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Old 08-18-2012, 02:31 PM   #1
AnnapolisBrewer
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Default First beer underway!!!!!

So I brewed my first beer. It was an Autumn Amber Ale kit from Midwest. I substituted the first set of hops (Fuggles) with Bramling Cross hops to give it more bitterness. I used the Wyeast nutrient additive with 10 minutes left and also used a tablet of Whirloc. I was able to do a full boil on my induction stovetop which made things a lot easier. I used my drill to aerate the heck out of it.

I finished up at 11pm. I woke up for work at 6am and the airlock was going nuts. I am guessing that is a good thing since the yeast took off quickly. BTW-I used a wyeast activator smack pack that I let sit out for 12 hours. It looked like it was about to explode. I took my SG reading and it was 1.045. I think that is where I should be.

I am considering doing a secondary fermentation into a carboy. Is this necessary/recommended?

I appreciate any comments from you all. I was very happy to find this forum!


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Old 08-18-2012, 02:41 PM   #2
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Originally Posted by AnnapolisBrewer
So I brewed my first beer. It was an Autumn Amber Ale kit from Midwest. I substituted the first set of hops (Fuggles) with Bramling Cross hops to give it more bitterness. I used the Wyeast nutrient additive with 10 minutes left and also used a tablet of Whirloc. I was able to do a full boil on my induction stovetop which made things a lot easier. I used my drill to aerate the heck out of it.

I finished up at 11pm. I woke up for work at 6am and the airlock was going nuts. I am guessing that is a good thing since the yeast took off quickly. BTW-I used a wyeast activator smack pack that I let sit out for 12 hours. It looked like it was about to explode. I took my SG reading and it was 1.045. I think that is where I should be.

I am considering doing a secondary fermentation into a carboy. Is this necessary/recommended?

I appreciate any comments from you all. I was very happy to find this forum!
Congratulations. What temperaature are you fermenting at and with what specific yeast? Most ale yeasts are best at the low to mid 60's so you'll want to keep it cool during fermentation. What temperature did you pitch your yeast? In nearly all cases pitching a little cooler or at your target fermentation temperature, at near the bottom of its ideal range, will give you your best flavor.

As far as secondary, I wouldn't bother. I'd just leave it in primary, check your gravity at 14 days, confirm stability and that it's done by confirming on days 15 and 16, then package if Its finished. Most ales are done at 10-14 days but you can always leave them longer and that's better than rushing them. They'll clean up after themselves and will drop out of suspension without a secondary transfer in my experience. Are you bottling the beer?


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Old 08-18-2012, 02:42 PM   #3
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I like to do secondary ferments even if they don't recommend it because it gets a lot of the gunk out before bottling.
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Old 08-18-2012, 02:44 PM   #4
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I had my first homebrew last night. Midwest amber ale! I used a secondary on advice from a few friends, but I'm. not sure its necessary. It came out great!

Congrats!
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Old 08-18-2012, 02:53 PM   #5
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Congratulations. What temperaature are you fermenting at and with what specific yeast? Most ale yeasts are best at the low to mid 60's so you'll want to keep it cool during fermentation. What temperature did you pitch your yeast? In nearly all cases pitching a little cooler or at your target fermentation temperature, at near the bottom of its ideal range, will give you your best flavor.

As far as secondary, I wouldn't bother. I'd just leave it in primary, check your gravity at 14 days, confirm stability and that it's done by confirming on days 15 and 16, then package if Its finished. Most ales are done at 10-14 days but you can always leave them longer and that's better than rushing them. They'll clean up after themselves and will drop out of suspension without a secondary transfer in my experience. Are you bottling the beer?

I used the Wyeast 1056 and pitched it at 78 degrees. I am fermenting it in my basement which is 68 degrees.

I am going to bottle the beer. Do you recommend the Grolsch style bottles or should I stick with the 12 ouncers?
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Old 08-18-2012, 02:54 PM   #6
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I like to do secondary ferments even if they don't recommend it because it gets a lot of the gunk out before bottling.
Agreed. I like using a secondary as well for the same reason.
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Old 08-18-2012, 02:55 PM   #7
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I had my first homebrew last night. Midwest amber ale! I used a secondary on advice from a few friends, but I'm. not sure its necessary. It came out great!

Congrats!
Waddy- What was the alcohol content of that beer? Just curious. I can't wait until mine is done!
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Old 08-18-2012, 02:57 PM   #8
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I like to do secondary ferments even if they don't recommend it because it gets a lot of the gunk out before bottling.
Letting the beer sit in the primary will get most of the gunk to the bottom and have a comparable effect.
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Old 08-18-2012, 02:58 PM   #9
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I like to do secondary ferments even if they don't recommend it because it gets a lot of the gunk out before bottling.
Im still up in the air about it. My brew kettle is a Bayou Classic with the screen filter on the bottom. It filtered out a bunch of gunk as I used the spigot to transfer to the fermenter. Would transferring to a carboy filter out even more?
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Old 08-18-2012, 03:05 PM   #10
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I like the grolsch bottles, but that's just because I hate bottling. Either would work fine if you have a capper and I've done both.

If you can get your fermenter in a water bath a little cooler that would be a good thing. The reason i asked as you had rapid startup on a single pack of yeast - which isnt necessarily a good thing. Keep in mind that fermentation creates heat - and your actual beer temperature can be 8 to 10 degrees warmer than the exterior temp in the heat of fermentation. You pitched very warm, and you needed another pack of yeast or starter (under pitched), for your starting gravity. These things will combine to create some characteristics that won't make your best beer. I'm certain it will be drinkable, just giving advice for your next batch to improve your beers. Fermentation temps and pitching rates are two very important ingredients to great beer.!


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