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Old 12-01-2010, 04:10 PM   #1
ongreystreet
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Default Preparing for first brew / Brewer's Best IPA / Columbia, MD

I am preparing for my first Brew sometime after Christmas (when the rest of my goodies arrive). Here's what I got going so far, any suggestions would be appreciated.

Gear:

I am getting this kit for the holidays,

http://morebeer.com/view_product/159..._%232_-_Deluxe

I e-mailed them and they said the better bottle is plastic 6 gallon carboy.

I've read the beginner and intermediate sections of "The Joy of Homebrewing"

Bought dented 5 gallon stainless steel kettle at Ollie's for $6 (still cleanable despite dent)

48 fat boy bottles from MD Homebrew in Columbia (also going to be a gift)

I am also planing on buying some SanStar from MDHB.


Ingredients:

Brewer's Best IPA Kit (I will buy from MDHB)

Irish Moss (I will buy from MDHB)



I am going to try and make things as simple as can be on myself, although I am not afraid to mix things up a bit on my first batch. I will be adding the Irish Moss which seems pretty fool proof and commonly used. I'll take any suggestions for adding a little bit more hop flavor/aroma to this probably already hoppy recipe. I won't mind experimenting a bit the first time around as long as it doesn't require risking my sanitation. I am going to keep grains/hops in bags as instructed to avoid straining. I'll make sure to also consult the Homebrew shop in person for their advice.

Let me know what you think, thanks.

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Old 12-01-2010, 04:18 PM   #2
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You've got everything you need to start out. I would add an auto siphon if they send you one of those racking canes with the kit. May want an immersion wort chiller one day soon too but it's not a must have for your first batch. I'm sure you can cool it in an ice bath in the sink just fine. Plus start getting all your friends to save you their empty beer bottles.

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Old 12-01-2010, 04:30 PM   #3
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That kit will suit you just fine. I started with the same one, except I got the glass carboy. I wouldn't go too crazy about messing with the beer recipe. Just follow the directions in the kit for your first brew and you'll be OK. Just remember the hydrometer is your friend when the fermentation is done. Its the only way to determine that your beer is done fermenting. Have fun and remember.....help is only a mouse click away.

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Old 12-01-2010, 05:19 PM   #4
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I think the kit comes with auto-siphon, I'll know more when it actually all arrives. I'll probably build a wort chiller myself eventually, I think for the first brew it will be easier to keep sanitized by avoiding submersing anything into the beer.

I think the only thing I'll do with the recipe is add the Irish moss, I think it's like a tsp or a half for every 5 gallons, I'll have to double check it and add numbers to my brew day schedule, and check what the package says. I want this beer to be clean, since I think IPAs have a crisp clean taste. If it goes well my next batch would be Bock or Stout for March, probably wouldn't need it for that.

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Old 12-01-2010, 05:27 PM   #5
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yeah, I second the comment about not changing things up on the first batch. You need to get some experience before fiddling with things too much. Trust me, you'll have plenty of opportunity to experiment, as now you are going to become addicted to the process of brewing. The door is open now!

FYI: "whirlfloc" is a tablet form of irish moss. It's cheap, available at LHBS, and easy to use (one tablet per 5gal batch).

I've been using my racking cane siphon that came with my kit for almost a year now, so I don't really see the need for an auto-siphon. I don't have any problem starting a siphon with water or sanitizer solution, but maybe this skill is not common.

good luck! Get ready for some obsessive behavior after you get this hobby going (don't worry, it's a healthy obsession)

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Old 12-01-2010, 05:31 PM   #6
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I just brewed that kit... right now I have 9 days left until it has been bottled for 3 weeks. I've been sneaking a bottle the past few days to see how it changes over time. It's a very good kit. I think the moss will help you out for clarity. Mines not crystal clear (amber) but I don't mind a bit of turbidity. Have fun... and as most would agree... RDWHAHB!

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Old 12-01-2010, 05:39 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MarzBock View Post
yeah, I second the comment about not changing things up on the first batch. You need to get some experience before fiddling with things too much. Trust me, you'll have plenty of opportunity to experiment, as now you are going to become addicted to the process of brewing. The door is open now!

FYI: "whirlfloc" is a tablet form of irish moss. It's cheap, available at LHBS, and easy to use (one tablet per 5gal batch).

I've been using my racking cane siphon that came with my kit for almost a year now, so I don't really see the need for an auto-siphon. I don't have any problem starting a siphon with water or sanitizer solution, but maybe this skill is not common.
I think I can figure the siphon out too, I do plumbing engineering so if I can't figure it out, I might as well quit now. I'll check the tablet out.

Quote:
Originally Posted by kellynm View Post
I just brewed that kit... right now I have 9 days left until it has been bottled for 3 weeks. I've been sneaking a bottle the past few days to see how it changes over time. It's a very good kit. I think the moss will help you out for clarity. Mines not crystal clear (amber) but I don't mind a bit of turbidity. Have fun... and as most would agree... RDWHAHB!
That's good to know it's turning out well. I don't mind some clarity issues, but I think this sorta beer I'll want clear. How long was your fermentation, and did you do primary only or 1st and 2nd?
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Old 12-01-2010, 05:43 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ongreystreet View Post
How long was your fermentation, and did you do primary only or 1st and 2nd?
Primary only... about 2 weeks, triple checked s.g. and it was around 1.012 (I think) for all readings.
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Old 12-01-2010, 06:00 PM   #9
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I started out with that kit way back in '07, when dinosaurs walked the earth. Not sure if they make it the same now, but I think it was a couple of cans of LME, Chinook for bittering and Cascade for aroma/flavor, and some oak chips for the secondary. Came out great, except I splashed it around a lot when transferring from primary to secondary (a good reason to NOT secondary unless you have to) and from the secondary to the bottling bucket. So it gave it a cardboardish aftertaste.

If I were you I would buy whirlfloc instead of Irish Moss, then use half a tablet. I never could figure out how much Irish Moss to use, the Whirlfloc makes it easier. I'd also recommend buying lots of ice if you have a sink big enough to set the pot down in. This will let you get the beer from boil to pitching temperature as fast as possible by packing ice around the pot.

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Old 12-01-2010, 06:19 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RIT_Warrior View Post
I started out with that kit way back in '07, when dinosaurs walked the earth. Not sure if they make it the same now, but I think it was a couple of cans of LME, Chinook for bittering and Cascade for aroma/flavor, and some oak chips for the secondary. Came out great, except I splashed it around a lot when transferring from primary to secondary (a good reason to NOT secondary unless you have to) and from the secondary to the bottling bucket. So it gave it a cardboardish aftertaste.

If I were you I would buy whirlfloc instead of Irish Moss, then use half a tablet. I never could figure out how much Irish Moss to use, the Whirlfloc makes it easier. I'd also recommend buying lots of ice if you have a sink big enough to set the pot down in. This will let you get the beer from boil to pitching temperature as fast as possible by packing ice around the pot.
I ain't intending to use secondary and I'll def look into the Whirlfloc. I am going the ice route. The trick to getting ice is getting it from a restaurant or fastfood joint if you can. We use to do this in college, they'd give us trashcans full of ice for free, they don't usually care if they ain't all that busy or you slip them a five.
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