Author Topic: It's ALPHA brew day...my first batch!  (Read 24097 times)

Offline MaltLicker

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Re: It's ALPHA brew day...my first batch!
« Reply #30 on: March 04, 2013, 06:17:58 PM »
Yes, 68-69F may help it finish out.  Also try rousing the yeast to get maximum cells up in contact with the wort.  Safest way might be a tennis ball under the carboy and slowly roll it around while it's standing uneven. 

I use a lazy susan ball-bearing and it works great.  $5 at a wood craft store.   When the yeast starting slowing down, I spin them back up to help attenuation.

http://blueribbonbrews.com/photos/equipment/   pic #19

Offline Maine Homebrewer

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Re: It's ALPHA brew day...my first batch!
« Reply #31 on: March 04, 2013, 06:47:27 PM »
Seriously dude, leave it alone. It's your first batch. You racked early. That's fine. Don't do it again.

Now you wait. You wait until the yeast has nothing left to eat and falls out of the brew. It will become both darker and clearer. Soon you will see the surface of the yeast cake. Let us know when that happens.  Take a picture.
"To alcohol! The cause of - and solution to - all of life's problems!" -Homer Simpson

Offline gwapogorilla

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Re: It's ALPHA brew day...my first batch!
« Reply #32 on: March 04, 2013, 06:56:32 PM »
Seriously dude, leave it alone. It's your first batch. You racked early. That's fine. Don't do it again.

Now you wait. You wait until the yeast has nothing left to eat and falls out of the brew. It will become both darker and clearer. Soon you will see the surface of the yeast cake. Let us know when that happens.  Take a picture.
Okay Maine, will do....you haven't let me down yet. I am going to leave it sitting on the milk crate, as getting the carboy off the floor did raise the temp 2 * in 24 hours. I'm also going to try to leave the closet door open, in hopes the added "house heat" helps out. I also took 2 dark plastic garbage bags and double layered them over the carboy, so any light won't penetrate to the beer.

Offline ihikeut

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Re: It's ALPHA brew day...my first batch!
« Reply #33 on: March 06, 2013, 06:41:26 AM »
Quote from Yeast The Practical Guide to Beer Fermentation

"Regardless of a strains,s flocculation level, lower beer temperatures result in a higher flocculation rate.  More yeast drop out of solution at 40 F ( 4 C ) as compared to 70  F (21 C ), and more yeast drop out at 32 F ( 0 C ) as compared to 40 F ( 4 C ). Some yeast strains require two week or more at 40 F ( 4 C ) to completely clear."
 
BY checking his attenuation, with a hydrometer the wort is most likely in it's Stationary Phase.

Offline beernbourbon

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Re: It's ALPHA brew day...my first batch!
« Reply #34 on: March 06, 2013, 04:59:56 PM »
Quote
Okay Maine, will do....you haven't let me down yet. I am going to leave it sitting on the milk crate, as getting the carboy off the floor did raise the temp 2 * in 24 hours. I'm also going to try to leave the closet door open, in hopes the added "house heat" helps out. I also took 2 dark plastic garbage bags and double layered them over the carboy, so any light won't penetrate to the beer.

My wife was making fun of me when she saw my carboy (you know, the GLASS one I just friggin BROKE with 6 gallons of sanitizer water that went all over the #%$@&!$ basement floor!!! >:() cuz it had the 'carboy parka' on it....she pointed and laughed and said "you have a beer snuggie!!! HAHAHAHA"
Yeah....but I don't have bitter beer face from skunky beer....HA!
Seriously, good call on the black garbage bags.....kind of a dual purpose.... light AND holds a bit of heat in....
Primary 1: Nada
Primary 2: Zip
Primary 3: Zilch
Aging: Four hops 60 min IPA #3, #4, #5
Fridge/drinking:Chocolate Milk Stout, Four Hops #1, #2, Bunny Banger 90 min IPA #1, #2, Mowin Down a Thirst,
Next up: Headin' for stout season....

Offline gwapogorilla

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Re: It's ALPHA brew day...my first batch!
« Reply #35 on: March 06, 2013, 06:08:06 PM »
Quote from Yeast The Practical Guide to Beer Fermentation

"Regardless of a strains,s flocculation level, lower beer temperatures result in a higher flocculation rate.  More yeast drop out of solution at 40 F ( 4 C ) as compared to 70  F (21 C ), and more yeast drop out at 32 F ( 0 C ) as compared to 40 F ( 4 C ). Some yeast strains require two week or more at 40 F ( 4 C ) to completely clear."
 
