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Home Brew Forums > Home Brewing Beer > General Techniques > My first home brew
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Old 09-19-2006, 02:05 PM   #21
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Originally Posted by nywanna
I was using Victory Malt and Briess Caramel grains. They were not boiled, but they were steeped in the boiler pot while it heated up for about 15 minutes or so. I am not sure if they burned, but they were resting at the bottom of the boiler pot during the entire process. I wouldn't be too concerned except for the fact that this was an aluminum pot. It just feels like the grains were probably sitting directly on the burner.

We'll see though, I inspected the grains and they didn't appear to be burnt. I'll know when I take that first drink - right?
Steeped in the boiler pot, but not boiled? I'd say they are fine. What temps did you steep at? 150 is a safe bet. At 150 degrees, even if they are sitting on the bottom of the pot, they're probably okay. If you got alot higher than that, well, then maybe you'd have trouble. But scorching whole grains while submersed in a gallon+ of water takes alot of heat, for a long time. Don't sweat it. I'd also recommend purchasing some grain socks. If I'm doing an all-extract brew (which is more and more seldom these days), I always steep with something. I've found that the best method is putting them into a grain sock (which is like cheesecloth, but you can tie it up, and it stretches to accommodate A LOT of grain), filling the pot with cold water, putting the socked grains into the cold water, then raising the temp up to 150. Hold it there for at least 30 minutes, take out the sock/grains, sparge with hot water, and then start your boil.

Yeah, I've held a steeping at 150 for 45 minutes, with the grains in a sock sitting directly on the bottom of an aluminum pot, just like you, and I've never had any scorching. Don't worry, relax, have a homebrew.
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Old 09-19-2006, 02:12 PM   #22
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congrats on the first! Sanitization is evolutionary-everyone is always trying to be perfect, but nobody is. For the last brew I did, I was super careful, and was straining my whole hops out of my cooled wort at the end. Everything went well until I realized that I used the wrong strainer for that bucket...right at the same time that I bumped it, and all the hops and debris, inclduing the strainer, went into my bucket!!!! still fermented out fine, and tastes great. Point is, don't worry too much until you can adequately judge it. Sounds like you did a good job for your first brew.

As for the secondary, I had the same questions when I did my first batch. I ended up letting it go for 2 weeks in the primary, then bottling. 2nd batch and every other since goes in the secondary. The benefits are clear (no pun intended) and the effort is minimal, and allows you another excuse to doing brewing stuff......

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Old 09-19-2006, 06:33 PM   #23
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I fell prey to that theory and learned a lesson. If both buckets are full then how are you going to bottle the beer? You will need one bucket empty to mix your priming sugar in and bottle from.
Actually I currently have two glass carboys and two buckets (one intended for bottling), so I could in theory start a second batch now, although I'm thinking of waiting.

The fermentation appears to be going really well!

Thanks for the reassurance on the sanitizing issue. I'll be quite watchful when I transfer to the second carboy (which I will definitely be doing - you guys convinced me ).

Oh, and Evan, I steeped the grains in the pot for 15 minutes while the pot warmed up to 170. Once it hit 170 I removed the grains (which were in a grain sock)
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Old 09-19-2006, 06:39 PM   #24
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Oh, and Evan, I steeped the grains in the pot for 15 minutes while the pot warmed up to 170. Once it hit 170 I removed the grains (which were in a grain sock)
You can steep the grains longer than that, upwards of about 45 minutes if your water temp doesn't go too high. I'll usually add them once the water hits 155, and I'll maintain that temp for 30-45 minutes, then take them out before bringing things to a boil.
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Old 09-19-2006, 06:47 PM   #25
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nywanna
Actually I currently have two glass carboys and two buckets (one intended for bottling), so I could in theory start a second batch now, although I'm thinking of waiting.

The fermentation appears to be going really well!

Thanks for the reassurance on the sanitizing issue. I'll be quite watchful when I transfer to the second carboy (which I will definitely be doing - you guys convinced me ).

Oh, and Evan, I steeped the grains in the pot for 15 minutes while the pot warmed up to 170. Once it hit 170 I removed the grains (which were in a grain sock)
Ahh, I didn't realize you also had two carboys. Now I see you have no reason not to have two batches going.

On my very first batch I was using Nottingham dry yeast. When I went to pitch the yeast, I literally pitched the package in my wort at the same time. It slipped out of my hand while shaking. Without thinking I plunged my hand in and pulled it out. Then I gave it a few good shakes because there was now wet yeast stuck to the package. No infection resulted, and I also cooled with the lid off.

P.S. If you put your carboy in an empty milk crate it is much easier to move around.
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