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Old 08-23-2012, 12:21 AM   #1
Merkur
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Default First Brew recap

I have just bottled my first batch of brew - a MoreBeer Light Ale Malt Extract kit. In looking back all went well. The fermentation stated within hours, the FG was right where the kit predicted it would be, the calculated ABV is spot on, bottling was easy. Now I just have to wait a couple of weeks. If I can!

There were a couple of things I'd like feedback on before I start my next kit - an English Ale.

1) I understand that the critical time is after the boil and before you pitch the yeast. All that sweet wort and air can start the 'wrong' fermentation. So I removed the 5 gallon kettle from the heat, put it into a sink of ice water and added a sanitized zip-lock with ice in it. The wort cooled rapidly from 200F to 120F. A wort chiller would be easier, but this was quick. The instructions called for chilling to 130, then pouring it into the carboy with 2 gallons of cold water and topping it off to 5 gallons. Then pitching the yeast at 70-80F. The temperature at that point was 90F and it took a long time to reach the temp where I could pitch the yeast - about an hour. Is that normal? Are there any tips to speed that up? Why put the beer into the fermenter at 120/130. Why not cool down further in the sink and then put it in the carboy.

2) After bottling I read that you shouldn't use the screw-top bottles and cap them. I have 4 of that style bottle. I checked and they appear to have sealed well. What is the reason why you shouldn't use empty screw-top beer bottles (Yuengling!)

Thanks!

Paul

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Old 08-23-2012, 12:31 AM   #2
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It normally takes a while to cool without any equipment. When I did it I filled the whole bathtub with water, let it cool down low, emptied and replaced the water and dumped in a 20# bag of ice. That said, wort chillers are awesome! I think the thinking is that if you cool it down enough the mixing of water should do the rest. I'd also be worried with any kind of plastic in the hot wort.

Screw tops may seem like they seal up fine but I think they will probably leak the CO2 leaving your beer flat.

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Old 08-23-2012, 12:35 AM   #3
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Cool the wort in an ice bath until it's 75 or under, and then put it in the carboy and top off with cold water (from the fridge). You'll be at a much temperature temperature, faster.

You don't want to pitch your yeast at 80 degrees, I don't care what those instructions say! Pitch your yeast at 62-65 degrees, and you'll have a much better beer.

Screw tops tend to be thinner in the neck, and sometimes break when you try to cap them (or open them with an opener).

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Old 08-23-2012, 12:38 AM   #4
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As i said on other threads. Wort chillers are nice. Go to menards or anywhere that sells copper wiring buy it with hoses and hose clamps. Alot cheaper then buying one made for less than half the cost. I however have never not used a chiller. My buddy and I do not have that time or patience to wait hours for wort to chill. Only about 20 to 30 mins from 220• to chill ( beats several hours).

Our wort chiller was 40 bucks all together with clamps and tubeing. We have a 6 gal SS kettle, we got 20" copper tubing works well. Tho we wiah we would have went a bit thicker.

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Old 08-23-2012, 01:31 AM   #5
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Ive used Yeungling bottles on occasion when Im short on bottles. The only time Ive had a problem was when one of the glass threads chipped and allowed the carbonation out. The real problem is it can be a bitch pulling them out of a wing capper.

If you have the green Yuengling bottles, dont use them.

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