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Old 07-27-2010, 10:39 PM   #1
Beerdude
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Greetings,
Its my first time brewing and I have a stock pot I got from a friend that is labeled 4, 8 and 12 on it. I assume those mean quarts, so there are about 4 more quarts from the top of the pot.

I purchased a 5 gallon brewing kit, with all ingredients.
If I do not have a 20 qt pot, should I plan to measure out from the kit the proper amount of the ingredients, or should I just buy enough for the 3 gallon pot?

The other option for me would be to buy another pot or to return the kit, and get the ingredients myself.
I have a carboy that would fit 5 gallons.

Thanks

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Old 07-27-2010, 11:16 PM   #2
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Hi Dude. Its common for brewers using an extract kit to do "partial boils", which means they only boil 2.5 -3 gallons and then top-off with enough water to get to five gallons in their fermenter. Does that make sense? Or do you need more details?

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Old 07-27-2010, 11:30 PM   #3
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New brewer here as well, what is the disadvantage to doing a partial boil vs a full 5gal boil and topping the fermenter off with water? Seems like a good way to bring the wort back to fermenting temperature. my brew kit + beer kit should be on the way soon and I was planning on doing a partial boil

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Old 07-27-2010, 11:40 PM   #4
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You've hit on one advantage of partial boils - the other is that most of us already have a big enough stock pot to do it in and our stoves will bring 3 gallons of water to a boil promptly, but not 5 gallons.

The disadvantages are reduced hop utilization (it extracts less of the hoppy goodness) and an increased risk of carmelizing your wort (or worse, burning it).

If a brewer is worried about hop utilization, its easy enough to add a few extra hops to the boil. As for carmelization, a brewer can make sure he takes the pot off the heat before adding the malt extract and stir like crazy. There is also a technique called late extract addition, which some brewers use.

I wouldn't worry about any of it for now. My advice to most new brewers would be to use the pots you've got on the stove you've got and make some good beer using a partial boil method.

Cheers!

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Old 07-28-2010, 05:35 AM   #5
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Pappers,
Thank you for your advice. Turns out the kit says to do a 2.5 gal partial boil in the instructions.

Also, after the one hour PARTIAL boil, should I pour it into the plastic tub fermenter and then top it off with cold bottled water, or should I cool the pot in the sink first? Also, should I worry about aeration at this point, since i am moving the pot around, but will be pouring water (adding oxygen)?


Should I next:

Ferment the wort in the plastic tub, then "bottle condition" it in the carboy , with boiling water and priming sugar and putting it into the carboy?

Also, can I just leave the hydrometer in the carboy?

Thanks again

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Old 07-28-2010, 05:55 AM   #6
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I'm still perfecting the method, but I freeze enough filtered water to make up the difference (2 gallons for a 3 gallon partial boil) and pour the hot wort on top of the ice in my bottling bucket. Then once the wort cools down to a good temp I use the spigot in the bottling bucket to transfer into my fermenting bucket. From what I've read aeration positively affects your wort before adding yeast. I've heard conflicting views about aeration after the yeast has started fermenting.

I'm still a n00b as well though, so hopefully someone more experienced than I can weigh in on the situation.

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Old 07-28-2010, 12:12 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dfc View Post
I've heard conflicting views about aeration after the yeast has started fermenting.
Don't be confused: oxygen after fermentation has begun is a very... bad... thing.

The yeast need oxygen in order to reproduce, so unless you expect the yeast in your foil pack or your starter to do all of the work themselves, without any help at all, then you need to oxidize your wort. This is usually done with an aquarium pump, vigorous and prolonged bucket-shaking, or pouring hot wort from a height (like off a ladder) -- the last of which I do not personally recommend.

HOWEVER, you do NOT want the yeast to have any oxygen after they've started to ferment. Fermentation in the absence of oxygen is why there is alcohol -- it's a waste product. If the yeast get their grubby li'l mitts on extra O2 then they could promptly start to eat the alcohol they just made, or do other stuff you don't want them to do.

So, no ambiguity: once the yeast have started to make alcohol, oxygen is a VERY... BAD... THING.

The thing that is up for debate is "hot side aeration", which argues that there may be some small chemical changes if hot wort gets too much oxygen. For the vast majority of homebrewers, just don't worry about it.

So I hope that clarified things for ya!
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Last edited by Justibone; 07-28-2010 at 12:12 PM. Reason: Pump, not "pour"
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Old 07-28-2010, 01:31 PM   #8
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You should be fine doing 3 gallon boils, although some recipes will be better if you do 4 gallon or full boils...

Other than that, you just have to watch out for boilovers more closely...

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Old 07-28-2010, 10:01 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Beerdude View Post
Pappers,
Thank you for your advice. Turns out the kit says to do a 2.5 gal partial boil in the instructions.

Also, after the one hour PARTIAL boil, should I pour it into the plastic tub fermenter and then top it off with cold bottled water, or should I cool the pot in the sink first? Also, should I worry about aeration at this point, since i am moving the pot around, but will be pouring water (adding oxygen)?


Should I next:

Ferment the wort in the plastic tub, then "bottle condition" it in the carboy , with boiling water and priming sugar and putting it into the carboy?

Also, can I just leave the hydrometer in the carboy?

Thanks again
Hi Dude. You might find a series of YouTube videos from the Homebrewers Association helpful. They are thorough, clear, and show you what to do. You can find them at http://www.youtube.com/user/BrewersAssociation If you start with video #1 and work on up, you'll gain a great understanding of the process. Much better than trying to follow the instructions that come with most kits.

Cheers!
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Old 07-29-2010, 12:33 AM   #10
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In one of the videos from that youtube link, it shows when he pours the water in his fermenter to top the wort off and bring it to fermenting temperatures. he mentions that that big jug of water has been pre-boiled to keep that water sanitized. Is it necessary to pre-boil that much water? I was under the assumption you could fill that water with the drinking water from the kitchen (typically located next to the sink or coming out of the refrigerator)

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