What an experience

Discussion in 'Introductions' started by RizingFenix, Nov 19, 2017.

  1. RizingFenix

    RizingFenix New Member

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    I am a brand new homebrewer - first batch was just moved to secondary fermentation yesterday. My first batch was an all-grain 16B: Oatmeal Stout recipe from here on BrewersFriend.com. I have had interest in brewing for 20 years but didn't act on that at all until 2 weeks ago I took a class through the County Parks Department. From there, I jumped straight to all-grain brewing. Last week, two friends that took the class with me joined in and the three of us went at it.

    The results: OG was a tad low of target. We probably boiled the wort too aggressively and lost more water to evaporation that was necessary so we came up 2 quarts/liters short in the fermenter but we had a blast. Also, my early sample yesterday when checking gravity as I moved from primary to secondary fermentation didn't pick up any off flavors so it appears Charlie Papazian was proven right again: "Relax, don't worry, have a homebrew."

    Thanks for a great website and mobile app. Well worth the annual cost to be a premium member.
     
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  2. CRUNK

    CRUNK Well-Known Member

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    Welcome and congratulations on your first brewing experience.
     
  3. jeffpn

    jeffpn Well-Known Member

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    Short on water? Add some! :D
     
  4. RizingFenix

    RizingFenix New Member

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    Thanks Jeff! Being that it was our first time, (nervous and all that) I don't think we realized we were short on water until after the wort had chilled and we were moving it to the fermentation bucket.

    One (of many) thing(s) I didn't do in advance was mark my BK with marks to indicate volume. Since I used an existing Bayou Classic stainless kettle I had on hand, the only markings were related to frying poultry not boiling wort. The value of markings has now become clear. I learned much from my initial foray into this exciting new world.
     
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  5. jeffpn

    jeffpn Well-Known Member

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    I’ve been known to add water post chill using a sanitized container to collect filtered tap water (That’s my brewing water). I’ve never had any problems doing that. If you really want to play it safe, boil it and let it chill, then add to your fermenter.
     
  6. Ozarks Mountain Brew

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    welcome to the site, I look forward to more of your experiences
     
  7. RizingFenix

    RizingFenix New Member

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    Jeff - that approach sounds solid. I think by the time I realized it and started assessing options I had already put half my stuff away while the wort was cooling. I was mentally questioning options, I was worried adding water would drop the gravity further which was already at 1.051 when the target had been 1.056. Now at the second fermentation phase, I have 4.5 gallons in the carboy; 5 would have been nice but better 4.5 good gallons. Based on yesterday's reading, we ended up with a 5.12% ABV beer instead of a 5.62% ABV because of the lower than planned initial gravity. But a good-drinking beer at the end of my first try will still be a success in my book - though not a model of high efficiency brewing.

    Thanks for the encouragement and ideas.
     
  8. RizingFenix

    RizingFenix New Member

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    Thanks Ozarks. I have come across your website already and found an American IPA recipe you blogged about on 22-Oct-2017 that looks delightful. That recipe will likely be brewed in the next few months. Thanks for your contributions to the homebrew community.
     
  9. jeffpn

    jeffpn Well-Known Member

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    Adding water does have a side effect of lowering gravity, for sure. There is a calculator in BF that instructs you how much to add when you do want to lower gravity.
     
  10. Ozarks Mountain Brew

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    oh, one thing to mention I have my recipes set up for 6 gallons and 80% efficiency, so a new brewer won’t get the same results, I would strongly suggest you change the amounts based on your setup, if needed I may be able to help
     
  11. Ozarks Mountain Brew

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  12. RizingFenix

    RizingFenix New Member

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    Thanks to both of you. Cheers.
     
  13. okoncentrerad

    okoncentrerad Active Member

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    Maybe I'm showing my ignorance too much now :D But regarding adding water to the fermenter to make up for losses and lowering gravity ... What about adding some sugar as well, is that a stupid idea? Would that bring up gravity?
     
  14. jeffpn

    jeffpn Well-Known Member

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    Adding sugar or dry malt extract to raise gravity is absolutely a process some people do.
     
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  15. Ozarks Mountain Brew

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    Your going to need a long look at your equipment settings first to determine you true losses to let the site give the correct water
     
  16. KenK

    KenK Member

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    Welcome, RizingFenix. These fellers on here have some pretty solid advice -- good mentors. Your first, second, tenth batch may not win awards, but it'll still be beer -- enjoy!
     
  17. Group W

    Group W Well-Known Member

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    Welcome RF. Lots of experience and good advice here. These folks know their stuff. Cheers :)
     
  18. HersFligen

    HersFligen New Member

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    I still did not introduce myself. But I will soon.
    Welcome @RizingFenix.
    And I wanted to immediately ask the guys,if there a guide for beginners? Or advice
    Please link if you can.Thanks in advance
    ____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

    "We must let go of the life we have planned, so as to accept the one that is waiting for us."
    A new field of activity.
    ____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________
     
  19. Trialben

    Trialben Well-Known Member

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    Im sure John palmers book how to brew will put you on the brewing straight and narrow.
     
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  20. KenK

    KenK Member

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    You might also check out YouTube -- there are tons of beginner brewing videos on there.
     
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