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Old 12-25-2009, 12:05 AM   #1
pinkfloyd4ever
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Default First-timer (sort of) looking for a non-boring recipe

Sorry if I'm starting a redudnant thread here, but I have lots of web forum experience & couldn't really find what I'm looking for. Yes I read all of the "stone cold lead pipe", beginner extract brewing, and this vs. that stickies. I finally realized why there aren't a lot of "first-time newb" recipe requests out there: cause most people start with a kit that comes with ingredients.

Some background:
My dad used to make wine, and also got into beermaking when we got him a Mr. Beer kit (the older upright 7.5 gal type) about 15 years ago. I'm in college and still live with them, so I have access to lots of carboys, tubing, buckets, airlocks, a capper, etc. I used to help him back make beer back when I was a wee lad, but of course I didn't know much about what was actually going on. So anyway, this is going to be my first actual brew (though I'm sure my dad won't be able to resist helping).

So I'm looking for a recipe (5 gal, I'm using one of his glass carboys for fermentation). Something using extract, not too boring, that I can boil in a 16qt pot (I know...that might not all be entirely possible but humor me). I'll prob use hop pellets, but definitely none of that damn hopped extract. I have a 12 qt pot too, but I've been told by others that splitting the boil between 2 pots is a bad idea (not sure why, but I'll believe them).

I just got a copy of How to Brew that I'm going to read for the 8 hours I'll be riding in the car in the next few days. I had been reading my dad's old copy of the Joy of Homebrewing but that stupid catch phrase he insists on repeating constantly got too goddamn annoying (STFU, I don't have any f'ing homebrew yet!) and most people say Palmer's book is better anyway. I'd like to get started fairly soon after I get back in town (which will be Monday)
Thanks, and Merry Christmas, Happy Haunnakah, Kwanzaa, or whatever else you may celebrate

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Old 12-25-2009, 01:47 AM   #2
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A Wonderful Hobby for you and your Dad to enjoy. Your first recipe should be uncomplicated. That doesn't translate into boring. That way you can figure out what you're going to use and how to use it. Have fun.

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Old 12-25-2009, 02:12 AM   #3
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How to Brew uses a Porter recipe to instruct you in how to brew - follow the instructions and use his recipe! It will be a blast! Its Chapter 13.3 in the online version.

Also, this http://www.youtube.com/user/HomebrewingVideo#p/u/15/ajEwY_ZRJ8E is the first in a series of 13 or 14 youtube videos by Homebrewing Video. These are exceptionally clear and use good process (unlike some other youtube brewing videos), but they are a little slow paced.

Cheers!

edit: You don't have to split the boil between two pots. Rather, do what is a called a partial boil - boil 3 gallons of wort and top it off with 2 gallons of water, for example.

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Old 12-25-2009, 02:59 AM   #4
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No such thing as a boring first recipe. Really. No matter what you brew it will be a standout beer.

For sure the best thing to do until you have a bunch of homebrew built up is brew something that ferments and conditions quickly. A blonde, a pale ale, something like that. This way you can be enjoying the beer in as soon as five weeks. A big beer or a complicated grain or hop bill and it could be a few months before it is enjoyable to drink.

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Old 12-25-2009, 03:45 AM   #5
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Nothing wrong with splitting the full boil, you just don't have any topoff water to aid in cooling.

If you want something really interesting, try a sour beer.

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Old 12-25-2009, 09:15 AM   #6
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What do you like to drink? Palmer has basic recipes listed in the back of his book. Pick one - wort it out, ferment it, analyze it, tweak it. You'll end up with something all your own.

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Old 12-30-2009, 04:53 AM   #7
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Ok, so I'm going with the Cincinnati Pale Ale that John Palmer instructs you to brew for your first batch. But I'm torn on what to use for a fermenter...

we have four 5gal glass carboys, two 6.5gal fermentation buckets, and one 7.5gal Mr. Beer fermenter.

Originally I was planning to ferment in a carboy and use the Mr Beer thing as a bottling vessel, until I read that I'd lose a fair amount of beer fermenting in a 5gal carboy.

It seems that if you use a 5gal carboy to ferment a 5 gal batch, you're pretty much guaranteed to lose several bottles worth of beer in blowoff (not even thinking about using an airlock till fermentation slows down), which I'd prefer to avoid. Neither of the buckets are drilled for a spigot. However, the Mr Beer has a spigot (with racking attachment) of course.
Problem with all of this is that I'd really like to be able to see the fermentation happening, I don't wanna lose beer, and I wanna use a spigot for bottling. [I know I'm trying to have my cake and eat it too]

Is there a consensus that bottling with a spigot is better than bottling with a cane, or did I dream that up? Obviously a spigot is easier than a siphon

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Old 12-30-2009, 10:59 PM   #8
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I found an unopened bag of corn sugar and some crowns in the basement. They're prob around 10 years old. Are they ok to use?

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Old 12-30-2009, 11:16 PM   #9
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You'll have to use a bucket, 5 gal is just too small. No way around that and even with 6.5 gal. you can have a blow-off.

The sugar should be fine. Crowns, I won't venture an opinion. I don't bottle much and my bag of caps is only 8 years old.

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Old 12-30-2009, 11:18 PM   #10
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This is a really good bottling thread:
http://www.homebrewtalk.com/f35/revv...herwise-94812/

I wouldn't use the old stuff, but I like shiny things... old fermenters is one thing, but I think that the sugars can pick up off flavours, not sure if that will be the case in plastic.

You can ferment in a carboy if you want to watch the show, but not in one the same size as the batch. The yeast need some room to work.

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