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Old 03-25-2013, 09:31 AM   #1
Soccerboy016
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Default A Couple Questions on a 1st Time Brew.

Hello everyone and I want to thank you in advance for any advice you can give me. I am going to brew my first batch of beer ever and i am really excited. I am Brewing Brewers Best WitBier (Yes i know its and intermediate Kit, but steep-to-convert does not seem hard at all).

After reading the directions I have a few questions:

1) After brewing the wort i need to cool it, I understand that, most suggest an ice bath of the brew pot, so my question is since i have this approx 2.5 gallons of hot wort can I start the cooling by combining it with 2 gallons room temp water that i have in my plastic fermentation bucket, take a temp reading and then add the last .5 gal hot or cold water (as needed based on temp reading) and then if need be ice the fermentation bucket to get the ideal temp instead?

2) My next question is about secondary fermentation, and it is pretty much when (how many days) do i do it? My directions are not the clear with this. It just says 5-7 days. What am I looking for?

3) How good is the Safbrew WB-06 Powdered Yeast? Should I change it?

Thank You once again for any advice given in advance.

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Old 03-25-2013, 10:17 AM   #2
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1. Yes. If you can get some water into the freezer (ice cold, not frozen), even better.

2. Secondary is not necessary unless you are adding ingredients. Just primary for 2-3 weeks.

3. I haven't used it. No comment.

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Old 03-25-2013, 11:26 AM   #3
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+1 to the above. I have also not used Safbrew WB-06 but I would recommend that you re-hydrate any dry yeast before you pitch. Basically, boil a cup or two of water and let it cool to around 90-100. Sprinkle the yeast in. Once it cools down to room temp, pitch the slurry into your wort.

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Old 03-25-2013, 11:49 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Soccerboy016 View Post
Hello everyone and I want to thank you in advance for any advice you can give me. I am going to brew my first batch of beer ever and i am really excited. I am Brewing Brewers Best WitBier (Yes i know its and intermediate Kit, but steep-to-convert does not seem hard at all).

After reading the directions I have a few questions:

1) After brewing the wort i need to cool it, I understand that, most suggest an ice bath of the brew pot, so my question is since i have this approx 2.5 gallons of hot wort can I start the cooling by combining it with 2 gallons room temp water that i have in my plastic fermentation bucket, take a temp reading and then add the last .5 gal hot or cold water (as needed based on temp reading) and then if need be ice the fermentation bucket to get the ideal temp instead?

2) My next question is about secondary fermentation, and it is pretty much when (how many days) do i do it? My directions are not the clear with this. It just says 5-7 days. What am I looking for?

3) How good is the Safbrew WB-06 Powdered Yeast? Should I change it?

Thank You once again for any advice given in advance.
1. Yes. This is actually my preferred method for chilling whenever I'm not doing full boils. Take some water and put it in the fridge at the beginning of your brew, and it'll get your wort down to pitching temperatures in no time. If it doesn't get the wort down to below 70*, you can supplement with the ice bath.

2. As mentioned before, secondary isn't really necessary unless you're adding ingredients (like dry hopping, vanilla beans, etc). Just let it stay in primary for around 3 weeks, and you'll be good. My general measure is I take a hydrometer reading, make sure it's stable, then let the beer sit for another week so the yeast can clean up byproducts.

3. It should be a good yeast for the style. Just don't let the temperature get above 70*, or the yeast will give you some banana flavors. It won't be as bad as other strains, but it's still a threat to a balanced flavor.
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Old 03-25-2013, 01:49 PM   #5
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Thank you guys for the info.

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Old 03-25-2013, 02:01 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Soccerboy016 View Post
Hello everyone and I want to thank you in advance for any advice you can give me. I am going to brew my first batch of beer ever and i am really excited. I am Brewing Brewers Best WitBier (Yes i know its and intermediate Kit, but steep-to-convert does not seem hard at all).

After reading the directions I have a few questions:

1) After brewing the wort i need to cool it, I understand that, most suggest an ice bath of the brew pot, so my question is since i have this approx 2.5 gallons of hot wort can I start the cooling by combining it with 2 gallons room temp water that i have in my plastic fermentation bucket, take a temp reading and then add the last .5 gal hot or cold water (as needed based on temp reading) and then if need be ice the fermentation bucket to get the ideal temp instead?

2) My next question is about secondary fermentation, and it is pretty much when (how many days) do i do it? My directions are not the clear with this. It just says 5-7 days. What am I looking for?

3) How good is the Safbrew WB-06 Powdered Yeast? Should I change it?

Thank You once again for any advice given in advance.
1. No.

I mean, you can but then you have 5 gallons of too warm wort, and that takes even longer to chill to 65 degrees! (I know this from experience). So, cool the wort in the pot to under 90 degrees first, and then pour into the fermenter and add cold water to 5 gallons. You should be right about 60-65 degrees then- perfect for pitching the yeast!

2. You can leave it in the fermenter and skip secondary if you want. There is no advantage to racking a witbier to a clearing vessel. If you choose to do so, just wait until the fermentation is done (probably about 10 days or so) before moving it. I would not. I would leave it in the fermenter for 14 days or so and then bottle it, if the SG reading is stable over at least a few days.

3. Yes, it's fine for a wheat beer.



Those Brewer's Best kits are fine beginner's kits, and the instructions are pretty good so you're all set!
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Old 03-25-2013, 08:00 PM   #7
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I freeze blocks of water which I put in with my wort. It brings the temp down in 10 minutes. As for secondary, many on here do not do it but I believe it is a key step in getting clear beer with very little sediment in the bottles but to each his own. I usually leave in primary for 2 weeks and then secondary for another 2.

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