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2nd batch. A couple new questions.

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Schmitz

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I began my 2nd batch today (first worked well), an Irish Stout from kit.

But a couple questions crept up that I didnt think or didnt worry about the first time.

First, I used 2 gallons when brewing my wort. After it was over,there was 1.25 gallons of wort left over. Should I use a lid? Seem like most evaporated away, is this a concern? On a side note, I did try a lid and that was a mistake as it led to boil overs.

When it was over I added 3 gallons of cool water to bring temperature down, this of course took me to 4.25 gallons, but the recipe (as I did in the first) says top it to 5gallons. Anyhow, I added a little more water (3.25gallons) and its fermenting at 4.5gallons. Any tips?

Secondly, I cultivated my dry yeast for 40mins then pitched in into the 4.5 gallons of wort. This brings up 2 questions. One, is it ok to let yeast (it was covered in a santized container) cultivate (wrong term?) for 45min instead of the 15min recommend length? Two, is it ok to pitch room temperature yeast into room temperature wort knowing that there could be as much as a 10degree variance?

I know dry yeast is pretty hearty, but how exact do you need to be.. does bah! close enough, count?

Thanks for any help.
 

SwAMi75

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For your first question.....no, you shouldn't cover your pot while boiling. First, as you already learned, it'll increase the chance of a boilover. Second, I've heard (or read) that covering the pot can cause off flavors in your finished beers. Exactly why I don't recall, but I think it had something to do with trapping in some stuff that should be allowed to escape.

As for your boil size, I'd recommend increasing your boil volume if possible. I see nothing wrong with what you did, though.

Best of luck, and welcome to the forum!

Sam
 

Dark_Ale

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Sam75 said:
For your first question.....no, you shouldn't cover your pot while boiling. First, as you already learned, it'll increase the chance of a boilover. Second, I've heard (or read) that covering the pot can cause off flavors in your finished beers. Exactly why I don't recall, but I think it had something to do with trapping in some stuff that should be allowed to escape.

As for your boil size, I'd recommend increasing your boil volume if possible. I see nothing wrong with what you did, though.

Best of luck, and welcome to the forum!

Sam
Fermenting at 4.5 gallons.....Its not going to hurt anything, just will have a higher beginning gravity, ending in higher alcohol content.
 

andre the giant

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Sounds like you'll have a good stout, just not quite as much of it as you might have. Your stout will be more "stout" and in my opinion, that's a good thing.

I agree with the suggestion of larger boil size. In a perfect world, you could boil the entire batch. With my all-grain batches, I boil the entire 6 or so gallons and over the course of 90 minutes, around 1.5 gallons evaporate. It is perfectly acceptable to top back up to 5 gallons before putting it in the fermenter.

As far as the yeasties go. 15 minutes vs. 45 minutes... I don't think it could possibly hurt. And pitching the yeast into wort that's a different temperature is kinda unavoidable. There will always be some difference between the wort temp and the yeast temp. They will adapt. They are pretty tough critters.
 
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Schmitz

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Awesome! Thanks for the help guys.
 
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