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Old 11-28-2012, 08:37 PM   #21
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Well, this being my first all grain batch i filled my brew pot to 5 gallons before boil... once boil was completed i had just over 4 gallons. (lesson learned was to add one extra gallon before boil) I added the zest and 8oz of honey at flame out. I stired well and chilled to 70ish degrees. Then transfered into my cataboy, airated and added my yeast directly to the wart.


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Old 11-29-2012, 01:09 AM   #22
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One resource that helped me quite a bit when I started was the All-Grain section of Palmer's How to Brew. It covers different mash methods, ratios of water to grain during mash steps and a lot of other great information. It will give you a much better foundation to build on moving forward.


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Old 12-05-2012, 11:48 PM   #23
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Very nice guide, i have spent the last few days at work reading over it.

So my first all grain brew is about 2 week old come this friday the 7th of dec. I have started timing the bubbles coming from my airlock. Currently i am getting a single bubble every 48-50 seconds.

I have the brew sitting in a clear cataboy in my man cave so i would have to say the temp of the brew stays around room temp which is around 68-70ish.

I have noticed that the Krouse (sp) is thinning out but still very much on top of the brew. I was told the krouse will eventually settle to the bottom, however it hasn't really show these signs over the past few days.

I also also noticed a slight weird smell coming from the airlock. To dont really stink but its not a smell i would relate to the beer making process. Is this normal? I would assume this is normal since the yeast has pretty much ate up all the sugars so that sweet beer or alc. smell is fading away. Does krouse have a smell? and if so what does it smell like?

Also would it be ok to rack this into my secondary with the krouse still on top and bubbling at 50ish seconds? or should i give it till friday?
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Old 12-06-2012, 05:03 AM   #24
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Sometime between now and the weekend would be a good time to rack it to the secondary. Your brew is probably at the end of the late krausen stage (aka stationary phase), but it's not unusual for the krausen foam floating at the top not to dissipate. It's better to rack to secondary before you have any issues with autolysis, which is what happens when the yeast die and their cell walls break down, releasing very unpleasant flavors into the beer (described as a burnt rubber smell/taste), though this usually only happens when the yeast is left far too long without nutrients or food (well over a month in primary).

If it's a sharp, yeasty, beer-ish smell coming from the airlock then that is normal. If it is a cooked vegetable/cabbage smell then you may have an issue with dimethyl sulfide (DMS) which is caused by cooling the wort too slowly, boiling with a lid on and/or bacterial infections. If it is a sulfur/rotten egg smell then it is likely an issue with infection. Lager yeasts often produce a sulfur smell while fermenting that dissipates, but in ales it is almost always an infection.

Taste a sample when you transfer it to secondary after taking a gravity reading and if it makes you want to puke it's a good sign you'll need to toss it. If there are some minor, green beer off flavors then that is normal and they will disappear after aging.
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Old 12-06-2012, 05:07 PM   #25
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Ok, sounds good. Nice post!


The smell is different, I can't really categorize the smell into any one of those that you mentioned. I can say I used a trash can full of ice to cool the wart when I was done boiling. I would say within 15-20 min it was down to 70ish then I aerated and tossed in the yeast stirred and let set.

Question, when I rack to the secondary, and let set for another week or 2... Will this DNS still not happen? Should I maybe put container in a little cooler climate? Say in my basement?
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Old 12-06-2012, 05:17 PM   #26
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It's probably just the normal smell that comes from fermentation so I wouldn't sweat it. The real test is in the taste and you'll certainly know if something is wrong at that point. Remember, though, you'll taste some off flavors when you transfer it which is completely normal and they'll dissipate as the brew ages.

As long as the temperature in the area which your fermenter resides is stable (the ambient temp doesn't fluctuate more than a degree or two) and around your fermentation temperature, placing the carboy where you had your primary would be fine and likely preferable as the yeast won't need to adjust, thus running the risk of getting stressed.
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Old 12-07-2012, 04:16 PM   #27
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OK, well i decided to move it into the secondary this morning. i found it odd i only had 3 gallons of beer. This is a 5 gallon recipe... will this hurt the beer? I guess i must have boiled off more then i thought.

I took a hydro and measured my beer @ 1.003
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Old 12-07-2012, 04:49 PM   #28
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Well, you have beer at any rate. Generally for an all-grain batch your pre-boil volume will be anywhere from 6.5-7.5 gallons and you boil down to 5 from there. The low gravity is likely due to the honey and, because of its low gravity, tends to make for a drier beer (i.e. a lower FG). That would also explain why it is so dark because it's concentrated. You could try watering it down with a gallon or two of boiled, dechlorinated water, but you may be better off just leaving it at 3 gallons which is what I would do. How does it taste?

Actually I just ran your numbers and, assuming you had average to decent efficiency, your OG would be around 1.080, meaning your beer is about 10% alcohol with a 1.003 FG. Watering it down a bit may not be a bad idea.
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Old 12-07-2012, 05:02 PM   #29
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It taste like beer however it does have those odd flavors you were talking about.

Should I just maybe try again? Or maybe bottle 6 after my secondary? I would like to see how this turns out

This was a fun experience, it was meant as a learning experience and indeed that's what I got. You seem to be a very knowledgeable beer making individual.

What part of the county are you from?
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Old 12-07-2012, 06:41 PM   #30
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You'll get a case out of 3 gallons so it may be worth just bottling the whole thing; besides it will give you some valuable experience with priming, bottling and conditioning.

The best way to get good at all this is to read, reread, read some more, do it, read again... well, you get my point . It's a complicated science and art, so the more knowledge you gather the better you'll be.

I'm from Kentucky and got into all of this when I did a project for culinary school. I made a ginger beer for a project in International Cooking and had the whole class ****faced (instructor included) during our final. It's easy to get an "A" when the instructor is "feeling good." I found I like home brewing and have been obsessed with it since. I've only been doing it about 6 months, though, so I'm hardly the end all, be all of brewing knowledge; I learn something new everyday.

Like I said, brewing can be complicated but stick with it and you'll make some great beer. Plus it's fun throwing a "BYOHB" (Bring Your Own Home Brew) party. We had some friends over at my girlfriend's place and I made dinner with all the home brew I made. Inside of an hour it turned into a Roman Festival and I think I had somewhere in the neighborhood of 50 empty bottles for just 6 of us. Everyone had a great time.

Brewing software isn't required but it's a nice luxury, especially when learning. A good free recipe calculator is Beer Calculus, but I use BeerSmith which is fantastic once you get past its steep learning curve.

Good books to peruse are How to Brew, like I mentioned previously and if you want a good print one The Brewmaster's Bible by Stephen Snyder has good beginning info but is really valuable for the hundreds of recipes it has in it. It's nice for seeing what ingredient commonalities there are within a particular style.

Another resource I would recommend is the BJCP's Style Guidelines. There you'll see what is generally accepted for a particular style when it comes to competition settings. That's not to say you need to be a slave to their numbers or wishes, but it's good for knowing where the boundaries lie within a particular style.

Finally, Wyeast's Home Page has a lot of good info, particularly concerning yeast, that I reference almost daily. Brew Your Own Magazine also has a ton of articles covering almost every facet of brewing, from beginner to advanced, so you should certainly check them out as well.

Oh, one last thing: I've made plenty of mistakes, so never let them discourage you!



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