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Just Got Done My First Brew

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BNVince

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So, I went with Hank's Hefewiezen from midwestsupplies. By the way, they forgot to send me the bottling spigot. I called them up and the girl said she will ship it out first thing tomorrow. Great service.

Anyway, I thought I'd put down some of the trials and tribulations so far in the first brew. Here is the recipe:

6lbs Wheat Malt Extract
1lb Light DME
.5lb Carapils
1oz Tettnanger Pellet Hops
WhiteLabs Hefeweizen Pitchable Yeast

First off, the instructions from MidwestSupplies were a bit vague with the water amounts. It said do 1.5-2 gallons in the boil and 3.5-4 gallons in the bucket. So I didn't really know where to start off. Anyway here is the run down of what happened:

1.5 gallons of water in the boil
4.5 gallons of water in the bucket

7:30 Everyone into the fermenting bucket for sanitizing.
8:02 Added steeping grains (Water temp 169 degrees)
8:32 Removed grains (Temp was 161 degress)
Temperature control was an issue with the steeping but it never went over 169 or under 155.
8:32 Add both extracts off the heat
8:40 Start high heat to begin boil
8:57 Boil Begins
9:00 Hops added
No boil overs which was lucky. Once the hops got added the boil got vicious.
10:00 Off the boil
10:01 Poured water to 4.5 gallons of water (initial temperature was 93 degrees)
10:16 Took a hydrometer reading at 78 degrees. SG was 1.052
10:22 Temperature was 75 degress. Shook up yeast and pitched. Closed up the top and shook the hell out of the fermenter.

Now all I can do is wait. One thing that is curious is that Midwest supplies says the OG should be 1.049. I put the recipe into qbrew and it's telling me 1.054 which happens to be where I was at considering the temperature. I'm not sure what to make of that.

Anyway, lets all pray I wake up to some bubbling.
 

Blender

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Congratulations on the 1st brew. Try to keep the temperature at 72 or a bit less and don't be to impatient with primary fermentation. Let the yeast work their magic for a couple of weeks even if there is no airlock activity. I fermented mine in 2 weeks in primary and then bottled.

I'm curious as how thick is the wort when adding all that extract to 2 gallons? It sounds like it would be rather thick.

Plan your next batch soon as the first one usually disappears quickly.:)
 
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BNVince

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Blender said:
I'm curious as how thick is the wort when adding all that extract to 2 gallons? It sounds like it would be rather thick.
It wasn't that thick at all. It was certainly very dark looking compared to what a hefeweizen should look like but once I added it to the other 4 gallons the color seriously mellowed out.

I checked the airlock this morning, which would be about 9 hours after pitching the yeast, and their was no activity. No biggy.

Blender said:
Plan your next batch soon as the first one usually disappears quickly.:)
I'm trying. I want to do a chocolate stout but it's tough to get a concensus on what the recipe should look like.
 

malkore

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its 2 gallons in the pot, and then you add enough water in the bucket AFTER the boil, to give you 5 gallons. You'll likely be down to 1.5gallons by the end of the boil. cool it to 80 degrees, then pour into the bucket. stir it like a mofo.
then pour in the cool water on top, to bring total volume to 5 gallons.
stir like a mofo.

pitch and seal.
 

Wrey

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What about using the hose extension on my sink to help areate the wort before pitching. We used it last time (since the primary was on the floor) and by the end there were so many bubbles we had to let it sit for 15 minutes before we could get a SG reading.
 

frothdaddy

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Wrey said:
What about using the hose extension on my sink to help areate the wort before pitching. We used it last time (since the primary was on the floor) and by the end there were so many bubbles we had to let it sit for 15 minutes before we could get a SG reading.
Shouldn't all water added to the wort be boiled?
 

Driftless Brewer

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frothdaddy said:
Shouldn't all water added to the wort be boiled?
I always top off with water straight from the tap (through my hose extention) and I've never had a problem. That being said, you should know the quality of your city's water before doing this. Nasty water = Nasty beer.
 
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BNVince

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Well it's been exactly 24 hours and there is no activity in the airlock. That would really bruise my ego if my first brew was a failure.

The fermenter is sitting in an area that is 69 degrees steady. The only thing I can think of is that the yeast was bad. When I got it, the bottle was very warm from the shipping. I let it cool to room temperature before pitching.

When I pitched the yeast I shook up the bottle and when I opened it it started gushing. I took that as a good sign.

Oh well. We'll see what tomorrow brings.
 

Thalon

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frothdaddy said:
Shouldn't all water added to the wort be boiled?
For sanitation, yes it should. For aeration, no it shouldn't. :) Basically the longer you boil water, the less oxygen is dissolved in it, with a 60 minute boil releasing pretty much all dissolved oxygen. One of the purposes of doing a partial boil and adding water later is to keep the dissolved oxygen in the top-off water so it's not as necessary to worry about aeration. But there is a possibility you're introducing something unwanted to the wort if the top-off water hasn't had anything at all done to it to kill the baddies. Even maintaining a 170*F temp for 15 minutes should kill off most all the bacteria without boiling, if that's more feasible than boiling it. Or use Reverse Osmosis filtered water, that should be pretty safe too.

There's a lot of people who skip out on some of these nit-picky sanitation guidelines and make perfectly fine beer. But there's the info as to why, so you can make your own decision.
 

Driftless Brewer

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BNVince said:
Well it's been exactly 24 hours and there is no activity in the airlock. That would really bruise my ego if my first brew was a failure.

Are you in a bucket or a carboy? If you're in a bucket, double check that your lid is on tightly. If you're in a carboy, see if there are any bubbles forming in the the wort or on the surface of the wort. If everything looks still, give it one more day then you'll want to pitch some more yeast on it.
 
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BNVince

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Driftless Brewer said:
Are you in a bucket or a carboy? If you're in a bucket, double check that your lid is on tightly. If you're in a carboy, see if there are any bubbles forming in the the wort or on the surface of the wort. If everything looks still, give it one more day then you'll want to pitch some more yeast on it.
In a bucket.
 

GIusedtoBe

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BNVince said:
When I pitched the yeast I shook up the bottle and when I opened it it started gushing. I took that as a good sign.
I used White Labs yeast on a brew recently and had the same exact thing happen. The guy at the HBS told me to let it come to room temp and then shake it up and then pitch. He failed to tell me it was going to be like a shook up beer or coke. :mad: I lost at least half of my yeast. I pitched the rest and got activity within 24 hours. It sounds like yours got hot so it may have been nuked. I used a starter with Wyeast on my last brew and when I pitched, the activity was almost immediate. Most of the posts I've seen regarding non starting fermentation recommend waiting 48-72 hours before re-pitching especially when using liquid yeast w/ no starter. I'm really sold on the starter, it takes out all worry of whether your yeast is active or not.


Good Luck
Al
 
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