newbie help please

Discuss making up beer kits - the simplest way to brew.
sparkybrew
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newbie help please

Post by sparkybrew » Wed Oct 07, 2020 8:29 pm

Hi everyone,

Having taken a lot of inspiration from this site and others I've finally taken the plunge into homebrewing with the aim to be brewing all grain by christmas.

Just done a Wilko IPA kit to get into the swing of things but i'm a little concerned on day 5 of the fermentation as when I removed the airlock to test the gravity it smells like vinegar (and tastes like it having tried the sample) and is very cloudy.

Everything was fully sanitized using sodium percarbonate and rinsed well, yeast was pitched at 19.5degC. The temperature has been between 19 and 20.5degC in the dark.

I have never seen any bubbles in the airlock however on Day 2 there was a Krausen which subsided over the next 2 days.

The OG was 1042 and as of today its 1012.

My confidence has taken a little knock,has the brew gone bad or am I being a bit inpatient? I dont want mistakingly ditch the brew by misunderstanding where the brew is at.


Many thanks in advance

guypettigrew
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Re: newbie help please

Post by guypettigrew » Wed Oct 07, 2020 9:16 pm

Hello sparkybrew, and welcome.

Really sorry to be the one to say it, but it sounds as though your first brew has become infected. A vinegary smell and taste at 5 days is never good news.

The growth on top of the beer at day 2 was probably an unhealthy mix of bacteria and wild yeast, rather than a healthy growth of brewing yeast.

It's difficult to say how the infection got in, but it sounds as though the yeast which came with the kit didn't take off as quickly as it should have. How long after diluting the tin of concentrate down and adding the sugar did it take to get the wort to 19.5°C? And then how long was it before you pitched the yeast? Spoilage organisms are all around, and very opportunistic. A sweet unfermented wort with no yeast activity is exactly what they need.

Best advice is to get rid of the brew, clean everything well and start again. Not what you want to hear, I know, but leaving the brew as it is won't get you any beer. Might be worth pitching the yeast a bit warmer next time, say 22-23°C to encourage the yeast to get going quickly.

Better luck next time. This hobby is very well worth persevering with. It's great fun and produces wonderful beers.

Guy

sparkybrew
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Re: newbie help please

Post by sparkybrew » Wed Oct 07, 2020 9:46 pm

Hi Guy,

Many thanks for your reply. I had to let the diluted wort sit for about 5 hours before pitching as the temperature was 29degc after diluting. I was concerned about pitching too soon.

Sounds like I need to cut back on the boiling water a bit at the start and pitch a little warmer to eliminate the waiting and get the fermenter sealed as quick as possible.

Looks like I've got some cleaning to do lol.

Many thanks for you're help and advice :D

guypettigrew
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Re: newbie help please

Post by guypettigrew » Wed Oct 07, 2020 9:58 pm

sparkybrew wrote:
Wed Oct 07, 2020 9:46 pm
Hi Guy,

Many thanks for your reply. I had to let the diluted wort sit for about 5 hours before pitching as the temperature was 29degc after diluting. I was concerned about pitching too soon.

Sounds like I need to cut back on the boiling water a bit at the start and pitch a little warmer to eliminate the waiting and get the fermenter sealed as quick as possible.

Looks like I've got some cleaning to do lol.

Many thanks for you're help and advice :D
That 5 hours could be the reason the brew became infected. It may not be, but it's very likely, especially as there would then have been another few hours while the dried yeast which came with the kit woke itself up.

Somehow you need to get the wort to pitching temperature very quickly once you've opened the tin. I used to have some containers of ice in the freezer which I dropped into the hot wort when I made kits. I'm assuming you diluted down with tap water. Freezing down a couple of 1 litre containers of tap water may be worth thinking about.

Guy

sparkybrew
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Re: newbie help please

Post by sparkybrew » Wed Oct 07, 2020 10:18 pm

I never considered the extra time delay for the dried yeast to wake up.

I had used bottled water, in hindsight I could have chilled them down prior to starting the brew. It's a lesson learnt the hard way but one I won't make again lol.

Thankyou for the ice tip, i'll make sure I have some on standby for the next brew, sounds like a much easier way to get the temperature down.

Thanks for your help Guy

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orlando
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Re: newbie help please

Post by orlando » Thu Oct 08, 2020 6:53 am

I recommend using bleach in the FV to make sure you kill everything, a weak solution should be enough. The important caveat is to rinse thoroughly. You could fill with fresh water and add a camden tablet (Sodium Metabisulphite).

As long as you are super clean and sanitise evrything I would also recommend rehydrating the yeast. This will help more yeast cells survive and reduce the lag time to get going.

Along side these tips, getting the wort to pitching temp fast should ensure that the yeast get ahead of any stray bacteria left and putting you on track for a flawless Beer. I know, we all know, what it's like to lose a brew and how it can undermine your enthusiasm. But, keep going and a good one will have you straining at the leash to begin AG brewing. Which, incidentally, is a whole new world of pain, but it too will have rewards you have so far only dreamed of. Keep your chins up! :D
I am "The Little Red Brooster"

Fermenting:
Conditioning:
Drinking: January, Old Brown Shoe, Money For Nothing, Elusive Butterfly, From Russia With Love (RIS), He Ain't Heavy, He's My Brother (Wee Heavy)

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Nitro Jim
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Re: newbie help please

Post by Nitro Jim » Thu Oct 08, 2020 3:15 pm

I make this kit quite regularly. My process is that I draw 15 litres of hot water of the night before brewing and leave this to cool overnight. I put 2 pints of fresh water that has been boiled in a an together with 1kg of brewing sugar and bring this back to the boil. Meanwhile the kit tin of malt extract has been put in a receptacle with boiled water. At this point put a kettle on to boil again.

