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Making My 1st Beer


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#21 Guest_Glasshopper_*

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Posted 30 March 2007 - 03:01 PM

mmmmm, homemade beer. The best I have ever had was at beltaine in Texas.
A guy showed up with a trunk full and handed them out
He gave me a:
Stout, kinda tasted like tout sheef (sp?)
cinnamon beer, yummy but made you heart flutter a bit (cin. is a heart stimulant)
jalipino beer awesome but it made you more thirsty!
Damit now you got me thinkin about sippin one naked in the woods with a thousand other people while the drums beat in the background.

#22 Guest_Dipole_*

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Posted 30 March 2007 - 03:19 PM

The beer will be OK. Oxidation always leaves a certain taste in the beer. In bad cases it makes for a rather foul brew. I always tried to catch the fermentation as it is ramping down to transfer it to the glass container with only a very small amount of bubbling going on. The bubbling would remove the air at the top. Be sure you have a lock on it. I never had a blow up, but I read that they make one hell of a mess.

How long to leave it... Light to amber beers can be bottled when the bubbling slows to a ring of foam 1/16th" wide, something like that. Dark beers hold it for longer. All beers will continue to ferment after bottling, even after the corn sugar conditioning is used up. A dark beer after a year will almost always be way too foamy.

I only started making professional quality brew when I started controlling the fermentation temperature. I used an old fridge and controlled it with a thermostat from Graingers. Lagers are best fermented at 43 deg F, steam beers and ale at 50 deg F. Higher temperatures are always stated in books and such, but it is bullshit. Warmer fermentations just don't taste as good.

#23 Guest_Dipole_*

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Posted 30 March 2007 - 03:29 PM

Another thing that is good to do at this stage is to fine the beer. I used to use something called polyclear. It is a fine polymer powder that absorbs any left over proteins in the beer.

If making a real lager, lower the temperature, when the fermentation "ends", to 34 deg F. Bottle a couple of weeks later. This will precipitate the last little bit of protein. You will have beer that is sparkling clear even when chilled.

Using isenglass with the corn sugar a bottling time helps with clarity.

Irish moss works good when boiling the wort.

#24 Guest_Dipole_*

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Posted 30 March 2007 - 03:33 PM

And don't forget the vitamin C. Sodium Erythorbate is also used, it is almost the same thing. Remember, air is the enemy. You will learn this soon enough.

There used to be a micro brewery in town. It went out of business, their beer was always oxidized.

#25 Guest_Dipole_*

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Posted 30 March 2007 - 03:42 PM

Sulfites are used in wine making. It is to knock down the fungi and wild yeasts that are always on the grapes. DON'T use it in beer, not even as a sterilizer. Any trace of it will lead to the sulfur dioxide being reduced to hydrogen sulfide. The beer will end up smelling like a good smelling outhouse.

Sterilize using dilute bleach, 1 tablespoon per gallon. Be sure to rinse it off well with hot water, or the poor little yeasties will surely die.

#26 SharkieJones

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Posted 02 April 2007 - 02:45 PM

Well it's sittling in the glass carboy but not sure if it should be bubbling. It's not bubbling at all.

#27 Guest_Dipole_*

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Posted 02 April 2007 - 02:57 PM

Sounds like you waited too long to siphon into the secondary. The stuff is ready to bottle as soon as you think enough sediment has settled out, the color gets darker. Right now there is air on top of the beer.

#28 Guest_Dipole_*

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Posted 02 April 2007 - 03:46 PM

Something I used to do was top off the bottle with water with some ascorbic acid. This will minimize the air in contact with the beer and allow you to let the yeast to settle out. I takes a week to settle out the yeast. If the yeast looks settled, bottle it. Being your first beer you will probably have a fair amount of sediment in the bottle anyway.

When serving, pour off as much as you can into a glass and drink the rest straight from the bottle.

When you get good at this you will have a hard time paying $.50 for a bottle of crap that you know could be made for only pennies.

#29 fahtster

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Posted 02 April 2007 - 10:03 PM

awesome sharkie! I actually just brewed my first batch last week also. :thumbup: fahtsgf got me a kit for jesus day. it's an india pale ale....

recipe:
6.6 lbs. plain light malt extract
1 lb crushed crystal malt 60L
8 oz crushed victory
2 oz northern brewing hops (bittering)
1 oz cascade hops (finishing)
5 oz priming sugar
brewers yeast dry packet that was added to the wort before 3 gallons of boiled and cooled water was added to wort to mix yeast.

