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wsamford 08-05-2012 10:30 PM

My First Brew: Notes/Observations/Questions - Please Help or Critique
 
Hello everyone. Iíve been reading up on home brewing (books/forums/blogs) and after consulting with my LHBS guru, I bought a very basic setup (2 buckets) and the Brewerís Best American Amber kit. Today I started my first brew. Here are some things I noticed that I hadnít come across (or maybe didnít remember) as I was preparing and brewing.

1)I had a real difficult time adding the malt extracts! The kit came with both a dry and a liquid. I soaked the LME in hot water first, but it still came out really slow and took forever to empty. The DME, as I was pouring it in, clumped up from the steam and even got stuck in the bag. I also spilled a bit on my hand and it was pretty difficult to get off. Are there any tricks to dealing with this stuff (other than the hot bath for the LME)?

2)I never had anything close to a boil over. Granted I was using a massive turkey fry pot on my electric stove (next time I think Iíll buy a propane tank and cook outside) but there was hardly any foam. I kept a gentle rolling boil and added the extracts/hops just like the instructions said.

3)I was using Star San to sanitize my clean equipment. I added 2/3 tsp to a 32 oz spray bottle (a little more than the instructions suggested). Two things:
a.There wasnít an incredible amount of foam as everyoneís posts would suggest.
b.How much/often do I need to sanitize. Example: Iím chilling my wort. I take the clean, sanitized spoon and stir the wort. Then I set it on the clean, sanitized lid. Do I need to re-sanitize it before putting it in again? Do I need to sanitize the lid?

4)It smells great! I need a longer thermometer, and Iíve got to make a IC! The ice bath was difficult and took too long!

Thatís about it; Iíll keep yíall updated as things progress. Any advice, comments, etc. would be appreciated!

Wade

smalltownbrewer 08-06-2012 12:22 AM

Next time try pouring about half the LME into the pot then fill the container up with boiling water and stir then pour into pot, next dump your DME into a heat resistant bowl and slowly whisk it into the pot, don't worry small clumps will dissolve. As for the sanitizing just keep the spoon on a previously sanitized serfice and you will be fine. Last, try freezing a few 1 litre plastic bottles with water and throw them into the ice bath, also swirl the sink water one direction and the wort in the opposite direction, so hit is always meeting cold.

Good luck, cheers

smalltownbrewer 08-06-2012 12:25 AM

Next time try pouring about half the LME into the pot then fill the container up with boiling water and stir then pour into pot, next dump your DME into a heat resistant bowl and slowly whisk it into the pot, don't worry small clumps will dissolve. As for the sanitizing just keep the spoon on a previously sanitized serfice and you will be fine. Last, try freezing a few 1 litre plastic bottles with water and throw them into the ice bath, also swirl the sink water one direction and the wort in the opposite directtion, so hit is always meeting cold.

Good luck

smalltownbrewer 08-06-2012 12:27 AM

Sorry for the repost

HootHootHoot 08-06-2012 03:11 AM

1. A simple solution to liquid extract is to use dry only. For the dry extract you can prepour it into a bowl and then pour it into the boil. Make sure to remove the pot from the heat to prevent burning.

2.Good. Boil over means too hot. You don't need an incredible rapid boil.

3. A. I make a 2.5 gallon batch of starsan and use it to sterilize. I use a carboy though. That's where ou will get foaming, making a big batch of starsan
3.b. I used to be like that, sanitize all the time. I learned that it's very very hard to spoil a batch of beer. I feel like you need to try and ruin a batch. When I cool I just leave my spoon in there, but I use an immersion chiller too so it goes faster. Your spoon is ok sitting out for a few minutes.

4. Immersion chiller with an ice bath works great. I am in the process of getting a submersible water pump to pump the icecwaterbthrough the chiller once I get it down to 120-100 using the tap/hose.

davcar74 08-06-2012 03:24 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by HootHootHoot (Post 4308087)
3. A. I make a 2.5 gallon batch of starsan and use it to sterilize. I use a carboy though. That's where ou will get foaming, making a big batch of starsan
3.b. I used to be like that, sanitize all the time. I learned that it's very very hard to spoil a batch of beer. I feel like you need to try and ruin a batch. When I cool I just leave my spoon in there, but I use an immersion chiller too so it goes faster. Your spoon is ok sitting out for a few minutes.

With the spary bottle (which if you fill it from your 1/2 oz to 2.5 gal solution of star san) will last through the night and for three months, just keep spraying the spoon...and the lid.....and everything... if you make it that easy for yourself with the bottle, why not? then you can use it to spary the hydrometer, etc.

wsamford 08-06-2012 03:41 PM

Thanks guys!
I'm glad to here my concerns weren't a problem and I appreciate the starsan advice!

The air lock is bubbling away... I'll update when something happens!


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