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Old 04-10-2011, 11:30 PM   #1
apkman
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Default Just completed my first extract brew...

After two batches of Betty Crocker brewing with the Coopers all extract kits (whose final products were good enough to keep me going), I have just pitched the yeast on my first extract brew.

In my hometown there aren't any LHBS so I had to travel quite a ways to get to one. It was worth the drive. I took up a great deal of the owner's time, but he was gracious enough to clear up some misconceptions created by using Google as my primary resource for learning. I'm about 1/2-way through Palmer's book and will be using that as my Brew Bible for the near future.

He shied me away from the Fat Tire clone I intended to purchase and sold me a starter extract kit with idiot proof instructions. After reading and re-reading the instructions and brewing the batch in my head about a dozen times, I went for it this afternoon. It was surprisingly easy.

Lesson #1 from this brew day is to warm the extract in hot water before adding it. Coopers recommended it with their kits and I did it both times before. I don't know why that didn't occur to me.

After everything was said and done and the wort was ready for the yeast, O.G. was dead on at 1.049. I intend to move it to a secondary in 5-7 days depending on the level of fermentation that's still occurring. This will be my first time using a 2ndary. Any words of wisdom are encouraged!

I have the bare bones equipment for all-grain so I'd like to get there soon, but will likely do at least 2-3 more extract/partial grain recipes. Again, any words of wisdom are encouraged.

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Old 04-11-2011, 02:16 AM   #2
WCD
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Hey. Congrats on the First Extract. Im on my 9th batch. Once you get enough beer on hand. I would recommend at least 10 days in primary and 10 in secondary. Im reading alot about just 3 weeks in primary and bottle from there. Im not there yet since Ive been having good results with the primary/secondary route.

Regarding all grain. Extracts are great to get your process down since they are a little less complicated usually(depending on your recipe.) My last 2 batches have been all grain. They are not ready yet though...

Good Luck!

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Old 04-11-2011, 02:25 AM   #3
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I just put my second extract batch into primary. Let me tell you that it gets a lot easier and smoother after the first time. I'm not sure if I was nervous with my first batch but it seemed like it went a lot smoother on my second.

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Old 04-11-2011, 03:12 AM   #4
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Congrats on your first extract kit. I usually dont bother with a secondary and just leaave it in the primary for 3 weeks. Keep going and it will get easier, I have about 40 batches under my belt and can almost brew on cruise control. I will be switching to all garain this summer and there will be another learning curve, but I feel confident that all will go fine, even if it doesn't I know I will still learn from the process. Welcome to your new obsession and have fun.

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Old 04-13-2011, 02:40 AM   #5
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Default should I worry?

In order to brew beer at home, the provider of my "happiness" decreed that the fermenter had to be out of sight.

It's in an upstairs closet and long story short, is sitting at 26*C. It's bubblin' up a storm right now and has a good 1" - 1.5" head on it now. Should I be worried about that temp? It's a American Ale.

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Old 04-13-2011, 02:54 AM   #6
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78°F is pretty warm, I think the ideal fermentation temps are 65°F-75°F.

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Old 04-13-2011, 03:01 AM   #7
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i know. i'm trying to figure out how to get some more air flowing up there.

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Old 04-13-2011, 03:02 AM   #8
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too warm - find a place closer to 20*C
What was the kit?

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Old 04-13-2011, 03:30 AM   #9
apkman
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it isn't a "kit" per se.... It is from the LHBS; their in house recipe. Grains, unhopped malt extract, hops, Irish Moss, & yeast.

The places closer to 20*C are all downstairs where the fermenter would be in plain sight. I'm going to have to work out a compromise. If it wasn't going to be in the primary for so long that'd make it easier. Oh well....wish me luck!

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Old 04-13-2011, 03:50 AM   #10
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Make a swamp cooler. Get a "muck bucket" from Walmart and fill it with water and throw your fermenter in that. Toss some frozen water bottles in there to bring the temps down. That is probably the cheapest/easiest way to bring temps down.

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