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First Brew, First Post!

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charlie_b

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Hello all!

I've just mixed my first brew up, Cascade Pale Ale kit mixed with Brew Booster #15 (came with the kit) and with an Safale s-04 Dry Ale Yeast substituted for the Cascade yeast which I kind of did on a whim and also because I noted that the temperature range was larger (15-24 C)

It's all mixed up and the yeast was added when it was all about 28 C (as per the stick on thermometer) and was sitting on 26 C when I rugged it up and sat it under the kitchen table. Unfortunately there isn't much space in my house and an empty closet wasn't an option. I'll probably invest in a warmer soon and store it in the back shed at a later date.

So my questions about sanitation are taking into consideration the effort put into sanitising all the equipment and the air lock:

1 - With all the effort that goes into sanitising everything and using cooled boiled water to wash it off, why do we then add cool tap water to make the brew in the fermenter?

2 - Can bacteria get in and affect the brew when mixing it up just due to bad luck?

and

3 - When moving the fermenter around air is then pushed into and out of the air lock. Doesn't this effectively destroying its purpose?

I had a look around the forums but couldn't find the answers so I hope the questions haven't been asked a thousand times before!

Cheers,

Charlie
 

Fish13

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Hello all!

I've just mixed my first brew up, Cascade Pale Ale kit mixed with Brew Booster #15 (came with the kit) and with an Safale s-04 Dry Ale Yeast substituted for the Cascade yeast which I kind of did on a whim and also because I noted that the temperature range was larger (15-24 C)

It's all mixed up and the yeast was added when it was all about 28 C (as per the stick on thermometer) and was sitting on 26 C when I rugged it up and sat it under the kitchen table. Unfortunately there isn't much space in my house and an empty closet wasn't an option. I'll probably invest in a warmer soon and store it in the back shed at a later date.

So my questions about sanitation are taking into consideration the effort put into sanitising all the equipment and the air lock:

1 - With all the effort that goes into sanitising everything and using cooled boiled water to wash it off, why do we then add cool tap water to make the brew in the fermenter?

2 - Can bacteria get in and affect the brew when mixing it up just due to bad luck?

and

3 - When moving the fermenter around air is then pushed into and out of the air lock. Doesn't this effectively destroying its purpose?

I had a look around the forums but couldn't find the answers so I hope the questions haven't been asked a thousand times before!

Cheers,

Charlie

1. i dont use cool boiled water after washing and sterilising just normal cold tap water. only infection is from dirty yeast

2. yes it can but you wash your hands after touching non brew gear.

3.it can but the co2 will push the air out but if it was an open vessel different story
 

bruce86

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hey mate welcome.
-first thing let the temp of your beer drop down. 18 to 20 deg should be good. if your yeast range is 15 to 24 over 24 will make it produce off flavours.
-the water you add to the kit should be prepared earlier (boiled) and cooled down. or use a filter off the tap. You can do water chem but i dont know much about it.
- i still find myself doing that with the airlock if you use steriler in the lock if some back washes in ints not the end of the world but not the greatest thing. i tend (if i remember) to take it out when lifting out of the chest freezer.

Yes these questions are asked all the time I did the exact same thing :p and there will def be more ppl asking them too
 

bum

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I hope the questions haven't been asked a thousand times before!
They have and someone will inevitably get upset but they're all reasonable questions so bugger 'em.

1. Some might recommend using cooled boiled water. I wouldn't bother myself but if you ever start to suspect your water is introducing infections then you should consider it (or better yet, move house). Loads of people have made good kit/extract beers with water straight from the tap.

2. Yeah, wild yeasts, "dirty" environments, etc. Do what you can to minimise risk (i.e. you probably don't want to brew in the middle of an orchard with your dog's bum hanging in the brew) but beyond that only worry about it if it becomes an issue - obviously still making sure all your gear is clean/sanitised, etc.

3. Yeah, sorta but it is more complicated than that. When you first put the brew in and move it the air that gets sucked in is probably going to be exactly the same air that is already in there anyway. Just limit the amount you move it around after that to an absolute minimum and it shouldn't present an issue. Besides, many brewers us methods that don;t include the use of an airlock - which I'm sure lots of guys will point out (if I'm not too slow already).

Watch your ferment temps, charlie. You're already a bit too hot and it sounds like your yeast isn't even firing yet. Average dry ale yeast will benefit from 18-20C, some will reasonably go up to 22C-ish (dependant on strain/style/position of moon relative to Jupiter). I know you're brewing in the kitchen which will make temp management difficult but it really is one of the factors where a new brewer can see immediate, big improvements in their brews.

