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First try, really simple

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oddsock

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I'm going to try my first brew sometime this week. It's going to be very simple, partly because I don't have easy access to a brew store and I don't have enough patience to order more stuff.

I've got a can of Coopers Real Ale (3.75lb) LME and their yeast packet, and about 1.9lb of Muntons Extra Light DME (left over from my brother's recent batch).

The Coopers directions say to add 1kg of white sugar, but everything I've read says to use more malt instead. I'm not quite sure how much of the DME to add in place of the sugar. It seems like I should be ok using all of it, but that isn't very scientific. :)

The OG Coopers predicts is 1.042. Should I boil my extracts, then top off with tap water to reach 1.042?
 

EvilTOJ

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Welcome to the forum!

Go ahead and use the remainder of the DME instead of sugar, the fermentables will be about the same and your beer will taste a lot better. Also, boil the extracts, and then top up with water to 5 gallons.
 

CarbonRiver

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Made my first batch last weekend and have it in the primary bucket now. Had the same concern where the recipie that came with my kit called for brown surgar (7lbs Amber LME + 0.5lbs brown sugar I think was what it called for). Instructions said it would produce a 1.050 OG when topped off at 5G.

Based on what I'd read here, along with a general feeling that refined sugar didn't belong in my first batch of beer, I used 0.5lbs of amber DME instead. I'm not sure if it made the diference or if I messed up somewhere else (certainly possible as I stumbled through my first try) but my actual OG seemed to come out at 1.060 instead. DOPE, just realized I forgot to take a temp check when I went back and tested OG though so that could be big cause of error in the reading, at least that isn't a step that effects what goes on in my fermentation bucket.

I used an activator pack of 1028 London Ale yeast (no starter for this batch) and started getting bubbles every 3 seconds within 24 hours at around 65 degrees so the yeast certainly didn't seem to mind the substitution. Hopefully if my OG really was higher the yeast won't have a problem making something tasty with the extra sugars. Will have to wait a few more weeks I guess to find out :)
 
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oddsock

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Well, I started by brew on Wednesday and it seems to be going strong. I rehydrated the yeast as described in the "how to brew" book. I figured I'd ferment in my carboy and then transfer to the larger bucket to bottle. My OG was 1.046.

By 12 hours in it was bubbling rapidly, and by 18 hours it was pushing foam out the airlock. I switched from a bubbler type over to a blow-off hose instead. Maybe I should have fermented in the bucket?

So now I'm wondering if I need to rack to a secondary for awhile before bottling. Looks like there is lots of info about that question here, so I'm reading up. :)
 

BierMuncher

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oddsock said:
...So now I'm wondering if I need to rack to a secondary for awhile before bottling. Looks like there is lots of info about that question here, so I'm reading up. :)
Leave it in the primary for at least 10 days. You have a heavy enough beer (1.060) that the yeast will need to clean up after themselves in the primary. After that...go ahead and secondary for 2 weeks, then bottle.

And as for bottling...my mantra:

3 weeks at 70 degrees
3 weeks at 70 degrees
3 weeks at 70 degrees
3 weeks at 70 degrees
3 weeks at 70 degrees

No less...no cooler.

Don't be one of those posts in two weeks complaining that your beer is flat. :D
 
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oddsock

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BierMuncher said:
Leave it in the primary for at least 10 days. You have a heavy enough beer (1.060) that the yeast will need to clean up after themselves in the primary. After that...go ahead and secondary for 2 weeks, then bottle.

And as for bottling...my mantra:

3 weeks at 70 degrees
3 weeks at 70 degrees
3 weeks at 70 degrees
3 weeks at 70 degrees
3 weeks at 70 degrees

No less...no cooler.

Don't be one of those posts in two weeks complaining that your beer is flat. :D
But I want to drink it NOW!! :cross: A few bottles may mysteriously disappear before 3 weeks is up... :mug:

The room my fermenter is in is about 70-75F. My OG was actually only 1.046, not 1.060, that was CarbonRiver's batch. I didn't adjust for temp though.

Does your advice for timing still apply with the lower OG?
 

damo

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i have recently put down an ale and the lhbs told me recipe 3 in sugar dextrose multidextron and malt wheather that means anything to yu guys (maybe different scientific names/recipe numbers in australia)
 

Joker

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oddsock said:
Does your advice for timing still apply with the lower OG?
Yep you will still need roughly 3 weeks to get carbonation in the bottles.
 
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oddsock

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So I racked from my primary to the bottling bucket today. No trouble moving the beer, I don't think I got much yeast with it.

I had planned to leave the it to settle in the bucket for a day before bottling, but now I've realized that I forgot to put the sugar solution in the bucket before racking.... :mad:

I've read that you shouldn't stir the sugar into the beer because of oxygen getting into it, so I guess I'm going to rack to another bucket tomorrow when I have time, then bottle.

Would it have been ok to rack onto the priming sugar and leave it for a day to settle before bottling? Or is that day not needed at all?
 

Yooper

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You don't want to rack it and then leave it for a day! You want to rack it and bottle immediately. There are a couple of reasons- one is that you're adding priming sugar which will carbonate your beer. If you add the sugar and don't bottle, the yeast will eat some of that sugar while in the bucket and you will not have carbonation in your bottles. Two, you don't want to aerate your beer. Each time you rack, you expose your beer to oxygen. This is minimal if you rack carefully, but you want to get it into bottles ASAP once you put it in your bottling bucket.

If it was me, I would gently stir in the priming solution with a long sanitized spoon without splashing and bottle that beer.
 
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oddsock

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well, I ended up racking it to another bucket onto the sugar. I don't think there was much splashing, I was as careful as I could be. :)

It turned out to be pretty decent! Not much character to it, and maltier than I expected, but I've enjoyed drinking it for sure. I left the bottles alone for almost three weeks before I started in on them, and I've got 5 left now. :D

Thanks for the advice guys!
 
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