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MacLaddy

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Hey Folks,

I'm new to the beer brewing hobby. My wife purchased a fathers day home brewing kit for me last year. It's an IPA kit from somewhere. It came with a glass carboy and the typical accoutrements. I finally got around to brewing it last weekend, so it was about 9 to 10 months old. For the first few days, I had pretty good activity. I was counting one 'glup' every six seconds. So it was active. I now count a glup every 25 seconds.

Anyway, I fear I lost this batch. It looks like a muddy mess. I get that the top and bottom will get some crud, but even the middle parts are extra cloudy. I see active movement in the carboy, even after sitting quietly in a dark cabinet for a week. I thought it would settle out by now.

Thoughts? What am I looking for?

Thanks,
Mac
 

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Culinarytracker

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I think you're fine.
A week is not a lot of time. And I'd say there's nothing unusual looking about that photo.

What kind of temperature are you keeping it at and what yeast did the kit come with?
 
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MacLaddy

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I think you're fine.
A week is not a lot of time. And I'd say there's nothing unusual looking about that photo.

What kind of temperature are you keeping it at and what yeast did the kit come with?
That's good news. It seems like it is slowing too much for just a week, but I really don't know. It's being kept between 65° and 70°F, but the temperature isn't well controlled. I doubt it is getting much warmer than that.

I'm not sure what kind of yeast was with it. I suppose I should have kept some notes, but I just threw away the consumables in the kit. It was a little package and it told me to use half of it. That's what I did.
 

Culinarytracker

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That's good news. It seems like it is slowing too much for just a week, but I really don't know. It's being kept between 65° and 70°F, but the temperature isn't well controlled. I doubt it is getting much warmer than that.

I'm not sure what kind of yeast was with it. I suppose I should have kept some notes, but I just threw away the consumables in the kit. It was a little package and it told me to use half of it. That's what I did.
That timing doesn't seem odd to me. Fermentation sometimes takes off and chews 95% of the way through a batch of wort in just a couple days. You should start to see it calm down soon and start to settle. Give it another week or two before you even think about moving on.

Did you take any specific gravity measurements?
 
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MacLaddy

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That timing doesn't seem odd to me. Fermentation sometimes takes off and chews 95% of the way through a batch of wort in just a couple days. You should start to see it calm down soon and start to settle. Give it another week or two before you even think about moving on.

Did you take any specific gravity measurements?
No, unfortunately. I see now that I should have. I'll leave it alone for another week or more. What should I watch out for? I'm guessing that once the SG changes the floaties will probably settle. So maybe just watching for when it clears up?

I'm starting to plan my second batch. Definitely going the five gallon route and I plan to purchase some better tools.
 
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Culinarytracker

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No, unfortunately. I see now that I should have. I'll leave it alone for another week or more. What should I watch out for? I'm guessing that once the SG changes the floaties will probably settle. So maybe just watching for when it clears up?

I'm starting to plan my second batch. Definitely going the five gallon route and I plan to purchase some better tools.
Yea, things should settle. It won't necessarily be clear, but it should be calm. Airlock activity should stop for several days before moving on to bottling.

What equipment do you have? Hydrometers? Syphons? Bottling equipment?
 

Iowa Brewer

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I'm starting to plan my second batch. Definitely going the five gallon route and I plan to purchase some better tools.
Great to hear, and welcome! Such a gratifying hobby, on several levels.

CulinaryTracker’s spot on. All you’re describing (and the photo) point to a healthy brew 🍻
 
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MacLaddy

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Yea, things should settle. It won't necessarily be clear, but it should be calm. Airlock activity should stop for several days before moving on to bottling.

What equipment do you have? Hydrometers? Syphons? Bottling equipment?
I have a siphon/pump with the bottling attachment. Some little candy pill things to pop into each bottle for carbonation, and the capping equipment. I'll purchase a hydrometer for my next batch, but I don't know if a measurement would tell me anything about this batch.

