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Old 03-08-2009, 04:42 PM   #1
telemaster
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Default My Process and Impatience

Well, three 5 gallon batches in, I can see my process getting better, IMHO. However, before I brew any more I'd like to share with all of you what I am doing, and get some feedback from those with more experience and wisdom than me.

My Equipment:

  • 5 gallon SS pot
  • 2 gallon SS pot
  • Large plastic spoon
  • 6 gallon plastic fermenter
  • 5 gallon paint strainer
  • 25' SS immersion cooler
  • Metal Hanger to place between burner and pots
The Process:
  • 3.5-4 gallons of water in the 5 gallon pot (bring to boil)
  • 1.5 gallons of water in 2 gallon pot to steeping temp (~150F)
  • Steep grains for 30 minutes while the 5 gallon pot gets to a boil
  • Remove grains and bring 2 gallon pot to a boil (the two pots usually boil within 5 min of each other)
  • Once boil is reached remove from heat add ~2/3 LME to large pot and ~1/3 LME to small pot
  • Wait until LME is fully dissolved and return both pots to heat
  • Once boil is reached add hops to pots in the same 2/3 to 1/3 ratio and follow hop schedule as normal
  • Add irish moss @ 15 minutes 1/2tsp to each pot
  • At end of boil heat is off; pour small pot of wort into the 5 gallon pot (end result is anywhere between 4-4.5 gallons of wort)
  • Boil ~1 cup of water and cool to 90F and rehydrate yeast
  • Use ice water bath and IC to cool wort to 70F
  • Pour cooled wort through 5 gallon paint strainer into the primary
  • The trub is pretty gelatinous and with hop pellets is really slow to strain. I gently squeeze the strainer to extract as much liquid as possible)
  • Add top-off water to reach five gallons; mix vigorously
  • Pitch yeast which is within 10F of wort; gently swirl once
  • Place lid on primary and airlock with vodka
  • Wait 4 weeks with primary @ ~60F ambient in the basement; Spacer is used between bucket and floor
  • 1 week secondary (5 gallon glass carboy)
  • Bottle condition 4 weeks @ ~70F

That's it. Sorry it's so long, but I am waiting, waiting, and waiting for my first batch to be ready to drink. I have been trying to be patient and not post too many questions on the forum, but now with it getting so close my patience is running thin.

I did siphon my first brew to the secondary yesterday, to free up a primary, and checked the SG. It began life at OG 1.056 and is now at SG 1.016 for an approximate 5.25% ABV. The sample definitely tasted like beer, not the best beer, but it's not done yet. It did have a very bitter finish to it, and I'm going to assume that will mellow once it's in the bottle for some time.

Ok, Ok. I'll stop rambling now. I can't wait to have ready to drink beer, once the pipeline starts flowing it's going to be a new batch every two weeks, but the wait is killing me.

Cheers!
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Old 03-08-2009, 04:45 PM   #2
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4 gallons of water in a 5 gallon pot... then adding your extract and your hops...

How bad was the boilover?

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I would never use a dead mouse in my beer. It's much better to use live ones. You could probably just steep a dead one, but live ones must be mashed. Actually, smashed and mashed would be best.
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Old 03-08-2009, 04:54 PM   #3
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Originally Posted by llazy_llama View Post
4 gallons of water in a 5 gallon pot... then adding your extract and your hops...

How bad was the boilover?
Ooops. I guess I should clarify how unscientific my measuring is at the pre-boil stage.

I wash the outside of my extract containers and place them in my boil pots, and add enough water until there is a 2 inch space at the brim. Then remove the extract containers and boil; then add the extract. So, the final volume with the extract added is somewhere in the 3.5-4 gallon range.

No boil overs yet! But I've got a spray bottle with starsan next to the stove just in case.
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