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Old 05-07-2010, 11:49 AM   #1
mgortel
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Default First Brew Session

I've been waiting all week for today....here I sit at work with a plan to leave early so I can head home and brew my first batch of beer! Hopefully all goes well....I chose a Krolsch kit for my first brew....even though I am a big fan of Stout.....that will be my second batch.

Anyway, I have a full case of Guiness Draught waiting for me...I will be "forced" to drink it along with another case before my first batch is done....since I need the bottles...

Anyway, I am making a list of what I need to do in order with timing, etc....since I am so anal retentive.

So a couple of noobie questions I thought of:

1) Do I need to boil the water that I will be putting Starsan into for sanitizing...or can I just use it right from the tap....any advice?

2) My kit has pelletized hops.....will putting them in muslin bags during brew reduce the amount of solids in it when it ferments or will it just go through the holes? Any advice here?

3) Should I strain when I pour from kettle into fermenter? I heard it clogs the strainer in funnel anyway and if I am careful I can leave alot of the hot and cold break, hops, in the brew pot cause they will settle.

4) Forawd thinking question: I will be putting fermenter in basement....on the floor. Once my beer is ready to be transfered to bottling bucket...I would need to lift fermenter up onto a table in order to rack into bottling bucket (i.e. for syphon)....will moving the bucket up to table stir it too much...i.e. should I set bucket up at level I need it at the beginning of fermentation so that I dont have to move it.

Sorry for the long post....I am an engineer and by nature quite anal retentive.......

I will let you guys know how it goes....hopefully I won't have any "entertaining" stories for you....i.e. screw-ups

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Old 05-07-2010, 12:15 PM   #2
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Welcome to HBT. I'll throw answers out based on my experience.

1. No need to boil the water before adding Starsan

2. I've done this a few times and it does work to keep some, but not all of the solids out.

3. Straining is a pain. Do you not have a siphon? The tip on an autosiphon will keep a good bit of the trub out of primary. If not, straining can be done but is easier with 2 people...one to pour and one to stir the strainer when it starts to clog (and it will).

4. You can leave the fermentor on the floor. Just move it up to the table before you start prepping for bottling. An hour or so of sitting has not caused me any issues.

Good luck with your first batch. Keep us posted.

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Old 05-07-2010, 12:30 PM   #3
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Thank you for reply!

I do have a syphon....but I thought it was best to pour wort into fermenter to aid in oxygenation.

her eis another question: Should I add the DME or the LME first once the water comes to a boil?

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Old 05-07-2010, 12:45 PM   #4
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Are you doing a full boil or a smaller boil? 3 gallons maybe? If so, just carefully siphon into primary and leave the trub behind. Then aggressively pour your top off water into the primary. For me, this has always oxygenated plenty using this method. I've read where people have used a sterilized whisk to froth the wort up too.

I'd say to remove the pot from the burner and add the LME first. Once stirred well, place back on burner and add the DME. That way you can focus your attention on breaking up any clumps the DME leaves while waiting for the boil to come back.

I keep a small glass of water and a whisk on hand at this point...especially after adding the first hops. That way if it gets close to a boil over, which can happen very fast, I can either throw a bit of water on the foam or break it up with the whisk.

Or is it spelled WISK? Meh...

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Old 05-07-2010, 01:04 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fezzman View Post

Or is it spelled WISK? Meh...
whhhhisk, like cool whhhhhip. everything tastes better with cool whhhhip...
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Old 05-07-2010, 01:05 PM   #6
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3 gallon boil.

I like your plan of attack...I am going to go with that. Thanks!

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Old 05-07-2010, 01:27 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kingmatt View Post
whhhhisk, like cool whhhhhip. everything tastes better with cool whhhhip...
Will Whhhheaton uses a whhhhisk to whhhhip his cool whhhhip...

On the topic of fermenter placement, if it is practical to put your fermenter up high enough that you'll be able to siphon out of it when the time comes, I'd do it. It saves you having to lift a big heavy bucket up later.

If it isn't practical, don't worry. When you do move it, do so carefully and gently. You'll want to do this because it is heavy, you don't want to kick up the yeast any more than you have to, and you don't want to slosh the beer and introduce oxygen. After you move it, give it a while to settle down. Again, if it is practical to move it the day before you transfer to your bottling bucket, great. If not, move it and then start getting ready to bottle.

As far as hops bag goes, I used a bag for my last batch, and although it cut down on the amount of trub, there was still a significant amount of fine particles in the wort. I think it was worth it, as I was able to get a lot more wort out of the pot this time.

Quote:
Sorry for the long post....I am an engineer and by nature quite anal retentive.......
I think it is good to figure this sort of stuff out before hand, that way you don't have to stress out about the decision in the middle of the process. I find it much more relaxing if I have a procedure to follow. RDWHAHB!
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Old 05-07-2010, 01:35 PM   #8
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I use a fine mesh bag for both specialty grains AND hops...and my hops are pellets, too. During the boil, I make sure I dip the hops bag in the wort several times...kind of like steeping a tea bag...and I've had no problems with hop utilization that I know.

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Old 05-07-2010, 03:51 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kingmatt View Post
whhhhisk, like cool whhhhhip. everything tastes better with cool whhhhip...
GREAT Family Guy reference! LOL!!


mgortel - think about fermentation temperatures - how cool is your basement? What is the temp range of your selected yeast? (fermentation will add 4-8 degrees F to your ambient)
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Old 05-07-2010, 07:33 PM   #10
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Basement is holding for last week atr around 63 F.

Winter it is much cooler...like low 50's....so maybe Lager in the winter?

Yeast lists 59-75 F for range...so I am dead nuts in the middle. Even with an extra 8 F on top of 63 F...still in the range....

Whata think...sound ok?

BTW....Im in the process now....boiling water baby! Got my laptop out in garage with me

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