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Old 02-06-2012, 02:47 PM   #1
memit
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Default Greetings... and a few questions

Hello,

I'm fairly new to drinking proper beer, but enjoying it enough that I figured I should try making some myself. I've got a fairly sophisticated palate when it comes to food, but when it comes to beer I just know whether or not I like it and don't know how to describe the flavours that are making me enjoy it or not. This will make choosing my next kit difficult...

I ordered a package deal with all the gumph I need except bottles. It came with a Coopers English Ale kit. I also picked up some spray malt because a lot of the guides I've read advise against sugar. I'm going to start it up after the long weekend.

I have some questions, but they're all general 'new to brewing questions', so I'm not going to start new threads for each.
- I was intending to brew in the spare room. What's the probability of it overflowing and ruining the carpet? If that happens, will a rug underneath be enough to soak anything up or will it be a huge torrent of yeasty liquid?

- The washing machine lives in the spare room too - will vibrations harm the fermentation process so much that I should avoid putting it on while I'm brewing?

- I was messing with the auto siphon with water to see if I can get it to work when it comes to bottling. I can't seem to get it started, although once it's going the pump works to keep it going. How do I get the darn thing started? On a related note, is bottling going to be difficult if I leave the brewing vessel on the floor? Do people brew on tables?

- Bottles. I was thinking of grabbing some big bottles of ginger beer from the supermarket, since they are opaque. I think I'd only need a dozen or so, with enough odd small bottles around to put any excess in. (It will mean drinking ginger beer a lot over the next couple of weeks, or throwing some down the sink.) Does this sound like the right type of bottle? Decanting into loads of small bottles sounds like a pain.

Cheers!
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Old 02-06-2012, 03:12 PM   #2
Cononthebarber
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Default Re: Greetings... and a few questions

Hi there and welcome to the forum!

I'll try and answer your questions one by one:

1: When I was brewing in my spare room I always put a towel underneath in case of any spillage on the carpet although the worst you can expect is some foam causing a smallish puddle - Worst ive seen has been my most recent batch check it out!

2: I can't see any reason why the washing machine would affect anything, the worst I can imagine it doing is shake up a bit of sediment but will not harm the beer - perhaps a suggestion would be to just not use the washing machine a day or two before bottling time.

3: I can't help you with your auto-syphon as I dont have one and never used one - someone else may help you there? Or search on youtube for a video "how to"

4: You can re-use any plastic bottles as long as they are made from PET-1. If you look on the bottom of the bottle it should have a symbol with three rotating arrows and a number in the middle - if its a 1 you are good to go! You are brewing from a kit so it will be 23.5 litres (or there abouts) so you'll need enough bottles to take that much, worse thing would be to come to bottling and find out you don't have enough! Decanting into smaller bottles (500ml or lower) does take longer but does mean that they fit better in your fridge and also you can put the lot into a glass at the same time, with bigger bottles you end up putting the bottle back in the fridge in between glasses and means that the second glass is often cloudy (due to sediment in bottom of bottle) and flat from losing gas...

Hope that answers your questions and best of luck on your first brew! Most important thing to remember is to meticulous about sterilising everything that will come into contact with your beer. Its better to be too careful than not!
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Old 02-06-2012, 06:41 PM   #3
dennisking
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Default Re: Greetings... and a few questions

Hi and welcome.
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Old 03-06-2012, 04:34 PM   #4
memit
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Default Re: Greetings... and a few questions

Thanks Conon, really helpful - although if I produce that much foam I'm not sure my landlord will give me my deposit back...

How do you transfer your brew out of the FV?
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Old 03-06-2012, 05:03 PM   #5
crofty83
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Default Greetings... and a few questions

Quote:
Originally Posted by memit
How do you transfer your brew out of the FV?
With a length of syphon tubing
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Old 07-06-2012, 05:26 PM   #6
memit
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Default Re: Greetings... and a few questions

So I had a fairly low original gravity (around 1035 after correcting for temperature) despite adding a 500g bag of spray malt as advised. It doesn't seem very active, with a bit of foam, but no particularly strong smells coming out of the fermentation vessel. I took the SG now that it's been brewing a few days and it has gone down.

I didn't want to mess around with it, but now I'm thinking I should have added some more sugar. Should I add some now?

Thanks.
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Old 07-06-2012, 06:32 PM   #7
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Default Re: Greetings... and a few questions

hi and welcome , i would leave it be , next time maybe add 1kg of dme and try to leave it alone for at least 10 days in total
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Old 07-06-2012, 07:05 PM   #8
memit
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Default Re: Greetings... and a few questions

Thanks, I'm feeling like I'd rather do something that risks screwing it up rather than certainly being left with something I won't drink...

Is it worth giving it a stir in case the malt didn't dissolve?
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