I purchased an 8-gallon GasOne kettle. I plan to purchase a 5-gallon glass carboy. What else should I get for a slightly more sophisticated setup?
 
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MacLaddy

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Great to hear, and welcome! Such a gratifying hobby, on several levels.

CulinaryTracker’s spot on. All you’re describing (and the photo) point to a healthy brew 🍻
I'm glad to hear it. I painstakingly sanitized (and resanitized and resanitized) to help keep this from going bad. Years ago, me and a friend made a couple of "cardboard" brews. Really hoping to not repeat the process. Still not sure what went wrong (other than making a cheap pilsner).
 

Culinarytracker

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I have a siphon/pump with the bottling attachment. Some little candy pill things to pop into each bottle for carbonation, and the capping equipment. I'll purchase a hydrometer for my next batch, but I don't know if a measurement would tell me anything about this batch.

I purchased an 8-gallon GasOne kettle. I plan to purchase a 5-gallon glass carboy. What else should I get for a slightly more sophisticated setup?
An 8 gallon kettle is a great investment. For fermenters I have two pieces of advice. No Glass, and don't buy a fermenter that you can't stick your arm in to clean.

So obviously I am discouraging glass carboys.

Depending on your budget, I would recommend either the Speidel 30 liter fermenter, because it's great as is, and has loads of aftermarket accessories that can do just about anything. OR, the Fermonster plastic carboy, it has a larger cap that you can reach into to clean, and again, there are a few accessories out there to do more advanced things.
 
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MacLaddy

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An 8 gallon kettle is a great investment. For fermenters I have two pieces of advice. No Glass, and don't buy a fermenter that you can't stick your arm in to clean.

So obviously I am discouraging glass carboys.

Depending on your budget, I would recommend either the Speidel 30 liter fermenter, because it's great as is, and has loads of aftermarket accessories that can do just about anything. OR, the Fermonster plastic carboy, it has a larger cap that you can reach into to clean, and again, there are a few accessories out there to do more advanced things.
Oh, that is a great point about cleaning. I hadn't thought about that and that reason alone convinces me you're right. Why no glass though? Too prone to temperature fluctuations?
 

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Oh, that is a great point about cleaning. I hadn't thought about that and that reason alone convinces me you're right. Why no glass though? Too prone to temperature fluctuations?

It breaks. All too often it breaks catastrophically and anyone that has been around these forums long enough has seen their share of horrible injuries caused by exploding or shattering glass carboys. One story that always stuck in my mind was when the airlock plugged, and when the brewer went back to their basement the carboy had exploded from the pressure. A large shard of glass was stuck in the drywall 30 some feet away on the other side of the room.
 

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Years ago, me and a friend made a couple of "cardboard" brews. Really hoping to not repeat the process. Still not sure what went wrong (other than making a cheap pilsner).
There’s a LOT of trial and error. A great thing to do is keep a detailed brew log of each brew. That will help you find the roots of failures and also successes. Brew apps often include them, but a simple notebooks works, too.

And yes, sanitize like the wind!
 
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MacLaddy

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It breaks. All too often it breaks catastrophically and anyone that has been around these forums long enough has seen their share of horrible injuries caused by exploding or shattering glass carboys. One story that always stuck in my mind was when the airlock plugged, and when the brewer went back to their basement the carboy had exploded from the pressure. A large shard of glass was stuck in the drywall 30 some feet away on the other side of the room.
Oh wow. I think I'll go ahead and avoid the glass carboy. Thanks for the heads up on that, and the advice on this batch.
 

Culinarytracker

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That's the post I was referring to about the exploding carboy.

There's also a bunch of references to the greatest brewing video ever made in there too. Boom!
 
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MacLaddy

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There’s a LOT of trial and error. A great thing to do is keep a detailed brew log of each brew. That will help you find the roots of failures and also successes. Brew apps often include them, but a simple notebooks works, too.

