your wort before fermentation begins so this helps with that (you can also shake the living piss out of the carboy once you've got it filled and before fermentation beings).

5.) Congrats on your first brew day!

Yep. Using it "indoors" but it's a covered back porch. I grill with charcoal and smoke meat in an electric smoker out here year round. No fires yet. The entire house is cedar so it is worth being concerned about but it's a 20x20 room and we have fire extinguishers.

I did keep the wort covered. Wasn't sure if that's the right thing to do.

for 4, I have a strainer and funnel. Just didn't think about using them or forgot to.

Thanks for the rest of the comments guys! I'll check out the links. Trying to keep hardware costs down until I have a few successful batches out of the way.
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Old 05-13-2012, 05:58 AM   #8
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Find a beer thief at your LHBS....they work out great for pulling your satellite fermentation and double as a nice hydrometer tube.

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Old 05-13-2012, 01:58 PM   #9
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Update: Looks like the yeast is starting to go insane a bit. Lots of activity which is very cool to see.

One concern is that the airlock is now at the top witha mix of vodka and a bit of wort. Do I remove the airlock and relieve some pressure (sanitizing of course) or do I just wrap a towel around it? I don't know how to make a a blow-off pipe but should I?
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Old 05-13-2012, 02:16 PM   #10
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#1 get a blow off tube installed as soon as you can! 1" ID tubing fits I think.


Quote:
Originally Posted by adamjackson View Post


Here's my carboy in the cellar. I documented the whole thing in pictures. I had a couple of questions.

Here are the photos: http://adam-jackson.net/beer/homebre...st-weizenbier/

So, a couple of questions following this first brew day:
  • How do you read gravity? I put just water in a glass and the hydrometer didn't move. How tall of a glass do I need?

    The hydrometer needs to float. Get all the bubbles off it to get a good reading.
  • How do i get the hot water out to read the gravity? Do I just dip a pint glass into the wort?

    Dip the wort out with a glass measuring cup. Let it cool to 60° to take the reading.
  • I have no idea if I santized enough. I sprayed constantly and filled the carboy with the star san dilution all morning before brewing. Hope I did enough. I sprayed everything before touching / using

    That should have been fine. Starsan works in a minute and must stay wet. Do not rinse or let it dry.
  • It took 25 minutes to cool the wort using an ice bath. Is this too long? I just filled the sink with ice and water. It took forever!

    25 minutes is actually pretty quick for an ice bath.
  • I think I pulled too much sediment into the carboy when siphoning. Is this going to ruin it? I had a strainer but forgot to use it.

    You do not have to keep the sediment out. It will settle to the bottom after fermentation is done. You can just pour the wort into the carboy. You want to introduce as much oxygen as you can at this point.
  • All I had for the airlock was Grey Goose. Can you use any vodka? How much do you use? I filled it up and put a towel under the Carboy in case a big blow off happens

    You can use any cheap vodka or just some of your Starsan solution.

I'm sure most of these questions have been answered so I'll do a few searches and mark off ones I find answers for but these are the big ones.
Quote:
Originally Posted by adamjackson View Post


Update: Looks like the yeast is starting to go insane a bit. Lots of activity which is very cool to see.

One concern is that the airlock is now at the top witha mix of vodka and a bit of wort. Do I remove the airlock and relieve some pressure (sanitizing of course) or do I just wrap a towel around it? I don't know how to make a a blow-off pipe but should I?
Again, get a blowoff tube installed asap! If the airlock clogs pressure will build and blow out the stopper. Then you will be cleaning krausen off the ceiling!
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