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Next step in First Brew??

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csample

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I have been planning for along time and I am finally brewing my first batch of beer. Here is where I am at:

Brewing Foreign Extra Stout recipe from "Brewing Classic Styles" by Jamil Sainasheff using a brew in a bag all grain setup, looking for a 2.5 gallon batch.
I think the mash and boil went ok, with a preboil gravity of 1.057 and an OG of 1.072 after a 60 minute boil.
Chilled wort to 67 deg. F
Shook the fermenter for a few minutes to oxygenate the wort
Pitched the recommended amount of Safale US-05
Fermented for 3 days at 67 deg until bubbling slowed down
Fermented for 4 more days at 72 deg. F bubbling stopped and krausen went down.
Measured fermented gravity at 1.011

This is where I am at, and I don't know if I should maintain the 72 deg temp for further maturation or if I should allow maturation at a cooler temperature before bottling. I also don't know how long to wait to bottle, but I am thinking that fermentation is nearly complete at this point and another week before bottling would be enough.

I am leaning towards putting the fermenter in a cool corner of my basement (~55 deg F) for the next week and then bottling. Does this seem ok? What could I do better?

Thanks!
 

IslandLizard

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Welcome to HBT!
Great brew to start with, too.

It's probably done, but it won't harm anything to leave it another week in the same fermenter @70-72F to condition out. Do not transfer to a "secondary," they're not needed, instead, likely causing problems.
Keep the airlock on. After the week has passed, measure gravity again, and if the same, it's safe to bottle.

How much US-05 did you pitch?
 
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csample

csample

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Thanks for the reply, I pitched 6.3 grams of US-05 into 2.5 gallons of wort. The full 5 gallon batch recipe in the book calls for 13 grams.
 

McKnuckle

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That's perfect. In reality, the beer has finished fermenting. As a new brewer, you should be instructed to be conservative and check gravity again as @IslandLizard advised. A more experienced brewer might not do so after another whole week sitting there. Or more likely, s/he would have waited the full two weeks to check for the first time, and would be content with a single, final reading.

But that's for later in your journey.

Leave it another week and don't open it. Moving it to 55F is ideal, but there's a warning - if you have an airlock, the liquid in the airlock will likely get sucked into the fermenter because pressure drops with the cooler temperature. And that's not desirable. Until you've looked into how to avoid that, don't cool it down in the final week. It will be fine at the current, stable temp.
 

RM-MN

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If I added your days right, you are at one week. Your fermentation went well, you got a great final gravity and if you really wanted to you could bottle the beer today....but I would encourage you to wait. That extra time will allow the trub and yeast to settle out so you don't end up with it in your bottles and since the beer needs some time to mature anyway, why not let it start that right where it is, in the fermenter. if you wait another week you will have much less trub in the bottles so you get to pour more beer from each instead of discarding so much. I often wait 3 or 4 weeks from pitching the yeast until bottling. Unless you like moving the fermenter around and stirring up the trub that you desire to let settle, the best place for it is where it now sets.
 

IslandLizard

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Thanks for the reply, I pitched 6.3 grams of US-05 into 2.5 gallons of wort. The full 5 gallon batch recipe in the book calls for 13 grams.
Once you get into higher gravity brews (rule of thumb, anything over 1.060 is considered "high gravity"), the amount of yeast pitched (healthy, viable cells) becomes more important. As does good aeration (using air) or oxygenation (using pure O2).

A sachet of US-05 contains 11.5 grams of yeast, sufficient for a 5 gallon 1.060 batch. I'm quite confident that one sachet (fresh and properly stored) can ferment 1.066, possibly 1.072. But due to a 20% higher gravity, pitching a somewhat higher amount is a good safeguard.
 
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csample

csample

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if you have an airlock, the liquid in the airlock will likely get sucked into the fermenter because pressure drops with the cooler temperature. And that's not desirable
Thanks, I had not thought of that. I will look into it for a future batch, and just let this one sit where it is.

