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Old 07-14-2013, 12:05 AM   #1
bru-ster76
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Default My first batch is "in the bag" - Here's what I did.

So after some serious prep work and system tests, I've officially brewed my first batch of DME with specialty grains. It's a nut brown.

All said and done including setup and cleanup, I was a solid 5+ hours, but I don't think I made any critical mistakes. I did, however, have a couple of hiccups which I think I overcame easily enough. My system test with water put me at a 1.8G/Hr boil-off rate, but I didn't get that today with wort. I started with 7G of water in a 9G kettle and after I put the DME in, I was quite nervous about a boil-over. As soon as it hit the boil, of course, I had one, but I was armed with a spray bottle of water which calmed it down and I cleaned up what I could and kept on with my business.

I noticed I wasn't boiling of nearly enough as I was expecting, so I turned up the gas and started a violent boil, monitoring for boil-overs. Doing this, caused my DIY hop spider (PVC) to melt and sent the nylon bag into the water. I fished it out, and wasn't too worried because I built a bazooka filter inside the kettle the night before, (which did a great job). I secured the hop bag to the side of the pot with a paper clip and junked the spider.

At the hour mark, I was close but .~25G over so I boiled for about 10-12 mins more. I hit my target volume in the kettle which I had notched into my spoon with 4% added on for the decreased density, and began to chill through my plate chiller. I wanted to pitch right away, so I slowly trickled my wort into a carboy and hit 69F. The cooling took 25 mins or so. I placed a mesh strainer across my primary fermenter and then dumped the wort through it to aerate and filter anything that got through the bazooka filter. it was pretty clear.

I sprinkled with Safale US05 yeast and set the fermenter into my newly built fermentation chamber set at 67.5F. 30 mins later, after cleaning up, I gave the wort a stir as the manufacturers instructions stated to aerate and mix the yeast in. (I figured this was ok as fermentation would not have begun yet).

The sample i took seemed to hit my OG of 1.050 if my hydrometer is truly out by .006 as determined in a water test. The sample tastes good and now I have to sit back and wait. That'll be the hardest part, I'm sure!!!

Thanks to all that helped me by answering my questions to nail down my understanding and process. I''l let you know how the beer turns out.

Cheers,
Ryan

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Old 07-14-2013, 12:12 AM   #2
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1.8 gallons per hour boil off rate is a bit much. It's usually 1/2 to 3/4's gallon for me in an hour. After the hot break,I crank it to get a hard boil going for the first couple minutes. then turn it down a bit to a even rolling boil. I do all my aerating & mixing before pitching the yeast,starter,whatever.

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Old 07-14-2013, 12:19 AM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by unionrdr View Post
1.8 gallons per hour boil off rate is a bit much. It's usually 1/2 to 3/4's gallon for me in an hour. After the hot break,I crank it to get a hard boil going for the first couple minutes. then turn it down a bit to a even rolling boil. I do all my aerating & mixing before pitching the yeast,starter,whatever.
I thought so too, but I boiled 6.5 to 4.7G of water in an hour a test last week on a gas flow that kept a gentle boil. Does wort normally boil off slower than water?

As for the yeast... ya, I was just going to sprinkle and leave it, but I did a search on the fermentis site that had directions that said to stir in 30 mins after pitching for aeration/mixing. I figured, why not? We'll see what happens, I suppose.
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Old 07-14-2013, 12:20 AM   #4
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"Doing this, caused my DIY hop spider (PVC) to melt and sent the nylon bag into the water."

Lesson learned. No more PVC near your beer. And no more "violent" boils.

Congratulations!

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Old 07-14-2013, 12:24 AM   #5
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Well,wort is denser than water & I don't get that much boil off with a gentle evenly rolling boil in an hour. I don't suppose it mattered a lot to pitch then aerate. But most of us aerate first,since depending on how it's done,it can be rather violent.

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Old 07-14-2013, 12:53 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by masskrug View Post
"Doing this, caused my DIY hop spider (PVC) to melt and sent the nylon bag into the water."

Lesson learned. No more PVC near your beer. And no more "violent" boils.

Congratulations!
Yes. Lesson learned. Should I be concerned that the PVC was warping in/around my beer?
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Old 07-14-2013, 01:20 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bru-ster76
Does wort normally boil off slower than water?
No.

Wort is water with dissolved sugars.

Water is water and that is what is boiling and evaporating.
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