First beer

HomeBrewTalk.com - Beer, Wine, Mead, & Cider Brewing Discussion Community.

Help Support Homebrew Talk:

OP
B

Bomber fridgmenter

Well-Known Member
Joined
Feb 20, 2021
Messages
68
Reaction score
33
Thanks for the legwork and info.
I guess it's more like an Old Peculiar then. Yeah, 10 grams of yeast is fine for those.
Will be nice if it’s similar to old peculiar.
the next kit I have apparently is very close to Adnams broad side. That will get started when this one is bottled or after the first 2 weeks of conditioning is complete. Depending on wether I can get 40 bottles and a FV in the fermentation fridge at the same time. I will also be applying what I have learnt so far when starting the new batch.
 

BrewZer

Slacker Brewing Company
HBT Supporter
Joined
Jul 4, 2017
Messages
473
Reaction score
567
Location
SW Ohio
For future reference, you can always pull up a recipe app and enter approximates for the kit you're brewing to see what kind of OG to expect. I realize that in some kits, that'll be hard to do because you get a can of LME labeled "Malt Extract," a bag of hops labeled "hops" and a pack of yeast labeled "yeast." But it shouldn't take too much research to figure out that the malt is Amber LME, the hops are Northern Brewer or Goldings, and the yeast is British Ale based on the beer style the kit is trying to emulate.
 
OP
B

Bomber fridgmenter

Well-Known Member
Joined
Feb 20, 2021
Messages
68
Reaction score
33
For future reference, you can always pull up a recipe app and enter approximates for the kit you're brewing to see what kind of OG to expect. I realize that in some kits, that'll be hard to do because you get a can of LME labeled "Malt Extract," a bag of hops labeled "hops" and a pack of yeast labeled "yeast." But it shouldn't take too much research to figure out that the malt is Amber LME, the hops are Northern Brewer or Goldings, and the yeast is British Ale based on the beer style the kit is trying to emulate.
Just as a matter of interest, are there any apps you would recommend.
 
OP
B

Bomber fridgmenter

Well-Known Member
Joined
Feb 20, 2021
Messages
68
Reaction score
33
I use brewtarget because it's free and sits on my box, but a lot of folks around here like Brewer's Friend or Beersmith.
I have brewers friend. Just need to learn how to use it. That’s actually the calculator I used to back calculate the OG of this batch.
 

ncbrewer

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jul 11, 2011
Messages
4,437
Reaction score
1,222
Location
New Bern
Regarding FG, there appears to be differing opinions on wether it is worth the risk of oxygen contamination or not.
In case it hasn't become obvious already (it probably has), I'll pass along that differing opinions are the norm with brewing. You can find lively discussions about almost any aspect of brewing - whether to take an FG sample, whether to rehydrate dry yeast, how to dry pitch if you don't rehydrate, whether to transfer to secondary, and dozens of other topics. Enjoy the journey.
 
OP
B

Bomber fridgmenter

Well-Known Member
Joined
Feb 20, 2021
Messages
68
Reaction score
33
In case it hasn't become obvious already (it probably has), I'll pass along that differing opinions are the norm with brewing. You can find lively discussions about almost any aspect of brewing - whether to take an FG sample, whether to rehydrate dry yeast, how to dry pitch if you don't rehydrate, whether to transfer to secondary, and dozens of other topics. Enjoy the journey.
Couldn’t agree more. All are good options/ opinions, and I would think this greatly linked to setups and styles of brewing. The art is understanding the merits of each, the pros and cons with regard to the situation they will be used, and then chose an option that has the greatest chance of giving the desired outcome with the smallest risk.
With greater knowledge there also comes the ability to adjust the equipment to allow favourable techniques that previously were too risky/ unavailable.
currently there are suggestions and information, that appear in my mind, to give me the greatest opportunity of a positive out come with the equipment and set up I currently have. I can understand how following guidance limits the potential risks. With that in mind I’m trying to follow the same ideas when it comes to hopping to limit/ eliminate air ingress. Hence the idea to drop the hop pellets through the hole in the bubbler bung( if they will fit) to eliminate the requirement to open a 16” lid.
i currently don’t see a way to sample for FG that would not risk oxygen ingress. Thus I’m following the 21day fermentation advice and only take a sample on bottling day and hope it’s down to the 1.011.
 