How are you controlling fermentation temperature?
Depending on where in the room I put the fermenter I have air temps of 55-65 degrees. I put the fermenter in a cool location and used an inkbird with a heating pad below the fermenter and a blanket around it to keep out light and retain heat. Temperature probe taped to the side of the fermenter and insulated with toweling. During the early part of fermentation I had to take the blanket off and the lowest temp I could hold was 67 due to heat generated by the fermentation.

Once you get into higher gravity brews (rule of thumb, anything over 1.060 is considered "high gravity"), the amount of yeast pitched (healthy, viable cells) becomes more important. As does good aeration (using air) or oxygenation (using pure O2).
Thanks I will keep the increased pitching amount in mind for my next high gravity batch, would it have hurt anything if I had used the full 11.5 grams? I have a fish tank pump, carbonation stone and a filter in my cart right now as one of my next upgrades :) Is there a good source for a filter of known origin? I don't really want to trust that a filter made in China is truly clean and ready to filter air going straight into the wort.

Another question I had making this batch was about yeast nutrients, using the brew in a bag and a hop spider I had very little trub in the wort when I pitched the yeast. Should I have added yeast nutrients?

Thanks again!
 

McKnuckle

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In 135 batches I've never used a gram of yeast nutrient. It's an option but not required, especially if you pay attention to pitching enough healthy yeast at an appropriate temperature, and with adequate aeration just before pitching.

I have also never used pure O2. I shake, pour from above, or use a spinning drill attachment.

Others will swear to the efficacy of these things - and that's home brewing for you. :) Read everything with an open mind and lots of common sense.
 

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Unless you like moving the fermenter around and stirring up the trub that you desire to let settle, the best place for it is where it now sets.
This. My (filled) fermenter moves twice: into my chamber on brew day, and out of my chamber (and onto my workbench) on bottling day.

As far as maturing, I let it stabilize at terminal gravity for 4+ days, then I bottle.
 
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csample

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Thanks to everyone for the insightful replies, this looks like a great online community, I am looking forward to learning more here, and of course to tasting my first batch of homebrew.
 

RM-MN

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Thanks, I had not thought of that. I will look into it for a future batch, and just let this one sit where it is.



Depending on where in the room I put the fermenter I have air temps of 55-65 degrees. I put the fermenter in a cool location and used an inkbird with a heating pad below the fermenter and a blanket around it to keep out light and retain heat. Temperature probe taped to the side of the fermenter and insulated with toweling. During the early part of fermentation I had to take the blanket off and the lowest temp I could hold was 67 due to heat generated by the fermentation.



Thanks I will keep the increased pitching amount in mind for my next high gravity batch, would it have hurt anything if I had used the full 11.5 grams? I have a fish tank pump, carbonation stone and a filter in my cart right now as one of my next upgrades :) Is there a good source for a filter of known origin? I don't really want to trust that a filter made in China is truly clean and ready to filter air going straight into the wort.

Another question I had making this batch was about yeast nutrients, using the brew in a bag and a hop spider I had very little trub in the wort when I pitched the yeast. Should I have added yeast nutrients?

Thanks again!
Hold off on purchasing the air pump and air stone. If you are using dry yeast it will contain all the nutrient necessary for propagating more cells so aerating is optional

When you make wine or mead you will need to add nutrients but wort contains all the nutrients that the yeast need.
 

BrewnWKopperKat

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Safale US-05
Fermentis (and Lallemand) has good information at their web site on how to use their dry yeast products. FWIW, I get good results when I use their information.

Be sure to double check the assumption that all dry yeast products are the same. For example, some of the newer Lallemand strains currently have a different recommended pitch rate.
 

BrewnWKopperKat

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One final thought:

With regard to freshness, both Fermentis and Lallemand put "best by" dates on the package. People here will occasionally report good results when they use dry yeast that is past it's "best by" date.
 
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