Hi, let me start off by saying this is going to be my first batch of beer I'm brewing. I picked up a True Brew (Crosby & Baker) India Pale Ale ingredient kit yesterday.
The kit includes: 2 Amber Malt Extract cans
1 pckg. Muntons Crushed Crystal 2 row barley malt
1 pckg. Chinook Hop Pellets 1 oz.
1 pckg. Cascade Hop pellet 1 oz.
1 bag Heacy toasted oak chips
1 pckg yeast
A steeping bag
Priming sugar and bottle caps
I have all the necesary equiptment to start brewing, but have a few questions on the process. If anyone can help me with the following questions it would be much appreciated. I'm pretty sure what to do about everything except the toasted oak chips. First it says to steam them like vegetables, how do I do this? Second it says that I must add chips to the fermenter. Do I just drop the chips in the fermentor and leave them floating around throughout the entire fermenting process until I siphon into the next bucket for bottling? I also have one more quick question. I am using a bucket fermentor and not a glass carboy. Is it still necesary to use a fermentation hose, or can I just put a fermentation lock on right after the cooking process etc. ? Thanks