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First Brew, Freaking Out!

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Smoop

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Hi guys,
Brewing my first ever homebrew beer. I am brewing a Coopers Pale Ale. The brew has been down since the 1st august and it is now the 7th August .
I have a closed brewing kit.
The effective temperature of my yeast is 18 - 32 degrees celcius.
Recommended temperature for this brew kit is 21 - 27 degrees celcius.
My brew kit has been at 16 degrees at night and 18 degress during the day.
Called my local homebrew shop and he didn't seem to think there would be a problem.
My air lock stopped bubbling this morning and I took my first reading of 1014.
Once I replaced my lid my airlock started bubbling again.
The instructions for this brew state bottling after 6 days at 21 degrees or 4 days at 27 degrees. As this is my first brew you can see why I am freaking out, 16 - 18 degrees is something not in my instructions and I am at a loss.
I am also worried about removing the lid of my brew as every book I have read states I can contaminate my beer and **** it.
Should I be freaking out ?
How many readings and at what intervals should I be taking them ?
I don't want to bottle the brew too early and have bottles exploding everywhere.
Can you leave your brew too long ?
Is there anything else I should know ?
Im so excited and shitting my pants at the same time. THIS IS AWESOME WOOO!!!
 

tricache

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One thing I have learnt with brewing it is actually pretty hard to screw things up haha

Low & Slow is pretty well the way to go with fermenting. I usually check my gravities about 3 days apart.
 

Smoop

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One thing I have learnt with brewing it is actually pretty hard to screw things up haha

Low & Slow is pretty well the way to go with fermenting. I usually check my gravities about 3 days apart.
Thank you for the reply.

I checked my gravity by opening my container and dropping my sanitised hydrometer inside and spinning it. Is this method ok ? Should I be filling the test tube from the tap and testing ? If I test from the tap and test tube should I put the beer back into the brew or is that thrown out ?
 

Yob

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Hi guys,
Brewing my first ever homebrew beer. I am brewing a Coopers Pale Ale. The brew has been down since the 1st august and it is now the 7th August .
I have a closed brewing kit.
The effective temperature of my yeast is 18 - 32 degrees celcius.
Recommended temperature for this brew kit is 21 - 27 degrees celcius.
Dont read the kit instructions, they are bollox
My brew kit has been at 16 degrees at night and 18 degress during the day.
Perfect temp really, dont be concerned
Called my local homebrew shop and he didn't seem to think there would be a problem.
sounds fair
My air lock stopped bubbling this morning and I took my first reading of 1014.
dont worry about the airlock, it's an indicator not a difinitive tool to use as extent of ferment
Once I replaced my lid my airlock started bubbling again.
you took the lid off for a reading? doesnt it have a tap at the bottom?
The instructions for this brew state bottling after 6 days at 21 degrees or 4 days at 27 degrees. As this is my first brew you can see why I am freaking out, 16 - 18 degrees is something not in my instructions and I am at a loss.
again mate, those instructions arent worth the paper they are written on
I am also worried about removing the lid of my brew as every book I have read states I can contaminate my beer and **** it.
Should I be freaking out ?
no but dont make a habbit out of it.
How many readings and at what intervals should I be taking them ?
one at the start before you pitch, one after a week, another in 4 days after that usually gets me home (I hardly even do that these days)
I don't want to bottle the brew too early and have bottles exploding everywhere.
good thinking there
Can you leave your brew too long ?
unless you are talking over a month or so, not really
Is there anything else I should know ?
lots, research mate, get a reading, here is a start linky
Im so excited and shitting my pants at the same time. THIS IS AWESOME WOOO!!!
Thats the spirit!!
Yob
 

woodwormm

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Much less than 16 degrees and you'd most likely stall the packet yeast (assuming you used the one under the can lid?) but around 16-18 will be fine if it keeps bubbling along nice and slow. You'll get a better tasting beer by keeping it at the lower range of the yeast capabilities.

i'd check it every couple days, but let it go for around 12 days in total and the last couple days if you can bump the temp just a little (ie 20 degrees) would help a bit too.

but definitely make sure you get 3 consistent readings (hopefully around 1012 or lower) before bottling. Also make sure you measure your priming sugar accurately and treat your babies nicely for a few more weeks in the bottle... if you can wait that long!

Kit beers are made for the average Joe, but you're on AHB so you already outrank average.. next time get a decent yeast from the LHBS Safale US05 or Nottingham are my favourites... cleaner, better tasting than kit yeast and these respond much better at lower temps, they get fruity over 20 degrees.
 

tricache

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Test Tube filled from the tap is best, less chance of infection from the air itself.

