First Batch, First Post (SG and "next batch" questions at the end)
This is my first post to this forum. I found this site last night while doing my first batch. I'm really glad I found this site.
Yesterday I purchased a kit from Annapolis Home Brew which included the basic stuff: bottling bucket, glass carboy, thermometer, stirrer, etc. I also got a "accessory kit" that had the hydrometer, auto-syphon, and thief. After reading up (a little) on brewing, I knew these things would helpful.
I also purchased an Oktoberfest recipe. I'm not sure if that's an appropriate recipe for a n00b, but I didn't get the impression that the guys at Annapolis Home Brew would let me get in over my head.
As a n00b, I made a fair amount of mistakes, but now that I've gone through the process, I have that all-important experiential knowledge that you can only gain from actually doing it. Still, I felt somewhat like Jerry Lewis throughout the whole thing.
So, now for my questions:
First, anything (apart from what I've already acknowledged) that I could have/ should have done differently?
As a n00b, I'm obviously paranoid about everything, though reading the 14 page lead pipe thread helped me understand that I shouldn't worry so much.
Second, hydrometer read (I think) 1.480 before pitching. Does this seem right?
Third, (yes, I've already read the n00b advice saying what a stupid question this is) I'm thinking about my second batch already. My two favorite beers are marzen and brown ales. I'm thinking maybe this second batch should be another marzen. I'm not sure if I should just get this one right before I go buggering about with different recipes.
That's it from me. If you made it this far, thanks for the read!
Congrats on your first beer
Welcome to Home Brew Talk
Answers to your questions
2.) with what I read about your kit your gravity looks just about right it is intended to only be about 4.8% ABV
3.) you should try a brown ale don't be afraid, Ales are very forgiving and doing these kits will help you get your process down, so you can branch out and try different things
Again Congrats on your first brew
and Welcome to HBT
Your experience does not sound to terrible and you will get better with each batch. One important note is to control your fermentation temperature and keep it in the range of the yeast which for ales is in the mid 60's.
You might try a liquid sanitizer like Star San or Iodaphor which are no rinse. I have a 10 gallon pail and keep all the brewing equipment soaking in 5 gallons of iodaphor as I use it.
If you stir the wort as it is cooling in the ice bath it will cool faster. Good luck on the next batch.
Thanks for the replies! I ran out today and got a 5 gallon carboy for the second ferment and another batch of ingredients for another marzen which I'll start while bottling the first batch.
I really like the fact that Annapolis Home Brew sells recipe kits, even though I'm a bit dismayed that they refuse to say what specific ingredients are in the kits. At the same time, I'm new and frankly don't need to know yet.
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