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DrewCarey82

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G'day Guys.

This is my first place so howdy and hows it going?

Just started brewing and have a couple of queries(Or will be tonight)

Okay first one I've been told that room temperature is alright, for the firmanter I am under the impression that it just means without a heater that it will take longer to fermant, but wont affect quality. - I live in Sydney.

How much longer does it take without a heater?

And also does glass affect the taste when bottling is it much better then plastic?
As somebody said that it wasnt but he'd only started about a year ago so I thought that I'd ask some experienced campaigners.

Thanks in advance for anyone that answers.
 

barls

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the slower the fermentation the better cause it gives the yeast more time to do there job better and with less byproducts. at current temps id say anything up to 2-3 weeks depending what temp your brewing at. they have different strains of yeasts for different temps ie a lager yeast is designed for low temps (8-12 degrees) while an ale yeast is designed for higher temps(18-20). nether glass or plastic affect the taste when bottling its just glass is the preferred option by many cause of its non oxygen permeable unlike plastic. saying this ive had beer in one of the pet coopers bottles for about 2 years and it still tasted great.
 

BRAD T

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Hi Drew,
Welcome to the forum. Iwill try to answer your questions as simply as possible.

1) Follow the instructions that came with the yeast, there should be a temp. range for the fermentation dependinf on what type of yeast you are using. Higher temps can ferment faster but may alter the characteristics and flavours of the yeast.
2) When bottling I have not noticably tasted a difference between the PET (plastic) and Glass, however Beer improves with age and the PET bottles do allow the CO2 to permeate out after time( how long? don't ask me it doesn't last that long) so if you plan to store for extended periods you may be better off using glass.

My best advice to you is hunt through the forum and read as many of the old posts that you can as there is an enormous amount of information contained here, you should also look at the following website www.howtobrew.com

Cheers and all the best in Brewing
 

RobW

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Hi DC82 & welcome

The important thing is that you ferment at the correct temperature for the yeast you are using & the type of beer you are brewing. General rule of thumb is ale yeasts ferment in the range of 18-22oC & true lager yeasts ferment between about 8 & 14oC. So depending on the ambient temperature sometimes you have to heat & sometimes you need to cool. If you search this site you will find a lot of information regarding fermentation temperatures & how to maintain them.

Rob
 

DrewCarey82

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Ah okay, so by firmanting that means leaving in the barrel? It doesnt firmant after you bottle it?

On the instruction booklet it says between 21-27 degrees(its coopers lager) for 7 days at that temp and then leave bottled for atleast another 7 days but up to 3 weeks for better taste.

If I leave it in the barrel for 3 weeks do I still need to leave it in the bottle for that long?
 

BRAD T

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Drew,
Try to keep it about 18 to 20 degrees. The standard coopers lager kit uses an ale yeast, don't forget to take an original gravity reading with a hydrometer before you pitch( throw in ) your yeast( also make sure that the wort temp is about 20deg), after about five days draw off a sample and check the gravity again, do this for 3 days when there is no change in the gravity over 2-3 days then it has finished the primary fermentation. You can then bottle, (you must be sure that the primary fermentation has finished or you could have some bottle bombs) once bottled keep it at about the same temp for at least 2 weeks to allow for carbonation, but the longer you leave it to condition in the bottle the better.
You will find in other posts on this forum people talking about racking to another container for a secondary fermentation, this does improve the beer but I think for your first brew you do not need to worry about this process. The main thing to watch out for is sanitation.

Another piece of advice is to go and talk with the guys at your Local Home Brew Shop (LHBS) they should be happy to give you advice.

Cheers
 

barls

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by 7 days it should be near completion but by leaving it longer you allow secondary fermentation which clears the beer. id say leave it in the bottle for 3 weeks to let it carbonate and condition then drink and enjoy.
 

DrewCarey82

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Thanks for the responses guys it comes with a video but if I can get hints before hand it always helps.

What ect do you's reckon I need besides the basic ones provided in the kit? - Or just brew a couple first before fiddling?

And also the gravity measure thing that would come with the kit wouldnt it? I know that got a big long thermonitor thing with it which I'd presume is it.

- Gee's I must sound like a know nothing haha
 

Justin

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Hi DC, and welcome

Yep, fermenting means leaving it in the barrel. Can I recommend something straight up here? Get hold of 1kg of dried malt extract (~$6 from the homebrew shop) to add with the beer kit and forget about the 1kg of sugar it recommends-trust me it's worth it.

Ok. Just so you don't get too confused with all this talk of ale and lager yeast and temps.

The Coopers Lager kit is a bit confusing in this situation because it comes with an ale yeast (not a lager yeast, so therefore its not technically a true lager). Lagers can be a bit harder to make if done the proper way but your kit will be easy with the ale yeast provided.

