First Beer/First Post

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WalleyeGuy

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Been lurking around here without registering for quite some time, and now that I have my first batch in primary thought I would post and say thanks for the advice I've already received!

Don't think I screwed anything up too bad, and it's bubbling today so somethings going right.

The only thing that another brewer told me was not good was adding tap water to the wort after it cooled to get it up to 5 gallons. No boiling, just tap water. I think I should be fine, we shall see. Anyone else ever do that?

Brew is a 5 gallon autumn amber ale from Midwest Home Brew supplies. Pretty much followed their directions spot on for my first batch.

:rockin:
 

jmprdood

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Welcome to the board and the hobby.

No worries; topping up with tap water is done all the time (I've done it for 24 years with no ill affects). If your tap water is good to drink, it can be brewed with - no worries. In a third world country, might be a different story.

Cheers!
 
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WalleyeGuy

WalleyeGuy

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Thanks.

We have good water here, that is kind of what i figured before i did it. We will find out for sure!

my basement is 63 degrees. Is that good temp for the ale to ferment?
 

lowtones84

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If you still have the packet or tube for your yeast you could check on there if it has a temperature range listed, but 63 should be really nice for a good clean ale. And don't worry about topping up with unboiled tap water, I do it all the time. I guess it's possible for an infection to occur that way but it's never been a problem for me.
 

jmprdood

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63F would be perfect for most ale yeasts. I find that if I ferment at the bottom of the yeast's temp range that they come out more "clean", tho' it may take a little longer to get active fermentation.

Cheers!
 
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Been lurking around here without registering for quite some time, and now that I have my first batch in primary thought I would post and say thanks for the advice I've already received!

Don't think I screwed anything up too bad, and it's bubbling today so somethings going right.

The only thing that another brewer told me was not good was adding tap water to the wort after it cooled to get it up to 5 gallons. No boiling, just tap water. I think I should be fine, we shall see. Anyone else ever do that?

Brew is a 5 gallon autumn amber ale from Midwest Home Brew supplies. Pretty much followed their directions spot on for my first batch.

:rockin:
:mug: Welcome aboard! And congrats on getting that first brew down! It's good to see another local on board here.
 

beergolf

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Welcome and congrats on your first brew.

This place is great and a huge source of info.
 
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WalleyeGuy

WalleyeGuy

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So today is day 2 in the primary. Temp increased from 63 to 66. Not much, but I was surprised I thought my basement stayed pretty steady temp. Is the increase in temp due to the action of the yeast, or the temp of the room?

How much of a temp swing does it take to affect the beer?

Also, I know everyone is different, but how often do most of you take hydrometer readings? I am curious to know, but also so hesitant to make any mistakes. My plan was to leave for another couple days and then transfer to a secondary. I wasnt planning on checking hydrometer again until i was ready to send to secondary.

Thanks for the help!

And hello Nordeaster, glad to see some locals around as well! I would guess you do most of your supply shopping at midewest...are there any other good suppliers locally?
 

MMJfan

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My beers usually ferment in the 68-70 degree range and then once fermentation is done, they usually drop to 61-64 degrees. This is in a fruit cellar in my basement btw...
 

unionrdr

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I take an OG reading before pitching the yeast. Then I wait 2 weeks before taling a 1st FG sample to see where it's at. No need to test any sooner. I also don't bother with a secondary unless I'm oaking it or adding fruit or the like. Less loss of beer,& less chance for infection/oxidation.
 
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WalleyeGuy

WalleyeGuy

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I take an OG reading before pitching the yeast. Then I wait 2 weeks before taling a 1st FG sample to see where it's at. No need to test any sooner. I also don't bother with a secondary unless I'm oaking it or adding fruit or the like. Less loss of beer,& less chance for infection/oxidation.
I see. Lots of opinions each way for secondary. My logic for using secondary was twofold;
First, I would like to free up my brew bucket in order to start a second batch. I guess I could just use my carboy for this, but the thought was transfer from bucket to carboy and re-fill the bucket with a new batch.

Second, and possibly more important, was to attempt to reduce sediment and coloring in the beer. My Fiance loves a good beer, but is easily influenced by the color and look of the brew.
While it doesn't bother me as much, it would help her appreciate the brew even more. (which also helps me justify spending more money on the hobby!)
 

unionrdr

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You can go to secondary if you wanna free up your FV. But it should be at a stable FG first. And you don't need a secondary to clear the beer. That's more common on a commercial scale setup. I just leave it in primary for 3-4 weeks on average. That gives it time to get down to a stable FG,& settle out clear or slightly misty. Then it's on to the bottling bucket.
Just take your time,& don't rush things,or the beer can suffer. And don't follow those timelines in the instructions stricktly. They are rather short from our collective experiences.
 
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And hello Nordeaster, glad to see some locals around as well! I would guess you do most of your supply shopping at midewest...are there any other good suppliers locally?
Yeah, Midwest is my main store. There's also Brew & Grow up in Spring Lake Park (highway 65 and 81st av), they're pretty alright, small, but nice to have around. The guys who work there are all great guys and love to talk shop, I bounce beers off of them from time to time to see what they think. The owner, Kevin, has been at it for decades... and if I remember correctly, his father worked as a maltster when he was growing up, so he's seen the craft and hobby come about.

