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Old 11-27-2010, 08:22 PM   #1
AKnewbrews
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Default Our First Homebrew!

Okay, we're off to the store to get our last few ingredients for our very first beer!

With the kit we bought, we picked a Connoisseurs Nut Brown Ale. After doing some research, we decided we're going to add
1oz Willamette @ 60 mins (bitter)
1oz Willameeter @ 15(?) mins (flavor)
And maybe another half ounce at the last minute for aroma, but I don't want a Nut Brown reeking of hops...

Any suggestions or comments?

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Old 11-27-2010, 08:59 PM   #2
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My only comment is Brown Ale is one of my favorite styles.

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Old 11-27-2010, 10:11 PM   #3
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The kit you got does already have hops in it, are you sure you want to add more? If you want to add more, more power to you. I put too much of everything in my beers.

If I had a suggestion, though, I'd say make the kit as is, and then get another kit from a homebrew shop that had separate extract/steeping grains/hops, along with a decent set of instructions (Palmer or Papazian's book should cover that part). After you follow one of those kits, you should have a great understanding of how beer is made, and you can either stick with the kits or branch out and try your own thing.

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Old 11-27-2010, 10:19 PM   #4
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^^x2 Follow the instructions and strive for consistency then tweak per your taste.

...and Relax, don't worry, have a home brew!

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Old 11-28-2010, 12:45 AM   #5
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ah Papazian, god father of the home brew... I think if I read that phrase one more time, I might scream, though. His books say that just a few too many times.

RIT Warrior- Adam is a huge hop head. I love hop flavor/aroma, but not the bitterness (that seems to be kind of a female thing... kind of)... we definitely want more hops, and want to get in to grains with our next batch, so we're happy to start this way. Let you know how it goes!

Oh, and we decided to reduce the bittering hops to less than an ounce, at the recommendation of our friend who's brewed a few times.

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Old 11-28-2010, 02:43 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AKnewbrews View Post
ah Papazian, god father of the home brew... I think if I read that phrase one more time, I might scream, though. His books say that just a few too many times.
Yep, the phrase is grating on me as well. I think I'd replace it with "Don't Panic!", which I think rolls off the tongue better.

Quote:
Originally Posted by AKnewbrews View Post
RIT Warrior- Adam is a huge hop head. I love hop flavor/aroma, but not the bitterness (that seems to be kind of a female thing... kind of)... we definitely want more hops, and want to get in to grains with our next batch, so we're happy to start this way. Let you know how it goes!
A hopped extract can is a fine place to start, and a fine place to remain if you wish. If you both want more hops in this batch, I won't stop you. But I think hops are a bit out of place in the beer you are trying to make. Not saying it will taste bad, I'm just saying it will be a little "different".

If you like hops but aren't all about the "bitter" quality, for your next kit I'd try an American Pale Ale kit from your LHBS. Since you are keen to control the hops yourself, be sure to get one with steeping grains and non-hopped extract (so the hops come in their own bag).

Brew that one to the letter of the instructions, it should give you plenty of hop flavor and aroma. After that, I'd move on to recipes from Papazian's book, or recipes you find online. One brew that I have done 2 batches of that everyone likes is "Palace Bitter" (page 170 of my copy of TCJOHB) which I think would fit your tastes nicely. Don't let the name fool you - it isn't that bitter.
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Old 11-28-2010, 07:49 AM   #7
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Well, many hours later... here's what actually happened.

3.5 gallon, 60 minute boil.
Munton's Nut Brown Ale Kit
2 lbs Coppers LME
Wyeast #1056 American Ale
@60 minutes- 0.70oz Willamette Hops (bitterness)
@30 minutes- 0.25oz Willamette Hops (flavor)

A long ass time waiting for the wort to cool, we ended up with:
1.050 o.g., adjusted for 60*f
5.2% potential abv

One thing I was told was taste everything! So I did. The wort before yeast had a delicious roasty flavor up front and a slight bitterness on the back of the tongue- but it wasn't "biting" bitterness. I'm hoping to see that roasted flavor develop as the magic happens.

Adam says our next purchase/DIY project will be a wort chiller. We're not patient enough... even with the brew pot outside in the snow in Alaskan winter...

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Old 11-28-2010, 11:54 AM   #8
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Snow makes a poor chiller as it won't stay against the brew pot and leaves an insulating layer of air. Next time, put your snow in a tub (laundry tub works well for my 20 QT stock pot) and fill 3/4 with water. The water will maintain contact with the brew pot and the snow will keep it cold. Do it outside when it is cold out and the wind chill will help too. Don't put so much water in the tub that the brew pot wants to float or it will tip over when you look away.

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Old 11-28-2010, 12:03 PM   #9
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The nut brown from muntons makes a good beer. Adding to those kits is a great way to learn. To that kit I added 3lbs DME and 1 oz fuggles to the boil for 60 min. They are no boil kits but I boil anyway.

Dont stop now, keep brewing.

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Old 11-28-2010, 12:19 PM   #10
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Glad everything turned out well! As for the chilling, I might have a suggestion for that.

Since you are doing partial boils, you can simply freeze a gallon jug of water in the freezer the night before brew day, and when chilling time comes around just cut the ice out and dump that bad boy in there. Some more ice should pretty much get you there. Also, put the pot in your sink after flameout and pack ice and/or snow around it. If you really want it cold fast, plug your sink, fill it with water after the pot is in, dump ice around the pot, and dump salt on top of the ice. The ice will melt quick, so keep replacing it.

I've tried the "snow bank" method as well. It doesn't work. I also made an immersion chiller from a DIY refrigeration kit I found at home depot and some plastic tubing. It actually sucked, probably because I only spent $20 on it and I made it myself. Your mileage may vary.

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