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Litany of first time brewer questions

Just bottled my first batch of American Wheat and am currently fermenting the irish Draught…had some questions:

1.) Neither time did I have a sludge, as mentioned, at the bottom of my wort boiler when I transferred to the carboy. When I’m stirring, I tend to let the spoon touch the bottom, which may be why this is happening. Should I A) not be stirring, and B) if I should be, should I refrain from stirring against the bottom of the pot?

2.) The plug/bung on the carboy won’t stay on, forcing me to duct tape it down. What am I missing?

3.) With the Irish Draught, there was still some foam from the StarSan on top of the wort+cold water when I added the yeast…will this have an effect? The fermenting time is about 2-4 weeks for this recipe.

Any and all help is greatly appreciated…thanks a million in advance.

So people allow the wort to sit for up to 30 minutes before transferring to the fermenter. This allows the solids to to settle to the bottom of the boil kettle.

It’s not necessary to keep these solids out of the fermenter. Do stir, it helps the wort cool faster. I have tried to stir and let it sit with the lid on. I can’t get a nice cone to form like some do.

The bung/rubber stopper might be 1/2 size to big. When they are wet, hard to avoid when you sanitize them, they don’t like to stay inside the carboy opening. With your next purchase you could purchase a carboy cap.

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No issues with a little StarSan foam on top of the wort when you add the yeast.

1.) Don’t really understand how you wouldn’t have some hop sludge on the bottom of the kettle. I touch the bottom of the kettle all the time. I have sludge.

2.) It will stick when it dries. I have heard others say they use vodka on the bung to make it stick. You could try that.

3.) Don’t fear the foam. I normally have residual foam when I pitch my yeast. Never have had an issue with fermentation and/or flavor.

The trub in the bottom of the pot doesn’t settle real dense, so if you stir you then have ot let it settle for an hour and then siphon/drain out quietly and leave the not-very-sludgy trub behind. It doesn’t hurt to rack it all into the fermentor though.

Thanks a bunch gentlemen…I’m not getting a very noticeable, thick sludge, but I am noticing a slight difference in the texture when I get to the bottom of the wort. I think I was expecting a noticeable gunk on the bottom, so that might explain why I wasn’t seeing it for what it was.

Does it make sense to siphon into the carboy from the boiling pot? Or does the sediment and stuff help the flavor as it ferments?

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