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Old 02-14-2010, 12:42 PM   #1
dbarnes
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Default Beginning Brewer Questions

Hello everyone this is my first time on the forum and first time brewing and I think I'm hooked. I love the process and want to continue to learn about this new hobby that people love so much. Have a few questions if anyone can help.

1. Have a 4 year old stove which is fairly nice and has 1 high output burner, or so it says. Have a 7 gallon brewpot and wanted to boil 4 gallons water before putting Malt Extract in. Waited 1-2 hours, closer to 2, for water boil and nothing just small air bubbles would surface. This happen to anyone? Is it the size of the pot, the burner, etc? Any remedies?

2. I sanitized the airlock and put it back together. Poured Star San up to the line and put it in the fermentation lid. Should i dilute the Star San in the airlock with water like i did when sanitizing equipment? Do you put it in the airlock before or after you put the middle piece in? It's a 3 piece airlock.

3. Star San in airlock has spilled out overnight onto bucket lid. Not a big deal but it is now half of what i put in. Should i refill to line?

Sorry this is long everyone and thanks for all the help for those who respond. I hope I'm welcomed to the forums and look forward to trying my first batch. As long as my mistakes aren't costly. Good brewing to all. Thank You



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Old 02-14-2010, 12:57 PM   #2
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1. Boil less water. Try 2 gallons next time. Your high output stove will kill itself trying to boil all that water.
2. I just use tap water after I've sanitized the airlock, some use diluted starsan, others use vodka.
3. I wouldn't bother it. If there's enough water to keep the air out, it's a-ok.



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Old 02-14-2010, 01:00 PM   #3
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Your going to need to do some smaller boils or invest in a propane burner. Personally, I live in an apartment and I do 2 gallon boils on an electric stove which works just fine for me.

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Old 02-14-2010, 01:06 PM   #4
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Did you use straight starsan in your airlock? If so, that is probably not good. If you are going to use starsan in your airlock, it should be at the same concentration you used for sanitizing your carboy (1 oz to 5 gal).

If you want to do full boils, and I think you should, you are going to need more equipment. As other said, one way you could go is by getting a propane burner and brewing outside. If this is not an option, or you just want to stay inside, look into building a heat stick. Check out this thread for more info on heatsticks.

http://www.homebrewtalk.com/f51/heatstick-awesome-142803/

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Old 02-14-2010, 03:19 PM   #5
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I've never tried this, but heard it to be effective: Wrap your brew pot in foil (all around the sides of it) and it will insulate your pot better and give you a better boil. You still might not be able to do 4 gallons, but find what gallon amount works best. To start the boil you can put the lid on too, then remove when you're about to brew... that will speed it up tremendously.

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Old 02-14-2010, 04:54 PM   #6
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1. Did you have a lid on the pot? If not add one, alot of energy is lost out the top af a pot.
2. I use vodka on my airlocks, it won't hurt the wort/beer if a vacume happens in the fermenter.

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Old 02-14-2010, 05:04 PM   #7
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You should definitely dilute the star-san with water according to the instructions. I add the appropriate amount of star-san to a gallon of distilled water... then I add that to an empty spray bottle. This makes it so I always have sanitizer on hand and ready to go without mixing every time. Once the water bottle gets low, I top it up with the 1 gallon of distilled water/star-san mix. Make sure you use distilled water if it is going to be sitting for more than a day or so... as it will begin to get cloudy with normal water and lose its effectiveness.

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Old 02-14-2010, 05:22 PM   #8
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The only sanitizer I use is unscented Clorox and then rinse like hell with hot water. Of the four fermenters I have, only one still gets enough seal for the airlock to actually work and so I just scotch tape the holes on the other three. LOL!! Of the 30 or so batches I've brewed, I've yet to lose one to any kind of infection. My point is that I think newbies get a little too anxious about sanitation and protection of their wort. I know I did! I've used just plain water in my airlock and everything turned out fine. I've actually dropped things in my wort, waited anxiously for months only to have the beer turn out great. No infection or off flavors at all. IMHO, beer brewing can be as simple or as complex as you want it to be.

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Old 02-14-2010, 11:38 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BierSnob View Post
1. Did you have a lid on the pot? If not add one, alot of energy is lost out the top af a pot.
I would not do this. I've read many times that boiling with the lid on will negatively affect the flavor. (never done it myself)
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Old 02-15-2010, 12:35 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dr_Gordon_Freeman View Post
I would not do this. I've read many times that boiling with the lid on will negatively affect the flavor. (never done it myself)
How would if affect the flavor? All you are losing is steam. All the minerals in the water stay behind, so that doesn't make alot of sense to me. Not that I'm saying its wrong, but I'd like to hear more about this. I may need to change up the way I've been doing things.


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