Started my first batch

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Cregar

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I know there are threads posted all the time on "My first Batch", but I had to share :)

Just started my first batch about 25 minutes ago, my specialty grains are steeping right now at approx 165-170 degrees. I am going to keep it there for about 30 minutes (actually about 20 mins left). Then take the steeping bag and place in a strainer that I got from Target, pour the tea over the steeping bag and start boiling my water so I can add my LME.

Will keep ya updated...

BTW... its a Nut Brown Ale kit from Northern Brewer

Update 1: Water with specialty grain tea finally boiled, took off heat and stirred in my 6# LME. Now waiting for the water to boil again so I can add my first hops addition and start my 60 minute boil.

Update 2: Water finally can to boil again, took the pot off the heat and added 1oz of challenger hops. started timer for 45 min boil. Will add my last hops & Irish Moss. Then boil for 15 more minutes.

Update 3: Just added my Aroma hops (Fuggle) and the Irish Moss for the last 15 minutes of the boil.
 
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Cregar

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ok.. finished cooling and transfering the wort to my 6.5 gallon carboy. I did a hydrometer reading and came out with 1.046 @ 75 degrees F. So, adjusted would be 1.048. The box said it should be 1.044, I guess that's pretty close huh?

The only concern I have is after transfering to my carboy, I put the palm of my hand over the opening so I could shake the hell out of it (aerate), I am hoping I didn't contaminate it. I had been putting my hands in a Iodophor solution in my sink when I grab stuff out to use them.

You think I will have any problems?

Also... can fermentation start immediately? I can already see bubbles showing up, 1 every minute or so. Also when I shook the hell out of it, I created alot of foam, which looks like it's settling now because there is stuff on the bottom of the carboy now.

Well... gues I will just RDWHAHB :)

Here's a pic:

 

Chairman Cheyco

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Sounds like you're well on your way, and I wouldn't worry about putting your hand over the mouth. Generally, if you're topping up with tap water, it will have enough air in it to get a good fermentation going. Aeration is more important with large or full-volume boils.

Congrats man!

:mug:
 
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cool.. thanks :)

Just checked it again, not sure what the bubbles where earlier... but there not showing up now.
 

MattD

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Every time I see photos of a carboy full of new wort where the brewer didn't strain the break out, I get sooo soo happy that I use a strainer. That crap in suspension like that looks like someone spilled cola on cadaver fat and bottled it. I don't know that I could drink it if I knew it had looked like that at one point :cross:

But then, it all turns out the same in the end, and as long as you don't TELL me it looked that way...... I'll be more than happy to drink your beer :ban:

How thick of a layer of trub does that wind up being anyway? Do you top off to replace the volume? I know this is your first batch, the questions are more for other readers :)

If your hands have been soaked in iodophor, I wouldn't worry too much about contamination. But I don't know much. As far as the bubbling is concerned, what kind/how much yeast did you use? Did you make a starter? In my very limited experience, dumping a pack of dry yeast in there will give you a lag of at least a day, and not the most vigorous fermentation. Liquid yeast does much better, if you use a starter (I think a vial of liquid yeast actually has a lower cell count than a packet of dry if you DON'T use a starter), and with my 750 mL starters I tend to get overflow out of my 6.5 gal carboy in 12-18 hours (I just default to starting with a blow off tube now). If you had bubbling immediately after putting it in there, I'd be more likely to guess that it's gases dissolved in the wort coming out of solution, especially since it petered out. It'll pick back up again once the yeasties take control :)
 
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As to the stuff floating... I didn't strain, your right. But I made sure to leave stuff in the bottom of the brewpot. I used a small saucepan to scoop the wort out till I had enough out and felt comfortable in pouring from the brewpot. I think alot that stuff floating is when I poured into the carboy... it foamed alot, then I shook the hell out of which made it foam even more... maybe 3" to 4" of foam on top. After awhile it dropped back down and sunk to the bottom (2"), so there is only about .5" layer of foam on the top now.

I made sure that I topped off to 5 gallons, maybe just a little more.

No starter was used, I decided just to use the smack pac that came with my kit. I smacked it around 12:30 pm yesterday, and let it expand for 3 hours before I started brewing... an hour and half brewing plus time to cool the wort I would say the yeast had about 5 to 5 1/2 hours to expand.