Welcome aboard and happy brewing!
 

kario

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3. Yeah, sorta but it is more complicated than that. When you first put the brew in and move it the air that gets sucked in is probably going to be exactly the same air that is already in there anyway. Just limit the amount you move it around after that to an absolute minimum and it shouldn't present an issue. Besides, many brewers us methods that don;t include the use of an airlock - which I'm sure lots of guys will point out (if I'm not too slow already).

Watch your ferment temps, charlie. You're already a bit too hot and it sounds like your yeast isn't even firing yet. Average dry ale yeast will benefit from 18-20C, some will reasonably go up to 22C-ish (dependant on strain/style/position of moon relative to Jupiter). I know you're brewing in the kitchen which will make temp management difficult but it really is one of the factors where a new brewer can see immediate, big improvements in their brews.

Welcome aboard and happy brewing!
Yes, Welcome aboard.

With regards to the air-lock, depending what type you have, it will probably also spit some of whatever fluid you have in it into your wort also,...I'd consider this more of a concern than the air. Ensure this is pre-boiled water, some people even use 'no-rinse' sanitising solution in their air-lock instead of plain water.

+1 on bum's advice on temps....always endeavour to keep your brew fermenting in the low end of the range for a better beer.
 

piraterum

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Hey Charlie,

Welcome to the forum and congrats on your first brew :beerbang:

The first thing to do with beer kits is to throw away the instructions they provide :p
Following these instructions will make a fermented product but probably not the kind you're aiming for.

Couple of pointers...

1. Fermentation temperature for ale yeast should generally be between 18-20c. Having a large temp range is not really a good indication of how the yeast will perform. In fact you should try and keep the fermentation stable within this range. You'll read more about this later but for now stick to 18-20c.

2. Sanitation is THE most important aspect in brewing.

- Clean all your brewing equipment with a proper brewing detergent such as PBW http://www.craftbrewer.com.au/shop/details.asp?PID=2537

- Use a no rinse santiser such as Starsan http://www.craftbrewer.com.au/shop/details.asp?PID=4332
Once everything has been washed with a brewing detergent and rinsed with tap water all you need to do is soak all your equipment for ~2min in the no rinse santiser. You only need to add 1.5ml of santiser per 1L of tap water so it is super cost effective and it works like a treat

- Santising is really about reducing bacteria levels to such level they won't spoil the brew. The best thing to do is use a no rinse santiser on all yor equipment and get your fermentation started ASAP to reduce the chance of bacteria getting the upper hand over your brew.

3. Always remove the airlock if your going to move your fermenter. Make up a spray bottle of non rinse santiser spray the grommet and end of the airlock before you put the airlock back in place. Fill the airlock with some non-rinse sanitiser instead of just cooled boiled water.


Hope that helps a bit

cheers,

piraterum
 

bum

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Ensure this is pre-boiled water, some people even use 'no-rinse' sanitising solution in their air-lock instead of plain water.
Apparently vodka works well too.

One for you...one for me...
 

Lord Raja Goomba I

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+1 on temps being 18-20C.

Yeast is a living organism that turns wort (sugary malt water) into beer.

Treat it kindly and your beer will benefit.

Goomba
 

zabond

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Hi and welcome to the fun
As others have said keep your temp down to around 18*[massive improvement to final taste]
ditch the airlock and go the GLADWRAP way,nothing gets in,no probs with airlock suckback easier to move around,just remove the ferm lid seal stretch a couple of layers of Gladwrap over the top of ferm and secure with the lid seal[o'ring] ;)
 

charlie_b

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Awesome! Cheers guys. You sure know how to make a guy feel welcome!

So I woke up this morning and first thing I did was check my phone to see what replies I got, second thing I did was check the temp of the brew which was still sitting (and now bubbling away) on 25 C. So I un rugged it, checked the weather forecast, top of 19, and headed to work. My girlfriend will be checking on the temp through the day to try and get it to 18. Good thing about having a Queenslander for a girlfriend, she cares about the beer!

So from the sanitation side Ive come to the conclusion that tap water should be considered fine until proven otherwise, there is potential that the dog may hang its arse over the fermenter :p when mixing up but its unlikely so no need to lose sleep over it, and finally remove the airlock when moving the fermenter about as getting the stagnant water in the fermenter is a shite load worse than a bit of air!

