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Noob with some questions

Hello all,

Made it through my first brew day this past Sunday. It went fairly smooth, although I can think of a few things I did wrong. I’m pretty excited because it was fun and fairly easy. My first brew kit was Caribou Slobber and my airlock is bubbling once about every 45-60 seconds.

Here are my observations/questions/concerns from my first brew day:

  1. I used a Coleman camping stove to do my boil in my basement. I made sure the room was super ventilated (froze my ass off) and had a fire extinguisher handy. My boil never actually boiled, but I checked temps several times and I was at or above 170 degress. I know my set-up is “ghetto” but it beats trying to move the pot. Was the boil temp and the fact that it didn’t boil OK?

  2. Like an idiot I steeped my sack of grains in cold water. Next time I will make sure that my water has had plenty of time to warm up before steeping. Will this have negative affects?

  3. It has only been two days and I already have quite a bit of sediment in the bottom of the carboy. It is tan in color. Is this normal? If so great, if not, what can I do to save my batch?

  4. There is so stratifcation in the carboy. Orignally it was dark and cloudy. Now there is a darker, less clowdy layer at the top. Again, is this normal? If so, great, if not, what do you think is causing it?

  5. When will the krausen start to develop?

I appreciate any information that you all can provide. Thank you!!

JL

Next time you need to boil the wort. Just keeping it around 170 won’t do. You should be steeping your gains around that temp. What temp did you pitch yeast? It should have started to ferment by a couple days (no krausen would suggest no fermentatio) If the temp was too high, you may have killed the yeast. Before you’re next brew, read howtobrew.com. It will give you some good info.

I pitched yeast at around 100 degrees.

How long should I wait for a krausen to develop to tell if I made a bad batch? It has barely been two days.

Did you have any instructions to follow?

It’s possible that fermentation is finished. Do you have a hydrometer to check the gravity?

Pitching at 100 degrees may have killed your yeast. I’d add a pack of dry yeast ASAP. US-05 would be good. I hope you can save this one!

Like CCM said, read How to Brew or another intro brewing book before you go too far down the wrong path. You can usually request almost any book you want from your library, if you don’t want to buy a copy.

How to Brew is a great start though. Next time, wait to pitch your yeast until the wort is about 65 degrees.

yeah, the boil is to sanitize, and keep bacteria from taking over. Cold steeping isn’t necessarily “bad” but you’ll get more sugar out of your grain if you steep hot (more soluble at higher temp). Sediment is not necessarily bad either, and can be filtered if necessary when racking (transferring to secondary). Pitching at 100 degrees most likely harmed your yeast, and it won’t recover. repitching will help, if done rapidly, and in a pinch you can use bread yeast. It works, I’ve done it, it gives your beer an interesting flavor. Keep your eyes and nose open for contamination. I would worry most about bacteria. If you notice a film on top of the wort, or an off smell coming out of the airlock, be prepared emotionally to dump it.

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