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Old 02-11-2012, 01:34 AM   #1
skimo281
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Default About to begin my first brew

Right now I have the burner going to boil the full 30QT pot as I keep reading I need to oxidize it or my first brew will taste like aluminum. I'm getting everything ready to to be tossed in the fermentation bucket and sanitize it for a good hour while the actual brew is going on.

I plan on boiling 3.5 gallons of water and cool off with 20 pounds of ice which should be around 2.5 gallons of water. I figure 6 gallons gives me room for boil off, does that sound good?

I have a turkey baster so I'm not sure how I'm going to do gravity readings because all the ones I see use an auto siphon and they just throw it in there, would a regular glass work fine?

Anything I'm forgetting so far? I'm pretty excited but that makes me feel like I'm going to totally over look something. I plan on being on here for awhile so let me know

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Old 02-11-2012, 01:56 AM   #2
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I don't think a regular glass will work for your first gravity reading. The hydrometer will probably not "float" in there. Without a testing cylinder, I would just sanitize your hydrometer and measure the gravity after you aerate your wort in the fermenting bucket (assuming you are using a bucket and not a carboy).

Congrats and good luck on the 1st brew!

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Old 02-11-2012, 02:23 AM   #3
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First off, RDWHAHomeBrrrr ... wait, this is your 1st batch ... scratch that.

OK, I gotta agree with gavball6. A glass is prolly not gonna work (depends on the glass though). Sanitize the hydrometer and place it in your fermenting bucket that you are sanitizing everything in.

I would also recommend getting a hydrometer test cylinder eventually. Something like this.

Now that I think about it, you may be able to use the baster depending on it's length. Sanitize it, plug the bottom (side of your pinky), fill it to the brim and then over the sink get your reading. Hrm ... better yet, just use the bucket.

In regards to the amount you will boil off, hard to say but 1 gal/hr seems like a decent guess depending on how much heat you apply.

Oh yeah, congratulations and out of curiosity ... whatcha brewing?

-Rob-

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Old 02-11-2012, 02:31 AM   #4
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I'm confused. Are you starting your boil with 3.5 gallons or 6? That line was unclear. If you start with 3.5 you wil probably end with 3- 2.5 and then need to top off with good clean water to reach your 5 gallons. If you're boiling 6 gallons, that should be good for a full volume boil and most likely not need to top off with water.

Make sure your pot will comfortably fit that 6 gallons if that's what you're gonna boil. Boils overs are not awesome and will happen fast once the hot break happens and during hop additions.

Good luck and congrats on joining. I have recently gotten into home brewing myself.

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Old 02-11-2012, 02:32 AM   #5
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Oh, and please don't put that ice in your wort after your boil is done. Might infect your whole batch.

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Old 02-11-2012, 02:45 AM   #6
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My plan was boil 3.5 gallons and add the ice which is 2.5 gallons after boil to cool the wort, I read that it was an effective way if you dont have a wort chiller, is that a bad idea I mean the Midwest instructions even say so Lol. And I already was over thinking, I can just use the tube the hydrometer came in, I guess its time for another beer. Also I'm brewing Iris stout in hopes of having it ready by St. Pattys

Oh and to be clear I will take my measurement right before I dump the brew in the fermenter correct?

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Old 02-11-2012, 02:49 AM   #7
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A lot of place I have learned from will tell you to take your wort and put it in an ice bath in the sink. So, you put the lid on your brew kettle, fill the sink around the kettle with ice and water to cool the wort down to around 80-100 degrees as fast as you can. Then put your wort and cold water in the fermenter to lower the temp to yeast pitching temp and bring your volume up.

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Old 02-11-2012, 03:07 AM   #8
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So what would be the difference in adding water to come up to five gallons and me to add ice that will melt for me to come up to five gallons? I still plan on putting it in the sink with cold water and all that but if I have to add water anyways why not just add ice to help cool it faster anyways?

I think I made my first mistake of the night. I put all my grains in a Magic Bullet thinking it would be better than trying to crush them with a beer bottle, because that just didn't turn out to well for me. If it's not a big deal then I'm not to worried about it, if it will start to drift out of the mesh bag into the actual brew, which I don't even know if that matters I have a never before worn long sock I can stretch out to to use to steep the grains.

I'm about to dump the water I've been boiling to oxidize the pot so let me know what I should do to steep these grains.

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Old 02-11-2012, 03:17 AM   #9
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The problem with dumping ice into non boiling wort is you cannot know for sure if that ice is purified and if it has organisms in it that might create bad off flavors. This is a roll of the dice if you have store bought ice. At least you can run water through a filter to get the chlorine out or used bottled water to bring it to 5 gallons. I'm not trying to say u can't add the ice to the wort, just heard a lot of people warn against it.

On my last brew, I put the crushed grains in the bag that was sent with the kit. When I put them in the water to steep, some grain was floating in the water. It pretty much fell to the bottom once I got the hot break and boil going and then it was in the sludge on the bottom after I cooled the wort and poured it through a strainer into my fermenter.

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Old 02-11-2012, 03:23 AM   #10
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That's not a bad idea I do have some cheesecloth I can stretch over the fermenter. Does it change anything though beside just being more stuff floating around? The more I think about it the simpler this seems lol.

I'm going to finish this beer and eat some pizza then get to work. I'll post pics of the process and see how it goes.

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