Apologies for the length of this. I hope that it isn't boring to the
brewmeisters out there, perhaps a grin or two remembering back to
these days when you went through this :-). My hope here is that it
helps anyone as worried about this kind of activity as I was before I
started. Still uptight, but getting better as I learn more :-).
[To the sound of "Brrrup, Bruup, Bruup, Bruup, ... in the background
Well, I think this is good news :-). By the time I got everything
cleaned up last night (about 0200S) I noticed that the inside piece on
the airlock was pushed up against the top cover ! I guess I took the
"within 24 hours" too literally ? Or, is this indicative of some
problem ? I suspect not, but as in many things these days :-) I'm not
sure (yet :-).
Not quite sure about this, but from the various docs I have on this
subject (beer brewing), the starter is started at 90F in the 1 cup
container. Instead of waiting for the wort to cool to 78F last night
I pitched it at 88F since it looked like it was going to take HOURS
for the wort to cool enough. I pitched at that temperature as I was
more assured that the yeast wouldn't be killed at that temperature
than various nasties wouldn't take over the wort.
All *appears* to be well, but I am really hazy as to how much I need
to worry about The Nasties getting into my wort and runining the
batch. Did I do more damage pitching 10F higer than recommended ?
[ Added later about 1544S]
The wort is really bubbling ! Having been introduced to a new term (I
didn't know it was a REAL term <grin>), it turns out to be a very
useful unit of measure ! I wandered into the kitchen a couple of
hours ago and found the beginnings of a mess coming out of the
airlock. I ignored it for a while, but it didn't appear to be getting
any better and apparently getting worse.
I remembered something called a "blow off hose" from reading Papazians
book and not being up to a couple hour plus drive, I improvised and
solved the problem ! The beer bottle filler tube was (and still is) a
LOT longer than even the 1pt 6oz Samual Adams Creamy Stout bottle
needed. I cut off about 2-3" of the beer filler tube and pulled the
airlock off the *** cork and (swishing it through the bleach
solution and rinsing) stuffed it in place of the airlock and fitted a
piece of hose that came with the kit to it and dropped the other end
into an 80 oz. potato salad container filled about half way with a
bleach solution. Quite pleased with myself until I walked in a bit
later and found a small but growing mess on the counter. Occasionally
the krausen(sp?) foams up into the hose and while not actually
blocking the hose, requires a bit more "air pressure" to push it
through. When it gets to the container of bleach water it was causing
Having several "Sun Tea" gallon jugs floating around, I filled one of
these about half way with the bleach solution and put the cap on it
and put the air line into the solution through the flip up pour spout
(covers a hole not too much bigger than the hose). No more mess !
I think that this is a good thing from what I have read as it kicks
out all the garbage that has the potential to make for less than
optimal brewing. Perhaps I need to get a bigger hose, but we will
I just "clocked the brew" and came up with 106 Glugs Per Minute.
Picked up the "Suds for Windows" program and got that installed. Well,
over my head all in all, but it seems useful - time will tell. The
first time I installed it I was getting UAEs (something I haven't seen
since micro$lop started calling them GPFs :-). Re-installed it and
outside of the recipe editor refusing to go past one line (once) it
seems to be working. I got my "recipe" installed and am busily
logging what is going on.
I got some mail earlier that explained the primary and secondary
fermenter method and explained why. In a bit of reading (later) I
found the same explanation. Appreciate this and ALL the help and
advise I am getting with this !
Started washing the bottles I got from the liquor store. I can see
*one* advantage to buying the "new bottles". These have been around a
bit and are scarred on the outside so that it is difficult to tell
if they are really clean. Perhaps I should be more selective in my
choice of returnables. Learning as I go. With some of the stuff I am
washing out of them I want to be *really* sure that they are clean.
I am soaking them in a "several glug of bleach" and about 3 gals of
water (seems to be a serious solution). The labels come off after
about a half hour or so. I let them sit for two or three hours and
then stuff the bottle brush in and push it in and out (until it hits a
"stop" trying to fold up coming out of the bottle) 35 or 40 times and
then pull the brush out and rinse with hot water (gee, this is ***
the hands -). I've stuck them in the dishwasher and will run a hot
cycle without soap when it gets full.
Made an interesting discovery on the labels. They are VERY close to
the size of 3.5" diskette labels. Might make some using the tractor
feed variety. Would be nice if I could find some of the gummed
variety (do they even make those anymore?). If I do so, I guess I
will find out a) how well they stick and b) how easily they come off
:-). Something to kill the anticipation doing - designing a label for
my very own brew !
The adventure continues !
Take care, Vikki.
Vikki Welch, Net/SysAdmin, Welch Research Labs, WV9K, DoD#-13, TEAM TSE
'Two of the gravest general dangers to survival are the desire for
comfort and a passive outlook.' -- U.S. Army Ranger Handbook