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Flan

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Hi all, i decided to take the plunge into home brewing as i have a lot of time on my hands and thanks to lock down all the pubs are shut. I bought a starter kit which included a Youngs American IPA which i started last friday 20th nov. I have trouble with keeping a constant temp in the house as at night it drops to around 15° in the kitchen where i kept the fermentation tub, i bought a heat mat and put it under a frame i made to stand the tub on and put a cardboard box over it. The temp of the wort was 21° when i pitched the yeast and lots of froth was produced, the first night i checked the temp and it was 24° the next morning and all the next day the temp was showing 26/28° there was a bit of a blow up through the air lock but not much, i managed to regulate the temp by adding a timer plug to the heat mat and for next 7 days the temp has been a constant 22/24°. I didn’t take a OG reading as i stupidly smashed the hydrometer whilst sterilising stuff. Ive since bought a new one and today took a reading as the bubbling had slowed to around 1 every 40-50 secs, the reading was 1009 so i added the hops as instructed and now i will leave it for around 3 days and test the gravity again before transferring to a barrel, the temp now is still steady at 22°, so i have a couple of questions
1. Has the initial temp rise damaged the brew (the instructions in the kit said initial fermentation should be 24/25° for the first 2 days)
2. How long is too long to leave the hops in
3. What temp should it be at now i have added the hops
4. I have a cellar that is a constant 15/16° is this ok to keep the brew in once transferred to the barrel.
thanks for any advice. Pete.
 

Rodcx500z

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I leave the hops in for 4 days, when its done i put the fermenter in the coldest place i can find which is the shed at the moment for 3 days so the hops can fall out of suspension, did you use a hop bag or did you do as i do just chuck em in if you used a bag just lift it out let it drain then cold crash for 3 or 4 days then barrel
 

Rodcx500z

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forgot to add prime and keep at 19 20c for 2 weeks then somewere cold to condition and clear
 

terrym

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Its not ideal that your beer might have gone north of 25*C but it is unlikely to have made all that much difference tbh.
You should not package your beer (i.e. bottle or put it into a PB) until the SG has bottomed out. In your case it could be a day or three , but it might be longer. You will just have to leave it until it stabilises. And continue at the fermenting temperature to give the yeast the best chance of finishing sooner rather than later. So I suggest you test it every two days until the SG readings are the same then you can package.
Finally be aware that PBs are not really suitable for higher carbed beers like the AIPAs due to their pressure limits. Bottles would be better. But If you do decide to use the PB use no more than 100g of the brewing sugar that came with your kit.
And if your PB is new you need to check it over before you put it into service, since there is a chance it might leak. More on that in here
 

Flan

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I leave the hops in for 4 days, when its done i put the fermenter in the coldest place i can find which is the shed at the moment for 3 days so the hops can fall out of suspension, did you use a hop bag or did you do as i do just chuck em in if you used a bag just lift it out let it drain then cold crash for 3 or 4 days then barrel
I just put them in the fermenter Straight out of the pack. So I don’t transfer the brew to barrel/bottle after 3 or 4 days then. I leave it in a cold place for another 3 days with the hops in then transfer it to my barrel.
 

Flan

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Its not ideal that your beer might have gone north of 25*C but it is unlikely to have made all that much difference tbh.
You should not package your beer (i.e. bottle or put it into a PB) until the SG has bottomed out. In your case it could be a day or three , but it might be longer. You will just have to leave it until it stabilises. And continue at the fermenting temperature to give the yeast the best chance of finishing sooner rather than later. So I suggest you test it every two days until the SG readings are the same then you can package.
Finally be aware that PBs are not really suitable for higher carbed beers like the AIPAs due to their pressure limits. Bottles would be better. But If you do decide to use the PB use no more than 100g of the brewing sugar that came with your kit.
And if your PB is new you need to check it over before you put it into service, since there is a chance it might leak. More on that in here
Thanks terry I’ll check it out
 

terrym

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I just put them in the fermenter Straight out of the pack. So I don’t transfer the brew to barrel/bottle after 3 or 4 days then. I leave it in a cold place for another 3 days with the hops in then transfer it to my barrel.
The 'cold crash' mentioned by @Rodcx500z is to help drop the yeast and hops so you get clearer beer going forward. In your case there might be a trade off in doing that vs. leaving the hops in too long. So I suggest you wait until the SG has stabilised as I said above, before considering a cold crash. Your main priority imo should be trying to minimise the time on the hops past about 8 days, which you may not be able to avoid if the SG has not bottomed out. So 5 days in the warm to lowest SG plus 2 days cold crash is OK, but 8 days to lowest SG then another 2 days cold crash is not. But that's my view others may disagree.
 

