1. I mixed together 2.5 gallons of StarSan (0.5 oz to 2.5 gallons of water), and took a pH reading. It looks like a pH of 3, which is what I understand is the desired level. 2. Put a pot of water on the stove to boil. On another element, a smaller pot with some water in it, on a lower heat setting, and placed the full can of Munton's Stout pre-hopped LME into the water. This was to make it easier to pour the LME into the mixing bucket. Also, at this point, I've begun cooling some pre-boiled water to rehydrate the yeast. Placed another full kettle of water to boil for later.
3. I used the freshly mixed StarSan to sanitize the carboy and bucket. As shown in the pictures (can't see the bubbles in the white bucket), after swirling the sanitizer all over, the bubbles have not been rinsed away. The StarSan was poured back into the tub to sanitize the rest of the equipment. The bucket was obtained from DeFalco's as part of the basic kit they sell for beginners. The outside marking is at 19 liters. 4. Mixed in the pot of boiling water and 1kg of brown sugar (instructions called for 1kg of dextrose) in the mixing bucket. Poured in the hot LME from the can (wearing oven mitts) into the sugar water, and mixed in with the sanitized stirring spoon. I poured boiling water from the electric kettle into the can and stirred it. Pouring this into the bucket is how I get every last drop of LME from the can. At this point, I mixed (using a sanitized fork) the yeast and the now-cooled pre-boiled 200 mL water into a sanitized glass measuring cup and set aside. The water was at 21C, which is the upper limit the instructions want me to ferment the whole thing at.
5. Topped up the bucket to 19L with cold tap water. Splash aerating the cold water into the bucket as I went. Ended up with a final temperature of 25. Took a sample into the sanitized hydrometer tube, and inserted the sanitized hydrometer. After spinning the hydrometer, I ended up with a reading of 1.054, with a temperature correction to 1.0568. There is no target OG in the instructions that came with the can of LME, but the FG is supposed to be around 1.008. 6. Occassionally stirring the bucket to help bring the temperature down, I began some basic cleanup. I couldn't find my funnel, so I cut open a 2L bottle of coke, washed with a soft cloth, rinsed heavily, then tossed it into the sanitiser. Once the temperature was closer to 21, I put the bucket onto the counter, placed the carboy below it, and after pulling the racking cane, clip, and tubing from the sanitiser, began siphoning the wort to the carboy. 7. After everything's been siphoned to the carboy, I used the makeshift coke funnel to pour the rehydrated yeast into the carboy. I put the sanitized bung and S airlock on, and carried the whole thing to the basement (ambient 20.7 temp) for fermenting. I placed a shirt over the carboy to keep out light, as there is a tiny window in the area. The carboy wont be anywhere near direct sunlight, but why take chances? After this, cleanup of equipment was completed. As a curiosity, I measured the pH of some old StarSan I had in a pepsi bottle. Pretty sure it's still a pH of 3, but I poured that out and poured fresh StarSan into the bottle. This will be used on bottling day for caps and bottles. I also have some cacao nibs from Bulk Barn I will sanitize (boiled water?) and two vanilla beans which have been sliced open and are sitting in rum. They'll be added sometime next week to the carboy via funnel (coke funnel, maybe?).
Any insights to this process will be much appreciated, whether negative or positive.
Second batch simply tasted sour. These also became gushers.
Straight tap water is the source. I haven't done anything to the water, so whatever Ottawa's putting in the water, that's now in the beer.
Also, how do you cool your yeast water? Is it covered when cooling?
Are you filling the bucket right from the tap? I haven't seen much go wrong with this but your airator in the tap may be dirty. Not much of a worry with city water but it may be something to consider.
Beer Beer Beer Beer
Bucket is being filled right from the tap. Technically it's being poured into the pot I had used to boil some water, then dumped into the bucket from a height to get some aeration. I assume the heat from boiling water would sanitize the pot. The aerater might well have germs in it, hadn't considered that.
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When I did the canned kits years ago....wasn't really all that careful with it. Boil one gallon of water, heat your can of wort up in the 1gal of water to soften, pour the hot water in, saving some to clean out the can, top up with 4 gal of cold water from the tap and it would bring the pitching temp where it needed to be. Sprinkle the yeast on top and cover the bucket with a garbage bag with packing tape on the outside to form a cover (no plastic cover and water trap). Once the head receded, rack to a glass carboy for a couple of weeks to clear, then bottle.
I think back then we used the pink powdered sanitizer, smelled like bleach when mixed with water, everything got a quick rinse with the "pink" water, and then rinsed with hot water. Never had an issue with any infections. The beer was not that great, be we were on a dry reserve, so not a whole lot of choice, but never had an infected batch.