First batch screw up

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mygar

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So almost done with my first 1 gal extract and all was going well until... after filling fermenter with wort... realized i mistakenly under measured by a quart! So I quickly grabbed some water (tap water... another mistake) and got it to boil.
In meantime my yeast was ready to pitch as I rehydrated it and didn't want the little buggers to start dying off. So i pitched it. Now I am waiting my boiled water to cool down so I can top off the carboy :(
 
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mygar

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When do I top off? It has been about 20 min since pitched. I'm 3/4 gallon in carboy right now. My carboy is about 1.25 gal
 
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mygar

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Ok but am not clear why I should not top off to the starting volume I should have had. in the first place? At one gallon in carboy i should have enough head space.
 

estricklin

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With a half gallon of headspace you'll probably be ok by topping off now, it's your call. You need to top off anyway, it doesn't matter if you do it now or later.

Welcome to the hobby, and this forum. Brewing is a art/science of constant learning and improving. I would actually call this a very minor mistake compared to some I've had.

What kind of beer did you brew?
 
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The key word there is "should". Depending on the yeast, and the kind of beer it is, your head space may not be enough even at 3/4 full. This is your first batch, so you don't know what to expect yet. You will learn though.

And, don't rush. It's going to take anywhere from a couple hours to up to 48 before you see the krauzen.
 

jrgtr42

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Honestly, a half hour or hour or whatever to boil and cool the water wouldn;t have enough effect on the yeast that you have to hurry to pitch.
Depending on the size of your fermenter, you may be OK to add it in - rule of thumb is you want half again the size of your batch to be safe.
RDWHAHB.
 
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mygar

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Ok so the adding of the quart after is going to make the yeast much more active?

Or is the concern that my carboy does not have enough head space? There's a lot of 1 gallon brewers that successfully use a carboy like this... as I have read anyway.
 
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Adding the water isn't going to do anything to the yeast. It's the head space that is the concern. If I'm looking at the picture correctly, the level of the beer is only about an inch or so below the neck. You'll need much more head space than that. Especially for a hefe.

Yes, a lot of people use that kind of fermenter. I have two of them. I don't use them except for experimenting, but I have used them successfully. I leave much more head space than that.
 
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mygar

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No there is much more headspace
20200801_105836.jpg
 
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Yeah, that's where I thought the top of the beer was. That's not gonna be enough. I fill mine to just where the bottle starts to curve towards the neck. And I've had escaping krauzen even at that level.

Like I said, you'll learn. At this point, just let it ferment, replace the stopper when it blows off, let it finish, and then enjoy. And then brew another batch.
 
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mygar

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Thanks for all your replies. Keep my fingers crossed lol. Let you know how it goes!

One thing my yeast packet date was 8/2020. So pretty old yeast.
 
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mygar

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Yeah, that's where I thought the top of the beer was. That's not gonna be enough. I fill mine to just where the bottle starts to curve towards the neck. And I've had escaping krauzen even at that level.

Like I said, you'll learn. At this point, just let it ferment, replace the stopper when it blows off, let it finish, and then enjoy. And then brew another batch.
Wow ok
 
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mygar

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I have a 3 gallon carboy as well. Guess I should have used that? Thought 3 gallon would be too much for a 1 gallon batch though
 

Dinadan

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Regarding your yeast: the beer is fermenting, so I would take that as an indicator that it was good. The headspace does look a bit small, but I have brewed batches with not much more than that and never had a misadventure like the two that Homebeerbrewer posted. If I were you I might put a towel under the carboy just in case!
 
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mygar

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Regarding your yeast: the beer is fermenting, so I would take that as an indicator that it was good. The headspace does look a bit small, but I have brewed batches with not much more than that and never had a misadventure like the two that Homebeerbrewer posted. If I were you I might put a towel under the carboy just in case!
Lol yea heck I'm even thinking about aluminum roasting pan. Looking at what Homebeerbrewer posted... good gaw haha.

