New to beer making

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I recently received a beer making kit for christmas and wanted to know
the importance of what final gravity is and how to measure the final
gravity once the mixture has been left to ferment.  The kit uses a
premade beer mix and malt extract.

thanks in advance.

Re: New to beer making



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Congrats!  Here's a great starting point ... just about all you need to
know for a long time:   http://www.howtobrew.com/
Regarding your specific question...  after you leave the beer to ferment
for about 2 weeks or so, you can check the specific gravity.  If the
gravity stays the same for about 3 days in a row, then the fermentation
has finished.  That is the only *real* way to know --- you can't really
rely on watching the bubbles, etc.

To measure it, most people take something like a kitchen turkey baster,
sanitize it, then suck up some beer and put it into the tube the
hydrometer came in.  Then float the hydrometer in there.  Usually you
can give it a little spin.  You want all the bubbles and everything off
of it.  You then look across the level of the beer at the value on the
hydrometer.  Note the beer will form a meniscus where it touches the
glass... you usually don't read it at that level.  Read howtobrew.com
for some detailed information on how to do it... I think he has whole
sections/appendix for it.

Welcome to the hobby!  And remember the motto... "relax, don't worry,
have a homebrew!" (RDWHAHB).

Derric


Re: New to beer making


Phil wrote:
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Welcome to the hobby!

Your beer will have a certain specific gravity before fermentation,
which will gradually drop as the yeast converts its malt and / or other
sugars into alcohol and CO2. If the specific gravity stops going down,
then fermentation has stopped, and hopefully has finished. That's the
final gravity. That's a good signal that it's OK to bottle your brew,
though there's generally no rush. The beer is more patient than the
brewer...

Karl S.

Re: New to beer making


Thanks all who answer...especially Derric and Karl S. You guys have the
patience and knowledge to answer the questions and point us in the right
direction. My hat is off to you guys.



Re: New to beer making


I second that ( CHEERS)

Brian wrote:
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Re: New to beer making


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When I first started home brewing, I followed the instructions to the
letter. After 25 years, I find instructions to be a hinderence. My kids
broke my hydrometer many years ago, so I go by eye. When fermenting, I wait
for all activity to cease then wait a further 5 to 10 days. Using this
method I have had 2 bad brews and never any exploding bottles since the
demise of the hydrometer. A lot of brewers will disagree with me, but
results count. Hydrometers are good to start with until you gain experience,
then you go to instinct.

Happy brewing, you will find it a very rewarding hobby, and be the envy of
your mates (when you have perfected the art)



Re: New to beer making


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Also, if the kit says to use 1k suger, DON"T. Use dextrose instead. As you
gain experience, try different blends of sugars (except cane). My preference
is; 300g malt powder, 300 dextrose, 300 maltodextrin & 100 wheat malt. This
is my preference, yours could end up different, due to your taste buds.



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