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slcmorro

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Just a quick hello.

I bought my own home brew kit yesterday, super excited.
My name is Clayton, I'm 28 and from Ballarat - VIC.

I've been reading quite a bit of info about home brewing, and have had the pleasure of sampling a few different beers from other friends kits, and came to the realisation that it's fun, relatively easy and rewarding so here I am!

Cheers.
 

Bribie G

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Welcome to the slippery slope Clayton. Ignore the kit instructions and have a look round the forum. :beerbang:

Michael
 

slcmorro

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Haha, yeah. That's the first thing I spotted. Ignore the instructions. Problem is, I followed them first and then got on here.

Oh well... it might be good for watering the garden in the end. Plus, it'll get the plasticy taste out of the equipment... ;)
 

jaypes

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Good on ya, a long journey starts with a small step and the first couple of beers maybe questionable but you have made beer!

You will find a lot of good info here (and some questionable stuff as well! :wacko:)

Cheers
 

lukiferj

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Don't worry mate. First home brew generally tastes better than it actually is. For the simple fact that you made it. On the plus side, they can only get better. Welcome.
 

slcmorro

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I'm loving looking at the drum, listening to the sounds and smelling the aroma coming from it. It's got a good foam on it, so it must be working.

I set it up at 27 degrees as per the ridiculous instructions, but it's been sitting between 18-22 in a cold dark cupboard so I hope that's ok. I've been reading about getting an old fridge setup with a heatmat etc going, or wondering if the heater in the brew idea is better.

I bought some PET bottles from a bloke up the road too, so I now have 120 longneck bottles which is more than enough. He also gave me a drying tree and another 15L purpose made drum, so I can try a cider or something soon also.
 

Bribie G

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18-22 is ideal.

in Ballarat of the Tundra :p you'd probably need heating, your best bet is a heat belt not a mat. You want to warm the brew, not turn the dregs at the bottom into a lava lamp. However a "ghetto" method of heating a turned-off fridge is to use an old fashioned 40w light bulb under an upside down terra cotta plant pot, works ok apparently.
 

slcmorro

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Excellent. Thanks for the tips everyone. Looking forward to bottling. I can try some then safely yeah?

Also, since the temp is fluctuating slightly (I don't think there's any rapid drops/rises though), will it still be alright?
 

Yob

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She'll be right man, stress less.

Stable is ideal, but a few degrees is neither here nor there.
 

slcmorro

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Thanks bud. It's dropping to 16c overnight, and was at 16c when I came home from work at 3pm today. I've got a small heater in the enclosed cupboard, which seems to be heating it back up slowly. I'm trying to sit it around 18c. I also read a bit about the yeast becoming dormant if sat cold for too long, so I gave the tub a little swirl.
 

slcmorro

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First batch is sitting at 1016 now. Will test it again tomorrow and hopefully it's lower and then the following day it's stable. Man, the fermentation slows down a lot in the final stages doesn't it? To be expected though of course.
 

Yob

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patience is a brewing skill that comes with time but has an added bonus in many other areas of life. Im much more patient with things that I used to be... except traffic <_<

No need to check every day, just leave it till next Sat :)
 

slcmorro

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Hahaha. Sounds like you and I got our patience when it comes to traffic from the same tree.
Another week? Not sure if I can hold on quite that long! :p
 

Troy294

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Well I'm I finding it hard to keep temp low . Average temp in rocky is 30 . Just out down a batch of coopers lager with us-05 yeast . Did 4 liters hot tap water , I had 10 liters of normal tap tremo water and 10 l cold water in fridge . Did all that and the temp strip still says 28-26 .
I have re brew tub sitting in a old fishing esky quarter filled with ice water around it and yet still says same temp . So I assume the strip is not working lol .
 

slcmorro

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Warming anything up is definitely easier than cooling anything down.

Much the reason why I prefer winter over summer. I can always get warmer, but hell, I can never cool down in the heat! :)
 

manticle

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Troy294 said:
I would prefer trying to warm it up . Lol seems hard to keep temp down
Definitely hard in QLD without a fridge.

Couple of tricks - get a big tub or a laundry sink, fill with water and ice bricks and submerge your fermenter in there. You can drape a wet towel around it and use a fan as extras. Get the wort to a few degrees below your preferred temperature before pitching as fermentation generates its own heat - quite a bit.

Also don't rely on the stick on thermometer (the water bath will probably kill it anyway but they are not much use). From a good home brew shop, you should be able to buy a glass stick thermometer for less than $15. When you take your first gravity sample in your hydrometer tube, measure the temperature straight away. The thermal mass of your beer + the water will be reasonably efficient at maintaining temperature during the first few days of fermentation (which is when it is most important that you stay around your target temperature) so you can monitor temp during fermentation (approximately but it won't be far off the truth) by measuring the temperature of the water before you add your next lot of ice bricks.

Once you know you're interested in the hobby and have enough space, consider a fridge and temperature controller but for now, water bath will help.
 

wbosher

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Like manticle said, water bath is perfect for a cheap way of keeping the temp down. If it starts to climb, throw a frozen water bottle in the bath. Just one, then monitor for a little while.

I made the mistake of throwing two or three before going out for a few hours, only to have it plummet from about 23 down to about 14!

Google "Swamp Cooler", heaps of info on a ghetto cooling system...can't beat a fridge/stc-1000 combo though when you're ready, just discovering that myself. :) Set and forget.
 

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