I woke up this morning (7 am) and checked it... and it was bubbling away. :ban:

Once again I want to thank everyone here for the help and advice... you guys ROCK!! :rockin:

BTW.. What do you mean by strain the breakout?
 

ajf

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Cregar said:
I had been putting my hands in a Iodophor solution in my sink when I grab stuff out to use them.

You think I will have any problems?
If you like Iodophor stains in the sink, you shouldn't have any problems.

It's much easier to siphon the cooled wort from the brew pot to the fermenter than to poor it. That way, you leave most of the break material in the brew pot.

-a.
 
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ajf said:
It's much easier to siphon the cooled wort from the brew pot to the fermenter than to poor it. That way, you leave most of the break material in the brew pot.

-a.
Yea... I think I will siphon next time. I just wanted to get it into the carboy as soon as I could so it wouldn't be just sitting out in the open.
 
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Just finished racking my first brew to the secondary fermenter (clearing carboy), everything went pretty well till towards the end when I had just a little beer left in the primary.

I went to tilt it so I could get the rest of the beer out and I lost my siphon, so I had to take the tubing off the racking cane and out of the secondary to fill back up with water to start the siphon again. Had to do that a couple of times cause the damn racking cane would move out of position and I would lose the siphon. Finally got it going again and was able to tilt the carboy to get all of the beer out.

One other mistake I made was when it was about done I took the tubing out of the secondary to fill up my hydrometer jar, then I put the tubing back in the secondary. Hopefully that doesn't contaminate the beer.

Other then that everything was cool. Now in about 2 weeks I will rack to the bottles I have saved up.

The hydrometer reading was at 1.016 adjusted, so here are the numbers so far...

Apparent Attenuation: 64.3%
Real Attenuation: 52.7%
ABW%: 3.10
ABV%: 3.97

Hopefully the Attenuation will come up a little, I think thats kinda low for the yeast I used (Wyeast #1028 London Ale Yeast - Attenuation: 73-77%)

You think it will drop to 1.012 in a couple of weeks?
 
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Also... should I still keep it around 68 to 70 degrees?
 

Chairman Cheyco

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Your gravity will probably drop a few more points, just be patient. Yes, those temps are perfect. Now you get to watch your beautiful beer darken as the yeast flocs out leaving you with delicious, fresh beer!


BTW, in a couple more brews, you'll be racking like a pro. :D
 
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Thanks for the help. It actually tasted pretty good, a little strong on the alcohol, but I'm sure that will mellow out. Kinda watery too, but that I think has to do with no carbonation.

The siphoning wasn't to bad till I tried to tilt the carboy, just forgot about the racking cane moving... Oh well! Live & learn...
 
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I finally bottled my Nut Brown Ale today. I only ended up with 44 bottles instead of the 53 bottles form a 5 gallon batch. Oh well... lost some when I transfer to the secondary and lost some when I transfered to the bottling bucket. No big deal. All looks good. The final gravity came out at 1.016 so it didn't go down anymore since racking to the secondary. There was more trub on the bottle of the secondary, so it did some clearing.

Tasting a sample actually tasted really good, I'm sure once it has had time to carbonate it will be great :)

I bottled my first one in a clear bottle so I can check the color later. Here is a pic of my first bottle of beer:

 
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Just realized I checked my FG after I mixed the corn sugar in... how much will 3/4 cup of corn sugar change the FG?
 
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Cregar said:
Just realized I checked my FG after I mixed the corn sugar in... how much will 3/4 cup of corn sugar change the FG?
EDIT: Kit I bought had 1 cup instead of 3/4 in it. So would that change the FG much?
 
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Here is the first pix of my new Nut Brown Ale beer. Looks like it carbonated up pretty good. Doesn't taste to bad either, a little more alcohol taste then I expected but it just might need another week and a half to condition. It only has been in the bottle for 10 days. Going to try another bottle this weekend. I had tried one 1 week after bottling and it didn't have much carbonation at all. Will keep updating on the progress.

 

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Normally we only get people asking specific questions about portions of the brewing process. It's nice to get the full progression sometimes. Your beer looks great, by the way.
 
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