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Old 01-21-2006, 09:46 PM   #1
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Default First Brew...did I make a poor choice?

Good afternoon, one and all...

I am now in posession of all of the basic goodies needed to start down the road to my very own brew, but after reading through a few threads, I am a wee bit concerned. The ingredient "kit" I requested and got was one for Irish Stout, which is my absolute favorite brew. This, after ripping the kit down to see what is there, apparently is going to have LME, DME, and grains which, according to the instructions, are just steeped separately, and the water poured into the brew kettle later. Any advice and or support would be appreciated...even so far as to go the "go and get a different set of ingredients for your first shot" Thanks in advance for all the aid and comfort I expect to get from you fine folk...

John

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Old 01-21-2006, 10:00 PM   #2
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Originally Posted by PowerDispatcher
Good afternoon, one and all...

This, after ripping the kit down to see what is there, apparently is going to have LME, DME, and grains which, according to the instructions, are just steeped separately, and the water poured into the brew kettle later.

John
I'm not sure what this means. I've never seen instructions like this, although I also have never made a dry stout. If you could post the instructions verbatim, that would be helpful.
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Up next: Big Brew Off competition between me and Kaptain Karma as one team, and my two roommates as another--We'll be brewing Pale Ales with specifications on malts, hops, and total yeild to see who's version is better (and to end up with ten total gallons of great beer).
Also up soon: Belgian Dubbel
Primary: Grampa's Woodshed Apple Smoked Porter
Secondary: Zombiefoot California Common, Chocolate Strong Porter
Drinking: Seamus O'Drunkagan Irish Red, Humble Pie Imperial Stout, Capricorn IPA
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Old 01-21-2006, 10:10 PM   #3
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Originally Posted by rewster451
If you could post the instructions verbatim, that would be helpful.
Ask, and you shall receive...

"Heat 1/4 gallon of water in a stainless steel saucepan to 155 degrees F. Add crushed grain, remove from heat, put a lid on the pot, and wrap in towels to insulate. Leave it alone for 30 minutes. Meanwhile, put LME in hot water. Place 1.5 gallons of water in brewpot, and bring to boil. Turn off heat, and while stirring, add LME, DME, and both packages of hops. Pour WATER ONLY (Emphasis is the instructions) from crushed grains through a strainer and into the pot. Stir till extracts dissolved, then return to heat and boil 30 minutes.

Hope that helps to delineate the question I have..and thanks...

John
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Old 01-21-2006, 11:07 PM   #4
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Hi John,
Welcome to the forum.
There is nothing wrong with steeping the grains separately (as your instructions state), and then adding the liquor from the steeped grains to the brew pot. The other way to do it, is to put the grains in a gran bag, and steep, then remove the bag containing all the grains before boiling.
I don't like the grain bag approach because the bag will interfere some with the extraction from the grains, but that's just me.
I suspect your instructions are slightly wrong in two places:
When adding the crushed grain to the 155 degree water, I would continue to heat while stirring the grain until the water reaches 155 degrees again before removing from the heat and wrapping in swadling clothes.
The other thing is "Pour WATER ONLY". If you only poured the water, you wouldn't need a strainer. Dump the whole lot into the strainer, and the strainer will catch the spent grains. You will need a fine strainer, not something like a colander with big holes. You don't want the spent grains in the brewpot to boil, as this would extract tannins, and lead to a very bitter beer.
You might also want to rinse the grains with some hot water (about 160 - 165 degrees) to extract more of the color and flavor, but the recipe may have taken this into account.

Good luck,

-a.

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Old 01-21-2006, 11:10 PM   #5
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It sounds like in a seperate pot is where the steeping of the grains will occur. Then it will rest in that pot for thirty minutes. In the mean time start putting clean water into your boiling pot and start the heating process. Add your lme, dme, and hops then pour your steeped grain tea into the brew pot.

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Old 01-21-2006, 11:21 PM   #6
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Thanks for all of the suggestions, and I think I will do the little extra extraction with a bit more water, as you suggested, ajf. Now, tomorrow, we brew...*chuckles, and goes off to ponder the journey from hither...to yon and beyond*

John

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Old 01-22-2006, 12:30 AM   #7
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...and don't forget - sanitize everything - border on obsessive about this.

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Old 01-22-2006, 02:23 AM   #8
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My first brew was a Brewer's Best Irish Stout. LME, steeping grains & pellet hops. It was very good! I still have one bottle left. Seeing how long I can hold out before I open it.

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Old 01-22-2006, 02:29 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by The Councilman
My first brew was a Brewer's Best Irish Stout. LME, steeping grains & pellet hops. It was very good! I still have one bottle left. Seeing how long I can hold out before I open it.
I just raced through all of my homebrews until recently. I want to start a collection, and when I get ten different good homebrews, make a night of drinking all of them. It'll probably be the night I get married (to another homebrew afficianado, I hope), or something like that. You know, a special occasion.
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Up next: Big Brew Off competition between me and Kaptain Karma as one team, and my two roommates as another--We'll be brewing Pale Ales with specifications on malts, hops, and total yeild to see who's version is better (and to end up with ten total gallons of great beer).
Also up soon: Belgian Dubbel
Primary: Grampa's Woodshed Apple Smoked Porter
Secondary: Zombiefoot California Common, Chocolate Strong Porter
Drinking: Seamus O'Drunkagan Irish Red, Humble Pie Imperial Stout, Capricorn IPA
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Old 01-22-2006, 02:59 AM   #10
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I think your thread title says it all "First Brew...did I make a poor choice?"

You chose to brew your own. How can that be a poor choice?

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