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ODDBALL

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This morning I rose early from bed, around 5:00 to make a start on my first brew that involved crushing and steeping grain...alright it was only 250g but I learnt a lot about the processes involved and how much more time consuming it is.

Firstly I did not realise it would take so long, a tad over three hours from start to finish and that does not include the clean up which is still waiting to be done. Another thing is how long it takes to cool just a few litres of boiling wort without a chiller, I dunked the pot into an icy bath and it took several ice changes and 45 minutes to get down to 25C.

Something I am pissed off about is leaving the brewbooster I bought in my car at a mates house! :excl: I hope it won't make a difference but I had no choice but to use a Kilo of light DME because that was all I had in the house and by that time the wort was boiling away, I could of kicked myself!

The reciepe I followed was:

250g CRYSTAL
12g HALLERTUA HOPS (BAGGED)
TOOHEYS LAGER KIT
1K LIGHT DME
SAFALE 04 YEAST

I boiled for 15 minutes, that was after it eventually came to the boil on my electric stove, it was only 4 Litres but it took 25 minutes to get to the boil. I chucked the Yeast from the Tooheys kit in to the boil and the hops went in once it was actually boiling.

Hopefully it will be Ok but I have a feeling it might be too sweet with all that DME???

When I got the temp down to 25C I poured in water up to fifteen Litres and took a reading, it was 1.070 so I added another 4 Litres and it was 1.045 so I whisked it up for 5 minutes, I swear there was a head about 6 inches thick on top there was so much air in it. I pitched the yeast at 22C and sealed and the thing was bubbling within 20 Minutes :blink: Is that a record?

All in all it was a very worthwhile exercise just to learn the process and logistics of moving that quantity of boiling liquid around the house, thank god the kids were in bed. :excl:

Cheers for bringing me along this far guys, without the help I have got on this board I would not of attempted this today, anyone thinking of giving it a go for the first time go for it.
 
J

Jovial_Monk

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I am sure your beer will be OK and a kilo of malt is usually better than most HBS's booster packs!

Tiny bit gluggy maybe, next time use 750g of dry malt and cut with 250g sucrose or dextrose

JM
 

Trough Lolly

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G'day Oddball,
Congrats on pushing the brewing bar that much higher :D

Yes, it does take longer, but so does making making orange juice compared to mixing cordial!!
I agree with JM - I would have gone for a kilo of DME ahead of a booster pack any day - the only reason I would go for a booster is if your budget is tight! You may detect a slight cloying taste - that will be the malt and the crystal interacting on your palate - just add more bittering and flavour hops to compensate, next time!!
How did you use the crystal malt? Did you steep it in the 4 litres before the boil? Just don't boil crystal - it might add harshness to the wort if you boil the grains themselves. (apologies if this is common dog and I'm teaching you to suck eggs! ;) ). Steeping's easy - Just toss the grainbag into the 4L when it's cold and let it infuse as you warm up the brew water - pull out at 70C, drip out in a colander and you're on your way...
When I saw the recipe, it looked like a good Bavarian Lager recipe, until I saw the yeast. You might want to have another go at this recipe, but use a sachet of W3470 yeast (Saflager) next time. It will be different - and it's a good way of working out which style you prefer. The S-04 yeast is a good vigorous English Ale (Whitbread) style of yeast and yes, it has a nice and short lag time to adapt before it gets into the swing of fermentation. Just keep it nice and cool - around 18 to 20C if you can, otherwise you can get quite a lot of fruity esters if you're not careful. You'll also note that the brew will have its own internal heat generation ability when it's fermenting vigorously - so if you keep the temp down through cooling, just remember that after a couple of days and the primary has gone beyond high krausen, you may find the fermenter dropping several degrees - anticipate that and avoid a stuck ferment which is a real bummer.

