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First Brew....oops!


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#1 namela

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Posted 13 November 2016 - 10:27 AM

Hi All,

 

First post and first brew under way!

 

A couple of questions if I may, I bought the Brigalow as a start up and introduction to HomeBrewing and my first brew is under way.

I have followed all of the instructions so I hope, but....

 

Have I filled my Fermenter up too much? I mean there are notches on the side and for the life of me I cannot work out the 23 litre mark, also my Airlock keeps bubbling over?

 

Is this normal? Or is it because I have over filled it?

 

Many thanks in advance.

 

Paul

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#2 manticle

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Posted 13 November 2016 - 10:46 AM

Looks to be about 21L although if you really want to be sure, you can fill with a known quanity of water (measure using an accurate jug for example) or weigh the fermenter empty and full (accurate scales).

Airlock eruptions aren't uncommon. Best to remove, clean, sanitise then fill with no rinse sanitiser or something like vodka (or ethanol if you have access).

Keep temp around 20, exercise patience before bottling (at finished, stable gravity) and drinking.

#3 Pommielogger

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Posted 13 November 2016 - 10:52 AM

Good luck mate. I have my first (not yet) bubbling away!

#4 namela

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Posted 13 November 2016 - 10:59 AM

Good luck mate. I have my first (not yet) bubbling away!

Yep it's, on it's way alright, finding myself checking it all of time for the just in case! Good luck with yours too!



#5 namela

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Posted 13 November 2016 - 11:02 AM

Looks to be about 21L although if you really want to be sure, you can fill with a known quanity of water (measure using an accurate jug for example) or weigh the fermenter empty and full (accurate scales).

Airlock eruptions aren't uncommon. Best to remove, clean, sanitise then fill with no rinse sanitiser or something like vodka (or ethanol if you have access).

Keep temp around 20, exercise patience before bottling (at finished, stable gravity) and drinking.

Many thanks for your lightning response, I will do as you say, great advice! I should of filled the fermenter up firsly to get the correct level but I was way too quick off the mark, this I will do when this one is done and dusted!

 

Paul


Edited by namela, 13 November 2016 - 11:59 AM.


#6 decr

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Posted 15 November 2016 - 05:55 PM

No oops, just chill :). My kits have been taking off like nobody's business lately, the current stout made a nice black sticky mess shooting out the airlock overnight. With your fermenter the longer lines are 5l marks and as mentioned you have a 21l batch going.

All good, relax and have a (homebrew) beer.

#7 Barge

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Posted 15 November 2016 - 07:49 PM

Pretty soon you will leave the lid off altogether, and just use glad wrap

#8 PhilipB

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Posted 21 November 2016 - 06:12 AM

Hi All,

First post and first brew under way!

A couple of questions if I may, I bought the Brigalow as a start up and introduction to HomeBrewing and my first brew is under way.
I have followed all of the instructions so I hope, but....

Have I filled my Fermenter up too much? I mean there are notches on the side and for the life of me I cannot work out the 23 litre mark, also my Airlock keeps bubbling over?

Is this normal? Or is it because I have over filled it?

Many thanks in advance.

Paul


Paul,

The markings on the fermenter indicate 25 litre capacity when looking at your photo.

Looks like you have filled to 21 litres.

If you want to avoid the mess through the airlock two things you can do:

1. Implementation of temperature control.

2. Use glad wrap instead of the lid. To do this, remove the rubber ring from the lid. Use a sheet of glad wrap instead of the screw on lid and use the rubber ring to hold the glad wrap sheet in place.

Welcome to AHB.

Cheers,

Phil

#9 Yob

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Posted 21 November 2016 - 06:25 AM

2. Use glad wrap instead of the lid. To do this, remove the rubber ring from the lid. Use a sheet of glad wrap instead of the screw on lid and use the rubber ring to hold the glad wrap sheet in place.

 

 

or install a blow off tube, having only limited head space, this could well save a lot of cleaning up, gladwrap wont solve that but a blow off will..