Last edited:

IslandLizard

Progressive Brewing
Staff member
Mod
Lifetime Supporter HBT Supporter
Joined
Jan 9, 2013
Messages
17,061
Reaction score
7,189
Location
Pasadena, MD
I may manage to add the hop pellets through the bubbler grommet which will require far less risk than opening a 16” lid.
That's the best! Avoid lifting the lid at all times.

i currently don’t see a way to sample for FG that would not risk oxygen ingress. Thus I’m following the 21day fermentation advice and only take a sample on bottling day and hope it’s down to the 1.011.
You can also take samples through that same airlock hole, by siphoning some out with a skinny hose. Sure, there will be some air getting in, but much, much less than by removing the lid.
But basically one sample should suffice, to verify you reached FG, 3 days before you intent to bottle, and could coincide with dry hopping. For all security take a second one, right before you prepare to bottle. If it matches the first, you're good to go.
 
Last edited:
OP
B

Bomber fridgmenter

Well-Known Member
Joined
Feb 20, 2021
Messages
68
Reaction score
33
That's the best! Avoid lifting the lid at all times.


You can also take samples through that same airlock hole, by siphoning some out with a skinny hose. Sure, there will be some air getting in, but much, much less than by removing the lid.
But basically one sample should suffice, to verify you reached FG, 3 days before you intent to bottle, and could coincide with dry hopping. For all security take a second one, right before you prepare to bottle. If it matches the first, you're good to go.
That’s an awesome idea about sampling through the bung. Hadn’t thought of that.
 

IslandLizard

Progressive Brewing
Staff member
Mod
Lifetime Supporter HBT Supporter
Joined
Jan 9, 2013
Messages
17,061
Reaction score
7,189
Location
Pasadena, MD
That’s an awesome idea about sampling through the bung. Hadn’t thought of that.
Here is the process in detail.

BTW, you can collect fermentation CO2 into a mylar balloon. Then use that to supply CO2 during cold crashing.
That is, if your bucket lid seals tight enough.
 

faithie999

Member
Joined
Jun 27, 2008
Messages
24
Reaction score
10
if you fit your fermentation bucket with a spigot, remember that when you sample for FG, remove the airlock else you'll suck the liquid in the airlock into the fermenter.
I have been brewing for years and have never worried about oxygen intrusion, but with all the attention on it these days I have stopped racking to secondary, and will get a couple of mylar balloons to have on hand for next fermentation. process improvement is always a good thing.
 
OP
B

Bomber fridgmenter

Well-Known Member
Joined
Feb 20, 2021
Messages
68
Reaction score
33
if you fit your fermentation bucket with a spigot, remember that when you sample for FG, remove the airlock else you'll suck the liquid in the airlock into the fermenter.
I have been brewing for years and have never worried about oxygen intrusion, but with all the attention on it these days I have stopped racking to secondary, and will get a couple of mylar balloons to have on hand for next fermentation. process improvement is always a good thing.
Funny you mention the airlock sucking back. I made the mistake on brew day of fitting the airlock before I moved the FV. When I lifted it it pulled 50% of the liquid out of the airlock straight onto the beer. Lesson learnt for next time.

The ballon technique I thought to be a really interesting and clever idea. I will have to get a couple next time I’m in the supermarket. I take it you just attach it to a piece of hose and fit that in the airlock bung. Potential after the first few days of aggressive fermentation.
 

faithie999

Member
Joined
Jun 27, 2008
Messages
24
Reaction score
10
balloons are cheaper at Dollar Tree. "everything is a dollar". the dollar tree where my folks live carries the Sunday paper, which costs about $6. I made the mistake of asking the clerk how much it cost. she looked at me very indignantly and said "EVERYTHING IS A DOLLAR".
 

IslandLizard

Progressive Brewing
Staff member
Mod
Lifetime Supporter HBT Supporter
Joined
Jan 9, 2013
Messages
17,061
Reaction score
7,189
Location
Pasadena, MD
The ballon technique I thought to be a really interesting and clever idea. I will have to get a couple next time I’m in the supermarket. I take it you just attach it to a piece of hose and fit that in the airlock bung. Potential after the first few days of aggressive fermentation.
There are a bunch of posts on fitting a helium balloon to capture and dispense fermentation CO2. Do a search.

One thing that was pointed out, some (or most) of those balloons have a built-in (check) valve, that needs to be removed. I also read that there was an obnoxious smell inside such balloon. So maybe air it out for a couple of days.
 
