New brewer in QLD, Brissy

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Banjo89

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Hey guys, new brewer here from Brisbane. Good to see everyone getting along in here. I'm interested in brewing seltzer or something equivalent, a tasteless blank canvas with somewhere between 5-12% ABV. I figured before I tried anything outside the box, I'd just give brewing beer a go to give it a try.

I got one of the Morgans kits with a Blue Mountains Lager. I measured the SG twice but forgot it both times and I also managed to forget which day I started it... :rolleyes:. I'm assuming it doesn't really matter what day it started as long as I just wait until the gravity reads the same across 24h.

I'm pretty sure it's been in there for roughly a week but it's at 1.021 gravity at the moment. I gave it a taste and tasting a bit like a Tooheys new.
Here is how it's looking through the top at moment.

1647584046931.png

When I pitched it, it was ~30 celcius and it fell pretty quickly to 26 and it's now 24-25. I used regular 'ol tap water and sterilised everything. The kit came with watered down bleach as the steriliser (wasn't foamy at all).

Cheers guys.
 

CJay

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Welcome Banjo89.
Im new to brewing my own but am about to put down my 3rd brew later today. My first was the blue mountains lager kit. Turned out nice but a tad fruity maybe due to the high ferment temp. Im in Caboolture and couldnt get it below 26deg with a 28 deg temp most the time. But I did enjoy the finished product. Sadly I only let it bottle for two weeks and then got into it and finished it all lol. Ive been told to wait longer and it will be even better for next time, but I liked it how it was.

My second brew was a ginger beer kit. Is at 2 weeks bottle conditioning now and the one I tested last night was pretty good but a tad too sweet for my tastes. Will let it condition some more. This arvo I will be putting another blue mountain kit on but am using the #20 blend this time around to see what difference it may make.

For my blue mountains lager it had fermented in a week. Was 7 days from start to bottling and was about 1012 SG for a constant 48hrs when I bottled (I didnt take into affect the temp calculations when measuring the SG but as each day was the same temp I was happy it had stopped fermenting when I bottled).

Let us know how it goes with our QLD temps.

Cheers.
 

philrob

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G'day and welcome.
I'm about to move to Brissie, as soon as my insurance company fixes the water damage to my current place and we can market it.
Our 2 kids are already up there.
 

CJay

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G'day and welcome.
I'm about to move to Brissie, as soon as my insurance company fixes the water damage to my current place and we can market it.
Our 2 kids are already up there.
Hoping they sort you insurance out soon so you can wander on up.
 

AHB_Admin

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Welcome to AHB, and enjoy the forums.
 

Banjo89

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The specific gravity was 1018 yesterday (roughly 3pm) and it also appears to be the same today (11pm). It's strange that when I take the reading air bubbles seem to really affect it by +/- 2SG which makes it hard to tell if it will keep moving or not. When I check the online instructions for this particular brew it mentions that at 25° C it should only take 5 days. I'd say it's probably been 10 days and 25-30° C that whole time. I would think it perhaps has finished but the instructions on that page also mention I should wait until an SG of 1005 or it may explode so I'm not sure what to do here. The 2nd and 3rd day the air-lock had activity, now the air-lock has 0 activity so I'd assume for some reason the yeast has died or been killed by a competing bug.

Any advice?
 

Banjo89

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Also just thought I'd add some things I was hoping for some feedback on:

  • I used tap water for all of the water, I added 2L cold and then probably 3L boiled and added the sugars into that and then or whatever was need to take the entire volume to 23L, page 33 of this report shows my water quality and what's in it. After that I added the yeast.
  • When it started fermentation it was at probably 32 deg C.
  • I didn't "mix in" oxygen at all really, I just mixed until I felt everything was incorporated, was that a mistake? I've read that yeast needs oxygen when starting fermentation.
  • I didn't let the water sit for 20-30mins when adding it from the tap to let chlorine evaporate, was that a mistake?
  • The "steriliser" included in the Morgans kit that I got was 2.95% hydrogen peroxide (further diluted 30ml to 1L of water). It didn't foam at all, I assume it's just basic watered down bleach.

