My first brew, and temps

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I purchased a Coopers DIY kit from Kmart yesterday.

I mixed up the first batch using the DVD instructions, but have done some more research.

As for temps I was aiming for 21 degrees pitching, but just couldn't get it that low during testing, I think my hot water is too hot, and the cold too warm.

I might get a mercury thermometer for the next brew to measure the water temps so I can do some maths and get the right mix of hot and cold.

So basically I want some reccomendations on temps. I see that I want to keep it 18-20 degrees but haven't got it too that just yet.

When I pitched it was 25 degrees. I chucked the aircon on (it is near the aircon and this is a small room) at 20 degrees. Overnight it has dropped to 23 degrees.

To get it even cooler I have put the aircon on max (I don't care about electricity usage here - I pay flat $5/week for utilities) and wrapped it in a soaking wet towel.

So basically how important is the pitching temp and the temp for the first 1 or 2 days if its a bit high?

I may invest in a large water container for ice and water to submerge the fermenter in next time, or a el cheapo 2nd hand fridge/freezer.

For pitching I might chill some buckets of water for mixing.

How hot should the water be when mixing with the tin? My hot water is extremely hot, ie it stings like crazy if I touch it for more than a second.
 

peas_and_corn

I'm sorry Dave, I'm afraid I cannot mash that
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For mixing in the extract the water should be as hot as it needs to be to dissolve the goop.

Pitching temperature- well, there are some arguments that it's preferable to have a slightly warmer pitching temp compared to average fermentation temp as it encourages faster yeast growth. If you got it from 25 down to 21 reasonably quickly then you shouldn't worry.
 

Spiesy

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Actually, from what I have read and been told, you should pitch a few degrees BELOW the fermentation temperature. And then slowly ramp it up to fermentation temperature and hold.

Temperature of fermentation is most critical during the first few days. 25 is getting a little on the high side, but you may not notice any ill effects to your Cooper's DIY beer...

I'd imagine it's an ale you're making? Try to ferment at 18-degrees, if possible.
 

peas_and_corn

I'm sorry Dave, I'm afraid I cannot mash that
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That's essentially the argument Jamil and Palmer have had for a long time. Pitching low is great if you have a huge starter, pitching high is good if you haven't made a starter and could do with more yeast cells.
 

bignath

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Also worth noting is that the Coopers yeast that is supplied with your tin in the DIY box, is a very "hardy" yeast, and it will tolerate a fair swing in temps reasonably well.

The biggest issue with that yeast is the size of the package that you get. 7g's if i remember correctly, which is quite a big "underpitch".

Most reputable yeast suppliers/manufacturers will do yeasts in 11-12g packets which is a much better quantity for an ideal fermentation.

This is for the dry yeasts though....as you experiment you may want to start looking at liquid yeasts, but that's a whole different solar system right there.

A dry yeast pitched correctly, and fermented at appropriate temps, will trump an expensive yeast handled inappropriately every day of the week.
 
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Thanks for the tips.

The air con seems to be doing it's job a bit better after blocking the gap underneath the door, room is now down to 17 degrees, and fermentor has dropped to 20 degrees. Hopefully it might drop a bit more yet.

(I am now wearing warm jacket and pants cause its freezin in here now - guess you have to sacrifice comfort to make good beer)

I did a bit of reading on the yeast stuff, and found a good page full of tips from a Canberra home brew store: http://www.brewyourown.com.au/pdf/Beyond_the_Instructions.pdf

Looks like for my next brew I get a good 11-12g packet of yeast and do the whole 'starter' routine. I will also work on better temp control for the initial pitch and how to keep it cool. I may even get a cheap bar fridge or freezer and use that.
 

Bludger

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Putting my cowboy hat on......I say that becasue I expect a lot of naysayers to poo pooh my comments.

Yeast has been on this planet, for millions of years, converting sugar to alcohol for a lot longer than Homo Sapiens has been around wanting to get drunk. It is pretty tolerant to a wide range of conditions.
If you are running a brewery and want to turn out consistent product day after day, year after year, then you need to control all factors precisely.
If you are a connoseur (how do you spell that word?) of beer and can tell the difference between the hops grown on the northside of the hill as against those in the northeast corner, you will need to control all factors to make a brew as consistent as you possibly can.
If you are like most people and are home brewing for pleasure or cheapness or to be creative, then the fact that you cannot control everything is not such a big issue.
I brew in a home made kit, with no temperature control. I am anal about contamination, but other than that I let nature take its course. To this date I have not had a bad brew. (First brew in early 90's - I have had a break and only recently started brewing again).
The variations in taste between brews due to differntstarting conditions (temp, sugars, yeast, etc)is one of the things that keeps me interested.
I am basically saying that you don't need to be overly concerned if your brew did not quite go according to plan.
 

seamad

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That's showing some dedication adjusting your room temp to suit the beer. If you use a 11-12g packet of dry you don't need a starter, infact it might be detrimental to yeast health, if anything re-hydrate according to packet instructions.
When I was a uni student way back in the 80's we had a hot box so the beer didn't get to cold, aimed for a good 28, thankfully times have changed.
Temp control will improve your beers. Look @ for a cheap 2nd hand bar fridge so you don't have to freeze your nuts off.
 

bignath

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Bludger said:
If you are a connoseur (how do you spell that word?) of beer and can tell the difference between the hops grown on the northside of the hill as against those in the northeast corner, you will need to control all factors to make a brew as consistent as you possibly can.
I reckon Northside would be best.

Nor-East side of the hill may not get enough sun for the hops to grow.....









Westerly side of the hill, or preferrably right on top of the ******* hill would be best....
:p
 

lukiferj

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If you are brewing beer for "cheapness", then there's not much point in being on this forum. Good beer is not expensive but does require some basic understanding of the science behind it. Temp control is one of the most important factors in decent beer making. There is a wealth of knowledge on this forum about it and you can read this book online for free http://www.howtobrew.com/
 

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