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Old 01-25-2008, 02:08 PM   #1
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Default Bittering Hops Introduction

I am doing my first brew today. Irish red ale. Instructions say to pitch bittering hops at beginning of boil. Palmer seems to favor waiting to pitch after the hot break to reduce boilover potential. Seems reasonable. Opinions for or against? Thanks.

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Old 01-25-2008, 02:17 PM   #2
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If you have a good strong boil you should be at your hot break in 5 minutes or so, I normally dont wait. As soon as its rolling nice I toss them in.
Either way will work fine.

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Old 01-25-2008, 05:18 PM   #3
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Not going to hurt any thing to wait for hot break. Just start your timer when you add the hops not when you start the boil. I often have a little too much volume at the start of my boil so I often boil for 15-20 mins before adding the hops and starting the timer. When you do AG, believe me the hot break comes fast and can cause a boil over even with a small amount of wort in a big pot. Its much easier to wait until the excitement dies down before adding hops.

Craig

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Old 01-25-2008, 05:33 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CBBaron
Its much easier to wait until the excitement dies down before adding hops.
Man, I agree there. I used to skim the foam until everything stabilized before I added bittering hops. Now, I just use Fermcap S.


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Old 01-25-2008, 07:11 PM   #5
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Default Well That's Done

The wort is in the fermenter and I am basking in the afterglo for a little while before cleaning things up. I can see that I am going to have to establish a brewing area for myself. I don't think Wifey is going to tolerate a whole lot of this activity taking place in her kitchen.

Commentary on the process:

Fairly easy. The only time I got a bit agitated is when everthing is coming together at the end. I tried to be organized but there is certainly room for improvement. My OG was spot-on with what the recipe predicted, about 1.06.

The wort boiling process has me a bit stymied. I boiled for 10-15 minutes and never witnessed what I expected to recognize as the hot break. A little foaming but not too bad. Little solids visible. I went ahead and added the pelletized bittering hops with no seeming affect on the boil except for the marvelous aroma which subsided somewhat as the boil continued. The only time the batch appeared the least bit unruly was after adding the whirlfloc tab about 45 minutes in. Lots of foam then. A bit of foam later when steeping the aroma hops. The thing was really boiling vigorously the whole time.

I was surprised at how effective the icewater bath was at reducing the wort temperature. It only took about 20 minutes to reduce the temperature to the point where I could mix the wort with 45 deg tap water. First attempt to measure OG with the beer thief failed due to my failure to appreciate how stratified the wort was in the fermenter. A good stir and another reading worked out great.

Now I am watching and waiting. Thanks for all the help.

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Old 01-25-2008, 07:13 PM   #6
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Many times you don't get a hot break when you use extract- the extract has already been through the hot break, so you don't usually get another big one. Sometimes a little bit.

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Old 01-25-2008, 07:13 PM   #7
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I think Palmer has a point. Also if you wait for the hot break, you get a chance to skim off some of the crud that forms, once you add the hops you can't really skim that stuff out anymore without removing the hops as well.

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Old 01-25-2008, 07:16 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by YooperBrew
Many times you don't get a hot break when you use extract- the extract has already been through the hot break, so you don't usually get another big one. Sometimes a little bit.
Well that would certainly explain what I observed. Thanks so much.

Also, I forgot to mention also how easily the DME dissolved. I wasn't expecting that. It looked like so much material going into so little water.
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Old 01-25-2008, 09:16 PM   #9
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Default Bubbles

About 1 per minute after only three hours. How exciting.

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Old 01-25-2008, 09:20 PM   #10
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I assume it's an extract on the stove?

If that's the case, yes...wait until after the initial foaming of the wort.

If you were doing all grain, I'd suggest a first wort hop. It seems that FWH additions tend to be more tame on the boil than at post boil addition.

Don't leave that boiling pot alone for one moment. It will boil over on you.

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