OP
B

Bomber fridgmenter

Well-Known Member
Joined
Feb 20, 2021
Messages
68
Reaction score
33
Update. Decided as fermentation looks like it’s getting very slow, decided to dry hope. Thinking being, that if there is still a little CO2 being produced it will replace any oxygen that may be introduced to the top of the FV.
Had to pop one side of the lid and shoot the hop pellets straight in. Then resealed the lid. While the bubbler was removed, I slid a sanitised racking cane through the bung and drew a sample into the trial jar.
SG is currently 1.015. Target is 1.011 so possibly a little way to go. Tasted the beer from the trial jar. Overall tasted nice. A little hoppy, a little sweetness and I would say just a trace of fruit/ banana but very minimal. It was also slightly fizzy/zingy on the tongue. Not sure if that’s yeast or CO2.
Plan now is to leave it till next weekend, then possibly get another sample as that appears to be fairly easy through the bung with minimal invasion.
Not sure if I should leave the temp were it is or increase it slowly over a few days towards 23C.
Your thoughts would be appreciated. Currently it’s sitting at 21C as it has been from the start.
 
Last edited:
OP
B

Bomber fridgmenter

Well-Known Member
Joined
Feb 20, 2021
Messages
68
Reaction score
33
Just curious, how do you start the siphon?
I know where your going. lol
Sucked it but then lifted the cane out of the beer so direction of flow was always towards the trial jar. Very conscious of backward flow, and had a couple of practices first with the sanitiser to perfect technique and see what was going to happen.
 

IslandLizard

Progressive Brewing
Staff member
Mod
Lifetime Supporter HBT Supporter
Joined
Jan 9, 2013
Messages
17,061
Reaction score
7,189
Location
Pasadena, MD
I know where your going. lol
Sucked it but then lifted the cane out of the beer so direction of flow was always towards the trial jar. Very conscious of backward flow, and had a couple of practices first with the sanitiser to perfect technique and see what was going to happen.
:rock:
Lifting the cane out of the beer is the only way to stop the siphon and prevent backflow. That is, as long as the hose attached to the top of the cane ends below the bottom of the cane...

I've been using a 2' skinny piece of hose to do the same. That hose dwells on the bottom of my Starsan bucket.
 
OP
B

Bomber fridgmenter

Well-Known Member
Joined
Feb 20, 2021
Messages
68
Reaction score
33
[QUOTE="IslandLizard, That hose dwells on the bottom of my Starsan bucket.
[/QUOTE]
Yep I’ve left mine in a 5l bucket with 1/2l of Chemsan in it. 👍
Still can’t make my mind up wether the temperature should go up a little just to help the yeast finish off, or leave it were it is. I understand the temp rise will just boost the yeast a little. Not sure of the negatives associated with it and wether that outweighs the benefits.
 

IslandLizard

Progressive Brewing
Staff member
Mod
Lifetime Supporter HBT Supporter
Joined
Jan 9, 2013
Messages
17,061
Reaction score
7,189
Location
Pasadena, MD
Yep I’ve left mine in a 5l bucket with 1/2l of Chemsan in it. 👍
Still can’t make my mind up wether the temperature should go up a little just to help the yeast finish off, or leave it were it is. I understand the temp rise will just boost the yeast a little. Not sure of the negatives associated with it and wether that outweighs the benefits.
Brilliant minds...

Sorry, I missed you had asked that before:
Not sure if I should leave the temp were it is or increase it slowly over a few days towards 23C.
Your thoughts would be appreciated. Currently it’s sitting at 21C as it has been from the start.
Yeah, you can surely raise the temps a few degrees toward the end. It helps the yeast to finish out, and accelerates clean up, conditioning.
It's actually suggested to do that.

There are no negatives to that, AFAIK, only benefits. The flavor profile was already set during the early stages, that's why tight temp control is so important during that time.
 
OP
B

Bomber fridgmenter

Well-Known Member
Joined
Feb 20, 2021
Messages
68
Reaction score
33
Brilliant minds...

Sorry, I missed you had asked that before:

Yeah, you can surely raise the temps a few degrees toward the end. It helps the yeast to finish out, and accelerates clean up, conditioning.
It's actually suggested to do that.

There are no negatives to that, AFAIK, only benefits. The flavor profile was already set during the early stages, that's why tight temp control is so important during that time.
1/2C per day enough and what would you consider a max. Instructions said to brew between 20-25C. So do I go the full way out to 25C or just part way to 23C. I brewed @ 21C, which we considered a few days ago to possibly been a little high. Recommendations to brew the next at 18-19C to minimise the Isosmyl acetate.
 

IslandLizard

Progressive Brewing
Staff member
Mod
Lifetime Supporter HBT Supporter
Joined
Jan 9, 2013
Messages
17,061
Reaction score
7,189
Location
Pasadena, MD
1/2C per day enough and what would you consider a max. Instructions said to brew between 20-25C. So do I go the full way out to 25C or just part way to 23C. I brewed @ 21C, which we considered a few days ago to possibly been a little high. Recommendations to brew the next at 18-19C to minimise the Isosmyl acetate.
23.3C (74F) is about the limit, I'd say. Unless it's a Saison, Kveik, or other high temp yeast.

