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Old 02-07-2013, 05:15 PM   #1
kebrugler
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Default First brew plan... Critique

So I plan on brewing my first beer this weekend. It is an extract brew with specialty grains: Irish Stout kit from Midwest.

Plan is to use a 30 quart aluminum kettle (oxidized) to get 6 gallons of water up to 155 and steep for 30 minutes. I will then add the lme once boiling (no late addition needed as its dark?) off of the flame, and then when bag to a boil add hops. Once complete I will cool down with any top off water to get back to 5.25 gallons and an ice bath in the snow. I will then pour it through a paint bag, aerate it, take gravity reeding, and then add my rehydrated yeast (I know not necessary). Then I plan on storing it in a cooler where if need be I can add up to about the 4 gallon mark on bucket water, and add frozen bottles if needed.

Anything I'm missing? Will sterilize anything coming into contact with the wort after boil with Star San. And plan on cleaning everything before hand with the 1 step cleaner. I have a spray bottle to keep boil overs at bay, and one for star San. I think I ready to go...

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Old 02-07-2013, 07:10 PM   #2
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Trying to cool 5 gallons from boil to pitching temp with an ice bath and snow bank is going to take forever. You may want to consider doing a partial boil (2 or 3 gallons) and then topping off with cold water. That will speed up your process.

Otherwise, seems fine. Best of luck!

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Old 02-07-2013, 07:29 PM   #3
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Just an afterthought: how clearly labeled are your spray bottles?

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Old 02-07-2013, 07:30 PM   #4
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Instead of trying to cool your kettle in the snow, set it in a tub of cold water and add the snow to that. It will cool much faster. Make sure that your kettle doesn't tip over. I've had mine try a couple times.

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Old 02-07-2013, 07:40 PM   #5
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Good advice - surprisingly enough, a snowbank does not a good chiller make. Ask me how I know.

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Old 02-07-2013, 07:43 PM   #6
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Make sure to prop your kettle up on something helps cool faster if water can flow under it as well.

I find that a cupcake pan works very well.

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Old 02-07-2013, 07:57 PM   #7
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Everything sounds like what I would do. So I'm going to stick to the cooling part.

Adding salt to a ice bath will bring down the temperature ( saw it on mythbusters for cooling beer the fastest)

Snow banks will melt forming a insulator allowing the metal pot to warm back up.

Anyone have a problem with adding sanitized ice jars to 115 degree wort?

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Old 02-07-2013, 08:35 PM   #8
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Good call. I will bring my cooler outside with me and add snow to that while stirring water around. I'm guessing ill have some burnoff and be under 5 gallons at the end so that I can add some ice to top off with, sanitized of course.

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Old 02-09-2013, 02:33 PM   #9
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I'm getting worried that I won't be able to cool the Wort down quick enough for a "cold break" to happen. Would it be beneficial to only start with 5 gallons, and then top off to 5.25 with ice to cool it quicker, rather than start with 6 gallons and not be able to cool it efficiently? Also, would Late LME benefit me at all? I don't want it to have the twang taste people talk about, it is a stout though so darkness doesn't matter.

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Old 02-09-2013, 02:45 PM   #10
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Don't get too hung up on getting it cooled quick enough. The Aussies invented "no chill" and they don't get any cold break but their beers turn out gook tasting and clear. I think if you put it in the water bath I suggested you will get cold break anyway.

I don't know if late extract addition will help you but it won't hurt either so I'd suggest you try it.

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