I have a 3 gal carboy maybe rack to that..considering it
 

BrewnWKopperKat

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Looking at what Homebeerbrewer posted... good gaw haha.
meh.

You are off to a good start with a blow off hose.

If you check it twice a day (roughly every 12 hours) for the next couple of days, you may not need a sponge to wipe down the "ceiling" in the fridge. If the hose is starting to look clogged, disconnect, clean, sanitize, and replace it. You may not get any dramatic pictures from process, but beer will be made.

A roasting pan is a good idea, it could make cleanup easier.
 
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The 3 gallon carboy would be too much for a 1 gallon batch. And, at this point, moving your beer to another fermenter could cause problems with your beer. Let it do it's thing where it is.

There is a product called Fermcap that will greatly reduce the krauzen, but I believe you need to add it during the boil. That would allow you to ferment with not much head space.

Oh, and the pic I posted was a mild one. I couldn't find the pic of the one where I had to repaint my ceiling. That one was a hell of a mess.
 

jimyoung

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I'd say overall you can be a little more relaxed about many of the things you mentioned - beer is pretty tough. The biggest one that scares me is infection. Top off is just one more chance at infection so I would have just avoided it and had a slightly stronger beer, no harm. If the temp was different that can also shock the yeast.

With beer, often the best advice is when you make a mistake like that, just leave it - it'll probably be fine. Take good notes and compare to next time.

The yeast are pretty tough - if you rehydrated (which is typically not needed, and can sometimes hurt), they'll still work well for a few days before being too worried.

I've never had my krausen go over, but it's been close. Only with bigger beers (more sugar) and some strains of liquid yeast. My go-to S-05 hasn't been that crazy for me.

welcome to a never-ending rabbit hole of fun!
 
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mygar

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The 3 gallon carboy would be too much for a 1 gallon batch. And, at this point, moving your beer to another fermenter could cause problems with your beer. Let it do it's thing where it is.

There is a product called Fermcap that will greatly reduce the krauzen, but I believe you need to add it during the boil. That would allow you to ferment with not much head space.

Oh, and the pic I posted was a mild one. I couldn't find the pic of the one where I had to repaint my ceiling. That one was a hell of a mess.
Yep I left it as is. So far all good. The overflow tube/jar is doing its thing. Some foam working it's way into the jar. This morning the no foam working out of the tube. Just some steady burping
 
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mygar

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I'd say overall you can be a little more relaxed about many of the things you mentioned - beer is pretty tough. The biggest one that scares me is infection. Top off is just one more chance at infection so I would have just avoided it and had a slightly stronger beer, no harm. If the temp was different that can also shock the yeast.

With beer, often the best advice is when you make a mistake like that, just leave it - it'll probably be fine. Take good notes and compare to next time.

The yeast are pretty tough - if you rehydrated (which is typically not needed, and can sometimes hurt), they'll still work well for a few days before being too worried.

I've never had my krausen go over, but it's been close. Only with bigger beers (more sugar) and some strains of liquid yeast. My go-to S-05 hasn't been that crazy for me.

welcome to a never-ending rabbit hole of fun!
Yep live and learn :) I did boil the top off water so hopefully no infection!
 

jimyoung

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Yep live and learn :) I did boil the top off water so hopefully no infection!
I'm quite sure it's fine.. and hell, even a minor infection or off taste - who cares! It's homemade beer!
 
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mygar

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Yup and it's only a gallon so it could be drank up quick!
 

IslandLizard

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Yup and it's only a gallon so it could be drank up quick!
That's what I'm always wondering. Why bother brewing only a gallon of beer? Yes, it can be drunk up very quickly.

Between the prep, brewing, cleanup, checking fermentation, exercising patience to ferment out and condition, then bottling prep, again cleanup, then again waiting another 2 weeks for the beer to carbonate... all that for a mere eight (8) 12oz bottles of beer? :bott:

I can see splitting a 5 gallon batch in half, 3rds or 4ths, fermenting each with different additions, yeast, etc.
Or brewing 3 or 4 separate 1 gallon batches. At least you get 3-5 gallons (1-2 cases) of beer in the end.
 
