Brew Day!!!

Drubbing

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Joined
Feb 8, 2011
Location
Perth, WA
Just to clear some things up. Lager yeast should brew at12 -16 no more and ale yeast 16-20.the exception would be some Belgian strains that can go mid 20s but expect lots of fruity and spicy yeast characters.the other thing is homebrew keeps worse than commercial craft beer. The pros keep oxygen ingress to a minimum and contamination is not an issue usually with cleaning and sanitation procedures that far exceed what can be achieved at home.the old leave it longer is to cover up for bad brewing practice such as under pitching and not using oxygenation.using the tin yeast(about 1/3 of what you need) being a big culprit for newbies.if it takes your beer a month to come good your practices need upgrading.hoppy beers start to fade in 2 weeks or less and a pale beer can oxidize in a month stored warm.if it's taking a month to carb bottles your yeast health is poor.likely from the under pitch and fluctuating ferment temps and low dissolved oxygen at the start.a wheat beer for instance should be 5 from grain to brain keggingadding 5-7 days if bottled any longer the beer goes downhill. Hazy ipas have a 1 month life tops before going downhill fast.
Well I broke a fair few of those rules being new, on my first 2 brews, and because I'm not going to spend a fortune on temperature control gear, I'll probably break a few again. My beers still turned out fine.

My first batch bottles were far too cool, so only started getting going when I moved them after a couple of weeks to better temp. The only thing I've done this time is to keep the bottles warmer than before from the start, so they stay in the carbonation zone. They're still going to take 2-3 weeks. Cracked a tester after 7 days and it's holding a head, but is flat. Many long term and all grain brewers on sites will ferment for 2 weeks and bottle for 4 minimum, regardless of what they're making, which is probably unnecessary.
 

Scotty

Member
2018 Sabbatical
Joined
Feb 22, 2016
Location
Brisbane
Day 3:

Still in a good temperature range with a bit of ice thrown in..... Will have some half filled frozen 1.25 litre cola bottles floating about in there tomorrow

It's great having a few days off from work this week, I can have afternoon naps and keep an eye on my beer :)

 
Joined
Feb 19, 2017
Location
whittlesea
Well I broke a fair few of those rules being new, on my first 2 brews, and because I'm not going to spend a fortune on temperature control gear, I'll probably break a few again. My beers still turned out fine.

My first batch bottles were far too cool, so only started getting going when I moved them after a couple of weeks to better temp. The only thing I've done this time is to keep the bottles warmer than before from the start, so they stay in the carbonation zone. They're still going to take 2-3 weeks. Cracked a tester after 7 days and it's holding a head, but is flat. Many long term and all grain brewers on sites will ferment for 2 weeks and bottle for 4 minimum, regardless of what they're making, which is probably unnecessary.
if your happy with the beer thats the main thing.my post wasnt a dig at you but trying to clear up some often repeated but wrong myths. what makes you think temp control has to be expensive? 50 or less bucks will get a temp controller and scouring gumtree etc will get a free fridge or chest freezer if you wait and look long enough. even a brand new chest freezer can be had for around the 200 dollar mark .https://www.ebay.com.au/i/163138699113?chn=ps with that some terminal blocks and a tupperware container and temp control is set so maybe 15 bucks or a premade for 50 https://www.ebay.com.au/itm/AU-240V...c:AU_RegularParcelWithTracking!3757!AU!-1.and one more https://www.gumtree.com.au/s-ad/mont-albert-north/fridges-freezers/big-chest-freezer/1194675272. you could be temp controlled for under $100 hardly what i consider a fortune infact after 3 brews using your figures it will have paid for itself compared to buying commercial beers.and the beer quality will be light years better. with your situation in particular i would either ditch the tin yeast or boil it in some water as nutrient and use a packet of properly rehydrated us05 or if you cant be bothered with that 2 packs to make up for the cell death direct pitching. you will get a cleaner quicker and most likely more thorough ferment and the yeast will make it through to bottle conditioning in better health so should carb quicker. broken rules are the norm in brewing you have to find your own groove and just go from there but temp control and sanitation are the 2 most important things in making consistently good beer, after all we just make wort its the yeast that make beer so looking after them is very important.
 

