Popey’s first brew day

Discussion in 'Beer Brewdays!' started by Popey, May 24, 2019.

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  1. May 24, 2019 #1

    Popey

    Popey

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    And they’re off! My beginner’s kit arrived earlier complete with a Beer Works Dragon Spéciale Kentish Bitter kit. As I had decided to take the day off to make a long weekend, what better way to spend the morning than making up a brew?
    I was (and still am) worried about temperature control, given that the weather forecast has overnight temperatures dropping to 6 degrees and by fermentation bucket is in the garage. I’ve wrapped the bucket in bubble wrap which I hope will help...fingers crossed!
     
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  2. May 24, 2019 #2

    Gerryjo

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    Be sure to place some bubble wrap below the fermenter and a sleeping bag or blanket on top keeping your temperature to around 19 to 20 degrees....
     
  3. May 24, 2019 #3

    Popey

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    Gerry,

    thanks for the advice.
     
  4. May 24, 2019 #4

    Clint

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    Better still....kick the Mrs out of bed and snuggle up to your fv...you will be lulled to sleep by the gentle blooping of the air lock..
    I'm sure your brew will be fine...in a couple of weeks we'll all be moaning about it being too warm!
     
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  5. May 24, 2019 #5

    Popey

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    Yes, it's either too hot, too cold, too wet, too dry...we're never satisfied are we? LOL
     
  6. May 24, 2019 #6

    Popey

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    So.. here's what I've done... There are a load of old towels that I can put over the top of the bucket as well if needs be...It looks like the fermentation has started as the water in the airlock has been pushed around the bend (I know how THAT feels :-) )
    fermenter.jpg
     
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  7. May 24, 2019 #7

    Clint

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    Looks ok ..is that a Wilko pressure barrel I can see? If so do a forum Search and follow Terrym guide for setting up a pb...
     
  8. May 24, 2019 #8

    Popey

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    Hi Clint,
    It is from Wilko - it's a 25l fermentation barrel that I intend to use that in a couple of weeks to brew some Woodford's Wherry. I'm going to bottle that. I have a King Keg which came with the kit from Love Brewing. I will used it for the Kentish bitter.
     
  9. May 24, 2019 #9

    Gerryjo

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    I have the same PB though from Tesco direct and be very careful also as not to over tighten the lid as it will deform the gasket very easily.
    To pressure test throw in some coca cola and a few mentis and leave for 24 hrs the open the tap to release.
     
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  10. May 28, 2019 #10

    Popey

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    So, it's day 5 and I've just added the hops. There was no Krausen - just a scummy line around the top of the FV. It smelt pretty good - very fruity, which I assume is OK at this stage... I'll have another look in 5 days time and check it with a hydrometer...
     
  11. Jun 2, 2019 #11

    Popey

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    Day ten in the Big Brother hoose...
    Just checked the gravity of my 10-day old Dragon Spéciale Kentish bitter and it was 1016. The gravity before fermentation was (I think) 1042 it was difficult to measure as I put the hydrometer in the FV and it was difficult to read because of the air bubbles and parallax. A lesson learned there I think.
    According to Brewer's Friend's calculator that makes the alcohol content 3.54%. The kit says approximately 4% so I guess within the margin of error. I'll check again on Tuesday and if the gravity is consistent, I'll stick it in my King Keg on Wednesday morning (that should take my mind off the forthcoming tooth extraction that afternoon...)

    Taste-wise, very nice. Quite grapefruity and with a long finish, with none of the weird . I was please that it reminded me of Spitfire, so taste-wise on the money too. For a first kit brew, I have to say that so far I'm chuffed to bits and can't wait to a) get it kegged and conditioned and b) do another brew / kit.
     
  12. Jun 10, 2019 at 7:49 PM #12

    Popey

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    SO... now it's been in the King Keg for 5 days so time for a sample. It's not too bad! It's not as carbonated as I had expected, but it's been quite cool in the garage. The taste was OK - there was a bit of a "homebrew tang", but all in all, it's perfectly drinkable. It can't be too bad, as my wife likes it too! I am hopeful that it will improve over the coming days and I'll try it again on Friday evening.
     

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