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Home Brew Forums > Home Brewing Beer > Extract Brewing > Boil question for the "backwards technology" newb!
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Old 05-26-2010, 01:17 AM   #1
ScarySouthernMan
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Default Boil question for the "backwards technology" newb!

Hi friends,

I recently found myself in a bit of a new set of circumstances that has me going in reverse on my brewing experience.

My good friend CVstrat (forum handle) and I have been all-grain brewing at his place for over a year now. We had one heck of a great run at it (I think well over 20 batches), but life took him to a new location along with his awesome mash tuns and other equipment. As it were, I am going to continue to enjoy the spoils of homebrewing on my own here in my basement apartment.

Here is my ordeal;

I have amassed quite a bit of equipment of my own. I have a few fermenters of different sizes (1 gal to 15 gal), a propane banjo burner, a half barrel (15.5 g) Keggle, and all the little goodies that sanitize, rack, clean and test my beer and equipment.

What I DO NOT have access to is a 10 Gal batch size mash tun OR a reliable source of malt grain selection from my local supply store (a small corner inside of a Ma & Pa country store, but hey, at least they're tryin'). Every package/vial of liquid yeast in the entire store is expired and I recognize some of the bags of malt grains from the first time I ever went in there 2 years ago... swear! Anyways, I fear this leaves me no choice but to try my hand at extract brewing. It's not my first choice but it sure beats not brewing at all.

I invited some of the neighborhood guys over for my inaugural brew here at my place on this Sunday and it occurred to me that I don't know how to extract brew. I've read several threads and stickies and can't find some hard info on a couple subjects I had questions about. This is where I was hoping some of you extract gurus can help me.

First question. Steeping grains? I'm assuming that you heat up 2-3 gallons of water and dunk the sac of grains in there and wait "x" amount of time and then add your LME. AT THE TIME OF THE LME ADDITION, DO I REMOVE THE SACK OF GRAINS? I assume so, but never saw any literature on this.

Second question. Adding water after the boil? All sorts of sanitation alarms start going off in my head when I read this. What's to guarantee the water you add post boil isn't contaminated? I understand you could boil the addition water but then do you chill it too? Perhaps a more important question; Why can't I get my preboil volumes determined and boil the whole darn batch like the All-Grain folks do it? I have a fifteen gallon brew pot. I should be able to boil ten G's and have plenty left over for additional boil off volume right? Does it HURT the recipe to boil the entire batch?!? I get the feeling that most of the extract brewing literature I've read thus far is for beginners. While technically I AM new to Extract, I'm plenty comfortable with the brewing process from the big picture standpoint. I need some extract veterens to chime in on this one for me.

Thanks ahead of time for any advice you guys can offer!

Also, I want to give a shout out to CVstrat for all that he has done for me and I'd like also to take a minute and say Cheers to him for introducing me to the obsession that is homebrewing. I know wherever he goes, he will continue to spread the education and enjoyment of the art of brewing.

Thanks guys,

Jacob - Scary

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Old 05-26-2010, 02:16 AM   #2
Travis31
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I am pretty new to brewing but i have a few partial mash batches under my belt.
Here is a good you tube video I have used to reference the partial mash technique.

Link:


As far a adding pure water to reach 5gallons or batching it all at one time.
I don't see why it would matter? as long as you can cool 5 gallons down quickly with a chiller. Since i have been to cheep and haven't bought a chiller, I chill using the ice water in the tub method and not having to cool all 5 gallons in the tub, it cools quicker. Thats my thought on it, any one else?

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Old 05-26-2010, 03:29 AM   #3
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Yes, you can boil the whole sha-bang. Once you have all your ingredients in place there is no reason why you can't boil the full volume for your batch, chill and pitch and go from there.

For the steeped grains, everyone has their own technique. Me, I boil about 3/4 of a gallon of water and then let cool a bit. I don't measure temperature as I'm not actually mashing the grains, they're steeping. I wait until I can put my finger in the water for about a second or so and then put the grains in the water in the grain bag. I steep them for about 25 minutes and then pull the grain bag out and add the wort to the boil kettle.

While the grains have been steeping in the one pot I'm bringing my full boil kettle (back) up to boil. Once the kettle is at the boil I shut it down and add the extract and then bring it back to a boil. Once at the boil, add the boiling hops, etc., etc., and go from there.

I had a friend (Devils Creek Brewing) over the other day to help me brew and he had a great line that I hadn't heard before: "Ask 10 homebrewers a question and get 15 answers"

YMMV

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Old 05-26-2010, 03:34 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ScarySouthernMan View Post
Why can't I get my preboil volumes determined and boil the whole darn batch like the All-Grain folks do it?
You most certainly can. The only difference is hop utilization. A full boil has better hop utilization than a partial boil does. A lot of recipes for extract brews assume a partial boil - but look around or tinker with some brewing software to make sure you get the right amount of hops. The biggest issue is cooling that volume - but if you have a wort chiller, problem solved.

Also - you can top off with regular tap water. Many folks do it (I do) without issue. If you have a municipal water supply, the water is treated to keep things from growing in it. Therefore, you have little chance of contamination. If it bothers you, boil some the day before, put it in some sanitized jugs and put them in the fridge then let them warm to room temp while you boil the wort.
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Old 05-26-2010, 07:16 PM   #5
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that's a nice youtube vid btw. Also, that Psychostick song gets stuck in my head

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Old 05-26-2010, 07:45 PM   #6
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'I had a friend (Devils Creek Brewing) over the other day to help me brew and he had a great line that I hadn't heard before: "Ask 10 homebrewers a question and get 15 answers"'

aint that the truth. theres lots of advice on here and it goes 50 different directions. you could use any one of them and get good beer. my advice would be try one way and with each brew change a few things till you get the perfect method FOR YOU. and dont forget the most important thing... RDWHAHB

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Old 05-27-2010, 05:48 PM   #7
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I bring my full volume of water up to 160 or 170 or so and drop in my grain sack. Let it sit for 30, then pull it and let it drain out into the kettle. Then I bring it up to 190 or so and add my malt extract. Pretty much just dme these days. Then I boil / chill / pitch, etc..

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Old 05-29-2010, 08:00 PM   #8
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Thank you all so much.


Mdwmonster,

That was exactly the reassurance I was looking for... Super help! I have beersmith and will try to shoot for an IBU adjustment via software.

Thanks again folks,

21 hours til brew!

Cheers,

Scary

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Old 05-30-2010, 03:19 AM   #9
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Update!

BeerSmith says I only need 1 oz for bittering and .5 oz for aroma. That means that if I boil all ten gallons at 60 minutes (which was what I wanted to do from the word go) that I will only use one half of the hop quantity that the kits came with. Great to know in the future when I build recipes... Less hops means lower bills.

Thanks for the heads up on the software advice. Saved me a ton of headaches.

14 hours til brew,

Scary

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Old 05-30-2010, 05:14 AM   #10
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nice, let us know how it turns out

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