Another first brew story...

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gratefuldisc

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Well my first brew (True Brew California Common) is in the primary.:ban:

I preboiled and chilled 2 gallons of water, sanitized everything. I had all my ingredients laid out and followed the directions with the kit except I boiled 3 gallons instead of 1.

Brought 3 gallons up to temp and steeped the grains in the grain bag. Brought to a boil, removed from heat and added 2 cans of light LME and 2 ounces of pellet hops. Bringing back to a boil, I said to my wife, "I have to watch it really close now so it doesn't boil over." I watched it like a hawk, and kept it from going over until SWMBO started freaking out about the smell, gagging and running around the house in her pajamas trying to get away from the smell. She got her clothes together, grabbed one of the kids and went down the road to her mom's. Leaving me saying WTF? while my 4 year old she left with me (who is freaked out b/c her mom is freaked out) is screaming for her to come back. Meanwhile it boils over.

I got my kid calmed down, did a quick cleanup, and got it back on the burner to finish my boil. I threw in my finishing hops and put it into the sink to cool off. It was then I realized I had no ice in the freezer. I drained and filled the sink with cold water 4 times while stirring. I got the temp down to 110 in about 20 minutes. I put the 2 gallons of chilled water in the fermentor and poured in my wort. I stirred it up and took my OG reading 1.051, dead on to the kits instructions (1.048-1.051). I tasted the sample and it was okay, seemed more bitter than I was expecting but I have never tasted unfermented beer before. I pitched the dry yeast, stirred vigorously to aerate. and sealed it up. I had no vodka to put in the airlock but I had some bicardi (doesn't really matter does it?) all sealed up and I realize I didn't check the temp before pitching the dry yeast! Directions said to pitch when its under 90, I took off the airlock, spilling a few drops of bicardi into the fermentor (oops), took the temp and it was 89. Nothing else I could do so crossed my fingers and sealed it up.

SWMBO called while I was cleaning up and told me she had an idea for a name for my beer, "First and Last" I told her I already named it "Panicked Wife" :)

I hope things go smoother next time, I think she might "make" me get a turkey fryer so I can brew outside.:rockin:
 

CaseyHeck

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I had a very similar first brew just a week ago way too small of a pot. I had a three gallon since I have bought a ten which is much better. That first brew boiled over twice, my second brew once. The good news is on the third I was much better watching the temp so I could better manage the burner. I tell you all of this to help I was a little discouraged after my first. The learning curve is steep but fun.

The only thing I didn’t understand from your post, what was with the smell? Does the wife hate the malt smell? Tell me the trick I would hate to “have” to buy a turkey fryer to brew outside. Best of luck

Casey
 
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gratefuldisc

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yeah, the malt/hops smell as it was boiling was strong. To me it was bearable, to my wife it was a fog of death. lol
 

Bildo

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So the lesson is, when you want the wife out of the house brew some beer! Hey you had a pretty good brew day in my opinion, nothing too unusual.
 

jschein

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Yeah, that's why my wife bought me a turkey fryer almost 20 years ago. She hates the smell and now my son does too. My daughter loves the smell but she loves hoppy beer, a chip off the old block!
The turkey fryer is much better but in the winter, it can get way too cold to brew outside. I still do a batch inside once a month in the winter.
 

Pharmguy

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Great story! It wont be the last boil over or last time you forget to take a measurement of some kind. ****, I'm still cleaning a spill over from an Octoberfest fiasco from july. LOL! Welcome to the addiction...and.....your beer will turn out fine.
 

bennyd

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My first brew day was last Tuesday. While overall it went pretty well, I had the opposite situation with SWMBO. She knew that I was really looking forward to brew day and I'd need to concentrate on what I was doing. So what did she do? She invited three of our kids friends over to play at that exact time, then decided she was going to lay down and read.

Our kids are 5 year old twins and the friends that came over are 7, 5, and 2. So guess who dealt with that for most of the time. I will give her credit, she apologized.

Luckily the kids were pretty well behaved and the brew went pretty well for just getting my feet wet.:mug:
 

Stormrider51

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Sounds like somebody doesn't want you to brew beer. You may face a choice between the wife or brewing. Might I suggest Match.com, E-Harmony.com, etc? Moving at least three states away from the mother-in-law might help as an alternative. LOL! :mug:

John
 

IncredibleMulk

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My wife too cannot stand the "fog of death", which is odd, because I love it! During my last brew, she walked in with my two kids and made a dash to the back bedroom yelling "It stinks in here!". Once I was done cleaning up, she emerged with my boys and told me it was time to move it outside and to buy what I needed...DARN :D. The good news is that she does like my beer.
 
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gratefuldisc

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Lots of airlock activity! Saw the first bubble in a little over an hour after sealing up, 2 days later it is chugging along at about a bubble every second. I know that airlock activity is not a good indicator of fermentation but it is exciting to see!

My primary is siting in a cool basement, the only space available. The "fermometer" on the bucket says 62. I know this is on the low end of acceptable temps for ales but what is ideal for a steam beer? The yeast was SafLager. The kit directions said 68-74, should I make an effort to warm it up?
 

Pharmguy

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Usually low 60's is perfect for a steam beer. What yeast was in the kit?
 

Headcase

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Welcome to the addiction:mug: I'm lucky to have a SWMBO that loves the smell of brewday. When she's not brewing her ciders, she's helping me brew my beer. Now here's the real kicker; she actually encourages me to buy new toys...errr I mean equipment for brewing. She's a keeper! Her only flaw is that she doesn't like Hefeweizen but I can live with that;)
 

Richabt

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My wife and son can't stand the smell either. Fortunately for them I brew on our backporch. The one time I brewed inside last year (out of propane) was about as dramatic as your experience. Oddly my mother in law absolutely loved the smell and told my wife and son they were overreating.
 
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Welcome to the obsession. My poor stove will never be quite the same. My only advice is to start picking up the gear to brew outdoors / out in the garage. Besides being able to do full boils, I just find that my entire brew day flows more smoothly with more room to work and no one to complain about the smell. (Which I don't get anyways... reminds me more of a bakery than something nasty.)

Almost forgot... most of us use vodka in the airlock instead of another spirit since it wouldn't contribute much to the taste profile if it gets sucked back through the airlock during a pressure change. That said, the tiny amount that we're talking about, it probably doesn't matter anyways.
 

rcreveli

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fog of death would be a great band name. Or change it up to Death Fog and you've got a metal band / SciFi Original movie title.
 

HickoryMike

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How could someone react so outrageously to something that smells so good? I don't get that.

Thankfully everyone I know loves the smell of a brewery in operation.
 

oceanselv

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SWMBO loves the smell of brew day. She does not like most beers except the Abbey Ale from Ommegang. She calls is Oh My God, so do I but for different reasons:D

After a few boil overs on "her stove" she sent me to the store for a turkey fryer. Big mistake that was. Now I have taken over the the walk in attic with my bottles, buckets, carboys and the garage with my brew rig, lagering fridge, grain storage and an ever growing list of miscellaneous gear such as pumps and hoses. Up next will either be a kegerator in her freezer or walk in cold room when we become empty nester's in the fall as my youngest will be off to college or perhaps sooner if I can find a full time gig here in Raleigh.
 
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