When the water has boiled I put this in the FV, add the malt extract, rinse the saucepan with two pints of boiled water, pour this into the tin to get out the remaining extract, repeat with another two pints of boiled water, stir. Next I add the water that has cooled overnight stirring regularly. Once I am happy that it is all mixed up I add the dry yeast whilst the mixture is still swirling and stir again.

I have never had a problem!
Beer is my drug of choice.
I don't need anger management classes, I need people to stop pissing me off.

No beer, no fun - know beer, know FUN!

sparkybrew
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Re: newbie help please

Post by sparkybrew » Thu Oct 08, 2020 11:19 pm

Many thanks Orlando, will be bleaching everything to be safe. I will look into making a yeast starter to beat the bacteria in future. This has been a steep learning curve from believing everything is fine to understanding what can go wrong.

Thankyou Nitro Jim for your method with this kit, i'll follow this next brew as its a tested method. It's so good to have a known good method to try, back down to Wilkos Saturday and get ready for round 2.

Thankyou everybody

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orlando
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Re: newbie help please

Post by orlando » Fri Oct 09, 2020 7:19 am

sparkybrew wrote:
Thu Oct 08, 2020 11:19 pm
back down to Wilkos Saturday and get ready for round 2.
=D>
I am "The Little Red Brooster"

Fermenting:
Conditioning:
Drinking: January, Old Brown Shoe, Money For Nothing, Elusive Butterfly, From Russia With Love (RIS), He Ain't Heavy, He's My Brother (Wee Heavy)

Up Next:
Planning: Autumn drinking Beer

Nitro Jim
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Re: newbie help please

Post by Nitro Jim » Fri Oct 09, 2020 7:45 am

Sparkybrew... If you add up the amounts you will notice that I brew short, making approx 19 litres rather than 23.
Beer is my drug of choice.
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No beer, no fun - know beer, know FUN!

sparkybrew
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Re: newbie help please

Post by sparkybrew » Sat Oct 10, 2020 7:54 pm

Thankyou everyone for your advice,

Round 2 is in progress, everything cleaned to within an inch of its life, soaked in a weak bleach solution and rinsed well.

This time I used less boiling water at the start and using chilled water had hit 23degc at 15litres from there managed the temperature up to 20litres. I took your advice Nitro Jim and brewed short.

The difference this time was from opening the tin to sealing the FV was around 20mins - a far cry from waiting 5 hours for it to cool like last time.

Thinking back on the last brew the bottled water was in the spare room for 2 days before the brew so was actually at room temperature when I started the brew.

Fingers crossed, I'll keep you posted :D Cheers

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orlando
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Re: newbie help please

Post by orlando » Sat Oct 10, 2020 10:23 pm

sparkybrew wrote:
Sat Oct 10, 2020 7:54 pm
Fingers crossed, I'll keep you posted :D Cheers
Look forward to it.
I am "The Little Red Brooster"

Fermenting:
Conditioning:
Drinking: January, Old Brown Shoe, Money For Nothing, Elusive Butterfly, From Russia With Love (RIS), He Ain't Heavy, He's My Brother (Wee Heavy)

Up Next:
Planning: Autumn drinking Beer

sparkybrew
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Re: newbie help please

Post by sparkybrew » Sun Oct 11, 2020 8:15 am

12 hour update:

No bubbles in the airlock yet but can see through the FV that now it has about a 1.5inch head, hopefully the start of a krausen. temperature of the cupboard is 19degC.

I had a thought this morning, dangerous I know, even though brand new could the seal on FV lid be letting by? I've since wrapped a few iayers of cling film around the top of the FV and it's lid as a precaution.
Wilko IPA - consumption in progress
Wilko Winter Ale - consumption in progress
Wilko Classic Lager - bottle conditioning

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orlando
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Re: newbie help please

Post by orlando » Sun Oct 11, 2020 8:21 am

sparkybrew wrote:
Sun Oct 11, 2020 8:15 am
I had a thought this morning, dangerous I know, even though brand new could the seal on FV lid be letting by?
Yes. Don't worry if it is. As long as the CO2 is getting out it's a good thing. Excessive CO2 can inhibit the yeast.
I am "The Little Red Brooster"

Fermenting:
Conditioning:
Drinking: January, Old Brown Shoe, Money For Nothing, Elusive Butterfly, From Russia With Love (RIS), He Ain't Heavy, He's My Brother (Wee Heavy)

Up Next:
Planning: Autumn drinking Beer

guypettigrew
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Re: newbie help please

Post by guypettigrew » Sun Oct 11, 2020 9:08 am

orlando wrote:
Sun Oct 11, 2020 8:21 am
sparkybrew wrote:
Sun Oct 11, 2020 8:15 am
I had a thought this morning, dangerous I know, even though brand new could the seal on FV lid be letting by?
Yes. Don't worry if it is. As long as the CO2 is getting out it's a good thing. Excessive CO2 can inhibit the yeast.
As Orlando says, getting rid of the CO2 is important. If you've got a good yeasty head then CO2 must be being produced.

Sounds like this brew is off to a good start.

Guy

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