Scotty

Member
2018 Sabbatical
Joined
Feb 22, 2016
Location
Brisbane
Day 4:

Krausen collar was carefully removed today for ease of cleaning.... I had a sniff of the brew whilst it was open and it almost blew my head off ~ my physical reaction would have been something similar to opening a hot oven only to be met by a large cloud of steam!



A bottle of ice was added to help maintain temperature within the desired range


Temperature of the brew holding pretty steady at about 18 degrees


Doesn't look like there's much activity within the fermenter today.... a lot less bubbling at the surface and harder to spot particulate movement within the brew, still looking quite cloudy in there though.
 
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Scotty

Member
2018 Sabbatical
Joined
Feb 22, 2016
Location
Brisbane
I have been thinking sometimes on brewing, as I have plenty of room at the garage for it and I got mates here caming home regularly to play pool and drink. A question is... you really "save" money, or it is like shaving?, just another way to keep spending a lot of money?
@sealer , mate, it's going to be a rabbit hole I fear.... since starting my brew I've done nothing but watch YouTube videos, research on fancy stainless steel brewing vessels, lpg gas burners, hops, grains, temperature control, etc etc.....

I can see a lot of beer being brewed in my near future!
 

gabba32

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Jun 25, 2018
Location
Bunbury, Western Australia
@sealer , mate, it's going to be a rabbit hole I fear.... since starting my brew I've done nothing but watch YouTube videos, research on fancy stainless steel brewing vessels, lpg gas burners, hops, grains, temperature control, etc etc.....

I can see a lot of beer being brewed in my near future!
Oh no! Youtube does help enable us to slide swiftly down those rabbit holes.
 
Joined
Feb 19, 2017
Location
whittlesea
@sealer , mate, it's going to be a rabbit hole I fear.... since starting my brew I've done nothing but watch YouTube videos, research on fancy stainless steel brewing vessels, lpg gas burners, hops, grains, temperature control, etc etc.....

I can see a lot of beer being brewed in my near future!
dunno if you do podcasts but the brewing network, experimental brewing and basic brewing are all pretty good for information.now that your ferment is slowing down it is beneficial if you can bump up the temp by a couple of degrees to help the yeast clean up after themselves.
 
Joined
May 4, 2015
Location
Adelaide
The only advice I will offer and it is free so probably worthless - "don't get sucked into the US -centric approach to brewing"
I'm happy to help you with semi rational discussion on how to approach the rabbit hole next to the shaving paddock.

Steve
 
Joined
Sep 3, 2018
Location
Melbourne
Fancy gear is nice and all but...

Temp control etc in the brewing process helps with repeatability of beers.

Still I've made award winning beers with eskys on milk crates lol

Temp looks good. A slight rise at the end can help attenuation.
 

Scotty

Member
2018 Sabbatical
Joined
Feb 22, 2016
Location
Brisbane
Thankyou gents for your advice and suggestions @beerhog @Chad @bald as

My "homebrew homework" is still ongoing but I'm liking the idea of biab.... it gets my foot in the door of all grain brewing and provides "best bang for buck" for a noobie like myself.

I'll put my shopping list together later after picking the wife up from work.... any suggestions or recommendations would be most appreciated to keep me going in the right direction
 
Joined
May 4, 2015
Location
Adelaide
An accurate thermometer, a good timer, whatever brewing method works for you. BIAB is fine, many have chosen only that method and make excellent beer. The end result is in the glass not the equipment.
Right from the beginning start designing your your own recipes so you get a handle on all the multitude of flavours from grain and hop combinations. It will take you a bit longer to get that "perfect" brew but when you do you will actually know why you have achieved what you have.

There are many aspects to consider but a consistent repeatable method will get you 90% there.
Learn exactly how much water to make the finished batch you want, no more - no less, determine accurately the loses from your system, know the efficiency of your mash and boil so you can make a Belgian that is a Belgian and not a Hann Lite.

