Just bought a kit! 3 questions

Homebrew Talk - Beer, Wine, Mead, & Cider Brewing Discussion Forum

Help Support Homebrew Talk:

brewer1222

Active Member
Joined
Aug 31, 2008
Messages
38
Reaction score
0
I just bought a kit! My brewing conditions aren't optimal - I could use your help with a few things

1. I only have a primary fermenter and I have to leave town for 4 weeks after brewing. Is it okay to leave the beer (German Hefeweizen) for that long in the primary without bottling it? I bought Hefeweizen as well because it will ferment OK at room temperature. In general is there a problem with leaving beers in the primary fermenter for longer periods of time than 3 weeks?

2. I brewed with my friend a few times and he had trouble getting the wort to boil (at a sufficiently high temp) unless the lid was on. Boiling with the lid on apparently "leads to vegetable flavors" and also boil over. Do you boil with the lid on or off?

3. My plan is to just leave the fermenter in a dark corner of the house - temp should be under 75. Anything else I could do to keep it cool? I won't be able to touch the setup for 3 weeks.
 

HoppyDaze

Supporting Member
HBT Supporter
Joined
Dec 10, 2008
Messages
13,926
Reaction score
4,329
Location
Lake Oswego
1. yes...under 70F preferably

2. lid on until boil (heats up faster) lid OFF during boil

3. with the fermenter in a container that holds water, put a tee-shirt over it and blow a fan on it. The more water you have, the longer it will last.
 

Munsoned

Well-Known Member
Joined
Mar 23, 2009
Messages
642
Reaction score
1
Location
DC Metro
Can't say it any better than BobcatBrew. Only thing I'd add is that the primary should be fine for 3-4 weeks with no problem. I do mine for 28 days for every brew as a matter of general practice. I also skip the secondary unless it's *needed* for something like adding fruit, dry hopping, etc. For a plain-old hefe, you don't need it.
 
OP
brewer1222

brewer1222

Active Member
Joined
Aug 31, 2008
Messages
38
Reaction score
0
I also have liquid yeast in a small bottle - it's in the fridge at the moment. The guys at the shop just said put it in your pocket and shake it and you're ready to go. I still need a yeast starter, correct?
 

HoppyDaze

Supporting Member
HBT Supporter
Joined
Dec 10, 2008
Messages
13,926
Reaction score
4,329
Location
Lake Oswego
I would make a starter....there should be 100,000 topics regarding starters around here. You might as well start off on the right foot
 

Arkador

Well-Known Member
Joined
Apr 16, 2009
Messages
1,700
Reaction score
20
Location
Fort Worth, TX
Bobcat has excelent answers to all of your qustions.

you don't NEED to make a starter with a vial of White Labs yeast, but it is prefered if you can.

the swamp cooler is a great cheap way to keep your fermentation temps cooler, and should be able to drop the temp of your fermenter by about 8-10 degrees.
 

artyusmc

Well-Known Member
Joined
Sep 30, 2008
Messages
446
Reaction score
4
Location
tehachapi
congrats and as the other posters stated you 'll have no probelms recently did the swamp cooler with rubber made bucket with no probelms. again congrats and enjoy the hobby
 
OP
brewer1222

brewer1222

Active Member
Joined
Aug 31, 2008
Messages
38
Reaction score
0
I have a grain bag - should I put the hops in the bag or mix them in the kettle?
 
OP
brewer1222

brewer1222

Active Member
Joined
Aug 31, 2008
Messages
38
Reaction score
0
I dont have a strainer so theyre either in the bag or going into the fermenter as sludge
 

yeoldebrewer

Well-Known Member
Joined
Sep 3, 2008
Messages
446
Reaction score
4
Location
American Southwest
If temps in your house fluctuate, you might have success with putting your fermenter in a tub (some use a bathtub) of water. That's assuming there is no valve on the fermenter bucket to become infected, and also if your tap water is cool enough. Keeping the wort temperature steady is almost as important as keeping it cool.

Using a hops bag is optional. Your beer may be a bit clearer using a bag. But putting the whole shebang in the fermenter probably won't hurt the taste of the beer.

Good luck and keep us posted.
 

Arkador

Well-Known Member
Joined
Apr 16, 2009
Messages
1,700
Reaction score
20
Location
Fort Worth, TX
I have a grain bag - should I put the hops in the bag or mix them in the kettle?
I rinse out my grain bag after I am done steeping them, and reuse the bag for hops. Using a bag for hops has the benefit that you can remove them when you flame out, rather than having to wait for it to cool before straining them out.
 

kanderna

Well-Known Member
Lifetime Supporter
Joined
Jun 15, 2009
Messages
94
Reaction score
3
Location
Des Moines
I just bought a kit! My brewing conditions aren't optimal - I could use your help with a few things

1. I only have a primary fermenter and I have to leave town for 4 weeks after brewing. Is it okay to leave the beer (German Hefeweizen) for that long in the primary without bottling it?
There's probably something to be said for those things that CAN happen during the early stages (clogged airlock, etc.)

I've never had a problem, but have read plenty of stories where people come home to krausen on the walls and ceiling. So if NOBODY will be home to at least take a look, you could come home to a surprise. Someone with more experience can talk to how much you should worry about this.
 

beerkrump

Well-Known Member
Joined
Mar 26, 2009
Messages
2,109
Reaction score
19
Location
Triune, TN
To avoid the above described issue, just attach a blow off tube and you'll have one less worry.
 
Top