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Old 08-27-2013, 04:11 PM   #1
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Default First Brew (AHS Surly Furious Clone)...and some general questions

What's up, guys? A little over two weeks ago, I decided to take the plunge into home brewing. I love beer, so why not? Also, I make a pretty kick ass batch of Kool Aid, so I figured I could do a pretty decent beer. I was torn between AHS Surly Furious and Midwest Ferocious. I ended up going with AHS, mostly because they ship extremely fast and the price was right. Anyway, got a few questions (hoping that AHS might chime in here) - The AHS kit does not require dry hopping, but the Midwest one does. I'm going to do it anyway, with 2 oz Simcoe and 1 oz Amarillo. I was just wondering if anyone knew why AHS doesn't say to dry hop?

Also, I never reached a rolling boil when brewing. This is attributed to the fact that my stove is pretty much an Easy Bake and now I have an excuse to get a propane burner. This is probably not a problem, right? It was boiling, just not rolling. I'm pretty sure I never got a hot break, and it was boiling for well over 90 minutes, which I read will cause....caramelization. Would this cause any ill effects for an IPA? I certainly hope not. I'm gonna drink it anyway, but it appears I may have to try this kit again.

Another question, I now know what Whirloc is, and that you're supposed to put it in during the boil, but can I put it in the wort at any other time? Like when I transfer to secondary? On a side note, I was all into secondaries before I found this place. Since I've been reading a bunch, it seems I may have jumped the gun because I have two 6.5 gallon carboys and two 5 gallon carboys. Whoops, guess I can always do 4 batches at once!

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Old 08-27-2013, 04:17 PM   #2
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Welcome to the obsession, er, hobby!

You do need a nice rolling boil for good hops isomerization, and it's true that boiling extract for a long time will create excess maillard reactions- so it's possible that the finished beer will be a bit sweeter and less bitter than intended. It'll still be good, though!

Some stove top brewers compensate for the lowered power by boiling a bit less wort at the beginning, as well as adding the bulk of the extract at the end of the boil, and that can stop those issues.

Whirlfloc is a kettle fining- it only works in the boil- so there is no point or need to add it to the fermenter. There are other clearing agents that can be used, but your beer should clear up just fine without them. I often don't use any clearing agents at all, and my beer is clear enough to read a newspaper through. The surly clone is fairly dark for an IPA, so you may notice any haze anyway!

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Old 08-27-2013, 04:50 PM   #3
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Man, you guys are fast! Thanks, Yooper! I'm transferring to secondary this weekend. That'll make three weeks in primary and then probably 2-3 weeks in secondary. Does that sound good or no? I'll be throwing in the hops during the last week or so of secondary.

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Old 08-27-2013, 04:53 PM   #4
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Hard to follow when Yooper posts first, so I'll only add a couple of things

I started doing batches in my apartment on my POS electric stove. I found that I had to leave the lid on, but with plenty of space open to allow boil off and DMS to escape. That gave me a decent rolling boil. I didn't seem to have many or at least vigorous hot breaks either, and I was doing full boils in my 8 gallons pot, which put it to the brim.

After my first batch, I started doing the late additions, it it was easier to me, and one less thing to worry about (Burning the extract).

And I'll second Yooper on just letting it sit to clear, most of the time, time is just as good as putting something in it. And unless you are wanting to submit it to a competition, or perhaps extremely OCD about your beer clarity, it won't affect anything anyway.

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Old 08-27-2013, 04:55 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by DasHos View Post
Man, you guys are fast! Thanks, Yooper! I'm transferring to secondary this weekend. That'll make three weeks in primary and then probably 2-3 weeks in secondary. Does that sound good or no? I'll be throwing in the hops during the last week or so of secondary.
Given that you have so many other container options, is there a particular reason you want to move it?

