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First brew

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Jeffo

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Well I got my first brew on tonight. Bought a starter kit from my LHBS which came with a Cooper's Lager tin (Not necessarily my cup of tea but for a first brew I couldn't care less!).

Ended up pitching the yeast at approx 24 degrees (which I think was a little high ideally?) with an OG of 1.38.

I'll be kegging it for the kegerator once fermentation is complete. I assume I just need a longer hose to bottom fill the keg and prime the keg first with some sugar before leaving it for a couple of weeks prior to refrigerating - is it that simple? I'll also bottle the excess in a couple of long necks with carbonation drops as a comparison.

Hopefully this turns out OK so I can slowly start progressing to the next challenge!
 

MaggieO

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Be nice if you could get that temp down to 18-20.
 

Jeffo

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Thanks, Maggie. Have got it in a cooler spot trying to get the temp down a bit now.

The air lock is bubbling so it appears it is fermenting 🤞🤞🤞

15886568211415877075717633089942.jpg
 

Grmblz

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I assume I just need a longer hose to bottom fill the keg and prime the keg first with some sugar before leaving it for a couple of weeks prior to refrigerating - is it that simple?
Yes, for a 19l lager try 80g sugar, I would boil it in a cup of water first.
 

MaggieO

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You're on the way to some great beer.

Keep us posted please.
 

Jeffo

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Well we are into day 4 now - I got the temperature down from the initial 24 degrees to around 20 degrees after about 24 hours or so and it appears to have remained reasonably constant since. The airlock has stopped bubbling like it was.

I took an SG reading this morning which came out at 1.009 so I'm thinking fermentation is close to finishing. Will take another reading on Saturday night/Sunday morning and probably leave it any event to give it a little bit more time as, from my readings, this can only do good generally?
 

MaggieO

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I always give mine two weeks. Cream Ale I'm bottling Saturday stopped bubbling over a week ago but Saturday makes two weeks.
 

Grmblz

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^ Yep 2 weeks minimum, 3 weeks as a rule, sure you can go from go to whoa in about 4 days using Kveik @ 38c, 15psi, and force carbing but then you're making a very distinct type of ale.
 

Jeffo

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^ Yep 2 weeks minimum, 3 weeks as a rule, sure you can go from go to whoa in about 4 days using Kveik @ 38c, 15psi, and force carbing but then you're making a very distinct type of ale.
Thanks Grmblz. Would you say 2 weeks fermenter and then another 2 weeks in keg? I am leaning towards naturally carbonating the keg rather than force carbonating.
 

Grmblz

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Thanks Grmblz. Would you say 2 weeks fermenter and then another 2 weeks in keg? I am leaning towards naturally carbonating the keg rather than force carbonating.
Sooo many variables Jeffo, starting gravity, temp, and yeast strain/pitching rate (how much) all come into it, as a very rough rule of thumb (yes I can hear all the experts groaning) and an average ish 1040 starting gravity fermented @ 18 to 20, 2 weeks for fermentation, one week rest for the yeast to finish doing its thing, then crash chill @-1 or 0 for 48hrs (this bit just helps the yeast floculate (settle) to make your beer clearer) and is completely optional, then transfer beer to keg, and force carb or to naturally carbonate/condition add the sugar to the keg, "see ^ for keg conditioning" and leave in a warm spot for 2 weeks, put it into your fridge/kegerator and leave for a week to settle, for clear ish beer, or 24hrs if you don't mind a bit of haze/yeast in your brew. This is all very generic advice for your first few extract brews, have a look at Coopers for some inspiration, their recipes advise which yeasts to use, their supplied dry yeasts aren't bad, and they ease you into hop additions and mini mashes with speciality grains https://www.diybeer.com/au/recipes/ just don't try to crush grains with a rolling pin get your LHBS to crush them for you.
 

Jeffo

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Legend Grmblz - greatly appreciated!

Can't wait to get into hops and playing around with mini mashes!
 

Jeffo

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Update - I took another gravity reading today and it appears it has stabilised around 1010. Had a small taste of it and it smelled and tasted like beer (not the best beer but definitely beer). In any event, I'll give it a bit longer before I keg/bottle it to see how it goes.
 

Grmblz

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Excellent, if I may suggest KEEP RECORDS! One day you'll make a ball tearer of a beer, and want to repeat it, then realise you've forgotten exactly what went into it 😭 Don't ask lol
 

Jeffo

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Am definitely recording everything I can at the moment and will continue to do so!!
 

Jeffo

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Well, kegged (and bottled the rest) the brew yesterday. Gravity reading had stayed around the 1.009-010 mark as it had for the last week and a half.

I mixed approx 75g of dextrose with a cup of hot water to naturally carbonate the keg prior to filling. Also gave the keg a squirt of Co2 prior to filling and a tiny top up post-filling just to ensure no oxygen was hanging around in there.

Will give it 2 weeks and then get it in the kegerator to chill and try. In the meantime, time to work out the next brew I am going to stick on. Am leaning towards just doing a Coopers Pale Ale extract kit to give myself a 'base line' taste and then commence adding hops etc. the next attempt so I can compare the improvement.
 

Jeffo

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Well I'm getting closer to having the first drink of my home brew, today I got my other keg filled with a brew at U-Brew-It (i.e. brew on premises and leave for 3 weeks until you return to bottle/can/keg the brew). I went halves in a 50L brew with a mate and we both got our corny's filled and then canned the remainder.

Then disaster struck! As a complete kegerator new guy, I connected the beer line, then connected the gas line to the keg with the gas off, and beer shot up the gas line. I have since turned the gas on to a very minimal 1 psi or so and the beer is at least pouring (albeit a little frothy with the first pour).

From my research, this is fine for the time being? And then once the keg is empty, I can clean/replace the lines? Is there any other way I can get the beer out the gas line?
 

Grmblz

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Well I'm getting closer to having the first drink of my home brew, today I got my other keg filled with a brew at U-Brew-It (i.e. brew on premises and leave for 3 weeks until you return to bottle/can/keg the brew). I went halves in a 50L brew with a mate and we both got our corny's filled and then canned the remainder.

Then disaster struck! As a complete kegerator new guy, I connected the beer line, then connected the gas line to the keg with the gas off, and beer shot up the gas line. I have since turned the gas on to a very minimal 1 psi or so and the beer is at least pouring (albeit a little frothy with the first pour).

From my research, this is fine for the time being? And then once the keg is empty, I can clean/replace the lines? Is there any other way I can get the beer out the gas line?
Don't worry we've all done it, what you need (surprised you don't have one) https://www.keg-king.com.au/one-way-check-valve-with-brass-barbs.html or duotight - 8mm(5/16) x One Way Check Valve/Non-Return Valve put it between your reg and disconnect.
As long as beer didn't get inside the regulator you'll be fine, I would advise replacing the line because gribblys will grow in it now (the beer residue acts as a nutrient for all sorts of nasties) and being the "in" line anything in there ends up in the keg.
Good to see it going well for you, trust me one little cock up on your first couple of efforts is going really well lol.
 

Jeffo

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Cheers, Grmblz. Appreciate it - will definitely be getting a check valve when I replace the lines this time!

Will need to re-evaluate my process of connecting the keg too to make sure it doesn't happen again - I basically did exactly the same as a mate and his worked fine yet mine shot up the gas line!
 

golfandbrew

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Sounds like the U Brew It could use some scales so they don't overfill your kegs. No need to have the gas off or at just 1 psi. Set to about 12 psi and you'll be good to go. And don't forget to check for leaks once everything is connected. Once you lose an entire gas bottle or worse yet beer all over the floor you will take the time to check for leaks.
 

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