The teabag of Hallertau is more of a hop tease than a hop addition - but it's better than no hops at all! Get thee to a HBS and pick up a small / 100g bag of Hallertau or Tettnanger from their freezer and use 12g of that instead - you'll love the heady aroma of the malt and hops as it boils and infuses those lovely hop aroma, flavour and bittering oils into the small boil. If you use pellets or plugs or flowers, make sure you boil for at least 20 minutes and then carefully add your kit at flameout to preserve the hopping in the kit's extract. Kit's don't need boiling - the kit maker already did that. You'd only boil the kit if you wanted to remove the hop aroma and flavouring notes from the kit!

By the way, you haven't wasted the brew booster - you can use some of it to bulk prime your fermented beer before you bottle - er, unless you're already kegging!

Cheers,
TL
 

ODDBALL

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Cheers for tha advice there, it has all been recieved and stored for future reference.

Well, after all the fanfare this morning concerning my fermenter bubbling away after 20 minutes..Well..It was but when I got home from an hour out around 1PM I happened to pass and noticed the water in the airlock had levelled out, there was no pressure at all, weird I thought but not to worry but checked all the seals etc anyway. Also when I looked inside the fermenter there was no condensation on the lid as I have noticed in previous brews and there was no sign of activity on the surface of the wort. Could this be because of the Safale04?

It played on my mind a bit so I checked it every hour or so this afternoon and it hardly moved, the only movement it did make was for the water to be sucked towards the fermenter instead of bubbling the other way.

I got a bit pissed off with it and got to thinking about why it stopped bubbling, could it be because I pitched the Yeast on top of six inches of foam after whisking it up this morning?

Anyway, I give it a bit of a swoosh around about an hour ago and now it has started bubbling....Slowly but at least there is some action in there.

What do you reckon?
 

Aaron

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ODDBALL said:
What do you reckon?
[post="60228"][/post]​
Don't stress so much about the bubbling.
 

Trough Lolly

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Further to the above comments - trust your hydrometer and not the airlock to tell you how the fermentation is going. Often the brew is still fermenting, but not enough to push excess CO2 out of the airlock. The reverse displacement of fluid in the airlock means two things - firstly you do have a seal otherwise it wouldn't move and secondly the air pressure in the fermenter head space is different (lower) than the external pressure and that means the fermenter is trying to suck air in to restore pressure equilibrium. This often occurs when a warm vigorous fermentation slows down and the temp of the fermenting wort suddenly drops a few degrees in temp - the yeast kept the airlock busy due to saturated CO2 leaving the wort during the primary fermentation and now that release has slowed down, especially since the wort is cooler and it can therefore hold more CO2 in solution than it did before so less CO2 is released into the headspace of the fermenter between the top of the beer and your airlock - are you still with me?!! Sorry about the rant!!
Anyway, keep it between 18 to 20C and you'll be finished fermenting when you have a gravity that remains unchanged for at least 2 days. Regardless, I always leave my brews in primary for 7 days anyway.
If you think you have a stuck ferment, (and you certainly don't right now, by the way) ie, it's now day 6 and the gravity is around 1018 for example, you then stick a sterilised stirrer into the brew and gently rouse the trub and yeast cake in the bottom of the fermenter to revive the viable cells that may be sitting under protein matter, cold break etc...I've had to do this recently and it works fine for a couple more days to get the gravity down to a workable level.

TL
 
J

Jovial_Monk

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And sprinkling yeast over the foam is the way to do it if you don't want to rehydrate it

JM
 

ODDBALL

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Cheers for your advice guys, as usual you were spot on.
It is bubbling away nicely at the moment, but this brew has no Krausen whatsoever, is this normal? :huh:

Planning the next brew as we speak. :lol:
 