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mygar

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That's what I'm always wondering. Why bother brewing only a gallon of beer? Yes, it can be drunk up very quickly.

Between the prep, brewing, cleanup, checking fermentation, exercising patience to ferment out and condition, then bottling prep and again, cleanup then again, waiting another 2 weeks for the beer to carbonate... all that for a mere eight (8) 12oz bottles of beer? :bott:

I can see splitting a 5 gallon batch in half, 3rds or 4ths, fermenting each with different additions, yeast, etc.
Or brewing 3 or 4 separate 1 gallon batches. At least you get 3-5 gallons (1-2 cases) of beer in the end.
Well this is my first batch and at this scale its much easier. I also want to brew often for learning and to try different recipes.

Since I'm the only one who will be drinking this and I want to have a sensible approach to my health I dont want to have cases or kegs laying around everywhere feeling pressure to drink through them.

Also, the cost of start up at this scale is minimal.. so it's a good way to dip my toes into the hobby and see if it will be one that sticks.

Ultimately, I think I see myself end up doing 2.5 gal batches down the road. I think this scale will allow me to brew more often and a sensible amount of production/consumption for myself and a couple friends now and then (as I'm busy with family). It will also lessen the concern of loss from transfer, gravity checks.

Hey it's only 1 gallon in there but I'm tickled with it! It's my first beer :)
 

BrewnWKopperKat

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Ultimately, I think I see myself end up doing 2.5 gal batches down the road. I think this scale will allow me to brew more often and a sensible amount of production/consumption for myself and a couple friends now and then (as I'm busy with family). It will also lessen the concern of loss from transfer, gravity checks.
2.5 gal is an good batch size for many people, so a combination of 2.5 gal "house recipes" and "12-pack experimental" batches can be a good way to go.

It will also lessen the concern of loss from transfer, gravity checks.
There appear to be two approaches here: "every drop is precious" and "cost of doing business".

You'll find a lot of "1 gal carboy" brewers over in "1-Gallon Brewers UNITE!" and you'll find a number of creative ways to squeeze every drop possible out of a 1 gal carboy.

With the 'cost of doing business' approach, decide how much packaged beer you want. 6-pack is a 1 gal carboy; 12-pack is a two gal bucket; 24 pack is a 3 gal fermenter. Make enough wort to account for losses due to trub, dry hopping, bottling losses, hydrometer measurements, ...
 
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mygar

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2.5 gal is an good batch size for many people, so a combination of 2.5 gal "house recipes" and "12-pack experimental" batches can be a good way to go.



There appear to be two approaches here: "every drop is precious" and "cost of doing business".

You'll find a lot of "1 gal carboy" brewers over in "1-Gallon Brewers UNITE!" and you'll find a number of creative ways to squeeze every drop possible out of a 1 gal carboy.

With the 'cost of doing business' approach, decide how much packaged beer you want. 6-pack is a 1 gal carboy; 12-pack is a two gal bucket; 24 pack is a 3 gal fermenter. Make enough wort to account for losses due to trub, dry hopping, bottling losses, hydrometer measurements, ...
Yes thinking I would brew the 2.5 gal for go to beers... and play with the 1 gal. The one gallon thread will take some time to go thru :)

My current fermenter is temporary and will soon be my beer fridge. Its 5.5 CF and think it will hold about 2.5 cases.. so sized right I think. I will get a freezer for fermenting down the line.

Im kind of the cost of doing business type I think. I would like to keep things simple. The conicals being able to drop trub... sampling ports... use gelatin, cold crash etc... to maybe bottle from same device and limit transfers.

But there are less options for small batches using conicals.... stainless options anyway.

Now all the above may and probably change as I get into this!! So dont hold me to any of it :)
 

Shaika-Dzari

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1 gallon brewer here.
I usually keep just a bit more head space than you (let say, 1 cm more).

At the end of the fermentation, with the cake and the head space, I usually get 3L to bottle and a sample to taste :)
 
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