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Old 09-07-2012, 09:35 AM   #1
bhfd64
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Default First Brew!

So I've recently got all of my brand new equipment, gadgets, and ingredients lined up. Set up my brew environment. Fixing to pull off my very first brew. It's an extract kit with some crushed grains included also. Here is the schedule I've drawn up from a few sources and printed off for myself to follow on the big day. Looking for any advice, adjustments, tips, or even just wishes of luck. Thanks!

Brew Day

Clean brewpot, stirring spoon. Sanitize teaspoon, yeast jar, fermentor/lid, airlock, hydrometer, strainer, turkey baster, measuring cup, and thermometer.

1. Prepare yeast.

a. Put 1 cup of warm (95-100F) boiled water into sanitized jar and stir in yeast. Cover with saran wrap and sit 15 minutes.
b. Boil 1 teaspoon extract in small amount of water. Allow cooling and add to jar. Cover and place in warm area.

2. Boiling and cooling

a. Bring 3 gallons of water to a boil in brewpot. Pour into fermentor and leave to cool.
b. Bring another 3 gallons of water to 175F in brewpot. Steep grains for 30 minutes while water is between 150-170F. Squeeze when removing from wort.
c. Bring wort to a boil and remove from heat. Dissolve malt extract in wort and return to rolling boil, stirring occasionally.
d. Wort will foam until protein clumps get heavy enough to sink back into pot. Will see particles floating in wort. May resemble “Egg drop soup.” This is the hot break
e. Wait for hot break to occur (5-20 minutes) and add bittering hops. Time for 1 hour.
f. Add half of the finishing hops with 30 minutes remaining in boil.
g. Add other half of finishing hops with 15 minutes remaining in boil.
h. Precipitate “cold break” via ice bath. Target temperature is 80F.

Take sample for gravity reading here.

3. Pitch yeast

a. Pour rehydrated yeast solution into water that is already in fermentation bucket.

4. Aerate wort

a. Pour cooled wort through strainer and into fermentation bucket aggressively so that it splashes and churns in the bucket.
b. Affix bucket lid and shake vigorously. Place airlock.

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Old 09-07-2012, 10:13 AM   #2
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I wait till right before I'm going to do an ice bath on th hot wort in the BK before using 1.5C of boiled & cooled water to re-hydrate the yeast for 20-30 minutes. No need to add sugar or malt.
If you want to pre-boil water to top off with,boil it & put it in a covered container in the fridge to cool overnight. And steeping is best between 150-165F. 170-175F can leach bitter tannins from the hulls. Rinsing the grains (called sparging would be better.
When the wort is just short of boiling,you get the foamy hot break. The wet popcorn lookin stuff comes from rapid cooling of the hot wort called cold break.
If you're using a brew kit,follow the instructions for hop addition times or the flavor won't be as intended.
Take hydrometer sample after thoroughly mixing chilled wort & top off water. Then stir yeast cream before pitching. Aerating is best done while mixing wort & top off before pitching. I use a large fine mesh strainer at the point where I'm mixing wort & top off in fermenter.
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Old 09-07-2012, 10:33 AM   #3
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I'll be using a fine mesh strainer as well for mixing into fermenter. Duly noted on the steeping temperatures. Appreciate your fine tunings.

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Old 09-07-2012, 01:00 PM   #4
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You don't have to sanitize the measuring cup or thermometer. Do you have any fermcap-s? You might want to use it when the hot break begins to form, especially if your pot doesn't have a lot of headspace. You don't need to take gravitity readings from an extract-only recipe. If you do, it will be 5/3 higher than you expect, excluding correcting for temperature. Also, if you are using liquid extract, add it at or near the end of the boil.

If you want a cooler pitching temperature, you can wait until the wort has cooled to ambient temperature (overnight).

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Old 09-07-2012, 01:12 PM   #5
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Try to kelp your fermentation temps in control if possible; high fermentation temps acan produce off flavors, wort fermentation temps WILL be higher than ambient temps.

Ive also found you can do a lot of prep, cleaning, etc., while your steeping water is heating & while the wort us boiling. My first couple brew sessions took a really long time because I cleaned, sanitized, prep'd EVERYTHING prior to even putting my BK on the burner!

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Old 09-07-2012, 01:13 PM   #6
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If I read correctly, you mention pouring boiling water into your fermenter (2a) - I'd advise caution on that. Whether it is glass, Better Bottle or a plastic bucket, boiling water can have a bad affect on it. I'd let it cool into the low 100°'s before I'd our it in.

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Old 09-07-2012, 01:56 PM   #7
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Oh ya, Oh Ya, Cakes and Pies! Cakes and Pies!!

After this you'll go, brewing is easy! And it is, don't sweat if something 'goes wrong', following the directions, and you'll make beer.

BTW, the most important part you left off..... what the heck are you making?? and list out your ingrediants please. Kit or your own recipe?

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Old 09-07-2012, 07:24 PM   #8
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I am new and for my own point of reference I question the " Squeeze when removing from wort" as pertaining to the steeping grains. Most of what I have read or seen in videos tells me do not squeeze grain bag. Can someone with more knowledge address that?

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Old 09-07-2012, 07:29 PM   #9
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If you put the yeast in 95 degree water you will most likely cook it. Better to let the water cool to the upper end of the fermentation range before adding the yeast.

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Old 09-07-2012, 07:30 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by menerdari View Post
I am new and for my own point of reference I question the " Squeeze when removing from wort" as pertaining to the steeping grains. Most of what I have read or seen in videos tells me do not squeeze grain bag. Can someone with more knowledge address that?
I have also read that people squeeze the heck out of the bags with no bad flavors. I've squeezed probably harder than I should with no bad off tastes. I want to use up all that liquid
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