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paulm___

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Hello, I just registered today, I have a couple of questions, hope someone might help.

I was given a beer kit a couple of years ago, never bothered with it initially. I was in wilkos a couple of weeks ago and saw they had beer kits. I bought a "triple hopped ipa". I've followed the instructions well enough I think, it said add the hops on day 4 (I did Sunday gone). The brew bubbled away merrily until yesterday then stopped. The instructions say 4-6 days for fermenting but I've read it often takes longer, 2 weeks as a rule of thumb. What should I do, go with the instructions or be patient?

As for bottling, I have some new PET bottles. Do I use the sterilisation chemicals that came with the kit to clean them? I was browsing posts on here which mention using some sort of chemicals and letting them dry. The stuff I have would have a lingering smell and aftertaste if I did that, so I'm not certain I've understood right.
 

Clint

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Hiya
Kit instructions are a bit ambitious...it would probably have been a bit better to add the hops a bit later...but don't worry as it's no big deal...leave the brew now until about two weeks have passed...don't fiddle with it,then take a hydrometer reading,if you have one. If not...you kinda need one...but it's not the end of the world...what you're looking for is a stable final gravity specific to what you've brewed...so have a look on your instructions...if you can't find anything..I'm sure we can help..
As for your bottles etc...what steriliser have you got?
 

Backyard_Brewer

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Get yourself a hydrometer to check if you've reached final gravity they don't cost a lot. If you got sterilising stuff with your kit follow the instructions and use that. There are several options for sterilising your equipment but I'd just go with what you have for now.

Daz
 

HoppingMad

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Hi Paulm,

I’d be very surprised if it was finished fermenting by day 4, I’ve never known any kit ferment that fast! Patience is definitely a virtue and it’s definitely better to leave it a few days longer than necessary than it is to bottle it a few days too early!

Re sanitising the bottles, unless it’s a no rinse sanitizer which I very much doubt if it came with a brew starter kit, then you’d need to sanitise then rinse thoroughly with clean water. You wouldn’t need to let them dry.

No rinse sanitiser is a God send IMO and well worth investing in but, again, you don’t need to let it dry...or, at least I never have with Starsan and have never had an issue (Chemsan is an alternative, but don’t know about that one).

There’s a few threads on bottling and bottling tips you might want to read before the “big day”, as it were.acheers.
 

paulm___

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Get yourself a hydrometer to check if you've reached final gravity they don't cost a lot. If you got sterilising stuff with your kit follow the instructions and use that. There are several options for sterilising your equipment but I'd just go with what you have for now.

Daz
I have one with the kit. It read 1.04 before fermenting. There weren't any instructions with the equipment kit, hence I'm not sure if the steriliser chemicals are good for bottles. It seems to be the same stuff you use for cleaning the caravan water pipes. :laugh8:
 

HoppingMad

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This is the steriliser Link
Yes, VWP is a great sanitiser that’s used a lot in the brewing world, but it absolutely needs thoroughly rinsing or, as Clint said, your beer will smell, and likely taste, like a swimming pool!
 

paulm___

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Thanks for the replies, I'll be patient. I put off using the stuff for 2 years, another week can't hurt. My teenage son keeps nagging though :laugh8:

Is no rinse sanitiser expensive?

Would the dishwasher on a 70c wash work? It was fine for the baby bottles. Although I might want to take more care with my precious homebrew.
 

Clint

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Dishwasher might work..but might melt PET, no rinse may seem expensive but it's actually dirt cheap in terms of what you can sanitise with...as, depending on your water pH,it can be reused.
You can also use sodium percarbonate products to sanitise as they're non chlorine bleach... cheapest at the moment is BM bargains with a 2kg..I think! tub of astonish at £2.99....ive got some for cleaning and it's spot on...no smell but there is the slight residue which only requires a minimal rinse if you're bothered..
 

HoppingMad

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Not really, depends on your perspective; it’s about £13-14 for a 250ml bottle but that goes a very, very long way as you dilute it.

Not sure about the dishwasher; in theory it would work but I think the 70c may not do your PET bottles much good?
 
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paulm___

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Yes, I've shrank some of the kids' water bottles in the dishwasher before. I'll experiment with one, maybe.

I'll look into the no rinse stuff. Unless this is an unmitigated disaster, I think I will have another go so might be worth the investment.

Given that I possibly added hops too soon, would it be worth buying some more to add before bottling? I like really hoppy beer.

Thanks again everyone.
 

BrewMeHappy

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It could be a case that when you added the hops that the lid on your fermenting bucket hasn't quite gone back on fully so give the edges a push down.

Another 'test' you can do is gently push the middle of the lid all the way down, as it usually bulges up, so the airlock bubbles and then leave it for a bit. Although not a full indication it is fermenting, if the lid bulges back out again after a while, you know it is probably still fermenting especially at this stage.
 

paulm___

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It could be a case that when you added the hops that the lid on your fermenting bucket hasn't quite gone back on fully so give the edges a push down.

Another 'test' you can do is gently push the middle of the lid all the way down, as it usually bulges up, so the airlock bubbles and then leave it for a bit. Although not a full indication it is fermenting, if the lid bulges back out again after a while, you know it is probably still fermenting especially at this stage.
I did that, it has rebulged (is that a word?) a bit. Lid is on firmly for sure, it is a tight fit and I trapped some skin...
 

BrewMeHappy

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If it's bulging again then there must be some pressure building up so it sounds like it is still going as expected and the CO2 is probably just escaping somewhere.

If rebulge isn't a word, it should be😁
 

Toxicdonkey

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I’ve used Milton to sterilise things it’s cheap and easy to pick up in supermarkets. I just mix it a lot stronger than it says.
 

mitch

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Hello and welcome @paulm___
You aren't me are you?
😂
I am new to this lark totally. Well I made cider in 2014. That was that.
I've never done a "kit" I just make TC & I have mini AG kits from oak homebrew which make 5ltrs at a time. Ergo one can achieve more variety. Plus if they go wrong one has only spent 8quids.
I just use the powdered sanitizer from wilko's and rinse. All is well so far.
As for bottling I've had pals save brown bottles for weeks - got enough for 40ltrs now. I plan to keep re using.
Patience is key. I can say this lark is better than watching tv wink...
 

Nidger

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Dishwasher might work..but might melt PET, no rinse may seem expensive but it's actually dirt cheap in terms of what you can sanitise with...as, depending on your water pH,it can be reused.
You can also use sodium percarbonate products to sanitise as they're non chlorine bleach... cheapest at the moment is BM bargains with a 2kg..I think! tub of astonish at £2.99....ive got some for cleaning and it's spot on...no smell but there is the slight residue which only requires a minimal rinse if you're bothered..


Is that this one @Clint


IMG_20201010_193803302.jpg


Damn it, just paid £1.99 for a 1kg tub from the range and there was a b+m next door 🙄


To the op, as said above, my lager is in a bucket and the lid was bulging up and escaping out of the lid rim rather than fermenting lock,
Also use Milton as has been mentioned, 1 cap per 5ltr water and no rinse.
 
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