It really is great fun, then you get to ferment it and drink it.
 
Joined
Feb 19, 2017
Location
whittlesea
@bald as nailed it for the most part..biab is a great method of brewing and cheap to get started.another way to go that's a bit dearer is a huge,robobrew or grainfather setup. It's basically an all in one biab setup that has pump thermo and heating in one vessel as well as a chiller and if you want to play with different mash schedules or kettle souring it makes it easy as possible.for cheap try at biab to decide if you realky wantbto go ag you can use a thermo 20 litre pot from big W and a bag and use your kitchen stove.either brew smaller batches or brew over gravity and water down same as a fresh wort kit.robo type setups are 500 ish bucks or the Bigw setup can be done for under fifty.3v with all the stainless bling can get very expensive and tbh if I was starting over again myself I would go with an all in one and skip 3v all together.i would also recommend the books how to brew by john Palmer and brewing classic styles by john Palmer and Jamil zainesheff.firstvone will help with techniques and theory, the second has a bunch of good recipes and descriptions for every style you can start with and adapt as you get to know what ingredients do what.
 

Scotty

Member
2018 Sabbatical
Joined
Feb 22, 2016
Location
Brisbane
Thankyou for the input guys, much to think over.... a few points I hadn't even considered being raised.

I'm back to work tomorrow so it'll be a good distraction from my homebrew studies!

Today's lunchtime fermentation temperature was about 20 degrees.... no ice or cooling today.

I'll be measuring the gravity tomorrow evening after work and might even have a little taste!!!
 

Scotty

Member
2018 Sabbatical
Joined
Feb 22, 2016
Location
Brisbane
Day 8:

Temperature looking OK, hasn't moved much over the last few days


Gravity has remained steady @1005 the last couple of days so planning on sterilizing and bottling tomorrow


It tastes and smells like beer... at this stage its a bit warm, flat and thin, "green beer" being the correct terminology I understand.... nothing a few weeks of bottle conditioning wouldn't sort out I suspect!

Almost ready to get a new brew on... my son's trying to persuade me to consider a cider or ginger beer, I'm thinking IPA :)
 

Drubbing

110% Smiley-Free
Joined
Feb 8, 2011
Location
Perth, WA
FG stable, smells, looks and tastes like beer. Sounds like everything is fine.

Waiting for the bottles to come good is the hardest part when you've no stocks to tide you over, my lager has dwindled down to the last 6 bottles. My pale is still flat after 11 days are ideal temperatures. Feels like a beer emergency.
 
Joined
Sep 3, 2018
Location
Melbourne
Once you build up a reserve of bottles let future batches ferment and sit for two weeks regardless. You will end up with brighter beer and an any off flavors dulled. It's hard to do with your first few batches but easy to do. Good luck....i don't miss bottling and the wait too. :nailbiting:
 
Joined
May 4, 2015
Location
Adelaide
Additional tip :) Start saving for a keg system, you will never - never regret it, I got mine many years ago and it makes the whole process much more enjoyable. A big plus "my opinion - yours may be different" the beer is fresher tasting to the end of the keg. One disadvantage is you have little warning when the keg is close to empty. First world problems :)
 

Scotty

Member
2018 Sabbatical
Joined
Feb 22, 2016
Location
Brisbane
Well, all bottled up today so only a couple of weeks to wait!!! All but 2 of the bottles have been left down in the dungeon.



(notice the "Hestons Hidden Orange Christmas Pudding"..... obviously well hidden as I checked the expiry today and it was done by January 2016!!!)


Ebay currently has a 10% site wide discount running so I picked up a few items to progress with my AG brewing plan:
  • 50L Stainless Brew Kettle
  • ITC-308 Temperature Controller
  • Stainless Mash Paddle
  • Cheap Meat Thermometer
I'll probably need to drill the pot and fit a valve ~ will probably syphon until I research something appropriate.

Grain bags/hop bags/syphon/etc, etc can all be bought from the local brew shop, 3 ring gas burner from Bunnings.
 
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