Just started on my first brew

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DrakeZ07

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Hello y'all,

I'm a very new brewer, I literally just got my first home brew kit yesterday from a Liquor Barn out in Lexington, soon as I got home, I started working on it.

I tried to follow the directions, best I could, and got the wort, or mix whatever its called, poured into the fermenting bucket, sealed, and the Lil air nozzle on it.

My concern is the temp. stick they gave me in the brewers best kit, didn't even show me a reading, I used my hands to judge the temp to be around room temperature, about ~70F... I have it wrapped in a heating blanket, and some cotton towels to warm it up a bit.

for reference, the kit I bought is a; Brewer's Best Dunkelweizen kit.

I didn't have the cash to buy a turkey pot boiler, or a brewers bible, as was suggested by a gentleman who spoke of being a brewer.

The little hydrometer I used before pouring into the fermenter was at a line of 5% Alc., which I really don't know is good enough, or really if that means it'll ferment...

I looked up on you tube for some general how to, and just worked from there, mostly guessing on the right amounts of water...

I would appreciate any suggestions, help, advice, or links to a How-to on brewer's best kits that dont make me feel stupid, lol.

Thanks,

Harley ~ Owingsville, Ky
 

Want2Brew

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Welcome to HBT and the wonderful world of home brewing. Keep an eye on the wort temperature and try to keep it under about 70 deg if you can. Do you have any kind of thermometer around the house that you can use to see where it is at now? keep in mind that as fermentation starts up and get into full swing that the wort will heat up some on it's own and can be as much as 10 deg above the temp of the room that it is setting in. good luck!
 

Justibone

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Congrats on entering a new hobby!

I have a rule: if I did the best I knew how to do at the time, I don't allow myself any regrets. :)

I agree with the above poster that your beer might be a bit too warm with blankets in the summer. There is a seasonality to brewing beer unless you have a temperature controlled room, which is why ales are so popular to brew in the summer (they like a warmer temp).

When you bottle the beer (in about two weeks, I'd recommend) don't use cane sugar. Get some corn sugar either at your local homebrew store (LHBS) or from an internet store. My first batch ever was totally spoiled by cane sugar -- it was sour like lemons, blech!

Also, make sure you give your beer enough time. It's natural to be impatient, but fight the urge. Basically giving beer twice as much time as the instructions say is a good rule of thumb. Also, after it's bottled you can crack open "surveillance" beers, just to see how its progressing over time. That's a very helpful strategy so that you know when the whole batch is ready.

TLDR; Grats! Corn sugar, not cane sugar for bottling. Be patient. Enjoy!
 

JJL

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Welcome to your new hobby/passion/sickness. I have to agree with the How to Brew site. Palmer has a wealth of knowledge on the topic. The great thing about the site is that it has all of the same info that is in his book for free.

I'll give you a quick shortcut on judging your pitching temp. Put 2 gallons of water in the fridge overnight before you start brewing, and leave 1 gallon at room temp. If you bought a kit, you will likely yield 2-2.5 gallons of wort after your boil. Cover the boil pot and put it in a cold water bath for about 20 minutes. Pour the 2 cold gallons of water into your fermenting bucket. Siphon the wort into the bucket with the cold water. Top off the bucket to 5 gallons using the room temp water. This will almost always put you in the safe temp range for pitching ale yeast. Just to be safe feel the sides of your bucket. If it is a little warm or a little cool, you should be fine to pitch the yeast. Just make sure it isn't really hot or really cold. As for the blanket, you likely will not need it if the room temp is above 60F. Optimal temp is about 70F.
 

iron_city_ap

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Welcome to the addiction. On top of what everyone else is saying and from the sounds of funds being tight right now, watch videos on YouTube as a way of learning techniques and terms (which helps alot) and obviously read around here, ask questions, and above all, be patient.
 
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