Yet another newbie with a question or two.

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Yet another newbie with a question or two.

Postby Kinetikx » Sat Dec 25, 2004 1:48 am

I've been planning to try my hand at homebrewing for quite a while. Finally got a used kit from a friend this past summer. I held off from brewing for a while because I live in Florida and I live in a house that is so old that we have no central A/C and temps are a bit too high from what I have seen for optimal beer production.

Well, temps are now right and I started my first batch of Coopers "Real Ale" extract this past Monday (I used a bag of Northwestern Light malt extract in addition to the Coopers kit instead of dextrose). I have been bothering my local homebrew shopkeeper with my questions thus far, but because of the holidays I won't be able to contact him until this Tuesday. I've been reading this forum for the past week and I feel more than comfortable that all of you can help.

Firstly; Most things went well (except for a boilover of amazing proportions... normal newb mistake I guess). Also I had to leave before my wort had cooled to acceptable temps and I pitched my yeast (hydrated in 95-98(F) degree) water for about 15 minutes prior to pitching) when the wort was at 85-87(F) degree temps according to my infrared temp-gun. My OG was 1.032 (at the previously mentioned temp)

When I returned the next morning my primary (6.5 gal plastic bucket) had a nice layer of krausen and the airlock was bubbling away nicely. 72 hours later and my gravity was at 1.011 (at 72 degrees (F)) with little airlock activity. Tonight there is no activity and the hydrometer reading is the same. There are some islands of bubbles on top of the liquid but nothing substantial.

So... the first question is- did I screw things up irreversibly by pitching the yeast at that high of a temp?

Second question: I also have a couple of 5 gallon carboys. I am thinking about racking to secondary for a few days (or however long you people think is necessary before bottling). Is a secondary necessary with an extract only kit? Does my timing seem right if I do this tomorrow?

I know, I know... "relax, have a homebrew". I will, but hopefully it's not a foul tasting first attempt. :lol:

And it's Christmas eve and I've had some scotch and more than a few beers so if anything I've posted doesn't make sense please feel free to ask for clarification.
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relax

Postby zeno » Mon Dec 27, 2004 3:56 pm

high temps breed fast fermentations.. Not to worry, I'm sure the beer is fine. It's up to you as to the secondary. Just be sure you idophor everything again before racking. Same is true with bottling. Sanitize the bottles as well as the hardware.

If you bottle, give it about a week at room temp before you stick it in the fridge.

cheers!
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And merry Christmas to you too ...

Postby Azorean Brewer » Mon Dec 27, 2004 7:23 pm

Kine

I calculated your O.G. at 87F to be (+.004) or 1.041, at a finish of 1.011 my calculations puts your beer at around 4.1%. As stated, go ahead and secondary for 10-14 days, this will help to minimze sediment in the bottle. I agree, your beer is going to turn out fine ... Did you add any hops ? if yes, how much for how long ...

Cheers,
Paul.
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Postby Kinetikx » Tue Dec 28, 2004 3:28 am

Since this is my first beer I'm a bit impatient so I think I'll bottle tomorrow and save secondary fermentation for future batches. I really don't mind a bit of sediment in my beer, especially my first beer ever.

Azorean Brewer: I'm not much of a hop-head so I didn't add any. While I don't mind a hoppy beer I figured I would keep things as simple as possible for this, my Kindergarten attempt at brewing.

I may have gotten in over my head but my next kit is a Barley wine... Should be interesting.
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About high temperature pitching.

Postby jeff » Tue Dec 28, 2004 10:43 am

high temps breed fast fermentations.. Not to worry, I'm sure the beer is fine.


Yes, high temperatures breed fast fermentations, but hyperactive yeast tends to produce undesireable flavors and/or aromas in beer. Under most circumstances, pitching ale yeast between 72F and 80F will give an optimal start. Some Belgian ale strains tolerate a higher pitching temperature without producing unwanted flavors, since most Belgian ales are identified with the flavors produced with higher temperature fermentations.

I will never forget the time I pitched my yeast while the wort was still over 90F. Indeed the fermentation was fast, but I ended up with a house that smelled of rotten eggs. The sulphur flavor and aroma never left that beer and I had to toss it. The problem was the high pitching temperature.

In conclusion, while it seems that your beer has made it through fine, it may be best to try to keep your pitching temperature under 80F for your next ale in order to avoid the foul experience that I had with 'egg-beer'. :wink:
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Postby Kinetikx » Tue Dec 28, 2004 8:33 pm

Well, I started thinking and just couldn't justify not racking to secondary. Might as well try to have my first beer be as good as possible, right? It now is sitting in a glass carboy.

I tried a sample and other than being a little bit more bitter than I expected it wasn't bad at all. Hell, it was quite good if I do say so myself. :)

I've already got plans in my head for an immersion chiller using two seperate copper coils, a "little giant" pump and a bucket of icewater. Hopefully I can make it work like I imagine it will.
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Postby nbfdc4 » Wed Dec 29, 2004 12:02 pm

hey i like using the coopers DME most of the ones i have used are hopped already so you may have gotten one that is hopped
drink if you can, drink if you must but always brew your own.
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