With only a few points left, you're really not fermenting much anymore (with the yeast you pitched). The larger, more complex sugars (maltotriose mainly) are going to be left, hence your final gravity will be 8-12 points above 1.000.

Exactly, since you started at higher temps, ramping at this point is more of an academic exercise, but it won't hurt.
 
OP
B

Bomber fridgmenter

Well-Known Member
Joined
Feb 20, 2021
Messages
68
Reaction score
33
23.3C (74F) is about the limit, I'd say. Unless it's a Saison, Kveik, or other high temp yeast.

With only a few points left, you're really not fermenting much anymore (with the yeast you pitched). The larger, more complex sugars (maltotriose mainly) are going to be left, hence your final gravity will be 8-12 points above 1.000.

Exactly, since you started at higher temps, ramping at this point is more of an academic exercise, but it won't hurt.
Pushed it up 0.5C last night, to 21.5C. Going to go another 0.5C this morning. Then 0.5C this afternoon. Can have it at 23C tomorrow.
Is it accepted that this is left until bottling day or just for a few days then drop it back to around 19-20C a few days before bottling.
 

IslandLizard

Progressive Brewing
Staff member
Mod
Lifetime Supporter HBT Supporter
Joined
Jan 9, 2013
Messages
17,061
Reaction score
7,189
Location
Pasadena, MD
Is it accepted that this is left until bottling day or just for a few days then drop it back to around 19-20C a few days before bottling.
No, there's no point dropping it a few degrees before bottling, unless you want to cold crash it. It will condition better/faster at the slightly higher temps.
You can bottle as soon as the gravity is the same after 3 days and close to your expected FG. If you can't do it that day, just let it be at the elevated temps for up to a week. The problem with lowering the temps is that air gets sucked in.
 
OP
B

Bomber fridgmenter

Well-Known Member
Joined
Feb 20, 2021
Messages
68
Reaction score
33
No, there's no point dropping it a few degrees before bottling, unless you want to cold crash it. It will condition better/faster at the slightly higher temps.
You can bottle as soon as the gravity is the same after 3 days and close to your expected FG. If you can't do it that day, just let it be at the elevated temps for up to a week. The problem with lowering the temps is that air gets sucked in.
Good point regarding temperature drop and air ingress. How far would you expect the FG to drop. Will it make the 1.011 or do they sometimes not quiet make it considering it’s moved from 1.046-1.015 in 12 days. Is it likely that the last 4 points will drop?
 

eric19312

Supporting Member
HBT Supporter
Joined
Dec 5, 2012
Messages
3,471
Reaction score
1,930
Location
Long Island
Go back to post 30...try to be patient and leave the beer alone. Don't cold crash because you don't have way yet to prevent air suckback.

I think you are at 2 weeks now. This is a moderate gravity ale fermented on the warm side with plenty of yeast. It probably was done before 1 week but giving it more time provides assurance it is done and lets it condition on the yeast for some time which won't hurt it yet (some of the yeast is undoubtedly starting to die off and over time that "autolysis" can cause off flavors but not something to worry about yet).

Your final gravity is a bit higher than expected per kit instructions but not by much. Did you correct the gravity reading for the sample temperature? The dry hops you added may also give you a bit more fermentation.

Give it another week and get it into bottles.
 
OP
B

Bomber fridgmenter

Well-Known Member
Joined
Feb 20, 2021
Messages
68
Reaction score
33
Go back to post 30...try to be patient and leave the beer alone. Don't cold crash because you don't have way yet to prevent air suckback.

I think you are at 2 weeks now. This is a moderate gravity ale fermented on the warm side with plenty of yeast. It probably was done before 1 week but giving it more time provides assurance it is done and lets it condition on the yeast for some time which won't hurt it yet (some of the yeast is undoubtedly starting to die off and over time that "autolysis" can cause off flavors but not something to worry about yet).

Your final gravity is a bit higher than expected per kit instructions but not by much. Did you correct the gravity reading for the sample temperature? The dry hops you added may also give you a bit more fermentation.