Trough Lolly

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ODDBALL said:
Cheers for your advice guys, as usual you were spot on.
It is bubbling away nicely at the moment, but this brew has no Krausen whatsoever, is this normal? :huh:
Yes, your brew's doing fine - the krausen normally appears in the first couple of days of primary fermentation and it's the result of strong, vigorous fermentation whereby the break material, hop residue, trub etc gets lifted to the surface due to the rolling nature of the strong fermentation taking place - it's a beautiful sight when you use glass carboys! In fact, its not unusual to skim the krausen from the surface to lift out some of the bitter elements still in the fermenter. I often skim my dark ales and stouts and sure enough, there's fresh cream coloured krausen back on top of the brew the next morning...
In your case, the yeast is still fermenting - and that's demonstrated by airlock displacement, but its just not vigorous enough to lift some of the trub and yeast cake off the bottom of the fermenter and deposit / build up some matter on the surface. If you opened the fermenter and looked carefully at the surface, you'd notice some bubbling - just like the surface on a nearly flat glass of coke! Not that I'd drink the stuff!! :ph34r:
I have a part mash skunk fart pale ale in week 2 of primary now - it's bubbling away at 16C and has bugger all on the surface...but it's dropped to 1.013 and falling - so says my trusty hydrometer... B)
Cheers,
TL
 

TidalPete

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Trough Lolly said:
If you opened the fermenter and looked carefully at the surface, you'd notice some bubbling - just like the surface on a nearly flat glass of coke! Not that I'd drink the stuff!! :ph34r:
TL,
I know this is off topic but I just couldn't resist. I used to work for Coca Cola. Every Friday, before going home for the weekend, the plant engineer would leave his greasy white overalls soaking in a bucket of coke. They'd be spotless again when he rinsed then out on the Monday morning. You have a great respect for your internal organs. :D :D
 

pint of lager

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You will end up with a nice brew with that recipe. Considering that you forgot the booster bag, your compromise brew will be fine, just a bit sweet.

A lot of people are advocating using 1kg DME with your kit. This will end up with a sweeter, out of balance beer. The DME does not ferment out fully, leaving residual malt sweetness and body. This works ok with the bitter kits, but not so well with the lager style and ale style.

Do not use the booster bag to prime with, it will contain maltodextrin which is useless for priming.

Often at the start of a well aerated brew, you will see airlock movement due to some outgassing. The only time I have seen a brew really take off, it was pitched with a large amount of very fresh slurry.
 

ODDBALL

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*** UPDATE ***

Ok, as the airlock has shon no movement for 24 hours or so I decided to get my hydrometer out and give it a test. It came out at 1014 which is about what I expected it to be today but am hoping to get it down further, hopefully 1010.

While I had the top off the fermenter I give the bottom a gentle stir to get that Yeast active to chew up anymore fermentables in there, I am expecting this to be a good brew.

BTW, while I am at it. Is there a formula for working out the Alcohol content of the wort by taking the FG from the OG and multiplying by something or other, I have read something somewhere but it fails me what the formula was...And if such a formula exists how accurate is it?

:beerbang:
 

wee stu

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ODDBALL said:
BTW, while I am at it. Is there a formula for working out the Alcohol content of the wort by taking the FG from the OG and multiplying by something or other, I have read something somewhere but it fails me what the formula was...And if such a formula exists how accurate is it?

:beerbang:
[post="60892"][/post]​
Coopers recommend the following formula

(OG - FG)
----------- + 0.5 = APPROX % ALC/VOL
7.46

As to how accurate and approximation this is, wiser heads than me will have to advise.

awrabest, stu
 

Darren

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wee stu said:
ODDBALL said:
BTW, while I am at it. Is there a formula for working out the Alcohol content of the wort by taking the FG from the OG and multiplying by something or other, I have read something somewhere but it fails me what the formula was...And if such a formula exists how accurate is it?

:beerbang:
[post="60892"][/post]​
Coopers recommend the following formula

(OG - GF)
----------- + 0.5 = APPROX % ALC/VOL
7.46

As to how accurate and approximation this is, wiser heads than me will have to advise.

I gave up calculating alc/vol years ago. Nowdays it is what it is!
Stu is the 0.5% in the equation to account for priming sugar? I remember adding a 0.5 for priming sugar when I bottled

awrabest, stu
[post="60973"][/post]​
 

wee stu

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Darren said:
Stu is the 0.5% in the equation to account for priming sugar? I remember adding a 0.5 for priming sugar when I bottled


[post="60985"][/post]​
Good pick up darren - the 0.5% is indeeed for priming.
 

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