First time making beer, what next?

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Hello all;
Let me start by saying this is not my first time fermenting things. I've made a few batches of mead, wine and shine. I have never brewed beer. I have a hydrometer. And a proof and tralle for the still.
I thought beer might be easy to make give my experience. So I buy a summer shandy clone extract kit. I bought a wort chiller and hooked it up in the kitchen. I have a 13.2 ss pot. My fermentor is a 7 gallon bucket I got from local(not really local tho) brew shop.
So this is probably my fault, but I bought it in May to make it immediately when it came. As it turned out my plan to brew got cancelled due to other priorities. I didn't think to check the kit out. That was a huge mistake because this Friday as I'm following directions to start my first beer I realized during the grain steep that I'm missing 2.5 lbs of LME. I figured I had to continue so I went ahead and supplemented the LME with 2.5 lbs of corn sugar. I added all the sugar to the boil pot which I moved off the burner and used a big stainless wisk to mix until completely dissolved. I moved the pot back to the burner and turned the heat back on high. I continued to wisk until Temps got up to 200. I figured by then the sugars would be dissolved. At the start of the boil I added 60 minutes to my timer and dropped in my hops. I didn't have muslin for the hops so it was just free floating, another missing item from the kit. At the 15 minute left mark I tossed in the wort chiller. End of timer I turned on the wort chiller and cool to 80 as per my directions. I opened up the valve and dropped the wort into my fermentor. I topped up to 5 or so gallons and took an gravity reading that was 1.028. No good so I added in more corn sugar to it like 1.5 lbs which brought it up to 1.043. I figured that would be a good starting gravity. I mark it on my fermenter and notice I have about 5.5 gallons altogether. I go to pitch the yeast and there is none. I'm already pretty upset at this point that not everything was there, but come on yeast is essential in a beer kit. Well I check my yeast stash and I find lalvin d47 and bread yeast. I pitch the Lalvin because I felt it was a no brainer.
Now its been four days. Airlock activity has slowed. But I'm kind of worried because I keep reading and seeing videos of people saying sanitize everything. I do every time. But I realized after that I added dry corn sugar directly to cold wort and added air when I wisked it to dissolve to get my readings. The wisk was sanitized but the 2 minutes I wisked added air and I added dry unsanitized sugar to the wort.
What worries me is infection. I pitched yeast and got airlock activity almost exactly 6 hrs later. Then it rocketed full bore until last night. Now it bubbles like once every 5 seconds. I know all that means is there was activity and it slowed but I'm used to a longer more vigorous ferment when I make meads and wines. I'm used to 5-7 days of the airlock rocketing at full speed and then the slow rate in bubbles when I do my first rack.
So I was wondering if I even have beer at this point?
Or is it just grainy sugar water?
Did the wisk during the sugar addition and sugar addition itself at a cool temp cause problems?
How will I know when my ferment is done? I'm used to fermenting but those things always ferment to .999 and beer doesn't attenuate fully.
How long before I should cold crash? I was hoping Sunday since thats 10 days since I pitched yeast.
Should I rack to secondary? If so when? I'm assuming I'd want to cold crash then rack to secondary?
Sorry for the long read BTW.
Also I contacted the company yesterday and explained that the kit was missing half the stuff. I told them it was inconvenient and I got lucky because I had the corn sugar and yeast so I'm not upset as much as informing them to pay attention. I told them its really my fault because who doesn't double check ingredients and the kit was 4 months old. The guy on the phone took my name and number and said the owner would call me back in 2 weeks when he comes back from vacation so he can hear it himself. The owner called me 2 hrs later on his day off to hear what happened. He made a new shandy beer kit personally for me. It blew my mind this guy came in on his vacation to not only hear my complaint, but to resend me a kit that he put together himself on a order older than 3 months.
 
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Welcome to HomebrewTalk.

I bought it in May to make it immediately when it came. As it turned out my plan to brew got cancelled due to other priorities.
With kits, it's a good idea to store the ingredients properly. There are too many stories here of people who left the kits in the garage for six months, then wondered why their Pale Ale with "Golden Light" LME produced a brown ale :(.

It blew my mind this guy came in on his vacation to not only hear my complaint, but to resend me a kit that he put together himself on a order older than 3 months.
So far, they look like great place to purchase brewing supplies - even if the prices is a little less else where.
 

