Ambient temperature advise for brewing..

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RustyV8

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Hi all,
So, this is my very first brew and very first post related to brewing .... so please be gentle! :-) I seriously cant wait to get started but am trying to curb my enthusiasm so that i do it right the first time (or close to right anyway).
Ive purchased a Coopers kit and am going to go with the Family Secret Amber Ale as my first attempt instead of the lager that comes included with the kit. I also bought a pack of the Brew Enhancer 2 as i've read it improves the color, taste and also increases the % up to something around 4.7%ish (the guy in the store told me its only about 3.3% otherwise... but i've read conflicting stuff online so not sure)

Anyway... I have 2 possible places to store it while it works its magic. My outside storeroom (insulated/heated) is around 18degC, or, inside the house under the stairs is about 21.5decC. My understanding is that the Ale needs to be kept around 21-27 but ive also read that it should be 18-22. So a bit confused..

Would the outside storeroom at 18 ambient temp be enough to maintain 20ish in the FV? Or should I bung it under the stairs at 21+ in the dark?

All advise appreciated.....
 

RustyV8

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Oops I also forgot to ask.... as I am adding the BE2 to the mix, do you think the gear inclued in the kit will correctly measure the OG/FG of the beer?
 

terrym

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If it's your first kit beer you might find this useful
Basic beginners guide to brewing your own beer from a kit - The HomeBrew Forum
Next you have bought a one can kit. These require extra sugars to bring them up to 'normal' beer strengths, when brewed to 21 -23litres. Typically you can add any combination of brewing sugar and malt extract (dried or liquid), or in your case beer or brew enhancer which contains dextrose and malt extract and perhaps maltodextrose which adds mouthfeel to the beer. If you had bought a premium kit which cost about twice as much as your one can you don't need to add any extra sugars.
In very general terms ale type beer should be fermented in the range 18-21*C. Ale yeast (which is what you have) will ferment outside these temperatures but will stall if they go lower than about 15*C and many will give off flavours if they go above about 24*C. So I suggest you go for under the stairs (about 21*C) which will mean the yeast is more likely to sustain the fermentation compared to 18*C.
Finally you will need a hydrometer to measure the specific gravity of your beer. Although measuring the original gravity (OG) is useful the one that is really important is the final gravity (FG) because that tells you the fermentation has finished and its safe to bottle.
More on hydrometers here
How to measure Specific Gravity using a Homebrew Hydrometer - The HomeBrew Forum
 

RustyV8

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Super... thanks Terrym for the feedback. I’m gonna check if I can hike the temp outside also to 21 as it’s more stable there (ie no central heating coming on/off etc) if not, then under the stairs it goes!
 

terrym

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Super... thanks Terrym for the feedback. I’m gonna check if I can hike the temp outside also to 21 as it’s more stable there (ie no central heating coming on/off etc) if not, then under the stairs it goes!
I use a water bath in my unheated garage, and most of my fermentations are set to 19*C.
 

Datanode101

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Welcome aboard! (total n00b here) but learnt a lot from here. Them tins with 1kg of brew enhancer will be lovely, it's what I've been tinkering with since I started brewing a few years ago. don't think they are 3.3% though, I don't think there would have been a massive jump up to 4.7% using brew enhancer over sugar. but hey I might be wrong......

Now I'm "pitching my yeast" means throwing it in....lol (But I prefer to boil some water, pour out 100ml into a clean glass and let it cool to room temperature and then add the yeast, leave for 30 mins and then add that, I like to think that there all getting hydrated before being plunged into the vat...LOL

Dry hopping ( just towards the end submerge some dry hop pellets for extra aroma and flavour) I love this and it really adds flavour! (I use a mesh bag full of marbles that have been sterilized of course, and add the hops to that, means it sinks to the bottom, I was just throwing it on the top but there was a lot of surface area that wasn't coming into contact and it's the oil your after from the hops) tis nice!

I'm brewing the 1kg kits with 2KG of sugar, some high alcohol yeast (never knew that high alcohol can stress and kill the little blighters unless there hard core party animal yeast) and also some yeast additive to give them a fighting chance before they get to work!

One Tip as mentioned, imperative that you get a hydrometer!

Good hobby to have.

Mines left in the kitchen and it's about 18 - 20 in there....just FYI...

works out about 10 - 11 % and I like to test it once it's brewed.! haha! :beer1:


20201110_204517.jpg
 

RustyV8

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10-11%? Holy crap... you making beer or rocket fuel? 😊

Thanks for all those tips. I do have a hydrometer (one comes in the kit but I’m sure it’s fairly basic) but as I’m messing with the original intended recipe of the kit (i.e adding the BE2) I’m wondering if I’m throwing off it’s ability to read it properly with the included hydrometer? But surely a hydrometer is a hydrometer and it should read the OG/FG levels correctly regardless.....?
 

RustyV8

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BTW, does the FV smell when it’s fermenting?
Not an issue for me, but if there is a strong smell I may get ‘objections’ to putting under the stairs 😊
 

Datanode101

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Some people complain about making home brew and the smell that it gives off, personally it's never bothers me. (I remember I was posting about homebrew on twatter and some one was like "yeah if you want your house to stink") The only problem I've ever come across was I got my beer to warm when in the fermenter and it ended up frothing out the top..! (I never knew there was like a max temp setting and thought "ah the faster and hotter the quicker" but that can have a funky taste in the beer, not that it should be an issue with the winter months. I always try and keep within the parameters now......

