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Home Brew Forums > Home Brewing Beer > Beginners Beer Brewing Forum > First Batch Tomorrow Morning, Couple of Last Minute Questions
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Old 01-07-2011, 04:31 AM   #1
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Default First Batch Tomorrow Morning, Couple of Last Minute Questions

I am going to be making a my first batch of brew in the morning. I am using a Midwest Autumn Amber extract kit. I have two options for the brewing process.

I can either do a partial boil of 3 gallons on the stove, or I also have the option of doing a full boil in an 30 quart turkey fryer pot. The turkey fryer has never been used before. I did boil a round of water for about 30 minutes last weekend. I was able to achieve a full boil with 5.5 gallons of water in 18 minutes.

My thought is to steep the specialty grains on the stove in about 3 gallons of water to have a little better control in maintaining the prescribed 155 degree temperature for 30 minutes, and then pour this into the big pot on the propane burner with another 3 gallons already partially heated to around the same temperature. Based on what I have read on here, 6 gallons seems to be the the ideal starting point for a 60 minute boil to end up with 5 gallons final volume.

For cooling, I have a 70 qt cooler that I plan to submerge the boil kettle in when it comes off the heat. When I did a test round last weekend I was able to get the temp of boiling water down to 80 degrees in just under 20 minutes. I have the cooler rigged up so that the water slowly trickles in from the drain plug giving a constant water change. While cooling, I stirred about every 3 or 4 minutes. I am thinking I will probably put a few frozen milk jugs in the water cooler to speed this up slightly.

Anything that I am missing. Hopefully this first round will go off smoothly.

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Old 01-07-2011, 04:34 AM   #2
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Sounds like a good plan. Definitely go with the full boil over a partial boil. Let us know how it turns out!

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Old 01-07-2011, 04:37 AM   #3
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Unless you know your water ph, I would steep in much less water or you may extract tannins if your water gets to hot. I know I did!

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Old 01-07-2011, 04:45 AM   #4
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if I can accurately maintain 150-155 degrees without going over, am I safe to use more water?

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Old 01-07-2011, 04:46 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sudsmcgee View Post
Unless you know your water ph, I would steep in much less water or you may extract tannins if your water gets to hot. I know I did!
Seems like the jury is out on how much water to use for steeping (not mashing): http://www.homebrewtalk.com/f37/what...-grains-51609/

But when I do extract only batches, I tend to steep in much less water as well.
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Old 01-07-2011, 01:51 PM   #6
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While the standard batch is 5 gallons, I prefer just a little more (like 5.25 gallons) so when I bottle I end up with at least 2 cases of bottles. 5 gallons will leave you just a little short.

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Old 01-07-2011, 02:21 PM   #7
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I wouldn't go for 6 gallons while aiming for 5, maybe 5 or 5.25 until you know how much you're going to boil off. No harm if you have to add a gallon or less to fermenter.

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Old 01-07-2011, 02:27 PM   #8
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Take a long stick or pipe or something you can sanitize. Pour one gallon of water at a time into your kettle and mark off each gallon point with a sharpie on the measuring stick. Go to 7 gallons or so.

Boil the water for an hour and measure how much is left. This will tell you about what your boiloff will be and should help you determine how much wort to start with in the kettle.

Wider kettles tend to boil off more, colder days, and windy days too. I'd start with 6 though, because you'll likely boil off a gal.

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Old 01-07-2011, 03:05 PM   #9
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I did my first batch last Saturday. I did the full boil and think you'll be glad you did it, if you do. I steeped my grains in the full volume and had no problem controlling the temp. I used a floating thermometer and it was fine. Try and get all the "tea" out of the grains that you can.

Also, I used Beersmith, with my recipe and according to BS and my equipment details, I needed 6.34 gallons of water, preboil, to end up with 5 gallons. I ended up pretty darn close to where I needed to be. Mark you spoon at the 5 Gallon level.

I have 30QT kettle and while it was full, I barely had any boil over. Just keep a spray bottle of water and if it looks like it's about to boil over, give it a shot. It really works well.

Good luck and relax! It was a blast and I can't wait to do it again.

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Old 01-07-2011, 05:46 PM   #10
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[QUOTE=rustym;2530936] I used a floating thermometer and it was fine.





Where did you get a floating thermometer? I want one....

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