I was kind of under the impression that I was meant to sterilise everything and then race to get it all into the fermenter and seal it before anything else got in but perhaps I needed to slow down a bit.
 

CJay

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My first brew, a Morgans Blue Mountain kit finished at 1015 SG ( 3 readings taking over a full 48hr period). It was brewed at 28 dec. I bottled it the day after the final reading. It tasted fine if ever so slightly fruity but I liked the taste. I think maybe our higher brewing temps may play with the final SG abit. As long as the fermination has stopped your bottles wont go boom. Mine didnt at the SG 1015 when bottled.

However my current brew is now at 1008 SG and has been for 24hrs now. It is the same Blue Mountains kit but with (#20 blend) malt blend instead of just dex for the sugars. So maybe the different sugars and the kit yeast react differently. Its all a learning curve for me.

If your next reading (3rd over a full 48hr plus time frame) is the same SG then I would be happy to bottle. When reading the SG I wait a few minutes until the bubbles have cleared from the long thing the beer is poured into to test with the hydrometer.

Let us know how it all goes.
 
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Also just thought I'd add some things I was hoping for some feedback on:

  • I used tap water for all of the water, I added 2L cold and then probably 3L boiled and added the sugars into that and then or whatever was need to take the entire volume to 23L, page 33 of this report shows my water quality and what's in it. After that I added the yeast.
  • When it started fermentation it was at probably 32 deg C.
  • I didn't "mix in" oxygen at all really, I just mixed until I felt everything was incorporated, was that a mistake? I've read that yeast needs oxygen when starting fermentation.
  • I didn't let the water sit for 20-30mins when adding it from the tap to let chlorine evaporate, was that a mistake?
  • The "steriliser" included in the Morgans kit that I got was 2.95% hydrogen peroxide (further diluted 30ml to 1L of water). It didn't foam at all, I assume it's just basic watered down bleach.

I was kind of under the impression that I was meant to sterilise everything and then race to get it all into the fermenter and seal it before anything else got in but perhaps I needed to slow down a bit.
 
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Also just thought I'd add some things I was hoping for some feedback on:

  • I used tap water for all of the water, I added 2L cold and then probably 3L boiled and added the sugars into that and then or whatever was need to take the entire volume to 23L, page 33 of this report shows my water quality and what's in it. After that I added the yeast.
  • When it started fermentation it was at probably 32 deg C.
  • I didn't "mix in" oxygen at all really, I just mixed until I felt everything was incorporated, was that a mistake? I've read that yeast needs oxygen when starting fermentation.
  • I didn't let the water sit for 20-30mins when adding it from the tap to let chlorine evaporate, was that a mistake?
  • The "steriliser" included in the Morgans kit that I got was 2.95% hydrogen peroxide (further diluted 30ml to 1L of water). It didn't foam at all, I assume it's just basic watered down bleach.
As mentioned on the forum before get yourself a water caravan filter to remove chlorine it makes a huge difference about $28 from Freddy's or bcf. And yes give the wort a good thrashing to get some oxygen into it before pitching.
I was kind of under the impression that I was meant to sterilise everything and then race to get it all into the fermenter and seal it before anything else got in but perhaps I needed to slow down a bit.
Yes slow down Accidents happen and you will make stupid mistakes. I think everyone follows the same path. But over time we learn it is critical to be clean but the Earth won't stop spinning if we don't get the lid screwed down in a record time. Pace yourself but don't take all day.
 

Banjo89

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What temperature was the sample. The Hydrometers are calibrated at a certain temperature. So if to hot or cold will give false reading
The fermenter is reading 25 deg C. I assume that the hydrometer would quickly reach the same temp once added to the liquid. When taking readings I usually give it a min or two and spin the meter a couple times until it's reading consistently the same thing. It takes roughly 2 mins for the reading to be consistent and the bubbles to stop forming ont the meter for me at the moment.
 

WHRALR

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Welcome Banjo89.
Im new to brewing my own but am about to put down my 3rd brew later today. My first was the blue mountains lager kit. Turned out nice but a tad fruity maybe due to the high ferment temp. Im in Caboolture and couldnt get it below 26deg with a 28 deg temp most the time. But I did enjoy the finished product. Sadly I only let it bottle for two weeks and then got into it and finished it all lol. Ive been told to wait longer and it will be even better for next time, but I liked it how it was.

