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First Batch - Couple of Questions

Brewed my first batch ever last Saturday. Started with a kit, but then added an additional 3.15 lbs of lme or a total of 9.75 lbs lme, and 1 lb caramalt. Safale US-05 yeast, pitched directly onto wort. OG, prior to pitch, was 1.050. This seems low. My guess is that this reading is off as I didn’t mix the worth after adding additional water to bring it to 5 gallongs. Wort was on the cool side, 62 degrees, when I pitched. After about 10 hours or so, fermenting nicely and after about 24 going strongly. I did not aerate at all and did not stir in yeast.

After 3 days in primary, racked to secondary. Ferementation was still very active at that time. So, I racked it too early into the secondary. Directions I was working with said rack into secondary in 2-3 days so that is what I did. But, directions did not account for the additional 3.15 lbs of lme I added. Nonetheless, fermantation still appears to be moving along nicely. Been in secondary for about 5 days. Still fermenting nicely.

Question 1 - Did I pitch enough yeast? If not, is there anything I should do now?

Question 2 - Why should wort be aerated? I thought that, generally oxygen was bad for beer.

Thanks in advance for the responses.

I’m no expert and I have no idea which brew you made, but I believe your OG reading is low for that amout of LME and with that amount I would have created a starter a few days before brewing.

Also, burn those instructions that say 2-3 days…are you sure it does not say weeks?

Best thing is leave the wort in primary for 2-3 weeks, move to secondary if you want to clarify or drop hop. Otherwise I see no reason to move it.

Always aerate the wort in the carboy… I do it for 3-5 minutes.

BeerTools gives a OG of 1.068 for 9.75lb of LME. You are probably correct that your didn’t have a good mix before you took the reading. Also, you volume may be slightly different than you think throwing off what you are expecting and what is actual.

1 pack of dry yeast is plenty for that OG. Mr. Malty
suggest 1.2 packs of the 11.5gram yeast packets. Starters are not recommended for dry yeast. It is suggested to rehydrate the yeast. Many brewers do as you did and dump it in and let it rehydrate in the wort. I do the dump and walk away.

Transferring after 3 days, there should still be plenty of yeast in suspension to get the job done. So I would not tamper with it further.

Oxygen is needed by the yeast early in the cycle. So aggressively transferring the wort to the fermenter or shaking the pail/carboy for a minute or two is a good idea. If you want to purchase a air stone and O2 bottles you can. But they are not necessary.

My suggestion for this beer, let it sit for 1 more week. Check the gravity. Then wait 3 more days and check again. If the reading is the same and in the range of 1.015-1.022 it is done. Go ahead and bottle it.

When you do bottle it, use one plastic soda bottle. Squeeze the air out and cap. You will see the bottle expand as CO2 is formed. No need to wonder what is happening in the glass bottles.

For future beers, just let it sit for 2-3 weeks before you worry about doing anything with it. You beer will thank you for it. :wink:

Thanks for the replies.

Instructions did say 2-3 days, but included “by that time, active fermentation should have subsided.”

I’ll just let it sit.

The plastic soda bottle is a great idea to confirm in-bottle fermentation.

Thanks again.

RE Question 2: Probably only one more thing to add, as Nighthawk suggested, oxygen is needed early in the yeast growth cycle - this will help your yeast replicate in it’s population growth phase. I’m not sure what the instructions are in your kit, or what process you used to make it, but if you boil your sweet wort you will dimish the oxygen in your water as part of the boiling process. But if your kit doesn’t require you to boil the wort (some very basic kits don’t) then aeration is not necessary as the water you add will have enough O2.

Bit of an Update

I bought an equipment kit from LHBS, which has been arond for 20+ years. I also bought a simple LME kit. 6.6 lbs of amber LME, bittering hops and aroma hops.

Not that I really know anything at all about brewing, this is my first batch. But, after spending a bit of time on the internet looking at recipes and OG and ABV calculators, I figured that the kit would make for a somewhat uninspiring beer. So, I ordered up a pound of caramalt, 3.15 lbs of golden LME and an ounce of Chinook and and ounce of Cascade hops pellets from NB.

Steeped grain for 30 mins. Boiled the water, added water from grains, the LME and bittering hops and boiled for an hour. Cooled, dumped into fermenter (after racking cane got clogged). So, I got a little air.

Fermened pretty well and is still bubbling a bit. But, gravity is down to 1.015. So, it should be just about done; it will be 2 weeks since brew day on Saturday. I am going to leave it sit, hopefully until next weekend, in the fermenter and then dry hop with an oz of cascade, bottle a week after that.

Really trying to wait another 2 weeks before bottling. But, I don’t know if I can do it.

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