It certainly is not necessary. In fact, if you go ahead and dry hop in the primary this weekend, you should be able to bottle the next. Assuming you're at FG and all that good stuff
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Old 08-27-2013, 04:58 PM   #6
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Oh yeah, I forgot, I'm glad you said that it was pretty dark for an IPA, because mine is extremely dark! I thought it was because I only boiled 3.5 gallons and added all the DME and LME at the beginning. I'm going to try full volume boil next, and adding the extract towards the end of the boil.

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Old 08-27-2013, 05:00 PM   #7
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Remember too, even when you do lighter beers, that the larger volume of liquid will make it look a lot darker than what the final product will actually be in a glass. So don't let that scare you. But adding the extract near the end, does help in preventing it from scorching, just in case you leave the burner on.

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Old 08-27-2013, 05:01 PM   #8
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Given that you have so many other container options, is there a particular reason you want to move it?

It certainly is not necessary. In fact, if you go ahead and dry hop in the primary this weekend, you should be able to bottle the next. Assuming you're at FG and all that good stuff
Yeah except I totally forgot to take a hydrometer reading before pitching the yeast. I'm going to be using pellets to dry hop. Will they eventually sink to the bottom? I've also got a spare fridge that I'm going to use for some lagers, but I was also thinking of doing a cold crash with this one. (I didn't even know what a cold crash was two days ago. I love this site!)
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Old 08-27-2013, 05:06 PM   #9
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Oh yeah, I forgot, I'm glad you said that it was pretty dark for an IPA, because mine is extremely dark! I thought it was because I only boiled 3.5 gallons and added all the DME and LME at the beginning. I'm going to try full volume boil next, and adding the extract towards the end of the boil.
Yes, adding the DME and LME upfront and boiling on 3.5 gallons (plus using extract in the first place) will mean a darker colored beer. Surly is pretty dark anyway, so you may not be all that far off colorwise anyway (and besides, if it tastes great, who cares?!?)

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Yeah except I totally forgot to take a hydrometer reading before pitching the yeast. I'm going to be using pellets to dry hop. Will they eventually sink to the bottom? I've also got a spare fridge that I'm going to use for some lagers, but I was also thinking of doing a cold crash with this one. (I didn't even know what a cold crash was two days ago. I love this site!)
Assuming you topped up to the correct volume, your OG is whatever the kit says it will be so don't worry about that.

Pellet hops don't all sink. They do disintegrate, and some will float and some will sink. I like to dryhop for 5-7 days before packaging, and rack carefully to avoid sucking them up. Some people use sanitized paint strainer bags over their racking cane to sort of filter out the chunks. I tried that, and it clogged up for me, but many people have good results with that. You just have to be careful not to aerate or otherwise oxidize the beer.

And I think three weeks primary plus a couple weeks in the secondary is WAY overkill! Hoppy beers are best fresh. I'd leave it sit until it's done fermenting, and pretty clear. Then dryhop for 5-7 days and package it.
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Old 08-27-2013, 05:07 PM   #10
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That's one of the nice things about extracts, assuming you got the majority of the extract out, the OG should be pretty dang close to what the kit was. You can take a reading while in primary as well. Do you have a wine thief or other apparatus to draw a sample? Some of the pellets will drop to the bottom and will become part of the trub, or you can add them into a sanitized muslin bag and place it in.

Cold crashing is fine if you want, but also not necessary. It helps to knock most of the rest of the sediment from suspension, but when dry hopping, may have an effect on the aroma. But it's up to you. When you bottle and let it sit over 3 weeks, it will form another trub layer of anything left over, and then you effectively cold crash the bottles when you fridge them and that will knock out anything else.

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Kegs: Sunset Orange Kolsch Redux
Future: Black IPA Redux, possibly others
2013 Previous: Sunrise Honey Rye Pale Ale, Dark Skies Black IPA, Sunset Orange Kolsch, All Hallow's Eve Pumpkin Ale, Maple Vanilla Brown Ale, Raining Hops and Dogs IPA, Starry Night Vanilla Bourbon Porter

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