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Old 03-05-2006, 01:58 PM   #1
MrEcted1
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Default Making first brew today!! last minute questions...

Well, yesterday I bought my first brew kit (woop woop!) I am going to make a nut brown ale (it was on sale, so what the hell... nut browns are always good!) I have a few questions though...

First is cooling my wort. I don't have a wort-chiller cuz I couldn't afford one. Whats the best way? I know an ice-bath is good, so should I buy a semi-large plastic container at wal-mart and shove a bunch of ice in it and cool my wort? I plan on using bottled water... so if I keep the water in the fridge then how low do I need to cool my wort before topping off with the refrigerated bottled water?

Cooling the wort properly is the scariest part for me... (well, second to proper sanitation)

And here is a dumb question for ya...

My primary right now is a plastic bucket (unfortunately, but again my lack of funds bit me in the ass) Anyways, once I get this puppy rollin' how will I know when my yeast is active? If my air-lock is bubbling does that mean my yeasties are doin' their job?


Any last minute tips would be GREATLY appreciated


Here's to hopin' this brew turns out as good as Samuel Smiths Nut Brown!

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Old 03-05-2006, 02:10 PM   #2
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1. I cool my pot in an ice water bath in the kitchen sink. No extra container needed.

2. Try to cool the wort to around 80F before adding water. Should definitely get it below 90F.

3. Plastic buckets work great. Even though I bought a glass carboy as an additional primary to get 2 brews going at once, the plastic is actually probably easier to use. Make sure you have a good, tight seal on the lid, have all the airlock equipment in place and be sure to put water or vodka in the airlock.

Good luck, and if you have any questions during the brew session, post up. There's always someone on!

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Old 03-05-2006, 02:18 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mr_Turtlehead
1. I cool my pot in an ice water bath in the kitchen sink. No extra container needed.

2. Try to cool the wort to around 80F before adding water. Should definitely get it below 90F.

3. Plastic buckets work great. Even though I bought a glass carboy as an additional primary to get 2 brews going at once, the plastic is actually probably easier to use. Make sure you have a good, tight seal on the lid, have all the airlock equipment in place and be sure to put water or vodka in the airlock.

Good luck, and if you have any questions during the brew session, post up. There's always someone on!

Thank you much!

The reason I was wondering about an extra container is because my sink is rather shallow... i'll just use the sink though.


I have one other question I meant to ask. This nut brown kit came with hop pellets. Do I just let them dissolve? I have a buddy that brews and he always uses fresh hops and just puts them in a hop sock. He told me that he only uses fresh hops because the only time he used pellets they dissolved and it made his beer way too hoppy... maybe he just added too many pellets though...
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Old 03-05-2006, 02:30 PM   #4
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Do you have a hop bag? The pellets would best be contained in a hop bag. If you add them directly to the pot they will make a bunch of sludge at the bottom of your primary. That is not so bad though for you first brew. Dont worry about being too hoppy, you would like some bitterness in that brew. What is the recipie you used?

Make sure you lid seals well on your primary.

Dont piss into the wind.

Dont propose to a girl on a bus.

More cowbell!

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Old 03-05-2006, 02:33 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AHammer16
More cowbell!

I love it!


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Old 03-05-2006, 02:48 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AHammer16
Do you have a hop bag? The pellets would best be contained in a hop bag. If you add them directly to the pot they will make a bunch of sludge at the bottom of your primary. That is not so bad though for you first brew. Dont worry about being too hoppy, you would like some bitterness in that brew. What is the recipie you used?

Make sure you lid seals well on your primary.

Dont piss into the wind.

Dont propose to a girl on a bus.

More cowbell!

Thanks for the tips! I was really considering pissing in the wind until you said somethin'

I don't have a hop bag...

The recipe is:

6 lbs Light malt extract

for the grains
1 lb crystal 40 malt
1/4 lb honey malt
1/8 lb pale chocolate malt
1/8 lb specialty roast

1 oz progress hop pellets @ boil
1/2 oz fuggle hop pellets 30 mins into boil

White Labs English Ale yeast.
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Old 03-05-2006, 02:51 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mr_Turtlehead
1. I cool my pot in an ice water bath in the kitchen sink. No extra container needed.

2. Try to cool the wort to around 80F before adding water. Should definitely get it below 90F.

3. Plastic buckets work great. Even though I bought a glass carboy as an additional primary to get 2 brews going at once, the plastic is actually probably easier to use. Make sure you have a good, tight seal on the lid, have all the airlock equipment in place and be sure to put water or vodka in the airlock.

Good luck, and if you have any questions during the brew session, post up. There's always someone on!
I don't get this. Let's say you have 2 gal of wort. If you cool 2 gal of wort to 80F and add it to 3 gal of cold water, wouldn't that make your wart a lot colder then 80F? Maybe even colder then the desired temp of say 70F? Also, once you have your 5 gal cooled to the desired temperature, then you shake it up and add the yeast?
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Old 03-05-2006, 03:41 PM   #8
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Generally I have about 3 gals of wort. I use the whirlpool method to move sediment to the middle and depending on how long it sets there, may cool even more. By the time I'm adding 2 gals water (which is kept in my basement around 62F) to the carboy and the wort and pitching yeast, the 5 gals is usually between 70-75F. Has never failed me yet.

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Old 03-05-2006, 03:42 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mworkman
I don't get this. Let's say you have 2 gal of wort. If you cool 2 gal of wort to 80F and add it to 3 gal of cold water, wouldn't that make your wart a lot colder then 80F? Maybe even colder then the desired temp of say 70F? Also, once you have your 5 gal cooled to the desired temperature, then you shake it up and add the yeast?

That can happen. I've had topping off water in the freezer, and cooled the wort too low with it. My mistake was that I didn't realize an ice bath in the sink would cool the boiled wort down as quickly as it did.

It just takes a little practice to get it right. Next time I'm going to have some water in the fridge and a couple more gallons at room temperature. Then I can use whatever I need to get it right.

Yes, you want your batch cooled before doing any aerating. Some people pour it back and forth between buckets a few time. Some people shake the crap out of it in one bucket. Others use an oxygen stone (like in an aquarium) and pump oxygen (or filtered air) right into the cooled water for a couple of minutes...
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Old 03-05-2006, 03:58 PM   #10
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When you have it in the ice bath stir it around some as this will help cool it faster. It takes 2 ice baths for my pot which is about 4 gallons to get it at 90° or so. I use a sanitized wire whip to aerate the wort when it is in the plastic fermenter. It works pretty well. I siphon off the kettle to avoid the majority of the hops that settle to the bottom. Happy brewing.

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