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Old 10-20-2012, 02:23 PM   #1
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Default First brew day tomorrow . . . conflicting info

So I'm going with an extract tomorrow, a Muntons export pilsner, and have an additional 3 lb bag of extra light DME to bring it up to 6 lbs of fermentables.

Muntons' directions don't even call for a full boil with all the fermentables, but I was told in another thread about it that a full boil is best.

But then I was looking at yet another thread here about carmelized wort that it's good to only boil about half the DME, and then add the rest of the DME and LME and vigorously stir them in at flame out, then cover and steep for 15 minutes, which is still plenty warm to pasteurize the wort.

I know there are many, many ways to skin a cat, but which is best here? Can I get some feedback before I start brewing tomorrow? I have a 6-gallon turkey deep-fry pot I'll be using for the boil, so I won't need to be adding any water.

Using the Brewers Best 2-bucket fermenting/bottling kit, if that matters. And I'm going to be at great pains to sanitize every durn thing that touches the beer after the boil.

Thanks in advance, folks.

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Old 10-20-2012, 02:34 PM   #2
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I wouldn't plan on trying to do a full boil in a 6 gallon pot. But It wouldn't hurt to add the last half or so of extract in the last 10-15 minutes of the boil. I would probably start your boil with 4 gallons in that pot and then add water into the fermentor after you cool your wort to bring it up to 5 1/2 gallons.

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Old 10-20-2012, 03:04 PM   #3
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One of the reasons why home brewers do a full boil is to get the but hop utilization for adding pellet or whole leaf hops. If you are using a prehopped extract (like in many basic kits) then the full boil may not be as important. If you are adding the hops in on your own then do the largest boil you can (like the one mentioned of 4 gallons) and add the remaining DME the last 10- 15 minutes of the boil. You want to make sure you have at least 1-2 gallons of extra room in your kettle so that when you add the DME and/or hops that you do not get a boil over. Keep stirring the wort once you have added these to help prevent any boil over problems.

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Old 10-20-2012, 03:40 PM   #4
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For your first batch, just follow the directions on the kit. I read everything about brewing I can get my hands on, so I understand that there's plenty of conflicting information out there. Follow the directions for this batch, water volumes and all, take copious notes (including noting what you think you may change next time), and worry about customizing and tweaking for your next batch.

If you're worried about the DME settling, then make sure you stir it in off the heat, and pay attention to the pot as you bring it back up to a boil.

I know there's a lot of info out there, but start simple. Don't make it more difficult than it has to be, especially for tomorrow. Read the directions. Read them again. Make this one by the book, and let me know how it goes.

Welcome to the obsessio...hobby!

Cheers!

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Old 10-20-2012, 03:47 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by folly View Post
For your first batch, just follow the directions on the kit. I read everything about brewing I can get my hands on, so I understand that there's plenty of conflicting information out there. Follow the directions for this batch, water volumes and all, take copious notes (including noting what you think you may change next time), and worry about customizing and tweaking for your next batch.

If you're worried about the DME settling, then make sure you stir it in off the heat, and pay attention to the pot as you bring it back up to a boil.

I know there's a lot of info out there, but start simple. Don't make it more difficult than it has to be, especially for tomorrow. Read the directions. Read them again. Make this one by the book, and let me know how it goes.

Welcome to the obsessio...hobby!



Cheers!
I second this. Learn to ride the bike before trying any stunts. If it doesn't turn out right you won't know what went wrong to try to correct it on the next batch.
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Old 10-20-2012, 03:55 PM   #6
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Thanks again, all.

I have 5 gallons of water in the turkey deep-fry pot and still have 8 inches of clearance. Just doing a test boil. And folly, thanks for that advice. Can't imagine Muntons would instruct its customers in such a way that the beer will be bad.

I'll just do what the directions tell me, which doesn't call for boiling anything but a portion of the water, putting the LME in the fermentation bucket, adding the boiling water and stirring, adding the DME and topping off with cold water. Adding yeast once the wort reaches 65-70.

That's gotta be about as simple as it gets, right? I've also got a Muntons nut brown ale I'll do next.

After that, I'll move up to kits that include hops/pellets and grains instead of extracts, and will start doing boils.

