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Brew Day! I have a few last minute questions.

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detz

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1.) I read in one of my books that I should aerate the beer so the yeast can eat it but the last few instruction booklets I've read haven't mentioned that. Should I siphon the beer into a bucket and pour it back and forth a couple of times to give it air before fermenting?

2.) Everything I read says to keep it airtight yet I'm supposed to open it to check the OG a couple times? Is this okay as long as the lid is off for a very short time? Would it be better to pour some beer out the spigot and check it that way?

3.) I have the dry year packet and I've read conflicting instructions of what to do with this. Should I soak it in warm water before pinching or not?

4.) I have no easy way to control the temperature for fermenting so I'm going to put it in a big tupperware container with water and either add ice to bring the temp down or not. The room temp is 68-72 normal so I'll probably leave it room temp for a while until the fermentation kicks in.


Any other quick tips before I start my first brew day?
 

breez7

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ya just shake the beer up if you are using a carboy but if you are using a bucket pouring it back and forth will be OK.

Wait 2 weeks before looking at your beer, I know it will be hard and some instuctions say otherwise but patience makes better beer.

yes soak it in 95*f distilled water 15 minutes before pitching. Pitching it withour rehydrating the yeast kills about half of them. then make sure to slowly cool it down to your wort temp.

try and keep temps around 68*

If you think it is sanitized, sanitize it again.

Have fun.
 

Smokeater233

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1. Yes, it's good to aerate - you can dump the wort (once cooled) into the bucket (no need to siphon) and either shake the hell out of the bucket or pass it back and forth between two sanitized buckets.

2. Are you fermenting in your bottling bucket? It's best to ferment in a standard food-grade bucket that does and save your bottling bucket for actual bottling. That being said, you can check the OG before you pitch the yeast and once you do pitch the yeast, leave it alone for a few weeks and then you can begin checking you final gravity thereafter. It's best to leave the fermenter undisturbed during fermentation, but you'll have to open the fermenter up at the end to ensure fermentation has completed before you bottle.

3. The main issue is that you get the yeast to room temperature. I like to re-hydrate my dry yeast in a cup of 90 degree water, but this is not a requirement - you can simply dump the yeast right on top of the wort in the fermenter.

4. Try to keep the temp as constant as possible in the range you indicated, remembering that as the wort starts to ferment, the internal temperature of the fermenting beer will increase.

Good luck!
 

Captain Damage

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1- If you position your siphon so it runs the beer down the side of the bucket, that should be enough areation.
2- It's OK to open the lid for a short period of time to check gravity after primary fermentation has stopped. But don't open it too early. Give it a week.
3- Do the soak.
4- It takes a long time to change the temperature of 5 gallons of beer. So there's no point in trying to target down to the degree. That said, if you can bring it down below 70F for the first few days, that would be better. Fermentation is an endothermic process, so even though the beer will naturally tend to equalize to room temperature, the internal temperature will be a few degrees higher.

A few tips: Take notes. Sanitize everything (twice). Have fun!
 
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detz

detz

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SO my kit came with three containers. Two buckets, one with holes and one without and a glass carboy. I was going to just use one bucket for everything(fermenting and bottle) but should I use the one without the spigot to ferment? What's the difference? Can/Should I use the glass for first state fermentation?
 
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detz

detz

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I don't have a good termometer so I'm using my meat one. :drunk: Will this work, I basically just need to keep the temp around 155-170 while I'm steeping right?

http://grab.by/8ph2
 

breez7

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Def. use the glass. Only use a primary, dont secondary unless you are dry hopping or adding something else. The bucket with the spigot is only to be used for bottling...NOTHING ELSE.

Plus in glass you can see when the yeast become active, floc, and finally drop out. its more fun! not to mention its easier to keep glass sanitary.
 

breez7

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Ya but it is important to have a nice thermemter while brewing, and they are cheap, but untill you start mashing that should be fine.
 
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detz

detz

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Def. use the glass. Only use a primary, dont secondary unless you are dry hopping or adding something else. The bucket with the spigot is only to be used for bottling...NOTHING ELSE.

Plus in glass you can see when the yeast become active, floc, and finally drop out. its more fun! not to mention its easier to keep glass sanitary.
Nice, okay, time to sterilize my glass one! :)

Couple more questions.
- Does it hurt to let it ferment longer? Nothing crazy like months but 3-4 weeks instead of 2?

- I live in Ma so we have about 2 ft of snow on the ground, can I bring my pot outside and just plop it in the snow to cool it down? :D

- How the hell do you guys wait 4+ weeks to taste your beer?! I'm worried I'll wait a month and it will come out bad, is there a way to tell in advance it's going to suck?
 

kornbread

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1. yes you should aerate. I do it after the wort cools below to near pitching temp. I use a sanitized wisk.

2. I leave mine alone for two weeks then, I pull a sample with a sanitized turkey baster. If I'm close to my expected fg, then I'm good to go straight into the keg/bottling bucket.

3. Boil some tap water in a small bowl in the microwave. Cover it and let it cool while you brew. Once it's cool then pour your dry yeast on top and let it sit for about ten minutes. Then stir and pitch it your cooled wort.

4. At least the first few days, you need to control the temp. Water bath with Ice works ok. Two things to remember.


  • 1st. the temp of the wort will be a little warmer than the air outside because active fermentation creates heat.
  • 2nd. Try and keep the temp as constant as possible. The yeast don't like a lot of up and down temp. fluctuation. It's ok to start a little cool and let it rise but if you start too hot and then cool it they may go dormant on you and stall your fermentation.
 

breez7

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I almost always go atleast 3 weeks before even taking a gravity reading. But once you have 5-6 beers going then you always have something to taste, clean, bottle, keg etc.

Putting it in the snow bank will take a while to cool down believe it or not, the snow is actually a good insulator. But you can use snow balls as ice or icicles off your roof to use in an ice bath.
 

Captain Damage

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Leaving it in the fermenter for up to 3 weeks is fine, and will actually improve your beer.

I've always had good super fast wort cooling in an ice bath in the sink. I think the snow touching the pot would melt right away, then your brew pot is just surrounded by air.

The waiting can be hard! But experience will teach you that it's worth it. It helps if you've got a pipeline of homebrews to drink while you're waiting for the new one to be ready.
 

bullinachinashop

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Use the bucket without the hole. After cooling your wort, pour it heavily into the fermenting bucket and add the top off water. Stir vigorously for a minute or so and then pitch your rehydrated yeast. Use tap water that you previously boiled and cooled down to 100 degrees for your yeast.
Remember to sanitize everything.
Good luck
Bull
 
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detz

detz

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I have one of those sticky termometers, should I stick that on the glass carboy? Is that pretty accurate as far as the liquid temp?
 
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