3 Dawg Night

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Yes, you'll have beer. With that much sugar, it will be a REALLY dry beer, but it will be beer.

Could you get an infection from the cold sugar addition? Sure, but there's really no way to know until you taste it. Even if it's infected, it might not be bad.

Four days to slowed airlock activity is not unlikely. Since you have a hydrometer, check your gravity. Once your gravity is constant for a couple of days, it's done. Cold crash and package.

Don't worry about a secondary; few brewers worry with it any more. It's just another opportunity for oxidation. Cold crash in primary and then bottle or keg.

I agree with @BrewnWKopperKat, that level of customer service deserves your continued business!

You are a brewer! Welcome to HBT!
 
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check your gravity.
I know that it started at 1.043 but I don't know where it ends. Will it be .999 or higher?
Will I get full attenuation?
I don't really want to open my fermentor for a few more days. I'm not in a rush and it's only been 4 days. But I will check it soon.
 
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1.013 as of right now. It was a dark liquid i put in the fermentor but it really pale now. Cloudy in my hydrometer jar and still off gassing in it as well. Tastes pretty yeasty but very good otherwise.
 

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Not knowing your actual recipe, it's impossible to say what your FG "should" be. Just keep an eye on the air lock. When you stop seeing activity (usually 7-14 days), take a sample measure gravity with your hydrometer. Wait 2 days and measure gravity again. If they're the same, it's done. If not, wait another 2 days and measure again.

Patience is the key. There's no harm in leaving it in the fermenter for up to a month (or more).
 
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Ok np. I don't mind waiting. I'm in no rush. I'm already happy with it. Ill check the gravity on Sunday then again in a few more days.
 

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Also I contacted the company yesterday and explained that the kit was missing half the stuff. I told them it was inconvenient and I got lucky because I had the corn sugar and yeast so I'm not upset as much as informing them to pay attention. I told them its really my fault because who doesn't double check ingredients and the kit was 4 months old. The guy on the phone took my name and number and said the owner would call me back in 2 weeks when he comes back from vacation so he can hear it himself. The owner called me 2 hrs later on his day off to hear what happened. He made a new shandy beer kit personally for me. It blew my mind this guy came in on his vacation to not only hear my complaint, but to resend me a kit that he put together himself on a order older than 3 months.
Sorry about the bad brew day- but please tell us about this great company who gave such great customer service? Please?
 
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Lmao maybe I will. I mean I literally only bought the beer kit and the wort chiller for this. My birthdays coming up. Maybe I should start small and add another fermentor or 2. I've got some peaches id like to make a melomel out of and a replacement beer kit so I have a few things lined up lol.
 

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I wasn't going to in case they weren't a sponsor. It turns out they are. Keg Connection was the company I got my kit from.
So I thank you Keg Connection, I greatly appreciate the care you took, especially during these hard times we are all enduring.
No way! I am friends with the owner of Keg Connection. That's awesome to hear- I spoke to him earlier today about his wife's birthday, but I would love to pass this along whole story to him if you give me permission.
I bought MY first keg set up from them as well, and that's how I met him. It was a long time ago, though! I'm getting a beer ingredient kit from them for an upcoming brewday.
 

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Well I did tell him I'm gonna tell everyone I can. And now that its online I can't stop you. But sure go ahead. I'm sure he would be happy to hear it.
I'm sure he would. I let him know. Thank you for your honest feedback- even if it wasn't someone I know, we all love hearing about stand-up quality companies.
 
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Honestly it impressed me. I've done a lot of digital shopping since the pandemic and everyone seems to blame simple problems on the pandemic as a scape goat. Like taking forever to respond to emails and phone calls. Or shipping the slowest way possible and blaming it on the pandemic. But to find out the guy was so concerned he did something immediately when there was an already established timeline of 2 weeks because he was on vacation just blew me away.
 

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Sounds like it’s going to be very light and very dry with the sugar and wine yeast. I wonder if it would be worth it to buy some LME , sterilize/blend it With some boiling water and pour in to boost the malt flavor. Or Cold crash what you have when it gets below 1.010 before it gets too dry?
 
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Sounds like it’s going to be very light and very dry with the sugar and wine yeast. I wonder if it would be worth it to buy some LME , sterilize/blend it With some boiling water and pour in to boost the malt flavor. Or Cold crash what you have when it gets below 1.010 before it gets too dry?
I am at 1.010 today. Guess I'll pop it in the fridge tonight.
How long can it stay in the fridge?
 

