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Old 03-10-2013, 08:04 PM   #1
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Default First Brew

First off, I want to thank everyone on here for the vast amount of knowledge that is shared. I got a brewing kit (this one) as a gift and since then I have been reading and researching as much as I can on here.

Two-days ago I made my yeast starter. I didn't have any extra DME except for what was in the kit for the recipe I had bought, so I went to my LHBS and bought a pound of light DME for the starter. Everything with the starter went relatively well. I had white labs WLP001 which sprayed everywhere when I cracked it to pitch in the starter, but I managed to dump what I could in the flask and it seemed to end up working fine (admittedly I was a little freaked out about it but I came on here in researched and read several threads where the same thing happened to other people). I got a great head of krausen and 18 hours later (yesterday) I was starting my brew.

The recipe:
American Pale Ale 2
6 lbs Coopers Light DME
1 Lb Belgian Caravienne (19-27L)
7 AAU Nugget (Boil) (0.52oz @ 13.3%)
2 Oz. Chinook (Finish)
White Labs WLP001
(Steep Grains in bag in 6 gallons of water @ 155F for 20 minutes, remove bag (drain) then bring to boil, add Nugget hops and boil for an hour. After an hour add chinook and cool.)


So I had a couple beers before I started, and perhaps my judgement was a little off but I had the logistical problem of only having a 5 gallon kettle and instead of doing the boil with everything in 2 or 3 gallons then adding water to the fermenter later and mixing the wort with the water, I decided to cut everything in half and do two half batches.

I did two batches of 3 gallons of water with half the grain steeped for 30 minutes, followed by boiling for an hour and adding half the hops for each batch. The first batch I dumped into my bucket and kept in my fermentation chamber until the second batch was done, then I pitched my starter (dumped the whole thing in).

Another problem that I ran into is that the lid on my bucket does not fit. No matter how hard I try, I can't get that thing to snap into place. So I just placed it on as best I could and put an airlock with vodka on and put the whole thing into my fermentation chamber (STC-1000 temp controlled fridge).

So this morning I woke up and the airlock is not bubbling but there appears to be a nice head of krausen on the top of the wort. I dunno if it's not bubbling because the bucket is not air tight or because of lag time or what.

What do you guys think? Am I screwed?


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Old 03-10-2013, 08:08 PM   #2
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It's because it isn't sealed. As long as your beer is making CO2 it being covered is going to protect it, many people open ferment their beers. I would definitely look for a solution though, because once the fermentation stops, nasties can get in if the container isn't air tight.


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Old 03-10-2013, 09:21 PM   #3
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I have a 6 gallon carboy...I don't know why I didn't just throw everything in there instead last night. Would it be too late to rack everything into there?
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Old 03-10-2013, 09:23 PM   #4
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Or should I just wait until primary fermentation is over and rack into my 5 gallon carboy and do a secondary fermentation?
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Old 03-10-2013, 09:28 PM   #5
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Wait until primary is done, or at least a week, then transfer to secondary.
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Old 03-11-2013, 03:15 AM   #6
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You can always add water (pre-boiled and cooled or bottled) to a smaller volume of boiled wort. Very common for new brewers.
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Old 03-11-2013, 03:32 AM   #7
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Thanks for the replies. I will update later as the process moves along
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Old 03-17-2013, 07:05 AM   #8
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So I checked on it today and the krausen had settled a lot and I took a sample to measure. SG was at 1.016 (at 68˚F) - the OG was 1.060 at unknown temperature (I forgot to check). I racked to my secondary in a 5 gallon carboy. There is a fair amount of headspace - more than I expected. Also, the carboy bung keeps slipping out no matter how deep I push it into the mouthpeice, it just slides right back out and is not making an airtight seal. I've ordered carboys caps, which should be arriving on Monday, but I'm hoping what I have will work. I guess it's going to have to.
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Old 03-17-2013, 07:11 AM   #9
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The foam is Star-San. I have no idea why the photo is sideways. It is right side up in the original file
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Old 03-17-2013, 07:23 AM   #10
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Edit: deleted by Moonlihter


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