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Old 10-14-2011, 04:45 PM   #1
jpar345
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Default Brewing my first batch tomorrow, last minute advice and encouragement?

It's an American Pale Ale kit I bought at the local HBS. I think I have everything I need. Any last minute tips, advice or words of encouragement to get me started? I made cider but it came out tasting more like apple wine since I decided not to carbonate it. Now I'm ready for BEER!

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Old 10-14-2011, 05:01 PM   #2
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Have patience and leave the primary for 3-4 weeks before bottling.

Once it's fermenting, get another one planned so your pipeline is going.

B

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Old 10-14-2011, 05:02 PM   #3
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1. Follow the instructions.
2. RHA(SB)B, but wait until the batch is in the fermenter. After you have some experience and some homebrew, you can have a few during the process.

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Old 10-14-2011, 05:05 PM   #4
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Don't brew with friends around, it gets really distracting and your far more likely to make mistakes.

My first step (for all grain) is to start heating the water first, then start measuring and cleaning and getting everything set up.

Make sure you have all ingredients on hand and set out, pre measured if possible.

I like to print my beersmith recipe sheet and tack it up with a sheet of notebook paper next to it. I take notes of every step on the notebook paper as I brew and then fill in the beersmith sheet with my measurements (pre boil gravity, volumes, temps etc...) I keep all of my recipes in a three ring binder for easy future reference.

Dont drink at all until your done with the boil (even a beer or two throws me off and I tend to get lazy and miss little things.

I like to use my spare time (waiting for the boil, during the mash rests etc...doing things like other beer chores. Cleaning kegs, bottling, racking to a secondary etc..

Good luck, and welcome to what can be a very rewarding hobby!

Prost!

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Old 10-14-2011, 05:12 PM   #5
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If you don't have a wort chiller,make sure you pick up a large bag of ice to chill the wort in the BK down to pitch temp. I use about half a 20lb bag. I had a "duuh!" moment last Sunday after 2 cold water baths to take some of the high edge off the temps. I was going to fill the sink 2/3 full of water,then realized I should fill the empty space with ice,then top off with water. Dooooh! It chilled the wort down to 68F in 20 minutes flat.
And,If you have a fine mesh strainer,put that on top of the FV,then pour the wort through it,dito with top off water. It aerates all pretty darn good. Then stir vigorously for 5 solid minutes to get it all mixed well. Then take your OG reading & pitch.
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Old 10-14-2011, 05:26 PM   #6
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Clean and sanitize everything. If there is any question if a piece of equipment is sanitized then re-sanitize it. I cannot stress this part enough. I almost quite brewing when I first started out because my sanitization practices were horrible. Nothing beats down your spirits like putting in all that time and money into a brew and when you pop the top on your first beer you get a gusher.

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Old 10-14-2011, 05:57 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by birvine View Post
Have patience and leave the primary for 3-4 weeks before bottling.

Once it's fermenting, get another one planned so your pipeline is going.

B
+1

Prepare ahead so there are no surprises.

Sanitize EVERYTHING.

Follow your brew directions exactly, be sure your wort is at an acceptable temperature for your yeast before pitching.

Patience. Leave it alone! You'll want to look, you'll want to taste, you'll want to shave a couple days and bottle early out of excitement - REFRAIN and let it be. 3-4 weeks in the bucket then bottle - I tend to leave my beers 5-8 weeks depending the beer.

Most importantly, have fun~! Have a couple beers (keep a level head), I always have friends around for brew days including my first, it was helpful to have a second set of hands and a second opinion.

Post back a picture of your first!
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Old 10-14-2011, 06:00 PM   #8
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Watch your boil to make sure you don't get a boil over....my biggest mistake on my first brew. Also read thru your recipe a coupe of times to familiarize yourself...minutes go quick

Don't mind if I do!

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Old 10-14-2011, 08:10 PM   #9
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I'll try to take some pics. It's an extract kit, not gonna mess with all grain til I have a few extracts under my belt (and if I feel the urge to continue home brewing at that point). Thanks for the pointers, I definitely need to be more anal about sanitizing everything and pay closer attention to temps than last time... I figured it would be harder to screw up the hobo cider I made.

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Old 10-14-2011, 08:21 PM   #10
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All in all, it is pretty hard to screw up a batch of beer. Yes you can have infections or some funky off flavors from too high a ferment but basically it's boil the wort, add any hops at the right times, cool it as fast as possible (2-3 hours is not necessarily going to ruin the beer), aerate the wort before pitching the yeast and keep the yeasties at a happy temp for fermentation. Sanitize everything that touches the wort post boil and infections are usually moot!

Don't stress too much, especially now in the beginning. Once you have a few batches in then you can start to worry about quality.

Accurate measurement of temps, volumes, gravities, and times can help a lot but not always the most crucial.

You will do great and make some great beer so good luck and enjoy!

P.S. Reading all you can here on HBT and Palmers "How to Brew" is good too!

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