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Old 01-27-2013, 11:39 PM   #1
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Default Getting ready for first brew - Steeping question and more

So I am a week or two away from beginning my first beer, an Irish Stout that came with the Midwest Brewers living social deal. I went on to their website and looked at their instructions and then have been researching for weeks on this site. I think I have it down to what I need in addition to the kit, and then have a question about Steeping the bag of grains.
In addition to the starter kit I think I need:
-Star San
-A long spoon
-A thermometer for the steeping process and for knowing when the Wort is chilled enough to pitch.
-Unscented Oxyclean to clean the equipment prior to sanitizing
- A 30 Qt Brew pot (my gas stove sucks and I think it will be cheaper to use propane and a turkey fryer for a 60 minute boil than the gas stove in my apartment)

My steeping question is my biggest pot for use on my stove is only 6 Quarts. Can I Steep the grains in the 6 quart pot at ~170 degrees and then add to the Turkey Fryer and add more water to make 6 gallons that the 30 QT pot would allow (to allow for boil up room)? I figure that would be easier than steeping in the turkey fryer and wasting propane. I was also planning to add some "clean" ice to bring the temperature down and to make the total amount of wort at a little more than 5 gallons. Does this sound like it would work? So basically it would be a nearly full boil.

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Old 01-27-2013, 11:54 PM   #2
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Why not steep on the turkey fryer? A 6 QT pot is really small.... And a long spoon is nice to stir with, but not really necessary. And you need a hydrometer to take gravity readings.

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Old 01-28-2013, 12:31 AM   #3
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The kit comes with a hydrometer and also a thermometer to stick on the fermenting pale. I guess I could steep the grains in the turkey fryer, but I have read conflicting opinions of steeping in a lesser amount than the full 6 gallons. Should I steep in say 3 gallons and then add 3 additional gallons before bringing it up to a boil?

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Old 01-28-2013, 04:36 AM   #4
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steep in the turkey fryer with 6 gallons. fill the grain sack, heat to 150 and put it in for a half hour. Try to keep it around 150-155 degrees for the 30 minutes. DON"T let it come to a boil. works fine this way. No need to do a partial anything when you've got a pot big enough to handle it.

Most of the conflict I would bet comes from those who are doing this indoors where heat source and surroundings limits what you can do. Basic thought.. If you can do it in the right size pot, do it in the right size pot.

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Old 01-28-2013, 04:43 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lgilmore View Post
steep in the turkey fryer with 6 gallons. fill the grain sack, heat to 150 and put it in for a half hour. Try to keep it around 150-155 degrees for the 30 minutes. DON"T let it come to a boil. works fine this way. No need to do a partial anything when you've got a pot big enough to handle it.

Most of the conflict I would bet comes from those who are doing this indoors where heat source and surroundings limits what you can do. Basic thought.. If you can do it in the right size pot, do it in the right size pot.
+1, you can through some make up water in if you come up short after the boil.
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Old 01-29-2013, 12:47 PM   #6
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Great, thanks for the advice. I've exhausted this website for tips, as well as the website with Palmers book. I think I'm ready to give it a shot but I'm still trying to find a deal on a cheap turkey fryer setup.

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Old 01-29-2013, 01:07 PM   #7
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a quick solution to the steeping therometer is a meat therometer - it ranges from 100 to 190. I personally have a candi thermometer that clipss on the wall of my pot (100-400+), but in the long run - ie when you can find one at a price you like - you want a thermometer that goes from about 60/70F to 250. You don't need more than 212F for a boil, and it is handy knowing that your brew is cooled enough to pitch (60 to 70)

StarSan(acid) or Idaphor (iodine) is a MUST, I'd get that before anything else in your list. You don't have to do a full boil on an extract brew - I do about 2 to 3 gallons on an electric stove - but you certianly can and most people say the beer comes out better that way.

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Old 01-29-2013, 01:18 PM   #8
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I've found that its far easier to use the oven for steeping grains. I get a gallon of water to 155F, add the grain bag. Then I simply put the pot in the pre-heated oven for 30 minutes. The oven is at 170, which is the lowest it'll go.

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