And yes, sanitize like the wind!
I suppose it comes with experience. Trial and error in a slow process. I'll definitely start taking some notes.
 

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Thoughts? What am I looking for?
Looks like a 1 gal batch using a "Litter Big Mouth Bubbler". It looks like a normal fermentation (although the volume appears to be a little low).

I brew with this fermenter on a regular basis. It's great for test batches, Basic Brewing Radio's "Hop Sampler" and "Malt Sampler", ...

To adjust for 'low volume' in the future, add a 1 gal mark on the outside using a 'Sharpie'-type marker. The mark will wear off over time, so measure the location of the mark using a tape measure. With future batches, you can add (properly treated) water to the fermenter to "top up" to 1 gal.

It looks like a muddy mess. [...] I thought it would settle out by now.
If you let it sit for a couple of weeks, gravity will help the beer clear. You should see some improvement over the next week (and even more if you can wait yet another week). Don't be concerned about color at this point in time.

It's being kept between 65° and 70°F, but the temperature isn't well controlled. I doubt it is getting much warmer than that.
This should be OK.

My experience is that the internal wort temperature with batches of this size is probably 1 or 2 degrees higher. With 5 gallon batches, people state the wort can ferment 5 or 10 degrees warmer.

Fermentation temperature control is important for the first couple of days. If you brew again with this fermenter and have a 30 - 40 qt cooler, check to see if the fermenter fits in the cooler. If it does, you can use water in the cooler to control the fermentation temperature. Adjust the water in the cooler to around 65F for the first 3 or 4 days.

... bottling ...
Tip the fermenter slightly and siphon from the lower side of the fermenter.

Trial and error in a slow process
Consider picking up a copy of How to Brew, 4e.
 
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I'll add my $0.02 to this thread. I had a glass carboy break in my arms back in 2009. (There's a tread here somewhere about it.) I still don't have feeling in my right hand.

If you're wanting to stay on the low cost side, buy a plastic fermenting bucket. They're cheap, and work very well.

And yes, buy the hydrometer. Buy it before you bottle this batch. You'll want to make sure the fermentation is done before bottling. If not, you could end up with bottle bombs. To see if it's done, take a reading, wait a couple days, and take another reading. If the results are the same, it's ready to bottle.
 

bwible

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It breaks. All too often it breaks catastrophically and anyone that has been around these forums long enough has seen their share of horrible injuries caused by exploding or shattering glass carboys. One story that always stuck in my mind was when the airlock plugged, and when the brewer went back to their basement the carboy had exploded from the pressure. A large shard of glass was stuck in the drywall 30 some feet away on the other side of the room.
I have a bunch of 5 gallon and 3 gallon glass carboys. I guess I’ve been fortunate. I’ve been brewing since about 1997 and never had one break. I’m not rough with them. There was one I noticed a crack starting to form in and I got rid of it. I think the crack happened during moving, (as in when I packed up all my stuff and moved to a different house, not from just moving the carboy around) and that was a 6 gallon carboy that I only used for making an occasional wine kit.

That said, I do own one 3 gallon Fermonster and I love it. The wide mouth opening, for dry hopping (why I originally bought it) as well as for cleaning. The lid can be REALLY difficult to get off - so spend the $5 or $6 or whatever it is for the lid wrench they sell. You won’t regret it.

The other thing is weight. Glass carboys are much heavier. Gets to be a bigger deal as one gets older. I’ll be buying more of the Fermonster type when I need any new ones.
 

hotbeer

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I just did my first first batch toward the end of February. It was from a 1 gallon all grain kit that was given to me in 2019. The bottle I tasted one week after bottling didn't taste bad. Not quite as dry as I will have liked, but tomorrow will be the 2 week after bottling and I'll see what another week has done for that.

