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Old 01-03-2009, 07:16 PM   #1
Nimrod1193
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Default Graduation Day

I have finally graduated from Mr. Beer kits to more advanced brewing. I bought a Brewer's Best Red Ale kit and brewed it yesterday. When I bought the kit, I thought it was an all-extract kit, but when I opened it I found YIKES! a bag of crystal malt. Brewing the grains was no big deal though, and it was fascinating to watch.

I know everyone says RDWHAH, but I was seriously sweating my first brew. I followed the direction though and everything turned out okay. The only thing I added to the kit was a teaspoon of gypsum, since I know I have soft water in the house. Original gravity came in at 1.046 (the kit said it should be 1.042-1.045) so it looks like I nailed that.

The thing I really sweated was the cooldown. I figured, I live in North Dakota, no problem! I'll just put the pot in my garage, which was at 2ºF. Well, it took forever to get that pot to cool down. I finally got it in the fermenter and it is bubbling away merrily. We'll see how it tastes in a few weeks.

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Old 01-03-2009, 07:44 PM   #2
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Congrats! The Brewers Best kits make some very good brews and are easy to use. Happy brewing.

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Old 01-03-2009, 08:07 PM   #3
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Next time if you can get some big container of water and leave it in your garage for a few hours before you boil. Then when you are done you can put your boiled wort into the ice cold water and it will cool down your wort faster then anything. Seriously if you can get your water to be in the low 30's you could do some serious cooling. You need to test to see if your water doesnt freeze over and in general how long it takes water to cool down

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Old 01-03-2009, 10:32 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Pivzavod View Post
Next time if you can get some big container of water and leave it in your garage for a few hours before you boil. Then when you are done you can put your boiled wort into the ice cold water and it will cool down your wort faster then anything. Seriously if you can get your water to be in the low 30's you could do some serious cooling. You need to test to see if your water doesnt freeze over and in general how long it takes water to cool down
Good idea. Thanks.
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Old 01-20-2009, 02:35 AM   #5
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Bottling day!

My biggest problem was getting the brew into the bottling bucket. The Sterile Siphon Starter worked after a couple of tries, but about half way through, I broke siphon. Unfortunately the device won't work when there's that much airspace in the bottle, so I had to restart the siphon myself. I rinsed my mouth well with bourbon, so hopefully that won't screw things up.

I forgot to take an FG reading before putting the beer in the bucket. When I did take one, the reading was a little high (1.015 instead of 1.010). One reason was that it looks like I didn't quite put enough water in the carboy when I brewed, because I only got about 4.2 gallons of brew instead of 5. Marking the 5 gallon point on my carboy is now on my to-do list. I only got 45 bottles out of the batch. Oh well, I'm not going to worry about it. The brew tasted like a good red ale. The hardest parts were the sanitation beforehand and the cleanup after.

All in all a good first effort, I think.

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