Further question. The Muntons kits make 6 gallons of beer. That would put it just about up to the top of my fermentation bucket, which is designed for 5 gallons with some space on top. Should I go ahead and do the 6 gallons because the airlock will allow gas off without overflowing the bucket, or should I add less water and keep it around 5 gallons?

Also, I'm guessing the cold water I top off with in the fermentation bucket should first be boiled and then allowed to cool down so I'm not adding unsanitized water to the wort. Or is it OK to just add cold unboiled water?

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Old 10-20-2012, 04:01 PM   #7
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I don't know how you are going to fit 6 gallons in a 5 gallon bucket??

You will want a minimum of 2 inches above the liquid. And in any case start your fermentation with a blow off tube installed. It will eventually save you from a tedious clean up.

After the active fermentation has slowed, then, install the airlock. Or leave the blow off tube installed the entire time.

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Old 10-20-2012, 04:10 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kh54s10 View Post
I don't know how you are going to fit 6 gallons in a 5 gallon bucket??

You will want a minimum of 2 inches above the liquid. And in any case start your fermentation with a blow off tube installed. It will eventually save you from a tedious clean up.

After the active fermentation has slowed, then, install the airlock. Or leave the blow off tube installed the entire time.
The bucket holds 6.5 gallons. A blow-off tube doesn't come with my Brewer's Best kit. Instead, I have an airlock, and the directions tell me to use that for fermentation.
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Old 10-20-2012, 04:15 PM   #9
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Exactly. Those instructions are designed to make good beer with the ingredients provided. Just be familiar with the instructions before you start so you're not wandering around trying to figure out what's next. Be organized. Ask me how I know this... I still write my own procedure the night before every brew, planning my brew day step by step.

When I did extract I bought "drinking" water or spring water (not RO/distilled) from wally world. It's cheap and UV sanitized. Worked just fine and made good beer. If you're not going to buy the water, boil and cool it first. Keep it covered and sealed after boiling to keep it clean.

As for your Brewer's Best kit, they should be 6.5gal buckets, so it should be ok. If beer bubbles up into the airlock, take off the airlock, clean and sanitize it, and reinstall. CO2 will still pushing out through the grommet so you'll be alright for the short time without it.

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Old 10-20-2012, 04:25 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by folly View Post
Exactly. Those instructions are designed to make good beer with the ingredients provided. Just be familiar with the instructions before you start so you're not wandering around trying to figure out what's next. Be organized. Ask me how I know this... I still write my own procedure the night before every brew, planning my brew day step by step.

When I did extract I bought "drinking" water or spring water (not RO/distilled) from wally world. It's cheap and UV sanitized. Worked just fine and made good beer. If you're not going to buy the water, boil and cool it first. Keep it covered and sealed after boiling to keep it clean.

As for your Brewer's Best kit, they should be 6.5gal buckets, so it should be ok. If beer bubbles up into the airlock, take off the airlock, clean and sanitize it, and reinstall. CO2 will still pushing out through the grommet so you'll be alright for the short time without it.
Cool. I'll go the 6 gallons of wort, then. That'll leave about 2 inches of space in the bucket above the wort.

Also, I'm brewing with really clear, cold clean and soft lake water from my favorite Canadian Shield lake up here in NE Minnesota. I'm a fishing guide on that lake (lake trout, primarily), and plan to share home brews with fishing clients after a day in the boat. So that's one reason I wanted to make sure I needed to boil and then cool the add water. Don't want any bacteria getting in there.

It's the same water we get in our taps here in Ely, though of course it's treated. I'll be pulling 10 gallons of it out this afternoon for tomorrow's brewing.

Burntside Lake is the name. So sooner or later I'll develop labels for Burntside Laker Lager or Burntside Lake Trout Stout, Burntside Amberosia Ale, etc.

I've been looking over the instructions and the gear and have got an initial procedure figured out. I've also got 75 Grolsch and Fischer pint and 24-oz bottles (mostly brown) waiting to be sanitized after the fermentation. It's going to be VERY hard to wait as long after bottling as I know I should before drinking, but I'll just have to console myself in the meantime with all the great craft brews out there for sale. Not to mention we have a local brewpub that's outstanding
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