You might have to let it ferment much longer than the two weeks the instructions and others say. Mine fermented for 4 full weeks before the bubbling ceased. And though specific gravity comparisons might be a better indicator, you can just leave it in the fermenter till all activity ceases. Of course if you have changing temps and ambient pressures who know what you'll see.

As for how fast or violent your ferment gets, I'd recommend using a blow off tube of a bigger diameter than the hole your airlock fits in. The end of the blow off tube goes in a jar of sanitizer. You only need it for few days your ferment is very active, then you can stick the airlock in. That will get you past the time you are in danger of blowing up your carboy or spewing crap out the top of your jug sending the airlock into space orbit.

I had all sorts of flocculated yeast, trub or something on the walls of my fermenter above the liquid level. With my next batch that's in there now, I swirled or gently rocked the fermenter several times a day to get that off the walls. Not sure if it's needed or bad to do so, I'm willing to find out.

As for the ferment being cloudy, mine was too, right up until that day that marked the fourth week and it quit bubbling. Then it surprisingly got rid of all the suspended cloudy stuff and was just a little hazy.
 

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I have several glass carboys. |I don't use them often - only when I'm doing extended bulk aging, which I only have a couple recipes that I do that on. Those glass carboys do live in milk crates, though, strapped in. I only take them out for cleaning, in my plastic slop sink, then they go back in their crate. And I'm always a little afraid of them - always wear pants and closed toe shoes when dealing with them - and brewing in general - there's lots of hot liquid and equipment moving around.
Normally I use standard Ale Pails - food grade, 7-gallon buckets - and I've never had an issue that is attributable to them.
OP: sounds like you have exactly what is supposed to be happenning, happenning. |The yeast will eat most of the sugars pretty quick, then slowly settle out over the next week or so,
|Over time you'ss see it getting clearer.
|I do recommend a hydrometer soon, at least you'll be able to tell that the gravity is stable - when you test a couple days apart and it is the same you're good.
A couple things I recommend is reading 2 books about brewing - Charlie Papazian's Complete Joy of Homebrewing, and John Palmer's How to Brew. How to Brew is available online for free, though it's the first edition, and he's made a lot of adjustments in subsequent editions - I think he's on 5 now?
The biggest things to remember in brewing are sanitation, yeast health / happiness, sanitation, temperature control (femermenting, mostly) and sanitation.
 
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MacLaddy

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Looks like a 1 gal batch using a "Litter Big Mouth Bubbler". It looks like a normal fermentation (although the volume appears to be a little low).

I brew with this fermenter on a regular basis. It's great for test batches, Basic Brewing Radio's "Hop Sampler" and "Malt Sampler", ...
Yes, I googled that and got a hit on the NorthernBrewer website. I'm pretty sure that's where the kit came from.

To adjust for 'low volume' in the future, add a 1 gal mark on the outside using a 'Sharpie'-type marker. The mark will wear off over time, so measure the location of the mark using a tape measure. With future batches, you can add (properly treated) water to the fermenter to "top up" to 1 gal.

If you let it sit for a couple of weeks, gravity will help the beer clear. You should see some improvement over the next week (and even more if you can wait yet another week). Don't be concerned about color at this point in time.
Thanks. What is "properly treated" water? Pre-boiled, store bought, etc? Should I add it now, or is it too late?


I'll add my $0.02 to this thread. I had a glass carboy break in my arms back in 2009. (There's a tread here somewhere about it.) I still don't have feeling in my right hand.

If you're wanting to stay on the low cost side, buy a plastic fermenting bucket. They're cheap, and work very well.

And yes, buy the hydrometer. Buy it before you bottle this batch. You'll want to make sure the fermentation is done before bottling. If not, you could end up with bottle bombs. To see if it's done, take a reading, wait a couple days, and take another reading. If the results are the same, it's ready to bottle.
I have a bunch of 5 gallon and 3 gallon glass carboys. I guess I’ve been fortunate. I’ve been brewing since about 1997 and never had one break. I’m not rough with them. There was one I noticed a crack starting to form in and I got rid of it. I think the crack happened during moving, (as in when I packed up all my stuff and moved to a different house, not from just moving the carboy around) and that was a 6 gallon carboy that I only used for making an occasional wine kit.

