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brewmadness

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What a great place for usefull information! Just got my first batch in the fermentor last night. I may have made some noob mistakes and wanted to throw them out there and get some opinions or suggestions.
The directions called for boiling the LME for 40 minutes before adding the DME. From what i had read other places I was under the assumption that these went in at about the same time?
The directions also said to just sprinkle the yeast over the top of the wart and stir it in. I see a lot of people stating that you should pre mix the dry yeast and let it sit before pitching it? Does it make a big difference one way or the other?
And lastly, as I was anxious to get the yeast in and get it going, I forgot to take a gravity reading. How important is that to check? Should I just let it go a couple weeks and assume all is good? Will there be any benefit to checking it later if I don't have an original reading?
Thanks for any advice you can throw at me. Looking forward to many more batches!
 

gestyr

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1. The advantages to adding the LME later on in the boil are better hops utilization and the wort won't darken as much. All malt extract has been boiled as part of the process in making it and the basic reason to boil an extract beer is to isomerize the bittering resins in the hops.

2. There are more than one school of thought on re-hydrating yeast. This time around I wouldn't be concerned as long as the fermentation has started.

3. The only way to know for sure if your beer has finished fermenting is to take gravity readings. When the S has stabilized over the course of 2 or 3 consecutive days, the fermentation is done and it is safe to bottle. No OG reading just means that you have no comparison to calculate attenuation. Nothing to worry about. Just remember it next time.

Overall, welcome to the hobby. My advice would be to read everything you can get your hands on and don't be afraid of making mistakes. :mug:
 

petey_c

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I'm still in the rookie stage, but for the most part, you can't go wrong if you follow directions. I've hydrated the yeast and just dusted the top of the wort and been successful. So at this stage of the game, it's no big deal. Gravity readings are the way to tell if fermentation has stopped. The yeast continue to "clean up after themselves" for a little while longer. My typical primary time is about three weeks. As gestyr says, "...read everything you can get your hands on and don't be afraid of making mistakes." Pete
 

birvine

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You'll be fine. Do a bit of searching on the threads to flush out any answers and step by step, you'll improve your beer dramatically.

B
 

k47k

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1. rehydrate dry yeast in 1/2 cup of room temp water. sprinkling dry works but ive found rehydrating provides better results. Its simple to do, no reason not too.

2. Do you have a method for controlling fermentation temperature, this is extremely important and has more to do with how your beer turns out than OG/FG readings, how long you boil extract, or if you rehydrate or not. My first batch none of the instructions mentioned anything about temperature to ferment at, it just said "cool below 80 and pitch yeast". These are not good directions. I usually cool to 64 degrees and ferment at 60-65 for ales. My first few beers came out subpar until i got pitch and fermentation temperatures under control. You can stick the bucket/carboy in a cooler filled with water and maintain temps with ice bottles or bottles filled with warm water (until you decide to get a freezer with a temperature controller).

3. i wouldn't worry about not taking an OG reading, if you used the proper amount of extract and the proper amount of water per the recipe your OG will be whatever the recipe said it will be. Leave the beer for a minimum of 21 days, by that time it will be done. Could it be ready in 14 days? sure. messing with the beer too early will result in a subpar product. Leaving it for a week or two after its done will only improve the beer. My opinion is to leave it be for 21 days.
 
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brewmadness

brewmadness

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Thanks for all the info. Good to hear from other people with experience. I did a lot of reading before I got any equipment so I had a pretty good idea of how it was going to go. But you can never have too much info and I know I have only scratched the surface. I can't wait to get more involved with this.
 
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