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Old 11-02-2006, 04:30 PM   #1
Jefe
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Default Innagural Brew - India Pale Ale

I'm happy to announce the inception of Prairie Brew. On Sunday, October 29 we began our first brew.
My wife came with me to the Local Home Brew Shop, and after much humming and hawing (to her chagrin) we came home with a list of supplies and one single beer kit.

We purchased an India Pale Ale kit (Extract) to start our brew process out.

Our list of brewing equipment includes:
2 19.5 l Better Bottle Carboys
1 Auto Siphon
1 Length of tubing for the Auto Siphon
1 Racking Cane
2 Carboy Stoppers with dual outs
2 Pierced Carboy Bungs
3 3-piece Airlocks
1 Pack of Idophor Sanitizer
1 Large Mouth funnel for pouring
1 20 l Jug of Filtered Spring Water
1 pk of Priming Dextrose
1 Bucket Spigot (to be used later)
1 In-Line Vinyl ball valve for Siphoning hose (For bottling purposes)

*Note: It is my intention to purchase a conical fermenter in the reasonably near future to act as a primary fermenter. I don’t know if it will be a 6.5 gal or 8 gal one. I intend to start with a Minibrew plastic fermenter until such time as budget and need allows me to go stainless.

We uses a Home Depot (tm) White Plastic bucket as our sanitization container. We cleaned and sanitized one carboy (primary fermenter) and the stoppers and bungs and airlocks and funnel.

We poured ~1 gallon of boiling water into our carboy and added the bentonite.
We then slooshed the water around to dissolve bentonite.
Then we poured our Extract Mix into the carboy.
We then poured in enough spring water to make ~5 gal, ~19 l of wort.
To this we added our Froggles Dry Hops.
We then Pitched our yeast package and slooshed the wort around to moisten the yeast.
We bunged the carboy and have added an airlock.

Fermentation:


We got a pretty good fermentation almost immediately after pitching the yeast. We had about a 1" krausen for about 2 days that has since fallen. We have a layer of trub (hops pellet material) floating on the top of the wort (beer). There is yeast in the bottom of the carboy now, and the airlock is bubbling about 5 times / minute now (on day 5).

On day 7 we'll clean and sanitize our second Carboy (Secondary Fermenter). We'll clean and sanitize our siphoning equipment, and then we'll siphon the wort (transfering as little yeast and trub as possible) to our secondary and allow it to rest there for 2 weeks and clear.

Then we'll bottle.

Overall it seems to have been a very successful brew. Now to round up some Flip-Top bottles for it. Hope all my friends like drinking Grolsch for 2 weeks.

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Old 11-02-2006, 05:34 PM   #2
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Sounds like you got quite the setup for your first brew. Congrats!
When I was shopping for my equipment and first ingredient kit, my wife asked the question, "Is this supposed to save us money?" No, dear. It's for fun.

The next piece of equipment I suggest you buy is a book by Charlie Papazian called The Complete Joy of Homebrewing. Read the first half or so, and you'll be really jazzed up to make more.

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Old 11-02-2006, 06:16 PM   #3
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hmmm.... what's chemical X and did you dump it out before pouring in your pale ale extract? Otherwise sounds like a good start.

Most folks prefer the results using non-hopped extract kits and boiling/adding the hops when they brew. I'd suggest trying that next.

As engel suggested Charlie's book is excellent as is "How to Brew" which is available in both paper version and as a free online book at http://www.howtobrew.com

Enjoy and welcome to HBT and homebrewing!

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Old 11-02-2006, 07:29 PM   #4
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Sorry, Chemical X was bentonite, a clearing agent.
I didn't rinse it out of the carboy as instructions said to leave it in.


Note: It was a Baron's Pour & Pitch kit. The most simplistic form of home brew I imagine, but it was a great way to get started quick and a good kit for a newbie to use to practice sanitization and siphoning techniques with.

After I do this once or twice, I'll go with malt extract recipes and partial mash/grain steep processes.

Baby steps, then bigger steps then somewhere in the distant future a setup like Brewpastor's Stainless Steel Emporium?

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Old 11-02-2006, 07:43 PM   #5
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ahhh... ok bentenite shouldn't be a problem, it's just clay, I think they use it for fining. The only thing I see is you didn't mention sanitizing your bucket before you added the hot water and bentonite.

There are a lot of excellent kits available for boiling, hopping. It's not much more work at all, the components are all in one bag.

Be sure to let us know how it turns out. I'm waiting for bottles to accumulate to bottle my re-entry brew. I hope I can bottle tomorrow!

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Old 11-02-2006, 11:34 PM   #6
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Oh, how could I forget Palmer's How to Brew and www.howtobrew.com?

Baby steps are the way to do it, I think. I'm starting my 10th extract with steeping grains batch this weekend. I'm happy to stay at the Beginner/Intermediate level for awhile. Plus, I make some good beer to drink along the way.

Welcome to the board!

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Old 11-02-2006, 11:38 PM   #7
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Wow, bentonite in a first time brew! The last time I remember hearing about bentonite for beer brewing, someone wanted to experiment with brewing vegan beer. Nothing wrong with it, it's just uncommon.

Sounds like a nice setup. It sounds like you're already well on your way to all grain brewing with the knowledge that you've gained. I just made the switch to all grain myself, and I'm really enjoying it.

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Old 11-04-2006, 09:49 PM   #8
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Just Racked to Seconday today!

Woohoo. 2 weeks until bottling time.

I got a "Little Bit" of yeast from the primary in the racking. I may get a secondary fermentation.....

Smelled good. Looks good. Tastes good.

It just might be good?

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Old 11-04-2006, 11:00 PM   #9
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Nope, you won't get a secondary fermentation no matter how hard you try unless you add more fermentable material (and usually another strain of yeast). There is so much yeast suspended in homebrew (even if it's clear!) that you could transfer absolutely none of the visible yeast cake and still have enough yeast left to ferment some more if you added something for it to chew on. You may, however, see a brief increase in activity since racking the beer sometimes rouses the yeast a bit. That's normal, but it's not a secondary fermentation.

The purpose of the "secondary" in most homebrewing applications is to get your beer off of the bitter trub cake and away from the bulk of the dead or dying yeast cells. This usually results in a cleaner tasting, clear beer. It should probably be called a "clearing tank" or "conditioning tank."

Congrats on your first brew! Hope it tastes as good as it sounds!

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