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First time brewer

I just boiled up my first batch of beer yesterday, I am doing the NB American Wheat Beer extract kit. The boil went well, not mess. The water where I live it pretty crappy well water so I used some of the water from out of our 6 stage reverse osmosis filtration system for our fish tank, makes awesome ice too :smiley: I am also using an empty 6 gallon salt bucket for fermenting. All appears to be going well, it started bubbling in the airlock last night and it is bubbling away quite steadily today.

I did have one issue, not sure if it is really and issue, I measured the original gravity before tossing in the yeast and it was only reading about 1032 not the 1042 listed in the directions, I would assume I am just going to have a slightly lower alcohol content at the end.

One more question just for clarification, after bottle conditioning for 2-3 weeks do I have to refrigerate all the beer or would it be fine to leave some out in a cool area so it doesn’t take up as much space in the fridge?

If you did extract and got your volumes correct and all the extract in the boil, your gravity would be what the recipe says. It’s probably just a mixing issue and you pulled your sample from a more watery area of your bucket. Also, your bottles will be fine left out of the fridge as long as you’re not exposing them to sunlight/fluorescent light. Congrats on the first batch

+1 Good insight.

Now that you mention it, I have tons of problems getting a credible reading when I add 3-1/2 gallons from the boil plus cold tap water into a 5-gallon carboy. Even with what seems like a ton of shaking I can’t get it mixed up well enough to get a good reading.

NateG, I wouldn’t sweat it. Congrats on the first brew. Regardless of your gravity reading, I’m sure you’ll enjoy your first batch. I still have one remaining bottle from my first batch sitting in the fridge. Eight years and counting!

I figured it wasn’t anything to worry about, just wait and see how it comes out, take notes, see how things work out next time.

Congrats on your first brew!! Awesome! Just to be sure, and because I didn’t know when I started, you should add some hot water to the extract jug, close and shake. I do it twice and the jugs get pretty clear. I dip a pyrex measuring cup into the Brew Kettle then pour that into the jug. Before screwing on the cap dent or push in the sides of the jug then close it. When you shake it, it expands. Sometimes I have to relieve some pressure and open the cap slightly. Of course I’m only talking about liquid extract.

Welcome to the chronic addiction!

I did go and soak the extract bottle in some hot water before boiling and I also swished it out as well, in almost the exact same way as you mention, and got pretty much all of the extract out. The bubbles in the airlock have slowed way down today, now they are going once about every 10 seconds, I figure I will just leave it for the full two weeks basically because I won’t really have time to bottle it until then anyway.

You mentioned “salt bucket” as your fermenter. Was that used for salt before you turned it into a fermenter? If the insides have any scratches at all they will harbor bacteria. If it was used cross your fingers on this batch and don’t use it as a fermenter any more.

No scratches, aquarium salt comes in a fine powder form, I also rinsed, scrubbed, bleached overnight and used sanitizing solution on the bucket so I would hope nothing was still living. I think my fast fermenting might be due to temp, where I have the buckets its been about 72 degrees the whole time.

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