That said, I do own one 3 gallon Fermonster and I love it. The wide mouth opening, for dry hopping (why I originally bought it) as well as for cleaning. The lid can be REALLY difficult to get off - so spend the $5 or $6 or whatever it is for the lid wrench they sell. You won’t regret it.
We have a local supply store that sells the Fermonster. I'll go pick one up this week, that seems to be a popular beginners option.

Thanks everyone. A lot of great advice. I'll post back and update on how this turns out. I may also need some input regarding the specific gravity readings, but I'll cross that bridge when I get there.

Mac
 

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What is "properly treated" water? Pre-boiled, store bought, etc?
With extract-based recipes, one wants water this is low in minerals with chlorine / chloramine removed.

Should I add it now, or is it too late?
I would not adjust it at this time. With a little less water, the beer will have a higher ABV.
 

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Yes, I googled that and got a hit on the NorthernBrewer website. I'm pretty sure that's where the kit came from.


Thanks. What is "properly treated" water? Pre-boiled, store bought, etc? Should I add it now, or is it too late?





We have a local supply store that sells the Fermonster. I'll go pick one up this week, that seems to be a popular beginners option.

Thanks everyone. A lot of great advice. I'll post back and update on how this turns out. I may also need some input regarding the specific gravity readings, but I'll cross that bridge when I get there.

Mac
Fermonsters and the plastic big mouth bubblers are great. The guys and gals here steered me away from glass from the beginning.
 
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MacLaddy

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I decided to let this sit for another week and completely forgot about it. I remembered earlier today and was able to get it bottled. Most of the brew had cleared with a small top layer of gunk and about two inches of garbage in the bottom.
I wanted to provide an update, because, well. . .Total Failure! I was only able to get five bottles from this batch, which is disappointing because it smelled great.

What went wrong (I think).
  1. When I originally transferred the batch from the kettle to the fermenter, I let in far too much bottom dwelling sledge. My kettle has a ball valve on the front, and I ended up tipping it some to get the goods. It was already a small batch as seen from the photo above. I was trying for every drop I could get.
  2. Basic physics. The siphon input must be higher than the output. I know this, but like an idiot I put them both on the same table. I figured this out pretty quickly, but it caused a lot of air to be mixed into the first bottle. I expect that one to turn into cardboard.
  3. Next, I was going along and noticed the pump was completely stopping up. Trying to force it some was just creating a bubbly mess. I ended up taking the siphon off and just using the hose. I was able to pinch it to stop and start, but it wasn't ideal. After I was done I found the bottle filler attachment to be completely clogged with sledge.
  4. Using that "pinch" method made the second and third bottles go great, but the fourth starting getting the siphon too close to the toxic sledge at the bottom. I tried tipping it some, but it didn't help much. It started getting a lot of the sledge going through the siphon. I was still able to fill a fifth, but when I started on the sixth it was just solid waste garbage. That beer was meant for chewing.
So, now I have five bottles as a reward from about $200 in equipment. Oh well. I'll let those sit three to four weeks and see how they turned out. Any thoughts on how I can prevent the bottom dwelling sledge in the future? My next batch will be five gallons, as it seems like that might be more forgiving.
 

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when making such a small batch, even using a mini auto syphon straight from 1 gallon fermenter it is difficult to get many bottles.
Btw, what did you use for priming sugar and did you mark bottle #1 so you can try it first so maybe not so oxidized?
 
