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Old 09-08-2011, 10:16 PM   #1
aycockbrews
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Default first brew questions.

ok im about to do my first batch a muntons pre hopped bitter IPA. I have a few questions.

1. can I use a dial meat thermometer about 6 in long?

2. will a sticky fish tank type theremometer be enough?

I ask because I would mount it to the outsude of the bucket. that way I would know when to pitch. and the temp during fermenration. I also have a small out door thermometer mounted inside the frig to give me 2 readings.

3. do I need a hydrometer for this first brew?

4. can I use the same thermometer to boil and pitch?

I plan on doing more brews and uping my skill level slowly. im on a budget and using what I have works best for me. aslong as it works. then in the future im gonna get a better thermometer. is that a good idea?

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Old 09-08-2011, 10:24 PM   #2
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1-as long is it's in the right temp range
2-yes
3-no....but make sure your water measurements are correct
4-as long as it's sanitized

We all started right where you are. Good luck on your brew

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Old 09-08-2011, 10:28 PM   #3
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Im not a master brewer yet but I have about 10 AG brews under my belt so I figure I'd weigh in....

1. Yes, This is what I used. Try to get a reading in ice water to see how close the temp is to accurate I believe 32F is ice water.
2. The fish stick thermometer on the bucket will give you an idea and should work ok to keep you in the yeast temp range.
3. You dont absolutely need a Hydrometer, but if you plan on continuing to brew and want to get better at it, its a must.


Quote:
Originally Posted by aycockbrews View Post
ok im about to do my first batch a muntons pre hopped bitter IPA. I have a few questions.

1. can I use a dial meat thermometer about 6 in long?

2. will a sticky fish tank type theremometer be enough?

I ask because I would mount it to the outsude of the bucket. that way I would know when to pitch. and the temp during fermenration. I also have a small out door thermometer mounted inside the frig to give me 2 readings.

3. do I need a hydrometer for this first brew?

4. can I use the same thermometer to boil and pitch?

I plan on doing more brews and uping my skill level slowly. im on a budget and using what I have works best for me. aslong as it works. then in the future im gonna get a better thermometer. is that a good idea?
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Old 09-08-2011, 10:29 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by aycockbrews View Post
ok im about to do my first batch a muntons pre hopped bitter IPA. I have a few questions.

1. can I use a dial meat thermometer about 6 in long?

2. will a sticky fish tank type theremometer be enough?

I ask because I would mount it to the outsude of the bucket. that way I would know when to pitch. and the temp during fermenration. I also have a small out door thermometer mounted inside the frig to give me 2 readings.

3. do I need a hydrometer for this first brew?

4. can I use the same thermometer to boil and pitch?

I plan on doing more brews and uping my skill level slowly. im on a budget and using what I have works best for me. aslong as it works. then in the future im gonna get a better thermometer. is that a good idea?
1. Yes. Be sure to thoroughly clean and sanitize it.

2. The sticky type work well, but the wort inside is typically a couple degrees higher.

3. A hydrometer is a great investment, especially for your first brew. This will take the guess work out and ensure you leave it long enough for the yeast to do their thing.

4. Yes. Only after cleaning and sanitizing. Anything that touches the wort post boil needs to be thoroughly sanitized.

Good luck on your first brew.
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Old 09-08-2011, 11:03 PM   #5
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you don't have to have a hydrometer right away. i would recommend getting one in the next few weeks as funds become available. also get a theif (about $9 at your LHBS)

some advice.
1. don't follow your kits instructions with regards to time. It will probably say let sit for a week and then bottle. let it sit for about 3 weeks (this is why you have plenty of time to get a hydrometer).
2. relax, don't worry, have a home brew. (RDWHAHB) you'll make mistakes. it happens.
3. your brew day won't be perfect. you might accidently do any of the following: leave out an ingredient, drop something into the wort, stick your finger (or arm) into the wort, pitch your yeast too hot, have a boilover, forget to aerate your wort, forget to mix the wort and water, forget to sanitize your spoon, take too long to cool your wort, and a host of other things. if any of these happen, see #2. its harder to mess up beer than you think. don't make it a habit of making these mistakes, but you and your beer will live.
4. sanitize, sanitize, sanitize
5. sanitize, sanitize, sanitize

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Old 09-08-2011, 11:09 PM   #6
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Motleybrews - I just did my first brew this last weekend and uh...I'm supposed to aerate the wort? What will this do to it?

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Old 09-09-2011, 07:43 AM   #7
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Motleybrews - I just did my first brew this last weekend and uh...I'm supposed to aerate the wort? What will this do to it?
after you cool it, and dump into the bucket (splashing is ok), you want to get in there with a sanitized spoon and stir the hell out of it. get the water and wort all mixed together. if you want to take an OG, now would be a good time. Then pitch your yeast, stir it in, seal up the bucket or carboy, put in airlock. then you can either rock it back and forth for a few minutes, or shake it. after you've set it down in its final resting place for the next 3 weeks or so, don't touch it. i'd say after about 2 weeks, you can take your first reading. but leave it alone til then. that last little bit of shaking or rocking you did will get the yeast all nice and happy and ready to work basically.
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