I'd aim to try and ferment this beer at 18C, the recommended 21-27C is way too high in my opinion-you'll get crappy flavours in your beer. The cooler you can ferment it the cleaner the flavours will be. Also, forget about the 7 day thing. The beer finishes when it finishes, it does not work to the weekly calendar unfortunately. If you can keep it at 18C it will be finished easily within about 10-14 days (you'll see the activity in the air lock slow right down). It won't hurt it to let it sit for 2 weeks.

If you can learn how to use your hydrometer (it's easy as) you can also use this to see when fermentation has finished. Do a search for that.

You'll be bottling your beer so your going to need to leave the beer in the bottles with some priming sugar for 2 weeks or more so that it ferments a bit more, creating pressure in the bottle which carbonates your beer, there is no quick way out of this (plus it helps to let the beer age a little bit longer than the minium 2 weeks, also allows the yeast to settle out).

Hope that's a start. Dont' stress too much, it really is pretty simple. Try to be as clean as you can be and you'll go great. Plenty of time to perfect and develop your skills and techniques. Get this one going and hopefully you'll be hooked on the hobby like the rest of us poor suckers on this site :p

Cheers mate, Justin
 

DrewCarey82

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So guys this will be my first brew by myself and I have virtually no idea, are there any really obvious things that I should look out for, not do and do.

Dont want to end up with a brew that looks like golden syrup with the same texture!
 

shmick

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DrewCarey82 said:
So guys this will be my first brew by myself and I have virtually no idea, are there any really obvious things that I should look out for, not do and do.

Dont want to end up with a brew that looks like golden syrup with the same texture!
[post="75063"][/post]​
G'day & welcome DC82

Kits are pretty foolproof. If in doubt follow the kit instructions for your first brew.
It will give you a base to compare the next one to when you start trying to improve it.

Sanitise everything that comes into contact with your brew (hands included).
You can use a sanitised turkey bastor to take samples for SG (specific gravity) readings from the middle of the wort - avoid the very top or bottom. If you take samples out of the tap, make sure it isnt full of yeast/trub etc and wash the outside of the tap afterwards to stop mould growing in/on it.
Taste your SG samples to get an idea of what happens to the wort during the process. Dont tip them back in either.
Rehydrating the yeast is benificial but not critical.
Dont pitch the yeast if the wort is too warm - yeast die when they get hot (>35C) but only sleep when cold.
Be patient - it may take a good day or 2 to start bubbling thru the airlock.
Others have mentioned fermetation temperatures. I used a light globe in an old cupboard for years. If you have one of those stick on thermometer strips check how accurate it is against another thermometer. It's not unusual for them to be 5 or more degs out.

Enjoy :chug:
 

DrewCarey82

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By the sounds of it a couple of old blankets should do the trick, so I'll go down that path first, and keep on checking the temp.

Not as scary as I thought though I am curious how do you do it without a kit could somebody give me a brief run down?
 

shmick

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Start with the often quoted book (online) by John Palmer

www.howtobrew.com
 

RobW

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DC

Have a look here.

http://www.howtobrew.com/

John Palmer's book is a great place to start & will introduce you to the different stages of brewing (kit, partial & all-grain).

Rob
 

RobW

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shmick said:
Start with the often quoted book (online) by John Palmer

www.howtobrew.com
[post="75079"][/post]​
You're too slick schmick! :D :p :D
 

shmick

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Shmick by a nose
Must have been neck and neck crossing the line :lol:
 

DrewCarey82

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Guys just letting you know my brew went okay thanks for the advice its bubbling away about once every 1.5 to 2 seconds which I assume is normal.

I've been told that once it stops bubbling its pretty much good to bottle is this correct?

Cheers.
 

RobW

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DrewCarey82 said:
Guys just letting you know my brew went okay thanks for the advice its bubbling away about once every 1.5 to 2 seconds which I assume is normal.

I've been told that once it stops bubbling its pretty much good to bottle is this correct?

Cheers.
[post="75363"][/post]​
You need to wait until the specific gravity is down to the expected level & there is no further change over a couple of days.
If you don't already have a hydrometer you should get one. They aren't expensive & it's the best way to be confident fermentation is finished.
 

DrewCarey82

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Already got one, had a pretty piss poor explanation with the kit though is it the fat end that faces up ways? and what level should it be?

Cheers.
 

RobW

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The bulb goes down so the scale is at the top. With a kit & kilo you should end up around 1008-1010. If you used malt extract instead of sugar it could be a touch higher. You just need to wait until it stops bubbling, give it a couple more days, then check for 2 consecutive consistent gravity readings. You won't do any harm leaving it on the yeast a bit longer.
 

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