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Old 01-12-2013, 03:45 AM   #1
rwstewart1985
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Default Made my first extract beer today...

Hi all,

So I made my very first extract beer today and I have a couple questions about the procedure...

1) I was getting ready to battle the foam that was going to threaten a boil over, but I barely had any foam at all. Is this normal??

2) I'm using a primary and secondary fermenter. Is it essentially the same timeline for both compared to a canned beer kit? Or should I just pay more attention to my specific gravity?

This beer is also going to be the first to come from the kegerator I'm currently building, so that makes it even harder to wait for! Any other tips for extract brewing would be appreciated.

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Old 01-12-2013, 03:55 AM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rwstewart1985
Hi all,

So I made my very first extract beer today and I have a couple questions about the procedure...

1) I was getting ready to battle the foam that was going to threaten a boil over, but I barely had any foam at all. Is this normal??

2) I'm using a primary and secondary fermenter. Is it essentially the same timeline for both compared to a canned beer kit? Or should I just pay more attention to my specific gravity?

This beer is also going to be the first to come from the kegerator I'm currently building, so that makes it even harder to wait for! Any other tips for extract brewing would be appreciated.
1). Sometimes they foam ... Sometimes they don't. You got lucky

2). Generally, we recommend 3 weeks in primary, and no secondary at all. Start testing gravity after about 2 weeks. Get 3 readings the same near your expected FG, and you're good to bottle.
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Old 01-12-2013, 01:10 PM   #3
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Sound advice. I primary 3-4 weeks on average gravity ales,depending on how vigorous the yeast activity is. No secondary unless oaking or adding fruit. I even dry hop in primary after FG is reached & it's settling out clear.
I got a huge foamy hot break once on an extract brew when I added a pound of wheat DME to the boil after I'd added reg plain DME. Usually,you just get a little foam on the surface with extracts ime.
Once you start getting into steeping grains & partial mash,you'll start getting big,fast rising hot breaks. With extracts,it's hit or miss.
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Old 01-12-2013, 01:31 PM   #4
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What did you make?

1) while I've had some brews get some foam on top, I haven't been at risk of a boil over (yet). It's lurking, though, so always be ready to get it off the heat quickly. I can't imagine you'd want to deal with that.

2) time is only a guideline. That being said, I tend to bottle after 4 weeks in primary. As mentioned above, consider skipping the secondary unless you're adding spice, flavoring, etc. It's debated but has been found to be unnecessary for us home brewers.

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Old 01-12-2013, 02:17 PM   #5
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When you brew an all grain beer, as the wort comes to a boil you sometimes get a huge bunch of foam known as hot break. With extract this has mostly happened in the making of the extract so you don't get as much foam.

If you are going to secondary (usually unnecessary) you should go by the hydrometer reading instead of a time line. It's really hard to get yeast to punch a time clock and harder yet to make them work on your schedule. When the hydrometer reading says they are done, they are done.

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