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You went from 1.013 yesterday to 1.010 today. I would not put it in the fridge yet. Wait until you get the same gravity reading a couple of days apart. That's your indication that it's done. If you bottle before the yeast is done, you may end up with bottle bombs, which is exactly what it sounds like. Better not to risk it.
 
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Nope. But wesbrew offered his opinion to cold crash at 1.008 to1.010. And the recipe says finishes at 1.008 to1.010. I know that doesn't mean much because I added the corn sugar supplement and the fg can potentially be much lower. And it was also less bubbly in my hydrometer test jar today than yesterday, which in my experience(mostly wines meads and sugar washes) its just residual co2 off gassing from the brew and its time to rack to secondary.
You went from 1.013 yesterday to 1.010 today. I would not put it in the fridge yet. Wait until you get the same gravity reading a couple of days apart. That's your indication that it's done. If you bottle before the yeast is done, you may end up with bottle bombs, which is exactly what it sounds like. Better not to risk it.
I understand. I don't even want to bottle til after Wednesday next week to begin with as I have so much other things to do. But let's say I have got the same reading consistently. Can I cold crash for more than 24 hrs? Do I have to bottle immediately or is there a few day window in which I can bottle?
 

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Nope. But wesbrew offered his opinion to cold crash at 1.008 to1.010. And the recipe says finishes at 1.008 to1.010. I know that doesn't mean much because I added the corn sugar supplement and the fg can potentially be much lower. And it was also less bubbly in my hydrometer test jar today than yesterday, which in my experience(mostly wines meads and sugar washes) its just residual co2 off gassing from the brew and its time to rack to secondary.

I understand. I don't even want to bottle til after Wednesday next week to begin with as I have so much other things to do. But let's say I have got the same reading consistently. Can I cold crash for more than 24 hrs? Do I have to bottle immediately or is there a few day window in which I can bottle?
You can cold crash for a days/weeks if you want. But if you're bottling you shouldn't do it until the beer is completely done fermenting
 

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I’m not saying it’s time , I’m wondering if there is a way to stop the wine yeast from fermenting this sugar-beer down to .01.
 

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I’m not saying it’s time , I’m wondering if there is a way to stop the wine yeast from fermenting this sugar-beer down to .01.
But then how will they bottle condition the beer? When fermentation restarts in the bottles the extra sugar will get eaten and could cause nasty bottle bombs.

If OP was kegging, it could work, but I don't think they are.
 
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No. I am not kegging. I'm going to bottle condition. After ferment is done. I'm in no rush. It seems beer is way faster all around than wine. And wine I found is way faster than mead. I have my questions answered. Well except what my fg will be but thats anyone's guess. And I need a recommendation on the lemonade packets. What do you guys prefer?
The recipe calls for 2 of them.
 

WESBREW

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But then how will they bottle condition the beer? When fermentation restarts in the bottles the extra sugar will get eaten and could cause nasty bottle bombs.

If OP was kegging, it could work, but I don't think they are.
Lol
But then how will they bottle condition the beer? When fermentation restarts in the bottles the extra sugar will get eaten and could cause nasty bottle bombs.

If OP was kegging, it could work, but I don't think they are.
!lol! Never mind. I thought you were kegging.
 
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So I figured I'd update you all on my progress. Well idk about the beers progress, but I just got this in the mail today!
16324185327337435143384137836172.jpg
16324186572623051466261640726584.jpg
Everything is there this time. BrewnWKopperKat said something about improper storage ruining color. How do you save the sugars and hops properly?
 
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So I figured I'd update you all on my progress. Well idk about the beers progress, but I just got this in the mail today!
View attachment 743303
View attachment 743304
Everything is there this time. BrewnWKopperKat said something about improper storage ruining color. How do you save the sugars and hops properly?
Longer term storage:
Short term (couple of days): ingredients will be ok at 'reasonable' room temperature range.
 
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Thanks!! I knew about the yeast, thats already in the fridge. I guess I can put the Bavarian wheat dme in a zip lock in the cabinet with my baking supplies.
On a side note I went to 2 grocery stores today and I could only find kool-aid brand lemonade packets that where the kind you add sugar to. All the other lemonades have sugar added.
 
