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Old 05-08-2008, 11:33 PM   #1
newkarian
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Default First brew questions

I am eagerly awaiting my brewing equipment from NB and will brew my first batch this weekend I have studied up pretty good but have a couple questions. I havent been able to get a wort chiller yet the swmbo is already on my case about the other equipment. So my question is what is the best way to cool a batch without a chiller? I have the capapability of doing full boils with my 30 qt pot. So should I do that or reduce the boil for easier cooling? Also this is a little ahead of time but I plan on doing my next batch right on the cake from the first one. I am doing an American amber with Belgian Abbey II yeast. What styles do you recommend for the second batch on this yeast. Would something lighter in color like an APA be OK or should I go darker since the first batch is an amber? Thanks ahead of time for all your help.

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Old 05-08-2008, 11:40 PM   #2
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For chilling, your best bet is probably an ice bath. With a 30 qt pot you will probably want some sort tub instead of the kitchen sink. You will essentially fill it with cold water and throw ice in. Stir the wort as much as possible, the ice will melt and the water will get warm. Put more ice in and repeat until you reach 70-75. Then you can transfer to your primary and pitch. The cooling will be a PITA but a full boil will give you a much better end product.

The yeast is really up to you. From my experience, the belgian yeasts will give you esters that are very specific to beligan beers. If this is what you're going for then by all means do it.

Pitching onto a yeast cake from a darker beer with a lighter one will often have some effect on the lighter beer, but if you're going from Amber to APA I think it will be negligible.

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Old 05-08-2008, 11:41 PM   #3
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Chiller question- Do a 3.5 gallon boil, chill in an ice bath in the sink, top off with 1.5 gallons cool/cold water.

Yeast cake question- If you're using Belgian Abbey II, it's not really an American Amber, but anyhow... When racking onto a yeast cake you always want to go lighter beer to darker beer.

Good luck on the first brew

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Old 05-08-2008, 11:48 PM   #4
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Wow! Way to dive right in!!!!

You can cool a full boil without a wort chiller, but it's not easy. An ice bath will work, but be slower than is desired. Also, when you do a full boil, you get better hops utilization, so you may want to decrease your bittering hops about 20%. If you post your recipe when you get your kit, we'll be glad to help you with that.

If you're using a Belgian yeast, why not make a Belgian for your next beer? Lighter colors aren't usually recommended, but it really doesn't matter in a case like this. I mean, you wouldn't want to go from a stout to a blonde probably, but smaller variations won't really matter much. It would be tougher to go from a super hoppy beer (like an IPA) to an amber. It's also nice to go to a beer with a slightly higher gravity when you pitch on the cake, because then the yeast really gets going on the new batch.

Welcome to the obsession!

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Old 05-09-2008, 03:34 AM   #5
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Thanks for the advice. I will probably do a belgian for the next one. I was wanting to do a APA because lately Ive grown very fond of SNPA. I am doing a fat tire clone for my first beer. Which isnt exactly belgian either, hence why I called it an american amber. I will probably try and get a chiller in the next couple months if I can sneak it by the swmbo. She doesnt see my credit card statements No honey thats just some modern art I found in a trashcan. Maybe that will work. This hobby is like a disease im already wanting to go AG but cant really justify it right now. Im sure what I can do with extract and PM will be better than half the swill I can get in the store anyway.

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Old 05-09-2008, 05:10 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by newkarian View Post
This hobby is like a disease im already wanting to go AG but cant really justify it right now.
Just tell her it's cheaper in the long run
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Old 05-10-2008, 11:16 PM   #7
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Default Finished brewing first batch

Just finished the first batch. I actuall came really close to the OG for the kit I was using. I ended up @ 1.058 and the kit OG was 1.052. I hit 5 gal exactly too! I know this was just an extract kit with specialty grains but it was pretty exciting not to screw something up so far. Only time will tell now how it turns out. I got it sleeping in a nice cool dark bathroom now. Also a note on my chilling. I actually got down to under pitching temp in less than 20 minutes with an ice bath in the sink. Actually hit 68F. Had the ice water circulating around the pot and stirred the wort in the opposite direction for a counterflowesque effect. I love this hobby.
Thanks for all the help and encouragement from everyone.

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Old 05-11-2008, 03:46 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by c.n.budz View Post
Just tell her it's cheaper in the long run
Yeah, tell her that. But try to keep a real straight face when you do it.
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Old 05-22-2008, 07:28 PM   #9
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Transfered over to secondary today. Tastes pretty good just a little bitter but nothing bad. Very fruity tasting and quite pleasant. Tastes nothing like I remember Fat tire tasting but only time will tell how it turns out. SG at transer was 1.014 so I got pretty good attenuation. Will let sit in the secondary for a couple weeks and then bottle. What temp should I let it age in the secondary at. I keep it around 68-72 F.

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Old 05-23-2008, 12:39 AM   #10
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How about just putting ice into the wort itself? Won't it cool it down even faster. Of course, using boiled water and covered to make the ice.

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