I dusted off a pretty old brewkit (TrueBrew) recently and brewed my first
batch. The kit was a porter and I think I did everything fine cuz my airlock
is gurgling nicely after more than 24 hours since putting the wort into the
fermenter. I think I'm on way to beer, but have some newbie questions.
1. I discussed this in an earlier post and everyone seemed to say "go ahead
and brew it to see what happens", but the kit was at least two years old and
that kinda concerned me. The only thing I noticed was that one bag of the
dried malt had some serious clumping going on. Like hard clods of dried malt
extract. The smaller ones melted, but I had a large clod or two that I
plucked out of the brew and threw out. Otherwise, everything looked fine.
The second bag of dried malt extract did not suffer this clumping. I bought
new yeast since the original packet had expired long ago. When I pitched the
yeast, evidence of fermentation began within minutes. My yeast was hungry!
2. So it has been downstairs in a plastic fermenter with the airlock on
tight. I check on the brew now and again and it has been fermenting just
fine. My basement is a tad on the musty side and I'm concerned about
off-flavors. Should I place the fermenter somewhere else in my apartment? My
only concern is that it can get pretty warm, even in September, where I
live. Certainly above the 75-degree mark. Right now the wort smells like a
sweet, malty porter when I put my nose above the airlock. Just dunno if
anything is going to get in there that I don't like.
3. When I strained the steeped grains into the wort, my strainer let some of
the grains through. I spooned out as much as I could (sanitized spoon), but
some 20-30 grains remained in the wort when I put it in the fermenter. I
wasn't going to throw out the whole batch just for that and assumed that the
grains would settle. Am I right? Or are some of my bottles going to be
4. When I started the brew, I used too much water and after adding the
liquid malt extract, realized my error. I Dissolved the can of extract
completely into the water and then poured off about a pint or two of the
mixture so that the remaining ingredients would fit in the brewpot. I
suspect this will reduce my alcohol content.
5. How many days do I wait? I thought I heard three days and then seven days
and then "wait until the airlock shows no activity" and also suggestions
that I take hydrometer readings to be sure that fermentation is complete (I
took a reading in my logbook before pitching the yeast). When do I rack and
I think that's it. Thanks in advance for any advice. Even if this brew
doesn't turn out right, at least I got to do a dry run (and I enjoyed it a
lot) so the next one goes more smoothly.
- posted 15 years ago