Author Topic: Newbee Mistake, to much water ..... HELP  (Read 10258 times)

jpsb

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Newbee Mistake, to much water ..... HELP
« on: February 08, 2009, 04:32:52 AM »
I was following instructions for making 5 gallion of beer. But since a have a Coopers kit, stupidly filled the primary fermenter to the 23 liter mark. My beer has been brewing for less then 24 hours. Is there anything I can do to save it? Or if I just leave it alone will it be OK.

Thanks to any and all that offer advice.


jim s

Offline Wildrover

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Re: Newbee Mistake, to much water ..... HELP
« Reply #1 on: February 08, 2009, 07:58:47 AM »
If I follow you right your concern is that you over filled the primary so now don't have enough room left to let it ferment?  You could try a blow off tube, you'll lose a lot of the krausen and yeast etc but that's not necessarily a bad thing.  An airlock will probably get clogged so you probably aren't going to have much of a choice just take a plastic tube from the top of the fermenter and run it into a container of water then sit back and watch the instant jacuzzi.  If you filled the primary all the way to the top you will probably need to take some out, you'll have to let go that last little bit but at this point my guess is taking it out won't be a big deal, just avoid splashing and make sure that whatever touches the wort won't is clean sanitized. 

All is not lost!!

good luck

jpsb

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Re: Newbee Mistake, to much water ..... HELP
« Reply #2 on: February 08, 2009, 08:15:21 AM »
Thanks for taking the time to reply.

"If I follow you right your concern is that you over filled the primary so now don't have enough room left to let it ferment?".

No it is fermenting nicely, I am just afraid I have ruined the flavor and diluted the Alcahol content, by using to much water. If I could read a hydromenter I could tell you the SG before adding the yeast. All I know is that it was mid way between the 40 and 50.

I am very new to this. I tried brewing beer years ago and failed miserably. I am giving it a second go. The first batch, Coopers Kit all extract, turn out well so now I am trying a Sottish Ale, part grain part extract.

thanks again

jim s

Offline MaltLicker

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Re: Newbee Mistake, to much water ..... HELP
« Reply #3 on: February 08, 2009, 10:04:42 AM »
If you have a local home brew store, ask if there is a local club nearby.  It helps a lot to see first-hand some of these things that happen when brewing. 

I think Midwest Supply offers a DVD of a brew session, if you placed an order from them you could get that and review it if you don't have a local club option. 

Palmer's "How to Brew" covers the basics, and then dives into the details in later chapters, so it is a good all-round read. 

Offline Wildrover

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Re: Newbee Mistake, to much water ..... HELP
« Reply #4 on: February 08, 2009, 03:26:58 PM »
I'd also add that you can get a ton of info on you tube.  Of course youtube is somewhat like wikipedia in that anyone can post anything so you don't want to learn bad habits.  However, having said that, there have been enough people who have put enough of their process on youtube that you can probably distill the basics from watching as much as you can.  Just look for what they all say in common to figure out where you need to be.  +1 on the first chapter of Palmer's book, it is very short and basic and he did that on purpose for those who don't have patience to read the whole book before brewing.  That book is also online (well an abridged version anyway) so you should be able to get all you need to know to make a good drinkable batch of beer from that.  As you learn you'll outgrow that first chapter and the following chapters will become more of a want rather than a chore.  Thats half the fun in my opinion, learning about all these things you used to glance over because you didn't know what they were talking about.  When it all of a sudden makes sense and you apply it to your beer and the quality of that beer goes through the roof, well, then you're hooked.

http://www.howtobrew.com/

Offline MaltLicker

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Re: Newbee Mistake, to much water ..... HELP
« Reply #5 on: February 08, 2009, 07:55:09 PM »
..........learning about all these things you used to glance over because you didn't know what they were talking about.  When it all of a sudden makes sense and you apply it to your beer and the quality of that beer goes through the roof, well, then you're hooked.

LMAO!  Boy, that's the truth.  Every time I think I know a fair amount, I find something that proves otherwise.  It's truly a hobby with room for continuous tinkering and hopefully improvement. 

Offline SleepySamSlim

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Re: Newbee Mistake, to much water ..... HELP
« Reply #6 on: February 08, 2009, 10:26:37 PM »
So it sounds like you added an extra gallon of water ?  Not the end of the world if thats all you did --- your beer might be a bit thin in flavor and lower in alcohol - but still beer.
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Worst old feelin' that I've ever had ...
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jpsb

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Re: Newbee Mistake, to much water ..... HELP
« Reply #7 on: February 09, 2009, 07:00:32 AM »
I was thinking of maybe putting a little extract/sugar mix into it. But fermentation was just about stopped, so it is probably too late to do that now.  My fist "Light Beer" brew. lol, thanks for the reply.

jim s

Offline SOGOAK

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Re: Newbee Mistake, to much water ..... HELP
« Reply #8 on: February 09, 2009, 07:01:48 AM »
It'll depend of the intended style. 40-50 is decent OG for some.  Plus dilution is less evident in some styles.

