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Old 01-12-2013, 11:24 AM   #1
brazedowl
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Default Triple Noob Brew

So my friends and I are making our first batches of beer today. They've never brewed anything in their lives so they look to me for advice and equipment.

My questions are...

1) I'm lending them 5 gallon carboys and we're doing 5 gallon kits. Do we just fill to the 5 gallon mark (very high up near the neck)? My concern is that even with a blow off tube it'll pop the plug and erupt everywhere. I don't want their first experience brewing to be a mess. All I've ever made is wine and cider so I have no experience with the vigorous, foamy, fermentation of beer.

2) We don't have a big enough pot to do a full boil so can we just reduce the water we add after? Make the final volume closer to 4.5gal? This would also make a bigger beer right? I don't want to *F* up a basic beginner noob extract kit on my first try though.

Thoughts?

If it matters... here's the kits we're doing:

http://morebeer.com/view_product/10801//Brown_Porter_-_Extract_Beer_Kit

http://morebeer.com/view_product/10814//Belgian_Pale_Ale_-_Extract_Beer_Kit

http://morebeer.com/view_product/9823//Sweet_Stout_-_Extract_Beer_Kit



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Old 01-12-2013, 11:28 AM   #2
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*EDIT* Yeah just combined my second question into the original post.



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Old 01-12-2013, 11:54 AM   #3
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You are going to need a larger fermenter (6.5 gal size) to do 5 gal batches. you can cut the batch down but it will increase the alcohol and bittering units. You will most likely still need to use a blow off with a 4.5 gal batch. I use a 6.5 gal with 5.5 gals in it and still need to use a blow off most off the time. My suggestion is go out and buy a large plastic fermenting pail.

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Old 01-12-2013, 12:27 PM   #4
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I have two fermenting pails, but there's three of us. I'll see if I can get our one guy to get one.

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Old 01-12-2013, 12:33 PM   #5
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So...
A) If I use a 6.5gal bucket, can we just do an airlock?

B) Does it matter if it has one of those spigots on it?

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Old 01-12-2013, 12:39 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by brazedowl
So...
A) If I use a 6.5gal bucket, can we just do an airlock?

B) Does it matter if it has one of those spigots on it?
Yes use an airlock. Doesn't really matter if it has a spigot although I have never fermented in one with a spigot. Just don't accidentally turn it on during fermentation.

Technically the buckets with the spigots are for your bottling.
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Old 01-12-2013, 12:48 PM   #7
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Gotcha. Ok getting one more bucket.

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Old 01-12-2013, 12:50 PM   #8
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I'd use a blow off tube for at least the first few days no matter what vessel you are using. It's basically just a larger version of an airlock anyway and is cheap insurance against a big mess and potential off flavors in your beer if the airlock pops out. I don't even use those wimpy little airlocks; I just keep the blowoff tube in for the whole ferment.

As for your kettle size issue you've got the right idea. Boil what you can and top it up to desired volume with water. Getting that water nice and cold can make your chilling issues easier by the way...

PS- I highly recommend reading a good recent copyright homebrewing book. This forum is great but you need a solid foundation to get the most out of it...

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Old 01-12-2013, 12:55 PM   #9
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Can we just ferment it to completion in a bucket or once the fermentation settles down should we transfer it to a secondary carboy?

Sorry for all the epic easy questions. I'm sure I could just search around the forum a bit.

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Old 01-12-2013, 12:57 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Demus View Post
PS- I highly recommend reading a good recent copyright homebrewing book. This forum is great but you need a solid foundation to get the most out of it...
Solid use of the Barnes & Noble gift cards I got in my stocking.


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