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Old 01-07-2007, 05:25 PM   #1
Rook
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I brewed my first batch yesterday, a red ale. My wife got me a full setup for christmas, including a 185,000 BTU burner to make it outdoors, which I did. She also included a wort chiller.

Here's four things I did that I think might have screwed it up, lemme know what you think.

1) My wort was too cold, I think it actually got to 60 before I pitched the yeast. It has been 14 hrs and I'm seeing bubbles every 10-15 seconds, so I presume the yeast is OK, its an Edinburgh Ale Yeast.

2) Becuase the only water I had to add was very cold, I stopped adding water, I didn't want to bring the wort down any cooler. I'm not entirely convinced that I have 5 gallons in there. When I transfer to a carboy am I OK to add water to get it up to 5 gallons?

3) I looked in my boiling pot and I see black in the bottom middle underneath the burner, some of the sediment that had settled to the bottom got scorched in my hour long boil. I'm worried that this will impart a burnt taste to my beer.

4) When I had the burner up trying to get it to a boil, the brew bubbled up quite a bit, spilling over a very very small amount over the side of the vessel before I could get it settled down. It boiled the rest of the hour without any problems. Is this bad for the sugars in the wort?


I've also got two further questions.

4) I put it into a plastic pale for primary fermentation. I have a 5 gallon carboy that I was going to transfer to in a few days. What sort of timeframe should I look for? 30 seconds to a minute between burps from the airlock? 4-5 days?

5) Once I put it in the carboy, It has to go for another two weeks, then another 10 days or so in the bottle after that? Am I overdoing a step?

Thanks for any help!!

 
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Old 01-07-2007, 05:35 PM   #2
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Sounds like everything is well in hand.

Rack to secondary when all fermentation is finished and let clear for a couple of weeks. Bottle and let carbonate for 2 to 3 weeks. Presto. Beer.

BTW, don't add anymore water to the brew after fermentation has started. What you have got you have got. live and learn.

Congrats.
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Old 01-07-2007, 05:42 PM   #3
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so no water at all? i was told that to start a vacuum to rack from primary to secondary, i have to fill the racking cane and tube with water, put my finger over the end of the hose, stick the cane in the primary, and let go of my finger, and let the vacuum the water creates to suck the beer out of the primary and down the tube into the secondary...

i dont have an auto syphon, so if i can't add water after fermentation starts, how do i start it short of using my mouth (bad idea i know)?

 
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Old 01-07-2007, 06:32 PM   #4
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You don't let that initial runoff of water go into your secondary. Catch it in a bowl, when you get beer coming out, pinch the hose and move it over to the carboy quickly.
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Old 01-07-2007, 07:07 PM   #5
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ahh lol obvious now...LOL. Sorry too to the original author of his thread for hijacking it for a second.

 
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Old 01-07-2007, 07:14 PM   #6
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Not a hijack, just a clairification
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Old 01-07-2007, 07:17 PM   #7
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Quote:
1) My wort was too cold, I think it actually got to 60º before I pitched the yeast. It has been 14 hrs and I'm seeing bubbles every 10-15 seconds, so I presume the yeast is OK, its an Edinburgh Ale Yeast.
Too cold isn't ideal, but the yeast will recover. It can contribute to a longer lag time. 60 degrees, however, is actually a very good temperature for pitching most ale yeast.
Quote:
2) Becuase the only water I had to add was very cold, I stopped adding water, I didn't want to bring the wort down any cooler. I'm not entirely convinced that I have 5 gallons in there. When I transfer to a carboy am I OK to add water to get it up to 5 gallons?
You can top up later. In the future, add the full volume initially. In order to keep your wort near the ideal pitching temp (60-70-ish for ale), keep your top-up water in a sanitized jug or bucket while you brew, allowing it to come up to room temperature.
Quote:
3) I looked in my boiling pot and I see black in the bottom middle underneath the burner, some of the sediment that had settled to the bottom got scorched in my hour long boil. I'm worried that this will impart a burnt taste to my beer.
This can impart a roasted or burned flavor. It happened to me once, and it actually tasted quite good!
Quote:
4) When I had the burner up trying to get it to a boil, the brew bubbled up quite a bit, spilling over a very very small amount over the side of the vessel before I could get it settled down. It boiled the rest of the hour without any problems. Is this bad for the sugars in the wort?
Boilovers suck, don't they? Clean it up, then RDWHAHB!
Quote:
4) I put it into a plastic pale for primary fermentation. I have a 5 gallon carboy that I was going to transfer to in a few days. What sort of timeframe should I look for? 30 seconds to a minute between burps from the airlock? 4-5 days?
Let it go for at least a week before racking. Fermentation should appear complete (1 minute between bubbles is a good rule of thumb).
Quote:
5) Once I put it in the carboy, It has to go for another two weeks, then another 10 days or so in the bottle after that? Am I overdoing a step?
Sounds good. Most folks use the 1-2-3 rule - 1 week in the primary, 2 weeks after racking to clear, 3 weeks in the bottle.
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Old 01-07-2007, 07:17 PM   #8
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No worries, I'm learning new stuff every day. I'm really hoping this tastes good, its probably going to be fairly strong though, as I'm thinking I have about 4 gallons of brew in there, with 5 gallons worth of ingredients...


Do you think I should cut down on my bottling sugars so I don't over carbonate it?

 
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Old 01-07-2007, 07:19 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rook
Do you think I should cut down on my bottling sugars so I don't over carbonate it?
Nope, bottle as normal. The sugars in your beer will ferment fairly completely (assuming you're not making some sort of really strong ale or barleywine), leaving you with a slightly higher alcohol content than you planned.
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Old 01-07-2007, 07:23 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Yuri_Rage
You can top up later. In the future, add the full volume initially. In order to keep your wort near the ideal pitching temp (65-75-ish for ale), keep your top-up water in a sanitized jug or bucket while you brew, allowing it to come up to room temperature.
When is it OK to top up? Unfortunately my plastic fermentation bucket doesn't have any measurement indicators on it, I was going to put it in the carboy once primary fermentation is done, and see how low it is? Add a little then?

 
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