Flan

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The 'cold crash' mentioned by @Rodcx500z is to help drop the yeast and hops so you get clearer beer going forward. In your case there might be a trade off in doing that vs. leaving the hops in too long. So I suggest you wait until the SG has stabilised as I said above, before considering a cold crash. Your main priority imo should be trying to minimise the time on the hops past about 8 days, which you may not be able to avoid if the SG has not bottomed out. So 5 days in the warm to lowest SG plus 2 days cold crash is OK, but 8 days to lowest SG then another 2 days cold crash is not. But that's my view others may disagree.
Ok thank you, so I’ll check the gravity every 2 days from now until it bottoms out before transferring it.
 

Flan

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Ok thank you, so I’ll check the gravity every 2 days from now until it bottoms out before transferring it.
Is it normal for it to start fermenting again once the hops are added, when i checked the airlock before i added the hops it was bubbling every 50seconds or so, the gravity was 1009, since adding the hops the bubbling has become more frequent again, every 8 seconds or so.
 

Flan

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Its not ideal that your beer might have gone north of 25*C but it is unlikely to have made all that much difference tbh.
You should not package your beer (i.e. bottle or put it into a PB) until the SG has bottomed out. In your case it could be a day or three , but it might be longer. You will just have to leave it until it stabilises. And continue at the fermenting temperature to give the yeast the best chance of finishing sooner rather than later. So I suggest you test it every two days until the SG readings are the same then you can package.
Finally be aware that PBs are not really suitable for higher carbed beers like the AIPAs due to their pressure limits. Bottles would be better. But If you do decide to use the PB use no more than 100g of the brewing sugar that came with your kit.
And if your PB is new you need to check it over before you put it into service, since there is a chance it might leak. More on that in here
By the way the barrel has 15 psi on it, it came with the kit so I’ve never used it.
 

terrym

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That's about standard for all PBs as far as I am aware. Some are lower at 10psig.
 

Rodcx500z

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15psi is pretty standard these days, i normally use 60 to 80g of sugar in mine as i don't like overly carbed ale i have gone 100g once with a pale ale it was hard work pouring that brew, i barreled a stout the other day used 80g, if you want to go higher use a calculator and bottles
 

Flan

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Just a quick update for any advice, i added the hops on Friday 27th after 8 days of fermenting, the gravity reading then was 1009, today Monday 30th i checked the brew and the gravity reading is 1004, the hops have spread out but cover the top of the brew, does this sound about right as i expected the hops to sink, I plan on taking another reading in 2 days time and if its still the same then move the fv to a colder place for 2 days, that means the hops will have been in for 7 days total and fermentation would be 2 weeks In the fv. I have now set up a single fridge in my cellar with a inkbird temp regulator hooked up so i can now regulate temp properly for future brews.
 

Flan

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Its not ideal that your beer might have gone north of 25*C but it is unlikely to have made all that much difference tbh.
You should not package your beer (i.e. bottle or put it into a PB) until the SG has bottomed out. In your case it could be a day or three , but it might be longer. You will just have to leave it until it stabilises. And continue at the fermenting temperature to give the yeast the best chance of finishing sooner rather than later. So I suggest you test it every two days until the SG readings are the same then you can package.
Finally be aware that PBs are not really suitable for higher carbed beers like the AIPAs due to their pressure limits. Bottles would be better. But If you do decide to use the PB use no more than 100g of the brewing sugar that came with your kit.
And if your PB is new you need to check it over before you put it into service, since there is a chance it might leak. More on that in here
I’ve just taken a 3rd sg reading and it’s been stable for 3 days at 1004, is this a little low for an ipa? I have moved the fv to the cellar now and it will sit in 14° overnight and then after i take another sg reading if it’s the same i plan on putting it in the fridge at 4° for 2 days then bottle/keg it. It will have been fermenting for 2 weeks and will have had the hops in for 6/7 days by then, does this sound ok.
 

terrym

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I’ve just taken a 3rd sg reading and it’s been stable for 3 days at 1004, is this a little low for an ipa? I have moved the fv to the cellar now and it will sit in 14° overnight and then after i take another sg reading if it’s the same i plan on putting it in the fridge at 4° for 2 days then bottle/keg it. It will have been fermenting for 2 weeks and will have had the hops in for 6/7 days by then, does this sound ok.
It is a bit lower than perhaps you would expect, but that's not a problem it will be a bit drier that's all. I would not bother with an intermediate step now its been at 1.004 for 3 day, I would just move it to your fridge to crash cool. I suggest you either bottle all of you beer or put all of it into your PB. If you do say half and half that leaves quite a lot of air/oxygen in the PB and it might spoil your beer a little. And if you use the PB no more than 100g of brewing sugar is my suggestion, although thats not an issue with bottles.
 

Flan

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It is a bit lower than perhaps you would expect, but that's not a problem it will be a bit drier that's all. I would not bother with an intermediate step now its been at 1.004 for 3 day, I would just move it to your fridge to crash cool. I suggest you either bottle all of you beer or put all of it into your PB. If you do say half and half that leaves quite a lot of air/oxygen in the PB and it might spoil your beer a little. And if you use the PB no more than 100g of brewing sugar is my suggestion, although thats not an issue with bottles.
Great, thanks Terry.
 

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