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car421 01-28-2012 11:14 PM

Getting ready for 1st brew and have a couple ??'s
Hey all, been lurking for a long time doing a ton of reading and searches but still have a few questions as I want to make sure I don't miss anything.

So I have read that most instructions that come with the kits are not so great and I have a True Brew Amber kit that I want to brew tomorrow. I have a 20 qt pot that I can easily put in 3 gallons of water. I know full boils are said to be the preferred method but this is where I am starting. The kit calls to boil 1 1/2 gallons but I figure on using the 3. It than says to remove from heat, pour in the extract while stirring and then continue stirring while adding the DME and Hops. Return to boil and when it foams up remove from heat till foam goes down and then put back on heat. Keep doing this till foaming stops and then boil for 20-30 more min. Is this the best way?

It than says to cool wort till under 90F(bought myself a work chiller), take gravity reading, put into fermentation vessel, top off to get 5 gal and then sprinkle the yeast on top, wait 10 min and stir the yeast into the wort. Again, is this method OK or should I activate the yeast prior – It is Mutons Ale Yeast.

I know it is good to aerate the wort prior to adding the yeast and I thought about pouring the wort into my bottling bucket first then using the hose to put into my 6 ½ gal carboy. Is this OK?
I have 2 cleansers – a B-Brite container and some C-Brite envelops and the instructions on them for lack of a better word suck. Will these work to sanitize after I clean or do I need to get something else/better. I don’t mind putting the brewing off till next week if it means doing it right.

OK last question – do I need a blow-off tube using a 6 ½ gal glass carboy?
Thanks in advance

HellBound 01-28-2012 11:41 PM

As far as cleaners go? Sanitation I SO important that I would use PBW for the cleaner and a good no rinse sanitized like star-San or Sani-clean.

As for the rest, how many pounds of DME is in the recipe? It adds alot of volume to the boil water and you want to make sure you've got enough room for the whole boil. And I would wait till the extract is boiling before you add the hops. About 10-15 mins. There will be a hot- break due to the proteins in the DME, and if it boils over (be careful) you don't want to lose out on the hop oils. Once the wort is boiling you'll notice some stuff in the wort, kinda looks like egg-drop soup. then take a minute to remove some of the foam on the top, THEN start your hop additions.

jrobidoux 01-29-2012 12:55 AM

You probably won't need a blow off tube, but be ready for it all the same. And make sure to boil your top off water ahead of time.

RM-MN 01-29-2012 01:05 AM

When we talk about full volume boil, it means we start with 6 1/2 or so gallons, the entire amount that will go into the fermenter plus what we expect to boil off. You can't do that with a 20 at pot, it takes a minimum (bare minimum at that) of 7 1/2 gallon pot and you have to be careful so it doesn't boil over anyway. A 10 gallon pot would be nice.

Some people rehydrate the dry yeast before pitching, some don't. Even the manufacturers are confused about the need for rehydrating. Your guess is as good as the experts on this. I just sprinkle it over the foam that is on the wort after I aerate and I make beer. There is even some debate on whether you need to aerate before you add dry yeast. I like to at least make some attempt to aerate and your method is as good as mine.

car421 01-29-2012 03:20 AM

Thanks for all the replies. The kit has 3.3 lbs of LME and 2 lbs of DME along with 1 oz of hops.

Leggoma 01-29-2012 03:37 AM

I'm between my first and second batches, but I'll share a tip I learned from one of the guys at my local brew supply store concerning boil overs. Keep a spray bottle of cold water handy. If you get a flare up, hit it with some spritzes of the cold water to get it in control before tweaking the heat on your burner. The weekend before I brewed my first batch, there were some people brewing at the brew supply store and a pair of first time brewers were there doing their first batch. I watched them get a flair up in their boil and they got some spillover before they could reach their heat. That's when one of the store's employees gave that little hint.

While I was brewing, I had to combat a few flair ups, but got no overspilling because of a spritzing of cold water.

HellBound 01-29-2012 03:42 AM

You should be fine with a 3.5 gallon boil. You'll probably lose almos a gallon maybe 1.5 during the boil, so make sure you've got plenty of pre-boiled water , I'd say 4 gallon to be safe. Just keep it clean and to the side, top it off to 5 before you pitch your yeast. With a dry yeast like that, aeration is likely to be important. Yeast needs oxygen to reproduce. Just don't over do it. Good luck an happy brewing.

car421 01-29-2012 05:55 PM

Gonna pick up some star san and hold off till next weekend. I wanna get things right and not question myself, though I probably will.

unionrdr 01-29-2012 06:30 PM

If it were me,I'd use the DME in the boil for hop additions. Regular barley DME doesn't produce much hot break foam in my experience. It's the wheat DME that makes a big,wild hot break for about 3 minutes.
Adding the LME at flame out will make for lighter color & cleaner flavor. And since pasteurization happens at 162F,the flame out temp should be more than enough to get the effect by steeping for a few minutes covered. That's the way I work recipes that use both DME & LME.

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