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Old 02-07-2008, 12:11 AM   #1
AllGoNoShow
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Default Making the first brew this weekend...

Well between the equipment kit my fiance bought me, the "Joy of Home Brewing" Book (the beginners section), and the True-Brew ingredient kit for Canadian ale, there seems to be alot of conflicting information. So here is a few questions I have so I make sure I can do this right the first time:

1. Do I have to worry about hot/cold "breaks" when boiling the wort? I've seen some of the tutorials online mention these things with regards to specific periods to enter the hops...the book and ingredient kit just say to mix everything together with no mention of when or one before the other, etc.

2. I've seen people talk about cooling the wort in a tub of ice after boil. The book and ingredient kit just say to pour the hot wort into 3 gallons of cold water in the glass carboy and shake it.

3. How do I strain the hot wort into the glass carboy using the funnel? I guess-what kind of strainer should I buy?

4. Is there any special way to pour out the mixture from the carboy when I have to measure the specific gravity of a sample with the hygrometer?

5. My carboy is 6 gallons, do I need a fermentation hose for a 5 gallon batch or can I just put a lock on it and forget it? The book says you don't have to use the fermentation hose assembly if the carboy is 6 1/2 gallons, but doesn't say anything about it if it is 6.

6. Will a meat thermometer (santized) work to measure tempature of the wort? Or is there some kind of special one?

Sorry if some of the questions are simple...i figure it can't hurt to ask! Thanks!

Nick

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Old 02-07-2008, 12:38 AM   #2
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1) If you are just doing an extract or extract/specialty grain setup, dont worry about hot/cold breaks
2) Cool it in an ice bath. Combining hot wort into a glass container filled with cold water is a bad idea
3) I just used the siphon. All my grains and hops are added in a hop bag, so almost everything is "pre-strained" and the rest will settle out in primary or secondary. Just make sure you dont have anything big that will clog up you airlock/blowoff tube
4) Turkey baster works best
5) Always use either an airlock (cost about $1) or a blow off hose regardless of carboy size. Blow of tubes work better for anything with a rigorous fermentation and are less likely to get clogged.
6) ANy thermometer that has the right temperature range (~70-220) will work.

Edit: When you say "put a lock on it", you mean an air lock that releases CO2 but doesn't allow anything nasty in right? I wouldn't want you to put a solid stopper in there, because it won't stay for very long before it becomes one of those less than lethal rounds for riot control.

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Old 02-07-2008, 01:24 AM   #3
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+1 on Parker.

+2 on = Do NOT pour hot wort into your glass carboy.

Probably just an airlock will be fine. If you have a blow off tube, go ahead, use it. Better safe than sorry. If you don't have a blow off tube, just drink a beer and don't worry about it.

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Old 02-07-2008, 02:21 AM   #4
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2. use an ice bath and cold water. You want the wort to get cold quick so you can pitch those yeasties in there. Shake the carboy up to aerate the wort. Yeast needs some air. Oh yeah and take your gravity reading before you add the yeast.

3. well using a hop bag is simple. I opt for the dual strainer. One came with my funnel and one I got at a chef shop that has a nice fine grade to it. All my wort are pass through my dual strainers.

4. don't try to pour from a carboy. that's nuts. that thing is heavy. Use a baster or a wine thief (available at you LHBS).

6. good thermometers reach the places you need temp readings on and do it quick. My favorite for both reasons is this one:http://www.bedbathandbeyond.com/product.asp?order_num=-1&SKU=11720307&RN=210&
that son of a gun even tells you when you've reached your desired temperature.

Don't get too caught up in trying to get it right the first time. It can drive you nuts. We all refine our own ways over time and experience.

Good luck to ya

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Old 02-07-2008, 01:55 PM   #5
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This website is great! And when I say lock, I mean the fermentation lock that allows gases to escape (my kit does not come with one of the blow off tubes).

So, after getting about 1-2 gallons of water boiling, I dump in the malt extract (the can and dry powder) as well as the hops and let her boil for 45 minutes to an hour. Remove from heat and cool in an ice bath until it gets under 75 degress, then do I just add the yeast to just the wort (then put in carboy and fill water up to the 5 gallon mark), or do I put the cooled wort in the carboy (splash it around a little), fill to the 5 gallon mark with water, and THEN add the yeast. Or does it really not matter.

Thanks for helping a newbie.

PS- Good call on the turkey baster....man would I have looked like an idiot for pouring the stuff out of the carboy!

One last question too-what is the easiest method for measuring out a gallon? Can I just some of the 2-quart plastic drink containers I have for making koolaid? Or are those not entirely accurate?

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Old 02-08-2008, 12:08 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AllGoNoShow
This website is great!
Yep, you found the best one!

Quote:
Originally Posted by AllGoNoShow
Remove from heat and cool in an ice bath until it gets under 75 degress, then do I just add the yeast to just the wort (then put in carboy and fill water up to the 5 gallon mark), or do I put the cooled wort in the carboy (splash it around a little), fill to the 5 gallon mark with water, and THEN add the yeast.
Add a little water to carboy, then cooled wort, remaining top off water. Shake carboy like a crazy man. THEN pitch your yeast.

Quote:
Originally Posted by AllGoNoShow
One last question too-what is the easiest method for measuring out a gallon? Can I just some of the 2-quart plastic drink containers I have for making koolaid? Or are those not entirely accurate?
Your Koolaid pitcher is fine if it's not scratched (scratched plastic is near impossible to sanitize). Easiest thing is to mark the five gallon level on your fermenter and fill to the line.
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Old 02-08-2008, 12:32 AM   #7
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You'd think they'd have carboys with markings on them but they don't.

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Old 02-08-2008, 12:57 PM   #8
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You'll work the kinks out of your process after you've brewed a few more batches. The most important thing right now is just to relax, use common sense, and try to learn from your experience so you know how to address these situations when they happen in the future. Also, be as sanitary as possible within reason.

You'll do fine and be sure to let us know how it turns out.

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Old 02-08-2008, 02:08 PM   #9
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Quote:
So, after getting about 1-2 gallons of water boiling, I dump in the malt extract
Be sure and remove the pot from the heat prior to dumping in the extract, otherwise you may scorch the extract prior to it being dissolved/mixed. Remove heat, stir it in making sure no globs or syrup or clumps of powder are lurking in the bottom of the pot, then bring it back to a boil. Once it is boiling again, add the hops and start the timer.

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