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I use spigots near the bottom of my fermententing bucket, I suppose you could do the same with a plastic carboy. It makes racking and taking gravity samples hella easier. And the same principle on the bottling bucket where I mix the beer and boiled sugar solution. Just out the bottling wand on the spigot with a short piece of tubing.
You can tilt the fermenter a little while re racking the beer with a spigot, but ultimately have to accept that you will lose a liter or so in the bottom of the fermenter unless you want an inch of yeast sediment in your bottles.
 

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ultimately have to accept that you will lose a liter or so in the bottom of the fermenter
I'm assuming you are talking about bottling a 5 gal batch.

OP was bottling from the same fermenter that I use periodically. For me, with a high flocculation yeast and tipping the fermenter, there's maybe an ounce or two (of beer) left in the fermenter.

even using a mini auto syphon straight from 1 gallon fermenter it is difficult to get many bottles.
For a first batch by a new brewer, 'forum wisdom' would suggest a yield of 5 to 8 bottles from a 1 gallon kit.

Common problems that reduce the number of bottles (from 10) include not accounting for losses due to trub, not topping off to 1 gal, not accounting for losses due to high hop rates, not accounting for losses at bottling time.
 

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Any thoughts on how I can prevent the bottom dwelling sledge in the future?
With five gallon kits, the recipe often produces 5.25 or 5.5 gallons of wort (going into the fermenter) to account for various losses, trub at the bottom of the fermenter, etc. Personally, I find this approach to be 'easier' then trying to filter out trub along the way.

For small batches, the "one gallon brewers unite" thread covers a number of ideas on how to maximize the amount of wort going into a one gallon carboy. I have no idea (or opinion) as to how well these techniques would scale up beyond a 2.5 gal batch.

Hopefully others will come along to answer your question for five gallon batches.
 

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The trub (what you're referring to as the sledge) can be manipulated by actually propping up one side of your fermenter and coaxing the trub to settle into one corner. Otherwise, the way to go about this is basically brew more than you normally would, keeping in mind you're going to lose some beer to the process of avoiding trub. However, other than the trub itself not tasting good, the beer it's in will taste just fine and there's nothing bad about getting a little into the fermenter and into bottles - it'll eventually settle out with cold and time, and you can pour off without disturbing it.

Funny thing - equipment cost doesn't scale linear with volume. You could get a 5 gal bucket and spigot for under $20 and (aside from ingredients) be set very well for full 5 gallon batches.
 

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If you have wort left in the kettle and beer left in the fermenter or priming/bottling pot, you always need to ask what you could have done to use it.

Sounds like you left a lot in both the kettle and fermenter. BLNT

As you figured out, the pot you siphon to needs to be lower than the pot you siphon from.
 

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I'm arriving a little late to the conversation, but I completely agree with everything said in the thread, looks like normal fermentation to me. Post updates on the beer !! I'm also a new brewer, I've been brewing since last October haha
 

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@MacLaddy Hey, congrats on your first brew. The second will go much better.

Few things that might make life easier.

Siphon clamp. Just make sure to get the correct size for your tubing.
or

For taking gravity samples in smaller batches I’ve found refractometer handy.

Highly recommended reading:
The Brewing Bible

Less Biblical, more zen

Also I wouldn’t wait 4 weeks to pop that first bottle. Try your first bottle in 2 weeks. Let it sit in the fridge for a day before opening and pour it slowly, leaving 1/2 inch of beer in the bottom of the bottle. If you gorilla pour you’ll end up with a bunch of sediment in your glass.
 
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A lot of replies since I made my last post. I'll try to unpack some of this, but my biggest takeaway is that "trub" is a common challenge and there are methods to make life easier. Thanks everyone for all the helpful feedback.

when making such a small batch, even using a mini auto syphon straight from 1 gallon fermenter it is difficult to get many bottles.
Btw, what did you use for priming sugar and did you mark bottle #1 so you can try it first so maybe not so oxidized?
I didn't mark the first bottle. Is that common practice due to air in the siphon? I don't know what the priming sugar was. It was part of the kit. Looked like little cough drops.

