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joshF

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Hi guys,
Like many others on this forum, i have recently jumped (or tripped?) onto the homebrew bandwagon :)
After vowing not to give any of my hard earned coin to dan murphys, bws and the like, i figured it was time to buy one of 'those big plastic things' and put on a batch.

I read through numerous articles here and a book called 'extreme brewing' by sam calagione (great read) and got the general idea of 'keep it simple' for the first batch. So i went with one of the ESB finest round wort kits (little creatures pale ale style), assuming it to be pretty simple.

I've sterilised the bejesus out of everything using sodium percarbonate sachet and also bought some phosphoric/suphiric liquid for next time.
Basically added the wort, clean water, cascade finishing hops and the US-05 yeast (pitched at 20 degrees).

All appeared to be going well for the first 3 or 4 days and it foamed up a little and bubbled solidly but then tapered off after about the 5th day, and so too did the foam/krausen! Today (11th day) the top of the beer is virtually clear, with only very few bubbles and a light layer of foam in the middle. It looks almost like a very thin layer of head right in the middle of the beer, not all over it.

I've kept the fermenter in a bath of water from day one to maintain the 18-20 degree temperature recommended however the foam/bubbles just never really cranked up like i expected. My OG was 1.049 and after the 11th day it is only 1.016 :S The airlock is bubbling once every 10 minutes or so but i would have assumed this to have stopped a little sooner? Does this sound normal? I've read some of the posts about stuck fermentations but was really hoping this wouldn't happen in my first brew :(

Anyway, as this is my first brew and i'm new to the forums, i'd love some of you guys input/advice so i can progress/improve for the next one.

Thanks in advance!!

cheers, Josh
 

ian_2005

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Welcome to a great sport !!

Heres my 2c's worth



Do you have a hydrometer ?

If so take two measurements a day apart, and if they are the same, Bottle the brew

If you dont own a hydrometer, i would bottle anyway


If you are refering to a liquid wort kit, this would probably explain the lack of head in the fermentor (but i havent done one in years)



Welcome to a world of great beer, but you will never see bunnings in the same light again !!!


Hope this helps, But i could be way off, i know nothing compared to most people in this great forum



Mr.I
 

manticle

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Don't know what is in the kit but I would be waiting a bit longer if you're not sure. 2 days the same, in and of itself is meaningless so don't go by that.

Have a read here: http://www.aussiehomebrewer.com/forum/inde...showarticle=130 about things you can do but patience at this point won't hurt your beer. There are good things that yeast do when allowed extra time with beer that has hit its gravity.

I am presuming you have a hydrometer as you have measured the gravity at 1016. If you don't have one, get one (and don't 'bottle anyway' - the article linked should clarify why).

Please forget the airlock as anything useful other than a thing that makes nice bloopy noises. You can't measure gravity with it.
 

bignath

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Welcome to a great sport !!

Heres my 2c's worth



Do you have a hydrometer ?

Yes he has. that's how he was able to supply OG and current gravities in his post above.

If so take two measurements a day apart, and if they are the same, Bottle the brew

24 hours isn't enough time to decide the fermentation has finished. 3-4 days is better.


If you dont own a hydrometer, i would bottle anyway

Jesus Christ.....

If you are refering to a liquid wort kit, this would probably explain the lack of head in the fermentor (but i havent done one in years)

What difference does that make?

Welcome to a world of great beer, but you will never see bunnings in the same light again !!!


Hope this helps, But i could be way off, i know nothing compared to most people in this great forum



Mr.I
My responses in red...
 

jaypes

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Welcome to a world of great beer, but you will never see bunnings in the same light again !!!

Mr.I
Very true, Bunnings is only good for the Sausage Sizzle on Saturdays, and cheap home brew paraphernalia
 
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I know it's only your first brew and all, but if you had a second fermenter and racked the brew into that, (sanitised, without splashing etc) I would be very surprised if it didn't agitate the yeastie boys and get them going again.
 

joshF

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God damn I had no idea i'd come back from dinner and see so many replies.

Thanks for all the input/feedback guys. Ian_2005 I've already made the trip to bunnings to make an adjustable holder for my auto siphon so i know exactly what you mean.

