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Home Brew Forums > Home Brewing Beer > Beginners Beer Brewing Forum > Basic equipment questions for a first time brewer
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Old 11-29-2009, 03:47 PM   #1
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Default Basic equipment questions for a first time brewer

After many weeks of research and reading, Next weekend I plan on brewing a batch of pale ale. I received all my equipment yesterday and put everything through the works so I would feel good about using it. As I went through all my tests have haver a couple questions.

Equipment:
- I am using a 8 gallon mega pot as a brew kettle, and I am using a electric stove top to heat the water. (Live in a apartment complex with wood patio so propane burner is a no go until I move out)
- Using Iglo coolers for water tank and Mash Tun
- I am set up to use kegs
- Immersion chiller
- 6 and 5 gallon carboys
- All the other good stuff needed


Questions:

1. I noticed it takes some time to get 5 gallons of water to boil (40-60 mins) This won't be a problem for mashing but what about when I am boiling the wort? I assume I heat my water until I get a boil and that is when I add my 1st hope addition and start the 60 min of boil time. Is this correct or is this overcooking the wort?

2. I just got my CO2 tank filled, and I noticed it has a small plastic/nylon washer, what is this for? I have been around CO2 takes along time and have never seen anything like this.

4. Fermentation - how long is to long to sit in a fermenter? I don't want to rush the beer but I don't want to have something happen to it while it sits. I was going to do 4 to 6 weeks just in a primary. Unless you all convince me to do a secondary and split up the fermentation process.

3. I am jumping in with All grain brewing so I know it will take time and patience to overcoming the learning curve. Is there any advice that will get me on the right foot?

Thanks in advance and I look forward to learning more from everyone.

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Old 11-29-2009, 04:01 PM   #2
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1. wait until it comes to a boil and start the hops like you said, it won't overcook the wort waiting for that to happen.

2. the nylon washer will prevent leaks between the tank and regulator... tanks i use for homebrewing and otherwise always have them.

4. 4-6 weeks should be fine, but personally i am impatient and think my beer is just fine after 2 weeks, but to each his/her own. 4 weeks is what a lot of people on here do. forget the secondary unless you really need it for the style.

3. just follow some instructions from this site and you'll be fine: http://www.suebob.com/brew/allgrain.htm lots of good tips there.

enjoy!

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Old 11-29-2009, 04:06 PM   #3
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Thanks, I used Teflon tape to prevent leaks between the tank and regulator so I am good there.

one more question:

Dry yeast - From what I read needs no started but needs to be rehydrated. Is this just boiling water letting it cool to 95 -100 degrees and adding yeast 30 mins before pitching?

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Old 11-29-2009, 04:07 PM   #4
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Quote:
1. I noticed it takes some time to get 5 gallons of water to boil (40-60 mins) This won't be a problem for mashing but what about when I am boiling the wort? I assume I heat my water until I get a boil and that is when I add my 1st hope addition and start the 60 min of boil time. Is this correct or is this overcooking the wort?
Start your timer when the wort starts to boil. Your first HOP (could also be hope I guess ) additions go in at the prescribed time. Usually a 60 minute boil and usually a 60 minute time for the first hops. But that depends on the recipe.

Quote:
2. I just got my CO2 tank filled, and I noticed it has a small plastic/nylon washer, what is this for? I have been around CO2 takes along time and have never seen anything like this.
On my regulator, the washer goes between the CO2 tank, and the regulator assembly. I think that's pretty standard.

Quote:
4. Fermentation - how long is to long to sit in a fermenter? I don't want to rush the beer but I don't want to have something happen to it while it sits. I was going to do 4 to 6 weeks just in a primary. Unless you all convince me to do a secondary and split up the fermentation process.
This depends somewhat on the style of beer, the SG, and the hydrometer readings over consecutive periods. I'd not touch the beer for at least two or three weeks, then start taking hydro readings every couple of days. There are about a bazillion threads on this forum that discuss this question.

Quote:
3. I am jumping in with All grain brewing so I know it will take time and patience to overcoming the learning curve. Is there any advice that will get me on the right foot?
Download and try the BeerSmith brew software. It will greatly reduce your stress on brew day. Plus, it will tell you the correct water temps, and the sparge volumes. Use the "notes" part to remind yourself of things that have to happen on brew day, like "add the whirlfloc" or put the chiller into the boiling wort, etc. etc. etc.

Good Luck. The best way to learn, is to do. Keep us posted....
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Old 11-29-2009, 04:33 PM   #5
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+1 on beersmith. It in addition to calculating stuff will allow you keep track of brews and print directions.

Propane can be used on the ground away from the deck. On my stove a 24" apartment stove, I found I could tposition my big pot over two burners. It does work but I look forward to SP-10 mega btu outside.

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Old 11-29-2009, 04:42 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by xattamrs View Post
Dry yeast - From what I read needs no started but needs to be rehydrated. Is this just boiling water letting it cool to 95 -100 degrees and adding yeast 30 mins before pitching?

I would let the water cool a bit more, like to 85 degreesmaybe up to 90 but no more, I think thats whats on the notty packet from my last brew
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Old 11-29-2009, 05:11 PM   #7
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First brew and it's all grain? Ballsy.

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Old 11-29-2009, 05:22 PM   #8
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Are you doing smaller batches than 5 gallons?

I ask, because when you brew AG, you generally do a full boil rather than topping up with water. You say you had trouble getting 5 gallons to boil on your stove, so you're going to have a LOT of trouble with the 6.5-7 gallons you're going to need to boil to end up with a 5 gallon batch in the fermenter.

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Old 11-29-2009, 05:44 PM   #9
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I agree starting out all-grain is ballsy, thats how I started! maybe try splitting the boil into two pots. its easier to boil two 3-3.5 gal pots than one 6-7gal pot, you just need to watch two pots for boilovers rather than one! good luck with your brew, and follow your recipe!!

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