So rock and roll I'm on my way to my first batch :beer:

Hopefully not too full of off favours....

Oh yeah and I had an OG of 1.060 so fingers crossed for a nice full strength one!

Cheers, schtoll, salud, etc

Charlie
 

crd0902

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Hey Charlie if you want to try to drop your temp get a towel or rug and keep it wet around the fermenter, maybe even some water in the hollow of the lid will cool it a few degrees. Even blow a fan on it to cool it more. 25 is quite high and may start to taste a bit weird. Also on the lid and airlock. Most people on here throw it away and glad wrap. I still haven't had a problem so I still use it. Not to say my way is best but. Enjoy ya brewin

Chris
 

charlie_b

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Cheers Chris and Zabond, I did read about the glad wrap option. problem is I'm a bit of a purist/hippy at heart, my goal is to eliminate plastic from the cycle completely but have no idea how ill achieve that now or even if its possible! I imagine it'll be a hell of a task sanitatising though :p
funny you mention the towel, ice and fan because I was on the phone to the girlfriend telling her to do that and whatever it takes to get it to 18 C! Great minds think alike, or is it simple minds seldom differ.... B)
 

CONNOR BREWARE

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Do what you can to minimise risk (i.e. you probably don't want to brew in the middle of an orchard with your dog's bum hanging in the brew)
All these years and finally the answer...I just chocked on my brekie...hilarious

Welcome op, happy brews mate!
 

redunderthebed

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Don't use the sodium metasulphite (sp?) usually provided or they tell you to buy when your sanitising. I usually use this stuff called pink stain fairly expensive but lasts you ages if you don't go overboard with the stuff (it can ruin the carbonation of the brew learnt from experience :( ) on brew day just set up a bucket with the solution in hot water and then a bucket of cold water to rinse the bottles out.
 

charlie_b

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OH NO!!!! :eek:

I've just realised I haven't sanitised the keg/spoon/nozzle ANYTHING! I miss read the bottle! I was using the cleaner, not the sanitiser..... :unsure:

Well, it'll be interesting to see how this turns out.... I'll be off the the brew shop to get another brew I guess and start all over once this experiment is all bottled and and the countdown to 'testing' begins.

Any recommendations for a nice full bodied pale or amber ale in the brew kits?

Lucky brewcraft have an 'if you screw up your first batch we'll give you the brew for the second free' guarantee! :beer:

Charlie
 

Yob

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Dont worry too much mate, if it starts to grow a personality give it some thought... Ive found brewing to be fairly forgiving.. Just try not to make a habit of it amd invest in some quality no rinse sanitiser for future.

Welcome to the rest of your life...

Yob
 

kario

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Awesome! Cheers guys. You sure know how to make a guy feel welcome!

So I woke up this morning and first thing I did was check my phone to see what replies I got, second thing I did was check the temp of the brew which was still sitting (and now bubbling away) on 25 C. So I un rugged it, checked the weather forecast, top of 19, and headed to work. My girlfriend will be checking on the temp through the day to try and get it to 18. Good thing about having a Queenslander for a girlfriend, she cares about the beer!

So from the sanitation side Ive come to the conclusion that tap water should be considered fine until proven otherwise, there is potential that the dog may hang its arse over the fermenter :p when mixing up but its unlikely so no need to lose sleep over it, and finally remove the airlock when moving the fermenter about as getting the stagnant water in the fermenter is a shite load worse than a bit of air!

So rock and roll I'm on my way to my first batch :beer:

Hopefully not too full of off favours....

Oh yeah and I had an OG of 1.060 so fingers crossed for a nice full strength one!

Cheers, schtoll, salud, etc

Charlie
I've done glad wrap, but I love my air-lock....gloop, gloop, gloop....it's like a sound from the womb. :rolleyes:

OG 1.060 sounds high for your kit.....you may have been caught out as I was with my first couple of brews......if you're using a 'sediment reducer' on the inside of your fermenter tap, it fills up with the initial concentrated kit goo and adjuncts (brew booster) that you first put into the fermenter before adding your water....you need to discard this bit before taking your hydrometer sample, otherwise you'll be taking a reading with that very concentrated stuff that first comes out.

As far as the sanitation, don't worry about it too much..being your first kit with brand new equipment makes it a lot less likely you'll pick up an infection/spoil your brew.....ensure your sanitation practises are strict in future!

Let us know how it ends up once you've tasted it.

Good luck.
 

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