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Old 03-04-2008, 11:38 PM   #1
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Default New Brewer Full Boil Question

I'm new here and haven't yet done my first brew... but I've got it scheduled for this weekend . I have a 7.5gal kettle and and a 6.5gal glass carboy and want to do a full boil, but am not sure about the volumes of water to add at different stages. From what I've read here is what I'm planning to do, can you correct me if this is wrong?

I have 1lb. of caramel malt (60L) and 6.5lb. of Alexander's Light LME. For hops, I've got 2oz of Cascade. For yeast, I have a Wyeast 1056 American smack pack. I'm basically going for a simple Pale Ale for my first try.

This is my plan for brew day (minus sanitizing regimen):

1. In separate pot, heat 1.5g of H20 to 155F for grain steeping.
2. Steep crushed grain in grain sock for 30 minutes
3. Remove grain sock and add water to wort kettle
4. Bring 5.5gal of H20 to boil in the kettle
5. At rolling boil, turn off burner and stir in LME
6. Turn heat back on and when boiling, add 1oz Cascade hops and start the boil timer.
7. WATCH OUT FOR BOIL OVERS
8. At 30min left in the boil, add 1/2oz Cascade hops
9. Add the wort chiller to the boiling wort
10. At 10min left in the boil, add the remaining 1/2oz of Cascade hops.
11. After 60minutes total boil time turn off the heat and turn on the wort chiller
12. When the temperature is down to 80F, pour the wort through the funnel/strainer into the carboy.
13. Pitch the yeast starter into the carboy.
14. If necessary, add water to bring the final volume to 5 gallons.
15. Allow fermentation to take place for 1.5-2 weeks (no secondary for my first batch)
16. Bottle and age for 2-4 weeks (sampling every week of course )


Does this process and the amounts of water sound right to you? I'd like to plan this brew day well and get all the details worked out so I can Relax and Have a Homebrew. Your help is much appreciated!

-Ben



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Old 03-04-2008, 11:51 PM   #2
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Sounds fine to me! I start with about 6 gallons to end up with 5 gallons of wort in the carboy, but your amount will vary so the first time is the time to try it and see.

One thing I would do, is to cool the wort to 70 degrees instead of 80 (better for your yeast to start), and pour the wort back and forth between carboy and kettle to aerate it. Or whip it with a dowel, or splash a lot when you pour it into the carboy. Oxygen is necessary for yeast reproduction. I'd also highly recommend doing a starter for your yeast, if you can. (search for yeast starter, or I can post the link, from the wiki). Edit- never mind- I see you planned a starter!

I'd keep it in the fermenter 2-3 weeks at least, then bottle.
Otherwise, I wouldn't change anything. You've pretty much got it!



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Old 03-04-2008, 11:56 PM   #3
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Thanks for the info...I appreciate it!

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Old 03-05-2008, 02:04 PM   #4
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As long as your sanitization practices are sound it looks like you will be making some great beer. If I were you I would consider adding the majority of your malt extract with about 20 minutes left in the boil (late extract addition). Add 1-2lbs of your LME to the initial boil, then add the remaining LME with 15-20 minutes left in the boil. This should help keep your beer color a bit lighter, which is tough to do with LME anyway.

As the previous poster stated, make sure you cool to about 70 degrees before pitching your yeast. Aerate the hell out of your cooled wort when pitching your starter to make sure your yeast have plenty of oxygen to get started in their feeding frenzy.

Cheers and beers!

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Old 03-05-2008, 03:04 PM   #5
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I would agree with starting at 6-6.5 gallons of water. You will probably boil off a gallon of water or so. I like to go with 5.5 gallon in the 6.5 carboy. You will end up leaving some behind in the carboy when you go to bottle.

Other than that, make sure to aerate it well when you do a full boil. The boiling drives all the oxygen out of the wort.

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Old 03-05-2008, 03:19 PM   #6
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I just did my first full boil this weekend and I did 6.5 gallons to start with, but I think it's too much. My next will be 6 gallons to start. I'm going to go with adding the extract more towards the end also, I had a small amount of burning I'd like to avoid if I can.

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Old 03-05-2008, 03:43 PM   #7
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also maybe add your initial extract as the water approaches a rolling boil, or as soon as you begin heating it to that point. This way the water is not too hot when you add the extract and it can dissolve slowly.

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Old 03-05-2008, 05:43 PM   #8
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Great info all, and many thanks! I think I will start off with 6.5 gallons since I have a 6.5 gallon carboy. Even if I don't lose 1.5 gallons I should have plenty of room in the carboy for the krausen. My only worry is that my beer will come out pretty weak...with only 6.5lbs or LME and 1lb of steeping grains the online calculator reports an expected ABV at 4.4%. For a Pale Ale stlye, anything between 4.5-6% is normal and I'd like to see it around 5%. What are your thoughts?

Also, I've been wondering about sanitizing bottles. I was planning on soaking existing Sierra Nevada bottles (of which I have WAY too many ), to remove labels. Then I was going to throw them all in my dishwasher with some iodophor for sanitization. Do you think this is a good practice, or should I take a different approach?

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Old 03-05-2008, 07:07 PM   #9
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Do you have any DME on hand? Just add a bit of DME to your recipe to boost the abv and gravity a bit. Or you could use some honey (I've never done this so you will need to ask for advice on this)

As far as sanitizing bottles, you're in luck because Sierra Nevada and Samuel Adams labels come off easier than any other in my experience. Just soak them in hot water with oxyclean or PBW and the labels will some off with ease. Use brillo sponge to scrub off the glue residue. Use a bottle brush to make sure the insides are free of debris. Then set your bottles aside in a clean place until bottling day.

When it's time to bottle I usually sanitize the bottles in a sink full of water and iodophor. I then run them through a wash cycle, sanitize and heat cycle in my dishwasher without using any detergent. Leave you dishwasher door closed up until you are transferring from bottling bucket to bottles. Line your bottles up on the open dishwasher door and you will have no mess to clean up.

(I have a dishwasher with a stainless interior so it does not stain or harbor bacteria)

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Old 03-05-2008, 07:28 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by zutmin
As long as your sanitization practices are sound it looks like you will be making some great beer. If I were you I would consider adding the majority of your malt extract with about 20 minutes left in the boil (late extract addition). Add 1-2lbs of your LME to the initial boil, then add the remaining LME with 15-20 minutes left in the boil. This should help keep your beer color a bit lighter, which is tough to do with LME anyway.

As the previous poster stated, make sure you cool to about 70 degrees before pitching your yeast. Aerate the hell out of your cooled wort when pitching your starter to make sure your yeast have plenty of oxygen to get started in their feeding frenzy.

Cheers and beers!
I was always under the impression that Late Extract additions were for people "Not" doing full boils...I think if he is doing full boils that he could add all his extract at once and be done with it....I do late additions, but Im only boiling 2.5-3 gallons at a time...Someone correct me if Im wrong...


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