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Old 04-10-2010, 11:24 PM   #1
DirtyJersey
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Default My First Brew Day

Well, it finally happened. My first brew day is in officially in the books.

I think everything went fairly smooth, but it took me a bit longer than I expected. 4 1/2 hours to be exact. But that includes opening the brew equipment kit I purchased a few weeks ago, cleansing and sanitizing everything, reading through all of the directions, and cleaning up, etc.

I started with an Irish Red Ale kit that I got from Midwest. It's an extract kit, but came with some speciality grains.

Steeped the grains at 155 degrees for 30 minutes in 3 1/2 gallons of spring water.
Added the LME.
Brought to a boil.
Added hops at 60 mins and at 2 mins.
Used an ice bath to cool down the wort, which took 35 mins.
Transferred the wort into the primary fermenter.
Topped off with more spring water to the 5 gallon mark.
Pitched the yeast.
Took a hydrometer reading (SG was 1.046...range is 1.042 to 1.046, so I'm happy with that).
Popped on the airlock.
Searched around the house for a spot where Wifey wouldn't mind a fermenter sitting for the next few weeks.
Cleaned up.

Some things I noticed that surprised me;
1) The wort smelled a lot better than it tasted. Granted, it wasn't cold or carbonated, but it didn't taste too good. I like Irish red ales, but this didn't taste like anything I would remotely enjoy yet.
2) It was a slow process to chill the wort. I thought this would be much quicker, but it was a slow process with the ice bath method.
3) I didn't particularly care for the smell of the hops. I like dark malty beers.

The house is a nice 65 degrees right now, and based on what I've read here, that seems to be a pretty good temp.

Overall, it was a good first day. Hope it turns out well.

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Old 04-11-2010, 12:31 AM   #2
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Congrats on the successful day

You may want to look into investing in a wort chiller. It is faster than the ice bath. But some people find that the ice bath works just fine for them. I always taste my hydro sample straight out of the wine thief. And today, was the first time that I said, "wow that tasted pretty good. I hope it tastes like that later."

Just remember that the temperature of the wort will go up as the fermentation gets rolling. You may want to watch it. I think you'll be alright, though.

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Old 04-11-2010, 12:37 AM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DirtyJersey View Post
Well, it finally happened. My first brew day is in officially in the books.

I think everything went fairly smooth, but it took me a bit longer than I expected. 4 1/2 hours to be exact. But that includes opening the brew equipment kit I purchased a few weeks ago, cleansing and sanitizing everything, reading through all of the directions, and cleaning up, etc.

I started with an Irish Red Ale kit that I got from Midwest. It's an extract kit, but came with some speciality grains.

Steeped the grains at 155 degrees for 30 minutes in 3 1/2 gallons of spring water.
Added the LME.
Brought to a boil.
Added hops at 60 mins and at 2 mins.
Used an ice bath to cool down the wort, which took 35 mins.
Transferred the wort into the primary fermenter.
Topped off with more spring water to the 5 gallon mark.
Pitched the yeast.
Took a hydrometer reading (SG was 1.046...range is 1.042 to 1.046, so I'm happy with that).
Popped on the airlock.
Searched around the house for a spot where Wifey wouldn't mind a fermenter sitting for the next few weeks.
Cleaned up.

Some things I noticed that surprised me;
1) The wort smelled a lot better than it tasted. Granted, it wasn't cold or carbonated, but it didn't taste too good. I like Irish red ales, but this didn't taste like anything I would remotely enjoy yet.
2) It was a slow process to chill the wort. I thought this would be much quicker, but it was a slow process with the ice bath method.
3) I didn't particularly care for the smell of the hops. I like dark malty beers.

The house is a nice 65 degrees right now, and based on what I've read here, that seems to be a pretty good temp.

Overall, it was a good first day. Hope it turns out well.
Congrats. That was the first kit I made. You will really enjoy it. Don't forget 3 weeks to ferment, and 3 weeks in the bottle.
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Old 04-11-2010, 01:47 AM   #4
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It takes me about 4 hours on my setup to do all grainwelcome to the addiction my friend!!

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Old 04-11-2010, 05:45 AM   #5
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Congrats on day 1!

My brew day for all grain has been about 5 hours from the time I start gathering equipment and heating strike water, until I put the lid on the bucket.

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Old 04-11-2010, 07:11 AM   #6
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Congrats on getting through your first brew! I tasted my wort for the first time today, and I will agree that it was nothing I would want to drink. I am excited to see how it transforms though.

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Old 04-11-2010, 01:41 PM   #7
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After I was done steeping the grains, I placed them on the garbage and today, they smell like hell. Yuck! Hard to believe I'll be drinking this stuff in 6 weeks.

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Old 04-11-2010, 02:31 PM   #8
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Remeber it's not beer until the little yeasty's get to do there thing. Right now it's sugar water.

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Old 04-11-2010, 03:13 PM   #9
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Save some of that spent grain and make bread dough or doggie treats. I also spread it out in my garden. It does stink after awhile, but if you freeze it, it should be fine.

Salute!

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Old 04-11-2010, 03:16 PM   #10
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horses and dogs both love the spent grains........

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