Give it another week and get it into bottles.
Awesome info thanks.
yep, certainly not in a hurry to get it bottled. Infact slightly the opposite, I’m more nervous about playing with it and mucking it up. Just want to do the right thing, that gives the highest percentage of a good outcome.
yes 14 days will be tomorrow. Definitely won’t be lowering temp but have nudged it up a touch to try and encourage the yeast to do as much as is can.
definitely appear to have a very slight positive pressure in the FV as the level in the bubbler is not even, so hopefully the yeast is still working slowly. Currently bottling is booked for week today. Fingers crossed that 7 days will get the FG down another 2-3 points.
Does this seem like a sensible plan.
 

eric19312

Supporting Member
HBT Supporter
Joined
Dec 5, 2012
Messages
3,471
Reaction score
1,930
Location
Long Island
yes it is sensible but if gravity is unchanged in a week don't worry it is beer, get it into bottles and start a new batch. I cam imagine in about 2 weeks you are going to have a lot of questions about when it is ready to drink...

So to head that off...hold 3 weeks after bottling at room temperature followed by several days in the fridge before opening.
 

faithie999

Member
Joined
Jun 27, 2008
Messages
24
Reaction score
10
I agree with eric19312 to wait 3 weeks after bottling to crack one open. you'll probably find info here and elsewhere that the carbonation will be mostly complete after a week, but the beer will taste "green" for a couple of weeks after that. hence the 3-week advice.
 
OP
B

Bomber fridgmenter

Well-Known Member
Joined
Feb 20, 2021
Messages
68
Reaction score
33
yes it is sensible but if gravity is unchanged in a week don't worry it is beer, get it into bottles and start a new batch. I cam imagine in about 2 weeks you are going to have a lot of questions about when it is ready to drink...

So to head that off...hold 3 weeks after bottling at room temperature followed by several days in the fridge before opening.
Such a clever guy to see that coming. 😂
Yep next kit is here and ready to go and the third should be delivered tomorrow.
hopefully now I’ve seen this one through with help from you guys, I can take those snippets of info and know what’s coming.
 
OP
B

Bomber fridgmenter

Well-Known Member
Joined
Feb 20, 2021
Messages
68
Reaction score
33
I agree with eric19312 to wait 3 weeks after bottling to crack one open. you'll probably find info here and elsewhere that the carbonation will be mostly complete after a week, but the beer will taste "green" for a couple of weeks after that. hence the 3-week advice.
Definitely leaving the 3 weeks. Hopefully those first 2 weeks I can get this batch in their bottles in the fermentation fridge with the second in it’s FV. 🤞 there’s room.
 
OP
B

Bomber fridgmenter

Well-Known Member
Joined
Feb 20, 2021
Messages
68
Reaction score
33
Quick update and a thanks so far.
Bottling day booked for Monday and in prep took a sample today to see if there was any change.
SG has dropped from 1015 at the beginning of the week, to 1011 which is the target for the kit. Awesome, not sure if the slight rise in temp brought that about or as one of you guys mentioned, adding the hops.
Tasted the sample. Very different from the beginning of the week. The slight fizziness has gone, as has the slight sweetness. The hops have made a very nice addition too. Other than it being flat I have drank worst commercial beers.
As long as I don’t make any errors Monday through the bottling process, it’s looking like in 3-4 weeks time I should have a very pleasant beer.
Thanks again guys for helping to get me to this point. The info has been awesome.
 
OP
B

Bomber fridgmenter

Well-Known Member
Joined
Feb 20, 2021
Messages
68
Reaction score
33
Checked the gravity today. Still the same as Thursday 1.011. So racked onto the dissolved priming sugar and bottled 40 bottles. Placed them onto the shelves in the fermentation fridge and set the temp to 19C for a 2 week stay.
Hopefully the second batch will be started tomorrow. Need to dig out a set of scales first to calibrate my FV. Then just need to decide wether to brew the Cwtch or the old Suffolk strong.
 
OP
B

Bomber fridgmenter

Well-Known Member
Joined
Feb 20, 2021
Messages
68
Reaction score
33
So the Pilgrims hope was bottled. Spent 2 weeks in the fermentation fridge with the second batch fermenting. On Sunday bottles were removed and crated, 4 placed in the fridge to cool. The plastic bottles being nice and firm. Today I opened the first to try. Carbonation is excellent. Very nice thick head that remained for the entire duration of drinking. Body is good flavour nice. Only thing I can detect is a slight yeast taste on the finish. Other than that very drinkable.
 

blackbeer

Well-Known Member
Joined
Feb 12, 2015
Messages
197
Reaction score
51
patience will be rewarded. 6 weeks and it will be a different beer. i like to let mine sit at least 2 - 3 weeks to carb and then 2-3 weeks in the fridge. my stronger beers hit their stride at 6 or more months.
 
Top