+1 on howtobrew, that is a great starting point.  The blog on beersmith breaks things down nicely too.  One basic thing I did was to mark the carboys, extra buckets, hydrometer flask, and even made a custom stick for the 8gallon pot I'm borrowing.  It takes the guesswork out of fill levels.  A strip of electrical tape works great on glass fermentors.
Good Recipe, Good Ingredients, Good Procedure, Good Sanitation = Good Brew.

jpsb

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Re: Newbee Mistake, to much water ..... HELP
« Reply #9 on: February 09, 2009, 08:57:02 AM »
Most of my equipment is Coopers. The 5 gallon kit with all the grains, hops, extract etc was $58. A Coopers 6 gallon kit is $25. I was very happy with my first batch of Coopers so think I'll stay with them for the next few tries.

Moved the current brew (the diluted one) into the secondary fermentator, tasted pretty good (Schottish Ale) so I think you are correct. It will be fine, just alittle on the light side. Should I add a little sugar, or just let it be for two or three weeks?


thanks
jim s

Offline UselessBrewing

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Re: Newbee Mistake, to much water ..... HELP
« Reply #10 on: February 09, 2009, 12:03:01 PM »
Since you allready moved it to Secondary, Leave it alone. If it was still in the Primary, you could have added some form of sugar (Belgian Candi, table sugar, etc.) to some water, and boil it for 20 min. Then cool it down and add it to the Primary.

You don't want to add it to the Secondary, because it's "primary" purpose is to clear the beer before bottling.

You do however need to know what the Final Gravity is...

If I could read a hydrometer I could tell you the SG before adding the yeast. All I know is that it was mid way between the 40 and 50.

I am very new to this. I tried brewing beer years ago and failed miserably. I am giving it a second go.

Hydrometer's are important, You really need this to brew beer!
A little help: The Hydrometer will give you a couple different things in extract brewing.
     1. It will tell you the starting gravity of the wort (This is important to know because it will tell you when you are finished with Fermentation.)
     2. It will tell you the Final Gravity of the beer (This is important to know because you don't want bottle Bombs!)
How to read: Most Hydrometers are based off of a 60deg F scale. Water will read 1.000 at 60 deg F for every 10 deg F above 60, we will subtract .001 from the reading
     1. Add water to you hydrometer tube untill the hydrometer starts to float. Take a reading and write it down somewhere. (lets make the assumption your reading was 1.002)
     2. Pull the hydrometer out and stick in your thermometer. Take a reading and write it down. (lets also make the assumption that your temp was 80deg F)
   With the two above assumptions in hand, and the knowledge that the hydrometer is based off of a 60deg F scale. We would subtract .002 from 1.002. leaving us with an adjusted gravity of 1.000.

(Why would you need to know this) If you had a beer in the primary that started at 1.054 and finished bubbling at 1.022. But was suppose to finish out at 1.010. This would indicate that there is a problem. The extra Fermentables combined with the priming sugar would cause way to much carbonation at bottling time. Which in turn causes Bottle Bombs. (Ask anyone who has had this before, NOT FUN!)

If you have any questions or would like to discuss this further, Feel free to send me an message. I would be glad to help.

Cheers
Preston
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jpsb

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Re: Newbee Mistake, to much water ..... HELP
« Reply #11 on: February 09, 2009, 12:51:05 PM »
Many thanks for the offer to help, I have been reading all day yesterday an most of this morning. learning tons! I had no idea temperature was so important. I most likely fermented at a little higher temperature than I should have. 72-80 F. Guess that's why primary fermentation only took 4 days.

Tested H2O at 70F, got 1.02 so hydromenter is a little off. Not surprising, kit hydromenter, fairly accurate, also the water here is very hard that might introduce a small error too.

The starting SG reading was 1.45, I put it in the secondary at 1.08. No idea what the reading was suppost to be, but fermentation appeared to be mostly over, and instructions said it's ok to bottle at 1.15 or lower.  I think I'll be ok on this batch (not great but drinkable). I will need to more carefull next time. I intend to give this a good 2 or 3 weeks in the secondary before bottling it.

I still have time for a few more brews before the Texas summer makes fermenting a less the 90F impossible.  Been looking for a beer to brew in the Heat of the Summer so far no luck.

thanks for replying

jim s


jpsb

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Re: Newbee Mistake, to much water ..... HELP
« Reply #12 on: February 09, 2009, 12:58:55 PM »
corection 1.002 H20 @ 70F, 1.045 starting SG, 1.018 ending SG. :(

Offline UselessBrewing

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Re: Newbee Mistake, to much water ..... HELP
« Reply #13 on: February 09, 2009, 01:01:14 PM »
I would not worry about .001 difference. Most Hydrometers graduated marks are .002 anyhow, Its close enough. 1.018 is not bad, if you are sure that you started at 1.045. You may get an extra .002 out of the secondary.

Where in Texas? I'm in Houston. I brew year round and have had luck doing so.

Cheers
Preston
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jpsb

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Re: Newbee Mistake, to much water ..... HELP
« Reply #14 on: February 10, 2009, 09:09:35 AM »
I'm just a little south of Houston, San Leon. Little fishing village on Galveston Bay. Old bay house, impossible to keep cool in the summer time (or warm in winter). So whatever I brew in July/August better like it hot!. lol.