I use spigots near the bottom of my fermententing bucket, I suppose you could do the same with a plastic carboy. It makes racking and taking gravity samples hella easier. And the same principle on the bottling bucket where I mix the beer and boiled sugar solution. Just out the bottling wand on the spigot with a short piece of tubing.
You can tilt the fermenter a little while re racking the beer with a spigot, but ultimately have to accept that you will lose a liter or so in the bottom of the fermenter unless you want an inch of yeast sediment in your bottles.
I tried tilting it, but it wasn't moving. The sledge was like cement. Next time I'll let it ferment on an angle so it has time to settle out in the corner. Regarding the spigot, I recently purchased a Fermonster. Do you know if those can be fitted with a spigot?

For a first batch by a new brewer, 'forum wisdom' would suggest a yield of 5 to 8 bottles from a 1 gallon kit.

Common problems that reduce the number of bottles (from 10) include not accounting for losses due to trub, not topping off to 1 gal, not accounting for losses due to high hop rates, not accounting for losses at bottling time.
So I guess it could have been worse. What are losses due to high hop rates?

With five gallon kits, the recipe often produces 5.25 or 5.5 gallons of wort (going into the fermenter) to account for various losses, trub at the bottom of the fermenter, etc. Personally, I find this approach to be 'easier' then trying to filter out trub along the way.

For small batches, the "one gallon brewers unite" thread covers a number of ideas on how to maximize the amount of wort going into a one gallon carboy. I have no idea (or opinion) as to how well these techniques would scale up beyond a 2.5 gal batch.

Hopefully others will come along to answer your question for five gallon batches.
I'll check out that thread if I try another small batch. I think I'll stick with larger batches going forward.

The trub (what you're referring to as the sledge) can be manipulated by actually propping up one side of your fermenter and coaxing the trub to settle into one corner. Otherwise, the way to go about this is basically brew more than you normally would, keeping in mind you're going to lose some beer to the process of avoiding trub. However, other than the trub itself not tasting good, the beer it's in will taste just fine and there's nothing bad about getting a little into the fermenter and into bottles - it'll eventually settle out with cold and time, and you can pour off without disturbing it.

Funny thing - equipment cost doesn't scale linear with volume. You could get a 5 gal bucket and spigot for under $20 and (aside from ingredients) be set very well for full 5 gallon batches.
All good points. Part of the cost is considering the initial kit my wife purchased. I have no desire to be high tech. But I do want equipment that works.

If you have wort left in the kettle and beer left in the fermenter or priming/bottling pot, you always need to ask what you could have done to use it.

Sounds like you left a lot in both the kettle and fermenter. BLNT
Uh. What could I have done to use it?

I'm arriving a little late to the conversation, but I completely agree with everything said in the thread, looks like normal fermentation to me. Post updates on the beer !! I'm also a new brewer, I've been brewing since last October haha
Will do. The wort smelled great, so I have high hopes for the final product. I'll give it a few weeks.

@MacLaddy Hey, congrats on your first brew. The second will go much better.

Few things that might make life easier.

Siphon clamp. Just make sure to get the correct size for your tubing.
or

For taking gravity samples in smaller batches I’ve found refractometer handy.

Highly recommended reading:
The Brewing Bible

Less Biblical, more zen

Also I wouldn’t wait 4 weeks to pop that first bottle. Try your first bottle in 2 weeks. Let it sit in the fridge for a day before opening and pour it slowly, leaving 1/2 inch of beer in the bottom of the bottle. If you gorilla pour you’ll end up with a bunch of sediment in your glass.
Awesome. Thanks for the links. Is there a reason why I shouldn't wait a few extra weeks? I'm actually in Keto right now for a weigh in I've got coming up. So the beer is set aside anyway (sadly).
 

hotbeer

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If you have wort left in the kettle and beer left in the fermenter or priming/bottling pot, you always need to ask what you could have done to use it.
Uh. What could I have done to use it?
Well I don't know. I wasn't there!

