First brew story and questions

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Well-Known Member
Jan 2, 2008
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Traverse City, MI
Well, Last night I had a little, well, ticked off moment. I was looking at my cool brew toys and checking if any fermentation was left on my first batch that has been in the fermenter for about 8 days now. And while looking at all of my equipment I saw the "sanitizer" that the HBS gave with my kit. Come to find out it is only a cleaner, very similar to oxyclean. So in other words NONE of my stuff was truly sanitized :( ; however, the hydrometer sample that I pulled out did not taste horrible or anything, just a little bit bland. But it had a slight cidery smell if you got you nose right in it. But when I would spilled a little bit on a paper towel, it smelled like... well, beer.

So anyway I am probably going to just take the risk and bottle this stuff up anyway. Probably try to take another hydro reading to make sure fermentation is complete.
My questions are more or less how in the heck do you get a proper hydro sample out of one of these brew buckets, its not a carboy. For my first one I took off the airlock and siphoned into the test tube, which cause a mess of beer on my kitchen floor. I am just worried that if I take the top off I will let off all co2 above the brew and then something bad will get in. I have already opened it to get a good smell and that was a couple days after a bubble would pop up every 10 minutes or so. Right now I could sit there for probably days for any bubble to come up, if one ever would, In fact the water is starting to creep up the airlock instead of out.

OG was 1.035 and last reading was 1.010, this is a coopers real ale kit with about a pound of sugar added to the wort.
I just pop the lid and use a sanitized turkey baster, CO2 is heavier than air so it won't all fly out of the bucket or anything.
The slight cidery flavor you're getting is from the pound of corn sugar. That tends to make a thinner, drier beer as well as give a slight cider flavor. Next time, replace the corn sugar with some dry malt extract and it'll be much better!

What's the name of the "cleaner"? I have one that is marked a cleaner, but is actually a sanitizert, too.
brewawan said:
Relax...Have a homebrew. This is just a hobby so it is all trial and error anyway.

How can I relax and have a homebrew if this is my first batch? :)

I just have this feeling that I rushed this batch a little to much. I am a very patient person so I can let stuff sit for ages and not get bothered by it but I just am not sure if I should have rushed to take the hydro reading at the time I did. I think the beer is finished fermenting but it is still cloudy. Its been three days since last hydro reading. I will pull another one tonight and if it is not dropping anymore I will bottle and just wait it out.

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