And no don't put the beer back in, again, a chance for infection. I use it as a taste and aroma sample ;)
 

mosto

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Hi Smoop,

You've got nothing to worry about. 18 degrees is pretty much spot on for the beer you're brewing (despite what the instructions say). I've only been brewing not quite a year myself, but one of the best things I've learnt is when you think your brew is ready to bottle, leave it another week. That way you can be sure fermentation has finished, and the yeast will clean up after themselves and this makes a big difference to the quality of your beer IMO. I leave my ales for at least two weeks, and lagers for about four weeks before bottling. At 1014, I'd be inclined to think the fermentation may not have finished anyway, as the Coopers kit yeast will usually get down to about 1008.
 

lookey

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Thank you for the reply.

I checked my gravity by opening my container and dropping my sanitised hydrometer inside and spinning it. Is this method ok ? Should I be filling the test tube from the tap and testing ? If I test from the tap and test tube should I put the beer back into the brew or is that thrown out ?
Fill up the tube from the tap. Dont put the sample back in. Drink it!
 

Yob

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also, download this SPREADSHEET and have a play with it.

A great tool for those starting out, will let you get your head around what ingredients add to a brew.

Yob
 

Smoop

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also, download this SPREADSHEET and have a play with it.

A great tool for those starting out, will let you get your head around what ingredients add to a brew.

Yob
I already downloaded the spreadsheet and to be honest I have no idea what the hell I am looking at. hahaha.
 

Smoop

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OK,
So what I have gathered from you guys.

16 - 18 degress is good. Leave it alone, it will be fine. After around 12 days take a reading each day for 3 days from the tap.After the reading drink it :) If the readings are all the same on the three consecutive days. bottle my brew.
 

lookey

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OK,
So what I have gathered from you guys.

16 - 18 degress is good. Leave it alone, it will be fine. After around 12 days take a reading each day for 3 days from the tap.After the reading drink it :) If the readings are all the same on the three consecutive days. bottle my brew.
i generally leave all my brews in the primary fermenter for 3 weeks. Even if it reaches the FG after the first week. I like to give the yeasties time to clean up after themselves.

That seems to do the trick for me. No point in rushing it
 

hsb

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Definitely just ignore the airlock, it is indicative of nothing. Sounds like you got lucky with temperature - normally the major cause of first beer - wow this tastes bad - reaction. That and forgetting to add the yeast/boiling the wort and yeast/pitching four packs of yeast in a panic etc..

If you can manage to ferment it for 2 weeks without faffing around with it every 2 hours you've done better than most. Patience and temperature will surely turn those sugars into alcohol, then those stable hydrometer readings and you're onto to trying to make it fizzy. Just make sure your final reading is in the range of what you should be seeing, 1014 sounds like it could shift a little lower but not much.

Congratulations!! 3 weeks sounds better but I'll wager you don't make it!!

Never float the hydrometer in the beer again! Use the tube it came in! Definitely drink those samples, there's alcohol in there!

So long as you sanitise things first and don't let the cat drink direct from the fermenter/leave it all alone unless you have a specific need to check it, she'll be right!

If a bunch of weird monks with wooden equipment and no knowledge the earth is round can make beer, I rate your chances high!
 

Smoop

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i generally leave all my brews in the primary fermenter for 3 weeks. Even if it reaches the FG after the first week. I like to give the yeasties time to clean up after themselves.

That seems to do the trick for me. No point in rushing it
This will give me a much clearer beer I am guessing ?
 

hsb

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Clearer tasting but also a little brighter as the yeast will fall to the bottom of the fermenter.
'Cold crashing' when everything is totally finished (ie; chilling the fermenter down to 5C or lower) will clear it more but if you're not setup for that I shouldn't worry. And since this is a kit beer, without added hops?, it should be way clear enough anyway.

Just give the yeast time to convert the sugars and to clear up after themselves as they eat their own waste products. Don't rush it. Be prepared to give it a good week once it has reached final gravity for this to happen. It'll only help make a nicer beer.
 

Smoop

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Thanks, I really don't mind waiting if it will give me a better beer :)
 

Smoop

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Also, if I am going to be leaving my beers for up to 3 weeks it looks like I am going to have to buy another barrel so I can brew one ever 1 and a half weeks. Haahahahaha WHEEEEEEE!!!!
 

tricache

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Start bulk priming and you can pretty much fill any bottle (2LT Coke Bottles ;) ) with beer :D
 

woodwormm

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Also, if I am going to be leaving my beers for up to 3 weeks it looks like I am going to have to buy another barrel so I can brew one ever 1 and a half weeks. Haahahahaha WHEEEEEEE!!!!
that's the way, just pick up a cheap barrel/cube from the big green shed or an army disposals store
 

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