Newbie here

Tue Feb 23, 2016 9:36 am

Hi everyone!
I'm new to home brewing and I have a couple questions... I brew my first batch this past saturday.. It was the block party amber ale that comes with a northern Brewer kit...everything went fine except I almost had a boil over but I read that adding some cold water kills it and it worked haha...well I put it in the fermentation bucket after I cooled it down in ice (took about 20 mins) and I pitches the dry yeast directly because I wasn't sure if I should rehydrate or do a starter since well, it's my first time.... My concern is that about 4 hours after, the fermentation air lock started bubbling vigorously....next day it had slow down significantly but I would see bubbles every 10 seconds or so...but yesterday and today I haven't seen any... Is that normal? I'm not 100% sure about the temperature but my digital thermometer reads 73 outside the bucket...and the closet it's in stays at that temperature also...is it normal? I noticed that the water from the bubbler had almost depleted so I added a little purified water.
Thanks in advance
desperatehopmantic
 
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Re: Newbie here

Tue Feb 23, 2016 9:43 am

Welcome
Yes, what you saw is somewhat normal, though a bit accellerated.
I am guessing you pitched when the wort was still rather warm as opposed to chilling it way down into the low 60's before pitching.

It will be ok. You will get more fruity esters and possibly a touch more "hot" fusel alcohol than you would like, but it will still be ok.

I usually put cheap vodka in my airlock. The alcohol ensures that nothing bad will live to take root in my beer.
Good old Smirnoff or some other cheap brand is good enough.

Keep reading this forum and keep asking questions. There are a ton of great brewers on this site and you'll always get a good, straight answer to your questions, with no flaming.

Now, start planning batch #2!

Welcome aboard!

[edit]
One more thing, don't think that lack of airlock activity automatically indicates the beer is done. It typically takes 2 weeks, regardless of how fast the initial fermentation went. The yeast clean up after themselves and that takes time. You can't rush them, they work on their schedule, not yours.
-B'Dawg
BJCP GM2 Judge
"Lunch Meat. It's an acquired taste....." -- Mylo
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BDawg
 
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Re: Newbie here

Tue Feb 23, 2016 9:59 am

BDawg wrote:Welcome
Yes, what you saw is somewhat normal, though a bit accellerated.
I am guessing you pitched when the wort was still rather warm as opposed to chilling it way down into the low 60's before pitching.

It will be ok. You will get more fruity esters and possibly a touch more "hot" fusel alcohol than you would like, but it will still be ok.

I usually put cheap vodka in my airlock. The alcohol ensures that nothing bad will live to take root in my beer.
Good old Smirnoff or some other cheap brand is good enough.

Keep reading this forum and keep asking questions. There are a ton of great brewers on this site and you'll always get a good, straight answer to your questions, with no flaming.

Now, start planning batch #2!

Welcome aboard!

[edit]
One more thing, don't think that lack of airlock activity automatically indicates the beer is done. It typically takes 2 weeks, regardless of how fast the initial fermentation went. The yeast clean up after themselves and that takes time. You can't rush them, they work on their schedule, not yours.

Thank you!
Yeah the temp wasn't 60°..it was 74° but the recipe calls for 78° or lower but since i made up the 5gallons with cold water it dropped more and I felt it was fine. I'll keep that in mind for my second one haha I honestly can't wait to brew it but I need to try this one first since idk where I would put all those bottles if I brew a batch every other weekend. Would it be OK to remove the airlock and pour tequila instead? That's all I have ATM and I'm not a fan of hard liquor anymore.

What pale ale recipe would you recommend for a newbie?
desperatehopmantic
 
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Re: Newbie here

Tue Feb 23, 2016 11:18 am

Hmmm I had replied a while ago but it didn't show...oh well....thanks for the help and I'll keep reading
desperatehopmantic
 
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Joined: Wed Feb 17, 2016 9:22 pm

Re: Newbie here

Tue Feb 23, 2016 12:57 pm

desperatehopmantic wrote:Hmmm I had replied a while ago but it didn't show...oh well....thanks for the help and I'll keep reading


The first couple of posts by anyone new are always held until a moderator releases them. This prevents an incredible amount of spam. I released your other message and will post a new reply.
-B'Dawg
BJCP GM2 Judge
"Lunch Meat. It's an acquired taste....." -- Mylo
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BDawg
 
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Re: Newbie here

Tue Feb 23, 2016 1:13 pm

desperatehopmantic wrote:Thank you!
Yeah the temp wasn't 60°..it was 74° but the recipe calls for 78° or lower but since i made up the 5gallons with cold water it dropped more and I felt it was fine. I'll keep that in mind for my second one haha I honestly can't wait to brew it but I need to try this one first since idk where I would put all those bottles if I brew a batch every other weekend. Would it be OK to remove the airlock and pour tequila instead? That's all I have ATM and I'm not a fan of hard liquor anymore.

What pale ale recipe would you recommend for a newbie?


Even though recipes sometimes call for 70's, the cooler that you keep your beer the better.
This is because the yeast will produce more esters when they are warmer. Clean ales are usually fermented in the mid to low 60's for the best results as a general rule. Some (like Belgians) will do well at higher temps, but in general, you will like the results more when you keep the temp down. Please trust me on this. Temperature control is the 3rd most impactful factor on your finished product behind sanitation and ingredient selection.

Norther Brewer makes excellent kits. Their Sierra Madre gets great reviews:
http://www.northernbrewer.com/brewing/r ... xtract-kit

Yes, Tequila will work, though it does not have a neutral flavor in case you get some into your fermenter. Vodka is better in that respect.
HTH-
-B'Dawg
BJCP GM2 Judge
"Lunch Meat. It's an acquired taste....." -- Mylo
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BDawg
 
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Re: Newbie here

Tue Feb 23, 2016 5:43 pm

I certainly agree that the Northern Brewer kits are quite good. I have done the Caribou Slobber and Le Petite Saison, both of which were excellent. (I think I did another one a while ago that is escaping me at the moment)

I always use star-san in my airlock, nothing special.
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"Risk of failure should be no deterrent to trying"
NateBrews
 
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Location: New Hampshire

Re: Newbie here

Sat Feb 27, 2016 1:01 am

NateBrews wrote:I certainly agree that the Northern Brewer kits are quite good. I have done the Caribou Slobber and Le Petite Saison, both of which were excellent. (I think I did another one a while ago that is escaping me at the moment)

I always use star-san in my airlock, nothing special.

The saison and dead ringer where my next choice actually....I enjoy saisons and I got into craft beers because of IPAs...I'm a sucker for sour beer...how long does it take in average to have enough skills and knowledge to brew one? I know imma need more equipment but besides that what's you guys opinion?
desperatehopmantic
 
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