Have you seen the "beer fridge" these crazy people moonshiners, have a fridge just for brewing! I'd love one but ain't got the space. (Basically turning the fridge into a dedicated brewing chamber with the temp set to a constant 18 or what ever......(using a heat lamp of some sort) Clever stuff for when you have massive temperature fluctuations.

As for the "hydrometer" there all the same, try some room temperature water and then take a reading.

I'd been posting about them HERE.

Good Luck :)
 

terrym

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10-11%? Holy crap... you making beer or rocket fuel? 😊

Thanks for all those tips. I do have a hydrometer (one comes in the kit but I’m sure it’s fairly basic) but as I’m messing with the original intended recipe of the kit (i.e adding the BE2) I’m wondering if I’m throwing off it’s ability to read it properly with the included hydrometer? But surely a hydrometer is a hydrometer and it should read the OG/FG levels correctly regardless.....?
The hydrometer used by homebrewers provides a measure of the quantity of sugars and alcohol that are dissolved compared to pure water and that is the specific gravity reading. Its a relative dimensionless number. At the beginning of the fermentation the sugars present mainly determine the SG, and in general it matters not what they are whether say sucrose, dextrose or malt derived sugars (as in beer) or any combination of them. And the more sugar in there the higher the density and hence SG. As the fermentation proceeds most sugars are consumed by the yeast and alcohol is produced. So the density falls helped by the fact that alcohol itself has a lower density than water. But there are some sugars that yeast cannot assimilate, like maltodextrin (sometimes in BE) and this will push the SG higher.
So in your case with your kit can plus BE you will find your OG is probably somewhere in the range 1.038 to 1.042, and at the end the FG will be somewhere around 1.010. And knowledge of where the FG will end up is generally based on a knowledge of how yeasts perform (some better than others) and the OG and with experience you will be able to predict these.
So read the link I posted and learn how to use the hydrometer, and you will find it becomes a simple but essential part of your brewing toolkit.
 

RustyV8

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So today is going to be Brew Day!
One final question before I start (because it’s not clear in any instructions I’ve read)
Do I dissolve the initial dry ingredients in warm or cold water? (I think warm to get things moving?)
 

terrym

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So today is going to be Brew Day!
One final question before I start (because it’s not clear in any instructions I’ve read)
Do I dissolve the initial dry ingredients in warm or cold water? (I think warm to get things moving?)
If you are referring to DME/spray malt I find it dissolves better in cold water. But whether its cold, warm, hot or off the boil it will need plenty of mixing since it clumps together.
I usually make up the DME first then add the LME from the can, which is different to the instructions.
But whatever you do make sure you get all the ingredients thoroughly mixed and in solution including the LME gloop which sticks to the bottom of the FV.
Finally when everything is in solution top up with cold water and then at the end hot water (boiled from a kettle not the hot tap) to give the correct pitching temperature, say 20*C. Then finally give it a good mix for a minute or two to get some air into it.
Then take the OG reading, pitch the yeast and off you go.
 

Datanode101

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cold water really?!

Always had to heat the cans/bags in a saucepan to get them nice and gooey... I can't imagine trying to get it out the can cold....

I boil the kettle to melt the sugar and then I add the can that's all runny, fill to the top keeping an eye on the temps and then as you say when it's around about 18 - 20 then I add the yeast and mix like fury....
 

scomet

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For your first couple of brews you may consider a 'blow off tube' into a bucket with water in just in case you get a gusher! best not get it all over the carpet.....
 

terrym

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cold water really?!

Always had to heat the cans/bags in a saucepan to get them nice and gooey... I can't imagine trying to get it out the can cold....

I boil the kettle to melt the sugar and then I add the can that's all runny, fill to the top keeping an eye on the temps and then as you say when it's around about 18 - 20 then I add the yeast and mix like fury....
I have never had a problem.
Pour out the can contents into the FV. Put a little hot water into the nearly empty can, leave it for a minute or two, then mix the water and residual LME and pour into the FV, repeat if necessary. LME is not normally too viscous to pour unless you store the cans somewhere cold, although I agree it does help to move them to a warm place, perhaps an airing cupboard or in the sun for a while, before you open the can.
 

RustyV8

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cold water really?!

Always had to heat the cans/bags in a saucepan to get them nice and gooey... I can't imagine trying to get it out the can cold....

I boil the kettle to melt the sugar and then I add the can that's all runny, fill to the top keeping an eye on the temps and then as you say when it's around about 18 - 20 then I add the yeast and mix like fury....
You say ''I add the yeast and mix like fury...''
I thought the yeast was just meant to be pitched on the top and left alone, not mixed??
 

Datanode101

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You say ''I add the yeast and mix like fury...''
I thought the yeast was just meant to be pitched on the top and left alone, not mixed??

this is one of the great brewing questions....some people sprinkle it on top, others mix it in......
 

Tanglefoot

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this is one of the great brewing questions....some people sprinkle it on top, others mix it in......
Better still rehydrate the yeast first either in water or by making a starter (taking care to pitch into wort at same temperature).
 

RustyV8

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So I’m about 43hours into the 1st fermentation of my Amber Ale.
While there clearly is bubbles and I can see the activity in the FV I’m just wondering if there should be more foam forming? It’s gone cloudy as expected, Temperature is steady, hovering around 21deg.
C85C9767-29B8-4A3F-9410-82D40D56BBC6.jpeg
See the picture attached - is this normal level of foam or does it look like something is wrong?
 

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