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Old 05-26-2009, 05:47 PM   #1
DeuceK
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May 2009
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Brewed my first batch with a Cherry Wheat Extract kit I got from Midwest last week. Everything went well for the most part. I had a Propogator pack that I used to make a starter with 2L of water and 2 Cups Light DME. It sat out for about a day or so and had quite a layer of krausen, but I was a little scared to use it because I thought 2L might be a little bit too much to pitch. So...on brew day I just rehydrated an 11g packet of dry yeast and pitched it for the "fool proof" method. Luckily my hot water heater produces 144 deg F water, so I didn't have to heat it much to get to 155 for steeping the grains. My OG was supposed to be 1.042-1.045, but came out around 1.037. Not really sure what caused this. Got the ~2.5 gal of wort cooled in an ice bath in about 15 mins. Also froze some water bottles the night before and sanitized them, then threw them right in the wort to cool it even faster. After I poured it into the primary bucket, I put the lid on and shook it for about 5 mins...sure takes the wind out of you! Pitched the yeast and let her rip. I did make the mistake of pushing down on the lid once the air lock was in place, then it sucked a little bit of sanitizing solution into the bucket, but hopefully that doesn't make to big of a difference?? The air lock was bubbling about once every 3-4 secs ~16 hours later. We'll see how it goes. I've got the bucket sitting in water to regulate temp. a little easier during warmer days. I'll rack it to secondary in a week, then bottle it in another 2 weeks.

 
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Old 05-26-2009, 06:07 PM   #2
McGarnigle
 
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For the starter, you could have put it in the fridge for a day or two to let the yeast fall to the bottom, then poured off the liquid and pitch only the yeast. I personally wouldn't have even tried a starter for my first batch.

OG discrepancy may just be a bad reading based on the wort not being fully mixed. It's hard to miss OG with extract.

Don't worry about sanitizer sucking into the wort. it's a tiny amount, and that's why you use sanitizer rather than, say, spit.

 
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Old 05-26-2009, 07:01 PM   #3
Zen_Brew
 
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Also you can tone down your DME to water ratio a bit. You are looking to hit a light gravity on your starter just to get the yeast reproducing to get their count up, and get them acclimated to the sugar profile of the wort they will be working with. I think the general guidline is to shoot for around a 10:1 water to DME ratio for your starter. For 2L of water 3/4 cup to 1 cup DME would be a better ratio. Also add in a little yeast nutrient. Maybe about 1/4 tsp/liter. This helps make for healthy reproducing yeast. The quality (health) of the yeast is as or more important than the quantity.

Other than that nothing wrong with a 2L starter, and you could have used the one you made with good results. Many use a 1 liter with about 1/2 cup DME for a starter.
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Old 05-27-2009, 07:13 PM   #4
MgMt_Home_Brew
 
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Just be mindful that you don't set the schedule, the yeast do. Come one week make sure your fermentation is done by taking consecutive hydrometer readings and making sure it's not gona drop anymore.

If you jump the gun and rack it too early you might be kicking yourself when your drinking one and it's too sweet.
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Old 05-27-2009, 08:58 PM   #5
78kombi
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#1 for me , i just use dry yeast, i cant see paying $8 for a liquid that has a lower cell count than a $2 dry pack of Safale 05
#2 I use cheap Vodka for the airlock..bacteria cant get though it and if some Vodka gets in the beer well, no worrys. but i also secondary for extended periods.
#3 the temp on the hydrometer wants the beer to be exactly 60 degrees, on the internet you can google hydrometer temperature correction Hydrometer Temperature Correction Table
to adjust for temps, i think this may be why you didnt get the target.

 
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Old 05-28-2009, 12:35 PM   #6
MgMt_Home_Brew
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 78kombi View Post
#3 the temp on the hydrometer wants the beer to be exactly 60 degrees, on the internet you can google hydrometer temperature correction Hydrometer Temperature Correction Table
to adjust for temps, i think this may be why you didnt get the target.
I don't know about that. If he was shooting for 1.042-45 and got 1.037 thats at least 5 points off. The correction for temp is something like for every 10 degrees above 60 add .001. So unless he took the sample and reading while really hot that wouldn't make up for it.

My guess is that his top off water wasn't totally mixed in and that threw it off.
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Old 05-28-2009, 12:43 PM   #7
DeuceK
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Well we're approaching the ~72 hour mark this afternoon and as of last night, the bubbling in the airlock has slowed down quite a bit, but it's still popping off a few here and there. Temperature has been pretty constant around 73 F, so I think my OG hydrometer reading was probably closer the the 1.039 mark with temp. correction. I'm planning to take a hydrometer reading next Sunday, then again on Monday and Tuesday to see if it's time to move to secondary. After about a two week secondary, Im planning to bottle condition for about 2-4 weeks. I'm going to leave some bottles conditioning longer and some bottless shorter so I can see what kind of effect on taste I get with longer times. Think my next batch will be a Sam Adams Summer Ale clone extract kit from Austin Homebrew. Might get that sometime next week to brew once my primary is freed up! Thanks everyone for the input, it's much appreciated!

 
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Old 05-29-2009, 12:25 AM   #8
78kombi
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MgMt_Home_Brew View Post
I don't know about that. If he was shooting for 1.042-45 and got 1.037 thats at least 5 points off. The correction for temp is something like for every 10 degrees above 60 add .001. So unless he took the sample and reading while really hot that wouldn't make up for it.

My guess is that his top off water wasn't totally mixed in and that threw it off.
i agree i realized the mistake i made in the post after when it came to the hydrometer..may have been faulty conversion with the grains, if they were calculated into the final OG...who knows with a kit..EDIT..also for him to be 5 points low according to hydrometer correction, the wort would have to be below 40 degrees.unlikely for a persons first batch.
but i can attest that you will enjoy it more than any beer you have had!


 
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