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I have one final question about racking canes.
I went to find my old 3/8 auto siphon and I can no longer find it. It prompted me to order an 1/2in auto siphon and 1/2in bottle filler. I remember I had a hard time keeping my 3/8 going and actually felt I wasted money on it, but I've been reading on here that was a big issue with others that was resolved by either using 5/16th tubing or using the 3/8 tubing tubing with a number 4 hose clamp if I remember right which causes the siphon to no longer break as the 3/8 without a clamps suction from the siphon pulled air at the seem. I have not read about this happening with the 1/2in autosiphon and bottle filler tho I'm assuming it would be the same scenario.
Do I use 7/16 tubing or 1/2 tubing with a clamp?
 

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On a side note I went to 2 grocery stores today and I could only find kool-aid brand lemonade packets that where the kind you add sugar to. All the other lemonades have sugar added.
I'd just follow the recipe for it. The directions say "Add 2 packets of dry lemonade (unsweetened, 0.2-0.23 oz each) to the beer at packaging"
So, use the Kool-Aid. :)
 
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ok all. I have my beer cold crashing. I put it in the fridge this morning. 1.008 is my fg. Ill be bottling Monday night after a 48 hr cold crash. I'm excited to rack to bottling bucket. I have 48 beer bottles. I'm using a dishwasher to remove the labels and sanitize the bottles. I have a hand capper ill be using. Hoping I can drink a few in a few weeks for my birthday 2 weeks from monday.
 

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Sounds like you're on your way! You may want to pick up more bottles since you say you started with 5.5 gallons. You may need up to 60. Depending on the type bottles you have, hand cappers can be a bit of a pain. If you have problems with this batch you might want to look at bench cappers. Mine makes bottling day much better.
 
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I have 6 12 packs, only 48 are label free. I was assuming I'd get at least 4 12 packs worth minimum, and whatever is left after filling the 4 12 packs I was going to use 20 oz soda bottles for testing carbination levels every few days as was recommended to me. Idk if it matters but I'm assuming the point of the soda bottles is to not waste a pretty unopened beer to see if its ready when you can just crack the soda bottle and get all you need to know.
I have a scale to measure my priming(corn) sugar. I think for my beer I want something like 2.2 volumes of co2? I think that would be something like 4.65 oz of sugar and 2 cups water and 2 packs of lemonade boiled and added into my bottling bucket. I then rack the beer onto the sugar water and lay my siphon tube in a circle on the bucket bottom to allow for thorough mixing. I will then bottle, cap, wait til carbed enjoy.
 

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If you want to use the soda bottle to check carbonation, you really only need one (when it feels as firm as an unopened soda it's done) , but you'll pretty reliably reach full carbonation in a couple of weeks at room temperature so you can check one then to see. Just me, but I'd rather have the beer in beer bottles instead of soda bottles.
 
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I bottled yesterday evening. 53 beer. I drank 3 flat. Seemed pretty good. I didn't let it stay in the fridge long to clear completely, only about 30 hrs. I boiled the lemonade packets and sugar in 2 cups water. I forgot to measure the sugar by weight. I used a 1/2 cup measuring cup leveled plus 2 tablespoons priming sugar. I did notice on the fresh bottled beer it was lacking in lemonade flavor. I'm hoping it'll blend in more or else I'll need to add in a third packet for the next brew.
 

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Congrats! Great to get the fire one in the bottle. If you used corn sugar to prime you may be light on carbonation depending on what you want. Typical volume measure is 3/4 cup for 5 gallons. If you used table sugar, you'll be closer. I use 2/3 cup of that. Now on to the next one!
 
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Congrats! Great to get the fire one in the bottle. If you used corn sugar to prime you may be light on carbonation depending on what you want. Typical volume measure is 3/4 cup for 5 gallons. If you used table sugar, you'll be closer. I use 2/3 cup of that. Now on to the next one!
I actually started a peach wine after I bottled. Its bubbling away. I'm going to rack it over more peaches. Its got 16lbs of fruit 10lbs sugar in primary. I'm going to do a secondary with 16lbs of peaches and an extra 4lbs of sugar. I'm purposely trying to keep the alcohol low and peach flavor high. My starting gravity is 1.053.
The batch is 6.5 gallons.
 
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