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Please can i have help with my first brew

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o0_Enigma_0o

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Hi Guys,

I am new to the forum, and new to home brew.

A few weeks ago i wa sin Wilkos and found a Youngs Brew Buddy Starter kit, Had the fermentation barrel, syphon kit, hydromeater, and a larger kit.

I followed the instructions, added 1kg of normal suger, and left to ferment for a few days... after 9 days the hydromeater said it was ready, so i nipped to the shop and got a Youngs pressure barrel.

I syphoned off the lager, and added 85g of normal suger.

I left this for about 10 - 12 days and then ran some of the brew off into a clear glass.
It looked like clear lager, tasted like lager, but had no fizz, how ever it had a slight head.

I have since found that the barrel I have, has a vented cap.

I am guessing that is where my co2 has gone.

I have been looking at the cap with the s30 valve on it. My big question. if i fitted a cap with the s30 valve would that act as a pressure seal? if it does would that make my beer fizzy?

also i have a unused fish tank heater, 100watt. would it be ok to use this to keep the beer warm while it ferments?

Ive already drank most my flat good tasting lager, so this brew is almost done... but my next brew is about to be started.

Thanks for your help in advance :)

Kirk
 

llazy_llama

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Whew, okay... where to start...

Good on you for getting a hydrometer, and using it properly. If you were trying to carbonate in a vented container, that beer is always going to be flat. If you don't have some bottles, caps, and a capper to use for carbonating, you could always use some PET soda bottles.

I have no idea what the s30 valve you're talking about it. I googled the Youngs Brew Buddy kit, and it doesn't seem like a terrible kit, but you might want to look at brewing some recipe kits that don't involve adding table sugar. That sugar will thin out the beer, resulting in less body and likely less flavor. Then again, you said you liked the taste of your lager, despite the fact that it was flat. If it ain't broke, don't fix it, I guess.

As for the aquarium heater, plenty of people do use those for maintaining fermentation temperatures. Just get a big bucket or tub, put your fermenter in that, then add water to the tub and put the heater in that water. I'm not sure where you're fermenting, but if you need a heater for a lager (which is usually fermented in the 10-15 degree celsius range) it must be pretty darn cold. If you're going to brew an ale instead of a lager for your next batch, then by all means try out that heater.
 

llazy_llama

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Oh, and another note: be wary of any kit that tells you "just add sugar and water!"

That looks a lot like a European version of the American Mr Beer...
 
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o0_Enigma_0o

o0_Enigma_0o

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Hi,
Thank you for the super fast reply,

This is a link to the co2 injector kit, includes the 2inch cap and a s30 valve :)

Homebrew Co2 Injector System

I was going to use bottles but ended up buying the pressure barrel, Im hoping i can get the barrel to work because i have a big fridge in my garage that holds it :) ideal for BBQ's :)
I just really want fizz to my fantastic tasting lager...


I am only using lager, but i thought it had to be kept warm. if its 10 - 15 degress then i will just leave it in a cool room. i will leave the heater for another time.

Thanks

Kirk
 

llazy_llama

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Ah, I see what you mean with that cap. You'll still need to prime (add sugar after fermentation to carbonate) it uses CO2 to dispense. I'm following. Assuming you can get a good seal with that cap, I see no reason why it wouldn't work.

The link for the kit is exactly what I dug up from google. I wish they said more about the ingredients and the yeast strain especially, but assuming it is a proper lager, the 10-15 degree range should result in better tasting beer than fermenting at higher temperatures.
 
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o0_Enigma_0o

o0_Enigma_0o

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ahhh,, :) so next brew...after fermentation, i just need to add the 85g suger to then put the new cap on... it should... fill up with loads of co2 and then make the beer fizzy?...

my only fear.... is it possible the barrel would explode? if the pressure got to high? also is there anyway to check how much pressure there is?
 

llazy_llama

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You'd need to mix the sugar in a bit, just don't get too violent or you'll stir up the trub at the bottom.

It's possible the lid might blow off, but it doesn't seem too likely if it's specially designed to hold pressure. You can check the pressure by giving the barrel a nice squeeze. If it's rock hard after only a few days, it might be getting ready to blow. Proper carbonation usually takes about 3 weeks, but you can expect some carbonation (enough to make a nice hiss when you open a bottle, for example) after a week.
 
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