I seldom use a secondary anymore, only for things like oak, spices, large dry hops, long term aging, etc. What I do is ferment in primary, and after the krausen falls I take my first FG reading and taste the sample. Then 3 days later I take another, if everything matches up and the beer's good, it goes to bottle or keg, or to secondary if I'm using one. You want to leave the beer in primary until FG is stable for 3 or more days, regardless if it's going to secondary, bottle, or keg. So there's really no timeframe here, it's all up to the yeast.
 
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WalleyeGuy

WalleyeGuy

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Thanks for the input. I think I am still going to send to secondary just to open up the FV.

Tell me your thoughts on my bottling. I have to leave town in 17 days(19 days from brew day) and will be gone for a total of 2 weeks. If I put in secondary this coming weekend, I think I am going to leave the beer in the secondary until I return. That would mean it was in primary around one week, and secondary around one month, then I would bottle when I return.

The other option would be to bottle before I leave, which would mean the beer was in primary for one week, and secondary 10 days, then bottled. That seems short to me.

Thoughts?
 
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Thanks for the input. I think I am still going to send to secondary just to open up the FV.

Tell me your thoughts on my bottling. I have to leave town in 17 days(19 days from brew day) and will be gone for a total of 2 weeks. If I put in secondary this coming weekend, I think I am going to leave the beer in the secondary until I return. That would mean it was in primary around one week, and secondary around one month, then I would bottle when I return.

The other option would be to bottle before I leave, which would mean the beer was in primary for one week, and secondary 10 days, then bottled. That seems short to me.

Thoughts?
Sounds fine, just make sure you're at FG before you rack to secondary. If you aren't, just leave it in primary when you're gone. Don't bottle before you go, the beer'll be much better if you wait and let it settle clear and condition a bit. Either way, you'll have nice, clear beer to bottle when ya get home.
 
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WalleyeGuy

WalleyeGuy

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Sounds fine, just make sure you're at FG before you rack to secondary. If you aren't, just leave it in primary when you're gone. Don't bottle before you go, the beer'll be much better if you wait and let it settle clear and condition a bit. Either way, you'll have nice, clear beer to bottle when ya get home.
Sounds good, That is the plan; Leaving for my wedding and hope to return to nice ready to bottle beer.

Nordeastbrewer77 has the right idea. Patience,young jedi...
Much to learn, for this young padawan
 

william_shakes_beer

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When I was doing extract recipies I routinely topped off post boil with tap water with no ill affects. By all means take as many gravity readings as you wish. The common logic here is bottle when the SG reading is the same for 3 cxonsecutive days, which suggests daily tests. When I first started, I did an OG test, one a 2 weeks and one at bottling. Now I just primary 4 weeks, bottle condition 4 weeks and refrigerate 48-72 hrs. I do OG and FG so I can calc ABV, but its not nearly as important as it once was.
 

unionrdr

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The fg test is important to knowing when the beer is done fermentng. But the OG can give you more consistent results by getting the same starting gravity. I just don't do anymore testing than needed so I don't wate beer testing everyday. Fermentation isn't so quick & critical that it's done that often. I take an OG,then wait 2 weeks to take a dfirst FG,since I know it'll take that long to finish or close to it. Then just wait for it to settle out clear before bottling.
 

jkendal

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Been lurking around here without registering for quite some time, and now that I have my first batch in primary thought I would post and say thanks for the advice I've already received!

Don't think I screwed anything up too bad, and it's bubbling today so somethings going right.

The only thing that another brewer told me was not good was adding tap water to the wort after it cooled to get it up to 5 gallons. No boiling, just tap water. I think I should be fine, we shall see. Anyone else ever do that?

Brew is a 5 gallon autumn amber ale from Midwest Home Brew supplies. Pretty much followed their directions spot on for my first batch.

:rockin:
I had a wort chiller malfunction the first time I used it. I didn't think to check the hoses connected to it and one was loose and came off while it was chilling. I was doing something else and walked in and caught it after about a gallon of tap water had gone into the kettle. The beer turned out fine. In fact, I had the same thing happen last spring (7 years later) so now I check the connections every time I use it.
 
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WalleyeGuy

WalleyeGuy

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I racked my Amber Ale to a carboy today. Amber read 1.012 2 days in a row and I was 7 days from brew day. Tasted like flat, warm beer. But good beer, no doubt.


That opened my primary up for a smooth nut brown ale extract kit I got from Midwest. For the top off water for the wort, I remembered to boiled this time! I then added about a cup of fresh honey to the water right when I stopped the boil. We'll see how that turns out.

IMG-20120616-00593.jpg
 

sagacity

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WalleyeGuy said:
I racked my Amber Ale to a carboy today. Amber read 1.012 2 days in a row and I was 7 days from brew day. Tasted like flat, warm beer. But good beer, no doubt.

That opened my primary up for a smooth nut brown ale extract kit I got from Midwest. For the top off water for the wort, I remembered to boiled this time! I then added about a cup of fresh honey to the water right when I stopped the boil. We'll see how that turns out.
Nice. Good work! Racking to secondary to free up a primary is reason enough to rack. I'll be doing just that on my next 2 brew sessions. Same technique for kegs. I'll bottle what's left in the keg, to free it up for the next batch.

Cheers!
 
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