1st cook...some ?'s and observations - Home Brew Forums
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Old 02-05-2012, 04:28 PM   #1
jlatenight
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Jan 2012
East Bridgewater, MA
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Hi All! Well I did my first cook yesterday and I must say I think it went pretty well! Made a mess with the wort and cut myself on the LME can (bled everywhere), but besides that not bad! First off, I gotta say brewing in my garage with a turkey fryer setup was the best choice I made. Had tons of room, didn't stink-up the house, didn't have to worry about making a mess.

I used a cheap wireless meat thermometer and clipped the wire on the lip with a binder clip to make sure the probe was angled right into the center of the wort and not touching the sides. The digital read-out was much easier for me to monitor the temp as I steeped my grains. I think I got it JUST right for the entire steep.

I was really careful about sanitization. Everything soaked in the FV w/ StarSan while I boiled and then I drained it and supplemented with a spray bottle of StarSan solution for whatever touched the wort after the boil. I used a stainer when pouring the wort into the FV (bucket) and that made a mess b/c I had to keep dumping the strained stuff like 5 or 6 times causing me to spill some wort.

Now, to the important questions, I topped-off with tap water *cringe* to 5ga. and didn't notice that the water I was pouring in was pretty hot. By this point I was in a hurry to finish up so I took an OG reading and pitched my yeast. It said it was 1.030 if I read it right which it's entirely possible I didn't, and the box said it should be 1.050 or so. I tested my hydrometer with plain municipal water and it was 1.008. Should I be concerned about this?

I checked it this morning and it's bubbling away nicely, so I didn't kill the yeast. The room it 65F and the beer is 72F. Is that too high? Should I move it to a cooler place?
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Old 02-05-2012, 04:36 PM   #2
birvine
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Oct 2010
Cochrane, Ontario, CANADA
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A bit cooler would not be a bad thing for your 'Bloodthirst Ale'

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Old 02-05-2012, 04:40 PM   #3
postal_penguin
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Sep 2011
Aurora, Co
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If you truly have 5 gallons of wort and got all the extract into the boil, your OG will be what the kit says it is. The lower gravity reading is likely due to the top off water not being mixed all that well(don't worry the yeast will do this for you).

Secondly, hydrometers are influenced by temperature so take a reading and temperature of the water then plug it into an online calculator like this one: http://www.brewersfriend.com/hydrometer-temp/

65F is a good temp to ferment at but how are you measuring the beer temp?
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Old 02-05-2012, 04:47 PM   #4
jwplessner
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Jan 2011
Philadelphia, PA
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If you didn't mix your wort thoroughly after top off, you can easily get a false reading. If you got your fermentables from extract and your volumes are right, that's most likely the case.

Your hydrometer may be off a couple of points if tap water reads 1.008. Make sure youre measuring at 60f. You can just scale your readings linearly, adding two points each reading.

 
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Old 02-05-2012, 05:59 PM   #5
jlatenight
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Jan 2012
East Bridgewater, MA
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awesome guys! I feel much better now. So adjusted OG w/ temperature is probably more like 1.048...MUCH closer, plus it probably wasn't mixed as well as it should have been. I think I'm going to move it to a slightly cooler room too. Great info...thanks!!

 
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Old 02-05-2012, 07:01 PM   #6
Rowdy
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Nov 2009
Tampa, Florida
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you got a big enough pot there is no need to top off do a full boil...
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