Just Started My First Home Brewing

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Hello guys.

I've just finished the first few steps in my very first home brewing attempt and along the way I have a few worries and questions.

After mixing the lager malt, 1kg of sugar and 4 pints of slightly cooled boiling water into the fermenting bucket I then, as advised by the instructions, filled my fermenting bucket upto 23 litres with cold water - only problem is I thought this was too cold so added a few more litres of boiling water to raise the temp (so now its upto 28 litres) I then added the yeast sachet. Is having these extra litres going to have an adverse effect?

Its been in the fermenting bucket for a couple of hours now and doesnt really seem to be doing anything - some bubbles are appearing but very, very few indeed, is this normal?

Finally, how long generally is the mixture to be kept in the fermenting bucket before being bottled (and how long then generally is it kept in the bottle before you can drink it?)

Thanks in advanced for any help and suggestion.

P.S. do you think, baring in mind the couple of issues I've had, just binning this batch and buying a new tub and trying again or stick with this and see how it goes?
 

thristy

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depending on your org gravity I would say you have made a watered down brew for sure are you into light beers?
 

jezter6

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Let's see..you added water volume without increasing malt, therefore you'll have more beer, but with less fermentable sugars. In the end, you'll have a slightly less alcoholic brew, but it will still be beer.

Airlock is not an indicator of fermentation. often, it takes 48-72 hours for the yeasties to really get kicking, so you might not see things for a few days. A hydrometer is the only way to tell if it's fermenting or not, but I would wait it out a few days.

Remember, any small leak in the system means the CO2 produced by the yeast could be leaking out and not giving you visible airlock activity.

Generally speaking 2-3 weeks in the bucket (a hydrometer sample 3 days apart showing the same reading indicates the fermentation is truly done - which usually happens in a week to two weeks, although it won't hurt to wait a little longer to help it clear out and age slightly). It will also take about 2 weeks in the bottles, but have patience and give it time. Recommended wait time is about 3 weeks. Somewhere in that 2-3 week range, put one in the fridge for a day and then drink it. If it's carbed, then you're good to drink.

Patience will only make it better. The longer you wait (within reason) the better your brew is likely to be.

Don't ditch this one....just get another bucket and start another one. You'll be happy when your first batch is completely gone, that you have your second batch handy and ready to start drinking.
 

earwig

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Nothing will happen (bubbles in the airlock) for probably 8-12 hours. I would say to leave it alone. You should take a gravity reading today and then again in a few days to see how thinigs are going if you are concerned. If you don't know how to take gravity readings with a hydrometer a quick search on this site or bing/google will help. I'd also suggest getting a good thermometer and making sure the wort is approximately 22 degrees Celsius / 72 Fahrenheit. I posted this earlier, which shows a cool/easy way to make sure your temps are good: https://www.homebrewtalk.com/f39/nothern-rim-wheat-brew-pics-tips-167079/

You want to let it ferment for at least 2/3 weeks and then bottle/keg/move to secondary. If bottle conditioning, you will let it sit another 2/3 weeks.
 
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Thanks for the help.

It has definitely given me a bit more confidence about my brew now (kind of had the feeling I'd already messed it up) so thankyou.

Going to get myself a new bucket, can of the kit (may go for a bitter one this time) and a decent thermometer and get batch go on the go :)
 

Marsdude

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Hang in there. You will find a lot of great advice on this forum. I am also a noob just about to do my 5th brew. They each get a little better.

I have found I learn best by making mistakes - I should be a frikin genius brewer in another year or so. ;)
 
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Oh, just one more quick question (I promise that's it then....well for now anyway lol)

When its time to bottle the beer, what if you don't have enough bottles? Can you just leave the excess in the fermentation bucket? Or should I either just buy some more bottles (can I use empty Cola bottles - I seem to drink way too much Diet Coke so always have loads of those about lol) or buy a plastic keg?

Thanks :)
 

pkeeler

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After mixing the lager malt, 1kg of sugar and 4 pints of slightly cooled boiling water into the fermenting bucket I then, as advised by the instructions, filled my fermenting bucket upto 23 litres with cold water - only problem is I thought this was too cold so added a few more litres of boiling water to raise the temp (so now its upto 28 litres) I then added the yeast sachet. Is having these extra litres going to have an adverse effect?

Its been in the fermenting bucket for a couple of hours now and doesnt really seem to be doing anything - some bubbles are appearing but very, very few indeed, is this normal?
By any chance, did you note the temperature after you added the extra boiling water?
 
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By any chance, did you note the temperature after you added the extra boiling water?
Ummm, this is one of my many errors in my first attempt lol - wasn't told by the sales advisor when I was buying all the kit that I needed a thermometer so I didn't get one.

So unfortunately I wasn't able to take a temperature I just had to try and guess how warm I thought it should be :( so I went for slightly warm to the touch (not exactly high tech stuff I know but I had already gone too far to stop so thought I'd try it and hope for the best)
 

mikebowman

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Oh, just one more quick question (I promise that's it then....well for now anyway lol)

When its time to bottle the beer, what if you don't have enough bottles? Can you just leave the excess in the fermentation bucket? Or should I either just buy some more bottles (can I use empty Cola bottles - I seem to drink way too much Diet Coke so always have loads of those about lol) or buy a plastic keg?

Thanks :)
everything i've heard points to coke bottles
 

pkeeler

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Is it bubbling yet? If not, it could be that your wort was too hot and you killed your yeast. But since you haven't posted in 24 hours, I'm sure it is bubbling away. ;)
 
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Is it bubbling yet? If not, it could be that your wort was too hot and you killed your yeast. But since you haven't posted in 24 hours, I'm sure it is bubbling away. ;)
My lack of posting is due to our different time zones (Im from Wales - UK) so I was in bed :)

I was very pleased this morning to be greeted by the burbling sounds coming from my fermentation bucket - glad I didnt just chuck the batch last night so thanks for all the advice guys.

Im pretty sure as it comes to the bottling stage I will be back for more advice ;)
 
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