Manticle thanks for the heads-up. I've had a good read of that and will take a hydrometer sample tomorrow to see how if there's any change. I also went out and bought a 2nd plastic carboy and some bits and pieces to siphon it across after reading a similar articles about secondary fermentation (plus pros and cons of doing so). I've attached a pic of the secondary which now seems to have some small bubbles forming. I'm guessing/hoping this is a good sign?
cheers,
Josh

IMG_0229_1_.JPG
 

joshF

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ok so this morning i come out to check the fermenter and its bubbling away like mad again. There's some nice foam towards the neck of the fermenter and the airlock is bubbling away like mad.

Despite all the posts about airlocks being an unaccurate way of checking fermentation, if its now bubbling about three times every minute, is that a good sign again? I've attached a pic as of about 8.30 this morning showing the neck of the fermenter. Can i assume that by transferring to th secondary fermenter, the 'yeastie boys' (love that quote) have gotten back to work again? Will check the gravity today, hoping its now lower than 1.016 :)

Fermenter_08_11_12.JPG
 

Jay Cee

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If you are refering to a liquid wort kit, this would probably explain the lack of head in the fermentor (but i havent done one in years)
How do you reach that conclusion?
 

Jay Cee

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if its now bubbling about three times every minute, is that a good sign again? I've attached a pic as of about 8.30 this morning showing the neck of the fermenter.
It's a good sign yes. But your hydrometer is the tool to use when determining when to bottle. people will say 'two days at the same reading', but really, you won't be doing any harm if you leave it for another week after that.

Be aware if you plan to get more vessels that you don't need an expensive carboy (although nice bling !), a $15 water barrel from bunnings covered with glad wrap instead of a lid & airlock does as good a job.

That carboy looks very full. If the krausen(the foam) starts jumping out of the top, you can replace your air lock with a blow-off house in a glass of water or a bucket, which will stop a lot of mess.

https://www.google.com.au/search?q=blow+off...oGq2gigeykYD4Dg
 

bignath

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Despite all the posts about airlocks being an unaccurate way of checking fermentation, if its now bubbling about three times every minute, is that a good sign again?
Early on in the fermentation stage? Then yes, at it's most basic level, it's a "good sign"..

What we mean by stating airlocks as being innacurate to judge fermentation process, is that:

1. A bubbling airlock isn't necessarily a sign of fermentation - In the beginning, early stages, yes it does, but an airlock can still bubble long after fermentation has completely stopped. At the end of fermentation, there is a lot of CO2 in the fermenter (most of it sitting on top in the headspace). The pressure build up and the release of the CO2 can make airlocks bubble faster than people may think even though fermentation has finished.

2. A NON bubbling airlock is not a sign that fermentation hasn't started. Sometimes, the pressure can esacape through the lid seal if not done up tight enough, or if the seal is rooted, and it can escape out the airlock grommet before it gets to the airlock, once again if its rooted.
 

joshF

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Cheers for the info, i'lll rig one of those blow off hoses up if it starts getting out of hand. The secondary carboy is 23L so it nearly filled it right up. I read somewhere to fill the secondary as close to the top as possible to reduce oxidation. Hopefullly after i take a few hydrometer readings and add in the finings, it should lower a bit.

Thanks big nath, i'll use that advice. Being the first brew and all, any sign of activity or movement naturally gets you thinking something is either working :)

Will let you know how it goes!

cheers
 

jaypes

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My airlock is bubbling on my brew that i know has finished fermenting tested 3 days same FG, its the dissolved Co2 coming out of the beer after I had racked it.

Being your first brew you only need to follow the basics:

Clean
Sanitise
Patience
Rinse and Repeat
 

joshF

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just checked gravity again. It's approx 1.013 so definetely a good change since yesterday. It's now day 12, so being rather curious... if i subtract current gravity from original, then divide by the number of days, it would work out to be 0.003 change per day. I know that's not a realistic or accurate measure but it's nice to know what is happening along the way.

Now for the patience part. I crack the sh*ts waiting too long to get served at coles/woolies but this waiting for beer to finish is bloody awful. such a tease!!! all worth it in the end though :)
 

jaypes

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Now for the patience part. I crack the sh*ts waiting too long to get served at coles/woolies but this waiting for beer to finish is bloody awful. such a tease!!! all worth it in the end though :)
Not if you are drinking beer whilst waiting (applies to both coles/woolies and home brew)
 

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