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I think I messed it up


Dec 26, 2014
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This is my first batch. I got the kit for Christmas. I followed the instructions to the letter (here's the link: http://brooklynbrewshop.com/directions/Brooklyn_Brew_Shop_Beyond_Blonde_Instructions.pdf). I found it a bit difficult to keep the mash between 144 and 152F on my flat top stove so it fluctuated a bit. Never dropped below 135 or above 160. My impression of the sparg was to drain off the wort, rinse the grain with the extra water, then circulate the wort back through the grain. That's what I did. In the boil, it never got real foamy but according to my wife, I had a nice low boil. i could it below 70 and ran the wort through my strainer into the jug. It took a while because I had a lot of fine solids plugging up the strainer. I added the yeast, shook the shit out of it and put the airlock on. It took about 12 hours before it started to bubble and only bubbled for about 6 hours. It now sits in a dark cabinet and hasn't done anything in 2 days.
Oops. I don't know how it posted 3 times. Sorry about that
What exactly is it you think you messed up? I would have patience if I were you. At what temperature did you ferment? If it was room temperature of 70+F it could have fermented quite quickly. Keep in mind you will only see vigorous bubbling for a short period of time anyway - not the whole 2 weeks. 12 hrs is a normal lag time.

I suggest you leave it alone for the suggested 2 weeks (stuff is still going on albeit slowly) and then commence to bottling. Ideally you would take gravity readings but you do not have a hydrometer and at 1 gallon filling a test cylinder with wort that CANNOT go back into the beer would be a significant portion of the batch. A refractometer would be best for small batches but they are not cheap (although totally worth it in my opinion).
Thank you. The jug is just siting in a cabinet at floor level. We keep the thermostat at 71, so I'd guess it's about 68 to 70 degrees. I just assumed I messed up because I was under the impression it would bubble for at least a week.
Google different ways to build a mash tun out of a cooler.  You can use a round beverage cooler or a rectangular cooler.

  I use a rectangular 48 quart cooler for mine.  You can take out the drain that the cooler has and put a valve in it.  I use a bazooka screen to filter the wort, so that no grains make it into my boil pot.  The cooler is insulated, so you'll be able to hold temperatures much better.  Here are two photos of mine.


  • My setup.jpg
    My setup.jpg
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  • Mash Tun Bazooka.jpg
    Mash Tun Bazooka.jpg
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It's not my idea, but you're welcome. 

I just googled 'cooler mash tun build' and found a design I liked and did it.  I have two of them.  Both coolers are mash tuns in the photo.  I basically have a 96 quart mash tun when I piggy back them together.  I can do up to 20 gallon batches.  I've also have brewed two different recipes at the same time, using each mash tun separately. 

If I'm making a really high gravity beer that would be too much for my mash tun, I can always split them into the two mash tuns and then add all the sparge water to the top and drain down through both of them.