BY checking his attenuation, with a hydrometer the wort is most likely in it's Stationary Phase.
I think it is "stationary". I have been watching it for about 5 minutes...no bubbles and boooooring! The temp is around 65-66*, so I know all is well with the temp. I plan on brewing another batch this weekend, so I'm going to have to put it back on the floor, which means the temp will lower to 63 again. But it's a must do as I don't have enough room for a 2nd carboy with the milk crate in there. I will also take a few hydrometer readings.

But, even if it is "done", I plan on leaving it in the carboy for at least another week in hopes of seeing that yeast drop that Mainebrewer was talking about. Plus, I read that a little extra time in the carboy "conditioning phase" helps the flavors balance in, as the yeasts start to eat the undesirable flavored by products. Or, so it reads in "how to brew".

I am not sure if the beer will become "clear" as I steeped 1 lb. of flaked wheat as part of the recipe. From what I have read, that kind of haze just won't clear up. So I'm not sure as to how "clear" it will be. I fully intend on leaving it in the carboy for another 1 1/2 weeks from this point...bringing the total time in the secondary to 3 weeks minimum.
« Last Edit: March 06, 2013, 06:14:04 PM by gwapogorilla »

Offline gwapogorilla

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Re: It's ALPHA brew day...my first batch!
« Reply #36 on: March 06, 2013, 06:12:50 PM »
Quote
Okay Maine, will do....you haven't let me down yet. I am going to leave it sitting on the milk crate, as getting the carboy off the floor did raise the temp 2 * in 24 hours. I'm also going to try to leave the closet door open, in hopes the added "house heat" helps out. I also took 2 dark plastic garbage bags and double layered them over the carboy, so any light won't penetrate to the beer.

My wife was making fun of me when she saw my carboy (you know, the GLASS one I just friggin BROKE with 6 gallons of sanitizer water that went all over the #%$@&!$ basement floor!!! >:() cuz it had the 'carboy parka' on it....she pointed and laughed and said "you have a beer snuggie!!! HAHAHAHA"
Yeah....but I don't have bitter beer face from skunky beer....HA!
Seriously, good call on the black garbage bags.....kind of a dual purpose.... light AND holds a bit of heat in....
Man, I'm just cheap that way. I saw those "snuggie" things your talking about at the "Midwest" site. I was like..."WTF? Another way to get a dime from someone."
Sorry to hear about your carboy. I'm still nervous as hell carrying mine around.

Offline Curly55

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Re: It's ALPHA brew day...my first batch!
« Reply #37 on: March 07, 2013, 08:41:43 AM »
Brew Haulers are a life saver when transporting carboys. Check Amazon regularly for them and they will show up from time to time for around 5 buck.
1 Timothy 5:23

Offline beernbourbon

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Re: It's ALPHA brew day...my first batch!
« Reply #38 on: March 07, 2013, 04:23:31 PM »
Man, I'm just cheap that way. I saw those "snuggie" things your talking about at the "Midwest" site. I was like..."WTF? Another way to get a dime from someone."
Sorry to hear about your carboy. I'm still nervous as hell carrying mine around.
Yeah, I kinda thought that too, but....my brain wasn't in cheap mode, it was just, 'hey I need to keep it covered'.....but then she looks at me and said...."it's only two towels sewn together, I coulda done that!".....of course I didn't ask, and she didn't offer!! LOL
That's the danger of me going to the LHBS, just like going to Lowes or HD.....it's NEVER good to go by myself!! 8)
Thanks....I replaced it with a better boy 6 gallon..... sigh.... like the glass, but damn that mess.... >:(
Primary 1: Nada
Primary 2: Zip
Primary 3: Zilch
Aging: Four hops 60 min IPA #3, #4, #5
Fridge/drinking:Chocolate Milk Stout, Four Hops #1, #2, Bunny Banger 90 min IPA #1, #2, Mowin Down a Thirst,
Next up: Headin' for stout season....

Offline gwapogorilla

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Re: It's ALPHA brew day...my first batch!
« Reply #39 on: March 07, 2013, 05:12:12 PM »
I certainly hope I don't drop one of these...I don't know if my wife would be in a humorous mood like your was. ???

Offline gwapogorilla

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Re: It's ALPHA brew day...my first batch!
« Reply #40 on: March 08, 2013, 05:08:45 PM »
Okay, it's been 12 days since I racked to the secondary. I had to move the carboy around in the closet, so I decided to take a peek under it's bags. Huh, no change. If it wasn't for the tape measure being absent in the second photo, you'd swear they(the 2nd and 1st images) were the same image.