My second brew was a ginger beer kit. Is at 2 weeks bottle conditioning now and the one I tested last night was pretty good but a tad too sweet for my tastes. Will let it condition some more. This arvo I will be putting another blue mountain kit on but am using the #20 blend this time around to see what difference it may make.

For my blue mountains lager it had fermented in a week. Was 7 days from start to bottling and was about 1012 SG for a constant 48hrs when I bottled (I didnt take into affect the temp calculations when measuring the SG but as each day was the same temp I was happy it had stopped fermenting when I bottled).

Let us know how it goes with our QLD temps.

Cheers.

interesting to note your comment on the sweetness of the ginger beer. Other people I have spoken to say the same. I am yet to bottle my first batch and I may not add sugar to the bottle just to see. I juiced the ginger and the lemons and used QLD pure cane sugar.
Wil
 

hotwaterpls

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The fermenter is reading 25 deg C. I assume that the hydrometer would quickly reach the same temp once added to the liquid. When taking readings I usually give it a min or two and spin the meter a couple times until it's reading consistently the same thing. It takes roughly 2 mins for the reading to be consistent and the bubbles to stop forming ont the meter for me at the moment.

Just confirming you're drawing off a sample from the fermenter and putting your hydrometer in a suitable tube/container to get a reading and not dropping the fermenter into the top of the brew? (Your comment about hydrometer reaching the same temp just had me wondering).

In terms of calibration, small variations shouldn't have a huge impact - most are calibrated to 20 degrees and reading below meniscus, 25c reading would put you a point out at most. You can always use a calculator (plenty of apps available) to work out the offset value (just put in your calibrated temp, reading temp and it will tell you what the actual reading should be).
 

Banjo89

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Just confirming you're drawing off a sample from the fermenter and putting your hydrometer in a suitable tube/container to get a reading and not dropping the fermenter into the top of the brew? (Your comment about hydrometer reaching the same temp just had me wondering).

I'm filling the cheap plastic tube and using the gravity reader that came with the morgans starter kit. I was just saying I'm letting them reach room temp (I have air-con set to 24 deg C so they'll always be at the same temp whenever I do a reading).
 

Malchizedec

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Hi Banjo

After dropping some decent coin on some grainfather get I was super hyped and determined to make my first batches perfect....

My first brew day I overthought everything.


  • Dropped the lid and smashed it because I was doing things too fast.
  • Got a stuck sparge because I milled too fine
  • knocked the pump filter off while stirring due to enthusiasm
  • blocked the pump because of leftover grain and hops additions
  • Couldn't get to pitching temp because it was mid-summer and the water temp was high
and after all that stressing..... I still made a decent SMaSH for my first brew.... nowadays I know when to be particular (cleanliness, recipe... etc etc) and when to chill.

Reading about your process my only concern at this point would be fermentation temp, I generally brew at 18c, 21/22c for some wheetbeers ect or much lower for lagers. above that I would be concerned about the yeast becoming stressed and producing off-flavours.

Good luck with your brew.... some will be utter failures but each time you'll relax a bit more and improve your process.
 

CJay

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interesting to note your comment on the sweetness of the ginger beer. Other people I have spoken to say the same. I am yet to bottle my first batch and I may not add sugar to the bottle just to see. I juiced the ginger and the lemons and used QLD pure cane sugar.
Wil
Let us know the result. I was wondering about adding a small amount of hops to try to cancel the sweetness a bit. Has anyone added hops to a ginger beer?
 

WHRALR

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Let us know the result. I was wondering about adding a small amount of hops to try to cancel the sweetness a bit. Has anyone added hops to a ginger beer?
OH’ OK. As I said very new to this, an keep it simple. While I have never tried to brew before, i would rather not keep adding ‘sugar’. I have seen other posts referencing the use of ‘Champagne yeast’ (very dry outcome, I don’t recall a reference to added sugar). I have 2 weeks to see! Kind regards wil
 

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