 

2 ha'penny



#10 Coodgee

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Posted 21 November 2016 - 09:22 AM

I'd say the bubbling over is the symptom and not the cause. The cause is lack of temperature control (does that make me sound all wise and shit??). I see you are in Wollongong, and I see it's predicted to hit 30 degrees there today and 31 tomorrow. It means your yeast is going nuts in the hot weather. This causes a fast, vigorous ferment, but not in a good way. It means the yeast will produce a lot of extra compounds besides ethanol and carbon dioxide that will contribute "off" flavours to your beer. There is a good chance that beer will not taste very nice if it's been fermented at 30 degrees. It will also probably give you a bad hang over.  

 

Might as well forge ahead with this brew, it might turn out ok, but for your next brew try to keep the temperature of the fermenter and it's contents under 20 degrees. There are a range of ways to do this, search the forum for ideas. 



#11 namela

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Posted 21 November 2016 - 04:02 PM

No oops, just chill :). My kits have been taking off like nobody's business lately, the current stout made a nice black sticky mess shooting out the airlock overnight. With your fermenter the longer lines are 5l marks and as mentioned you have a 21l batch going.

All good, relax and have a (homebrew) beer.

Thanks Kitmaster, makes me feel a whole lot better and don't feel like I have asked a daft question.



#12 namela

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Posted 21 November 2016 - 04:06 PM

I'd say the bubbling over is the symptom and not the cause. The cause is lack of temperature control (does that make me sound all wise and shit??). I see you are in Wollongong, and I see it's predicted to hit 30 degrees there today and 31 tomorrow. It means your yeast is going nuts in the hot weather. This causes a fast, vigorous ferment, but not in a good way. It means the yeast will produce a lot of extra compounds besides ethanol and carbon dioxide that will contribute "off" flavours to your beer. There is a good chance that beer will not taste very nice if it's been fermented at 30 degrees. It will also probably give you a bad hang over.  

 

Might as well forge ahead with this brew, it might turn out ok, but for your next brew try to keep the temperature of the fermenter and it's contents under 20 degrees. There are a range of ways to do this, search the forum for ideas. 

 

Thanks for the info...yes it was quite warm today, and tomorrow? There is a storm brewing at the moment, not the sort of brew I was looking for, the brew is in the garage so I think I may have to move the next batch to a cooler spot...maybe the laundry? It got a bubble every 20 or so seconds through the air lock but the temp has been around the 25 degrees apart from today that is..so fingers crossed or big head aches!



#13 namela

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Posted 21 November 2016 - 04:09 PM

Paul,

The markings on the fermenter indicate 25 litre capacity when looking at your photo.

Looks like you have filled to 21 litres.

If you want to avoid the mess through the airlock two things you can do:

1. Implementation of temperature control.

2. Use glad wrap instead of the lid. To do this, remove the rubber ring from the lid. Use a sheet of glad wrap instead of the screw on lid and use the rubber ring to hold the glad wrap sheet in place.

Welcome to AHB.

Cheers,

Phil

 

Thanks Phil, I do feel welcome,  I did email Brigalow and they replied with the same filled level you and manticle mentioned so thanks for that, so I have marked it for future reference, glad wrap? what about the airlock?



#14 PhilipB

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Posted 21 November 2016 - 04:18 PM

Paul,

You don't need an airlock when using glad wrap.

Have attached a couple of pictures for you.

The only thing to consider is ensuring that the glad wrap is sufficient to cover the opening on the fermenter and your rubber ring has enough glad wrap to form a seal.

Cheers,

Phil

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#15 Vini2ton

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Posted 21 November 2016 - 04:25 PM

Blow-off tubes are easy to rig up and great insurance against wasted time cleaning shit up. I learnt that from making wine in these 30 litre fermenters. I have no room for more fridges and today I wrapped a couple off damp towels around 2 fermenters. It works at a pinch, but summer in Australia is saison time.



#16 Rocker1986

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Posted 21 November 2016 - 08:17 PM

Don't even need an airlock with the lid either. Been using gaffa tape over the hole in the lid on my FV for ages with no problems at all. Just don't tighten the lid on fully.