But I go from boil kettle -> fermenter (glass jug) -> priming/bottling pot -> beer bottle -> drinking glass.

To a certain extent I just accept the fact I'll transfer a certain amount of sediments with each transfer. I try to do each transfer in a way that doesn't disturb the bottom much. I do use a fine strainer in the funnel when transferring to fermenter.

When I finally get to the bottom and start transferring sediment, I still continue (except for when pouring in drinking glass). After all, it's already sediment, it soon will be in the next container. There will be less sediment in the next transfer. And I've left virtually no wort or beer behind for the most part.

One of those copper pot scrubbers tied around a racking cane can help keep crap from siphoning out, but if you don't keep the racking cane still, it can stir up more than it helps.
 

bwible

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Well I don't know. I wasn't there!

But I go from boil kettle -> fermenter (glass jug) -> priming/bottling pot -> beer bottle -> drinking glass.

To a certain extent I just accept the fact I'll transfer a certain amount of sediments with each transfer. I try to do each transfer in a way that doesn't disturb the bottom much. I do use a fine strainer in the funnel when transferring to fermenter.

When I finally get to the bottom and start transferring sediment, I still continue (except for when pouring in drinking glass). After all, it's already sediment, it soon will be in the next container. There will be less sediment in the next transfer. And I've left virtually no wort or beer behind for the most part.

One of those copper pot scrubbers tied around a racking cane can help keep crap from siphoning out, but if you don't keep the racking cane still, it can stir up more than it helps.
Another option is to brew and ferment in a slightly larger size than the intended result, with the intention of leaving some behind.

I brew 3 gallon batches. I use a 5 gallon carboy as a fermenter. They make 3 gallon carboys if I want to secondary, settle, or age. I have 3 gallon kegs and if I bottle it works out to 30 bottles. A case plus a 6 pack.

I do mostly all grain. In my case, I calculate all my recipes as 3.5 gallons, to collect 4 gallons in the kettle, boil down to 3.5, transfer 3.5 to fermenter. This leaves 1/2 gallon behind with trub, hops, and waste. After fermentation, 3 gallons will end in a secondary or bottles or kegs, again leaving waste behind. The cost of the extra grain “wasted” is probably a dollar or two.

At a 1 gallon level, you would use something like the big mouth bubbler which I think is made to ferment 1.5 gallons. Calculate the recipe as a 1.5 gallon batch. 1.5 gallons goes into fermenter, a gallon of clean beer should come out leaving the extra behind. The cost of anything “wasted” is next to nothing. A few ounces of grain and maybe 1/4 oz of hops or something.
 

NGD

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Awesome. Thanks for the links. Is there a reason why I shouldn't wait a few extra weeks? I'm actually in Keto right now for a weigh in I've got coming up. So the beer is set aside anyway (sadly).
Hey, completely understand about the keto thing. I do carnivore 4 months a year and it feels awesome. No joint pain is a wonderful thing but the diet gets bland after awhile.

The reason is two fold. To test for carbonation and drink before staling gets to bad. Occasionally my beers need 3-4 weeks to fully carb, in warmer months it’s usually a week. Staling takes time and beers at 2 weeks will be fresher than those at 4. Particularly if you know there was a lot of O2 introduced. If it messes with your plans then leave them for four weeks and call it good or split the difference and pop them in the fridge at 3 weeks so they're ready to go when you are. They'll still taste drinkable. Even if they aren't to your liking then stale beer makes for awesome chicken marinade base.

Since you have a small batch, you might be able to spot your first bottle (the one you sucked a bunch of air into) by backlighting your bottles at 2 weeks. If you notice a darker color in one of the bottles then that's likely your first one. Staling will result in a darker color as well as off flavor.

Congrats again on your first batch. Sounds like you've learned a fair bit this first round and the second will bring better results.
 
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