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Old 02-09-2009, 02:28 PM   #1
telemaster
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Default First Brew Day Notes

First, thanks to HBT and all its members for increasing the chances of success on my first brew.

Judging by the shear number of thread titles indicating a first time brewing experience, I was not alone this weekend in my inaugural brewing.

I brewed a True Brew Red Ale extract kit with specialty grains.

Ingredients

  • 3.3# light LME
  • 3.3# light hopped LME
  • 1# melanoidin specialty grains
  • 1oz Liberty Pellets
  • Irish moss
  • US-05 Dry Yeast (re-hydrated)

Brew Schedule:
  • 25 minute steep of specialty grains in 1 gallon water
  • 50 minute boil of both cans LME and .6oz of hop pellets
  • 15 minute Irish moss addition
  • 2 minute boil of .4oz liberty

Notes:
  • I did a two pot boil for an approximate 4.75 gallon boil (was going for 5, but more boiled off than expected)
  • OG 1.057 (target was 1.045-1.055)
  • Wort tasted very bitter with a very sweet finish (couldn't help myself )

I placed a metal coat hanger between the burner and my brew kettle to reduce scorching of the LME, but this reduced the vigor of my boil/hotbreak. Next on the shopping list is a turkey fryer. I wish I had known this from the beginning. To all new brewers who have the room outside. Just bite the bullet and get a turkey fryer kit for roughly the same cost as a quality brew kettle. It is definitely worth it. Hotter boils and no mess on the stove! SWMBO not so happy with me and It didn't even boil over, just a few spots on the enamel of the stove.

Were there mistakes made? Are there improvements in the process to be had? Yes and another resounding yes. Chances are I made beer, and chances are it's going to be a GREAT beer, because I made it! Pending hydrometer readings it will be follow a 2-2-2 schedule of primary-secondary-bottle.

According to the calculators at brewersfriend.com I should have an IBU of 8-9. Would the hopped LME add to this at all? I like hops!

Thanks to all!

Now the hard part waiting... so instead of mulling over the wort-to-beer transformation of the first batch, it is on to the second! A Power Pack Porter from Midwest as soon as the primary is free!

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Old 02-09-2009, 04:58 PM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by telemaster View Post
Now the hard part waiting... so instead of mulling over the wort-to-beer transformation of the first batch, it is on to the second! A Power Pack Porter from Midwest as soon as the primary is free!

That is why you just have to buy more primaries! Sounds like the first brew went well and I agree you will most likely have beer. You also should get something from your hopped LME although in the future I would try to stay away from pre-hopped LME (I think you loose some hop flavor when boiling), that way you can control the hops and bitternes and really get a feel for your IBU's and a beer that meets your hop and bitterness requirements. Good luck on the next batch!
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Old 02-09-2009, 06:07 PM   #3
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From my description it sounds like it went a lot smoother than it really did. Thankfully I have been trolling this forum long enough and read Revvy's post about the biggest mistakes and the beer still turning out OK.

I steeped small and boiled big, but I didn't plan on how much the LME and steeping water was going to add to my total boil volume. When I combined it all in the brew kettle I was nearly 1/2" away from the brim. I removed almost two gallons and did a two pot boil to avoid a boil over.

RE: Hopped LME--This was my first kit, and it was a gift. I'll be staying away from the hopped LME from now on.

Cheers

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Old 02-09-2009, 07:05 PM   #4
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You'll want to go 3-4 weeks in the bottle. All the sugar you add at bottling should be eaten up within about a week but it takes some time for the CO2 produced to settle into the beer itself. At two weeks you'll still be getting huge head with very few bubbles in the beer itself.

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Old 02-09-2009, 08:01 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by bbrim View Post
You'll want to go 3-4 weeks in the bottle. All the sugar you add at bottling should be eaten up within about a week but it takes some time for the CO2 produced to settle into the beer itself. At two weeks you'll still be getting huge head with very few bubbles in the beer itself.
Thanks for the heads-up (I'm too good at puns) I'll wait the extra few weeks. This is going to be hard... really really hard.
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