I took a hydrometer reading. The beersmith seems to be almost right on target for ABV. I have FG 1.008 which gives me a 5.1 ABV .
I also took a little taste sample. Hmmmm, not quite what I was hoping for. No rotten aftertaste or odors, but not the "orange" flavor I was hoping for either. Also, it looks as if it's trying to carbonate just a wee bit. I saw some very small bubbles coming from the bottom of my glass.
 I know the beer is still young. I am going to leave it in the carboy for 1 more week, then I plan on bottling. I hope it clears a little between now and then, but not expecting much. The flaked wheat I used clouds things, plus I don't think I had a hot enough boil in my pot for a true "hot break". 

« Last Edit: March 08, 2013, 05:10:48 PM by gwapogorilla »

Offline Maine Homebrewer

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Re: It's ALPHA brew day...my first batch!
« Reply #41 on: March 08, 2013, 06:08:40 PM »
If I didn't know that you had already racked it I would think that's a primary that's ready to be racked. Primarily because of the ring and the amount of sediment.  It must have been rocking when you racked it the first time. 

I'd rack it. Seriously. A lot of stuff will just settle right out just from racking it, and it will clarify faster than if you leave it where it is.  Also so you can see what's supposed to happen in the secondary.  Because that's really not your secondary. It's your second primary.  You should think of it as a week to ten days old.
If you don't rack it, you should treat it like the primary fermentation just finished. Because that's exactly what just happened. It was extended by the early rack. 
Also, this gives you a chance to adjust the flavor.  You reported that the orange flavor was not present as much as you would have liked. You have an opportunity to rack the brew onto the (sanitized) zest an orange or two.

Remember that the yeast does not work on your schedule. You work on its schedule.  You screwed that up once by racking early. Nobody warned you.

I'm warning you now that if you bottle in a week, things might not go as well as if you rack first or give it more time. 

I doubt you'll have glass grenades, but you will have a lot of sediment.  Guests aren't usually impressed by beer that's got an eight of an inch of mud in the bottom of the bottle.
"To alcohol! The cause of - and solution to - all of life's problems!" -Homer Simpson

Offline gwapogorilla

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Re: It's ALPHA brew day...my first batch!
« Reply #42 on: March 08, 2013, 07:23:38 PM »
Okay Maine....I racked as soon as I saw your posting. Here is a pic after racking...foam is from Star-san...show no fear.



I only have 1 carboy, so I had to rack to my bottling bucket. There was all kinds of nasty stuff in my carboy. Pieces of orange peel that got sucked through the siphon, bits of grains of paradise....YUCK!
I made sure I didn't get any garbage through the siphon this time, as I left about 12 oz of beer on the trub and chucked it up for waste.  While I am getting better at this whole racking thing, I must say I'm getting more and more nervous about adding oxygen to the beer.
I plan on letting it set for 2 weeks now. At that time, I will probably be needing the carboy for my next batch, which I am starting tomorrow.

Offline beernbourbon

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Re: It's ALPHA brew day...my first batch!
« Reply #43 on: March 08, 2013, 08:37:32 PM »
Sounds like tomorrow's brew will go a lot better, as will the fermenting, I know I'VE learned a lot for my brews from this, as I know you have as well. Each one I've done, I keep copious notes... but that's in my nature, as in my profession, so, it's not a stretch for me. Point being, as you brew, you learn, you write or type, you check, you learn, you write/type, you check..... you get the point.  ;)
I'm sure that even though it may not end up "exactly" as you wanted, it's still gonna be a drinkable homebrew that YOU made. THAT is the best part of it all!
Primary 1: Nada
Primary 2: Zip
Primary 3: Zilch
Aging: Four hops 60 min IPA #3, #4, #5
Fridge/drinking:Chocolate Milk Stout, Four Hops #1, #2, Bunny Banger 90 min IPA #1, #2, Mowin Down a Thirst,
Next up: Headin' for stout season....

Offline gwapogorilla

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Re: It's ALPHA brew day...my first batch!
« Reply #44 on: March 09, 2013, 05:49:05 AM »
Yep, I have learned a lot, and I believe this next batch will be sooooo much better. Bad thing is, it's raining out. Which means I have to bring my turkey fryer set-up in side. Wife's not gonna like this. :-\