It's done fermenting and awaiting bottling tomorrow. I'm going to PC my bottles and caps.. I'm not taking any chances at this point. I used a three piece airlock and used H2O2 instead of water in the airlock for extra precaution. I don't have a secondary fermenter just a fermenting bucket with spout on bottom. so far the beer smells like beer, just flat. it's been about nine days since I brewed it and has been sitting for two days unfermenting.. any problems with this?? like I said, I plan on bottling tomorrow. heres a pic of the bucket... I covered with a garbage bag to keep out light and other particles i.e. hair, dust, etc.

http://mycotopia.net...=1&d=1175569355

any suggestions? :) I'm soooo excited... faht looooves his good beer.

fahtster

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#30 fahtster

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Posted 02 April 2007 - 10:11 PM

well.... actually, now i just checked it again and it seems to still be bubbling... about once every minute it lets out a small bubble of gas. does it need to completely stop before I bottle it? the gas smells good... like beer. I'm afraid to take the lid off and do a gravity check. I'd rather just see what yall have to say first. thanks.

fahtster

#31 Guest_Dipole_*

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Posted 02 April 2007 - 10:33 PM

You stand a chance of getting a brew that will not be too oxidized, it depends on how much the room temperature has fluctuated. There are many inches of headroom for all the suds when the fermentation is going full bore. The idea behind a secondary fermenter is to put the beer under a greatly reduced air space. Hopefully this airspace is always CO2. It is amazing how little air it takes to produce that sharp flavor of oxidation.

If you are going to use the spigot sediment will likely be washed over with the beer as you fill the bottles. There will be a lot of sediment in the bottles. This is OK, its only affect is visual.

Do you plan to just add corn sugar to each bottle separately? I always mixed the corn sugar to the entire batch to ensure even distribution. Dissolve the sugar in boiling water to sterilize let cool a bit and mix in. But this is mixed into the beer after it has been siphoned once again into a container with a spigot. A collapsible carboy is the best because once filled, all the excess air could be squeezed out. Ascorbic acid and heading agent can be added too.

You mushroom people are expert at maintaining an exceptional level of cleanliness. Beer is rather forgiving. I rinsed the bottles with dilute bleach. Rinsed with water and then put them through the dishwasher. The heat cycle works great. Bottles are squeaky clean too. Good for head retention. Bleach is all it takes to sterilize, but be sure to rinse very well with hot water.

#32 Guest_Dipole_*

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Posted 02 April 2007 - 10:42 PM

That is good that it is still bubbling. If the temperature drops far enough the gas in the fermenter will contract and the lock might back wash air into the fermenter. Open the lid and you are done, you have to bottle, and quickly.

You might want to use less conditioning sugar than recommended to compensate for a possible incomplete fermentation. The finish gravity should be around 1/4 the starting gravity. Extracts usually do that, the same with the crystal malts. Victory malt is good stuff. Your beer should be around a red amber color.

#33 fahtster

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Posted 02 April 2007 - 10:55 PM

awesome! thanks for the quick response. I plan on adding the priming sugar to the entire brew. I don't have another bucket with spigot to add to... this one bucket is all I have, so I'll be stirring the brew with a sterile spoon and adding the priming sugar right before I bottle. not worried about the sediment, kinda figured thats what would happen. I'm prepared to drink a lot of oxidated beer if I need to. lol just as long as it isn't contaminated i'll call this first run a success. :) thanks again for the help. :thumbup:

fahtster

#34 Guest_Dipole_*

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Posted 02 April 2007 - 10:56 PM

I wrote a windows program a couple years ago for creating brew recipes. It gives you the options for making extract or mashed brews. The properties of all the ingredients are used to determine boiling times, finished bitterness, color, and alcohol content. Start inserting malts, hops, etc., and the program starts adding brewing instructions. I have tested it a bit, but it needs beta testing for sure.

I don't know if Hippie is OK with having this program available for download, it is about 3.5M in size. Not big, but not a picture either. If there is any interest and if it is OK, I will upload the installer package.

#35 Guest_Dipole_*

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Posted 02 April 2007 - 11:01 PM

One other thing, the WinBrew program has my real name in it. Is this a problem Hippie?

#36 SharkieJones

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Posted 03 April 2007 - 05:27 PM

Interesting reading up there Dipole. My beer is only a week and a half old do you think that it's ready to bottle? Not sure that this batch will be right because of my cooling problems but still I'd like to see it through to the end whether it's oxidized or not.

#37 Guest_Dipole_*

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Posted 03 April 2007 - 05:33 PM

I think it should be bottled asap. If there is air in the bottle the flavor isn't getting better. The sediments in bottle will be OK. A well settled brew will produce a sediment layer in the bottle as thin as a coat of paint, even thinner with practice.

First time out anything goes. Happy bottling. Are you using twist off bottles or the real crown type?

#38 SharkieJones

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Posted 03 April 2007 - 05:35 PM

Crown type.In IBC rootbeer bottles.

#39 Guest_Dipole_*

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Posted 03 April 2007 - 06:13 PM

Do you have a rough idea of the temperature it fermented at? What was the yeast type, lager or ale. I am guessing ale, an 80 degree pitching would probably kill a lager yeast. Ales ferment pretty fast.

#40 Guest_Dipole_*

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Posted 05 April 2007 - 06:21 PM

Has anybody bottled their brewsky yet? I would like to hear about it.
:teeth:




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