#17 namela

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Posted 05 December 2016 - 06:06 PM

Paul,

You don't need an airlock when using glad wrap.

Have attached a couple of pictures for you.

The only thing to consider is ensuring that the glad wrap is sufficient to cover the opening on the fermenter and your rubber ring has enough glad wrap to form a seal.

Cheers,

Phil

 

Thanks Phil for the info...never thought this could be done but looks like it can! Very interesting indeed. Apologies for no replying sooner been a bit on busy side. The first batch is bottled and the second has been in for a week, I have moved the kit into the laundry which is considerably cooler.

 

When I crack the first bottle I will raise it you guys for the support and direction you have given me.

 

Paul



#18 pablo_h

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Posted 06 December 2016 - 01:12 PM

Does the fermenter with tap fit in the box it came with?

Early this year I was using water baths/wet towel + fan to keep my fermenter cool (around 24C), then switched to a crate, smaller fermenter and a couple of frozen bottles wrapped up in a sleeping bag (kept at 18C).

A couple of weeks ago I realized that my larger fermenters would fit in it's old box (minus one flap on the lid due to airlock but you don't even need an airlock anyway) - it's the old coopers fermenter that came with 30 PET bottles so it's a huge box.

 

Anyway, with the fermenter in the box and 4x 1.25L PET frozen bottles (with another 4 in the freezer to rotate the bottles), and wrapped in a sleeping bag after 2 days and 2 sets of frozen bottle changes I got the fermenter down to 13C.  Fermentation was already  finished the week before; I was trying to get the beer as cold as possible to clear the beer up as best I could before bottling.

But for temp control to 18-20C you'd only need 2x 1.25L bottles I think, like I used early in the year for 18C with a crate and sleeping bag for a smaller fermenter.

 

Other people can find styrofoam boxes big enough which does a better job as is obviously more water resistant to the sweating ice bottles and thicker insulation.  But a cardboard box wrapped in a sleeping bag or blanket is good enough (but yes put in the house in the coolest place you can find)


Edited by pablo_h, 06 December 2016 - 01:19 PM.


#19 decr

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Posted 07 December 2016 - 06:49 AM

Other people can find styrofoam boxes big enough

Like a fridge? :)

I got an old fridge off gumtree for free and use it for poor man's temp control. It fits two fermenters, insulates when necessary and a couple of hot water bottles are enough to keep them going at 18c even in the tassie winter.

Happy brewing!

Edit: it's disconnected obviously :P

Edited by decr, 07 December 2016 - 06:50 AM.


#20 pablo_h

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Posted 07 December 2016 - 10:18 AM

Are you saying that it's a non working fridge? Sounds OK it fits two fermenters.  Makes up for all the downsides of using a dead fridge. If it didn't then non working fridges are not so great.  Better than a cardboard box of course, but I wouldn't go out of my way to get one - maybe if neighbours were chucking one out and I'd only need to travel 20m with a fridge trolley.

Normally with old fridges the seals and insulation is shot, wasted ugly space with a dead useless freezer, have to maybe make up a bottom support to hold the fermenter over the compressor hump (wouldn't trust the vege drawers).  Of course due to piping the inside heats up when the outside compressor and piping heats up in ambient, metal cabinet, drain is open too, lose cold air when opening up.  Stuck with something to get rid off when moving house (matters to me because I'm a dirty poor renter that lives in cheap cheap houses destined to be knocked down.

 

An insulated box made from foam or plastic with good insulation would be smaller, more efficient , better use of space etc than an old dead fridge that only fits one fermenter.

Of course, disregard if it does work in cooling mode.

I can't use a fridge because I'm already uses 2 fridges for food and storage and drinks.  No where to put a 3rd here and don't want to pay a few hundred extra per year to run another one.

 

e: Also if the OP is using I assume brigalow yeast, that's usually OK at 24C.  I did some early this year and compared to coopers yeast (which is horrible at 22c+), the brigalow stuff doesn't have a strong bad flavour at slightly warmer temps.


Edited by pablo_h, 07 December 2016 - 10:43 AM.