Hello everyone. Ive 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 Brewers Best American Amber kit. Today I started my first brew. Here are some things I noticed that I hadnt come across (or maybe didnt 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 Ill 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 wasnt an incredible amount of foam as everyones posts would suggest.
b.How much/often do I need to sanitize. Example: Im 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 Ive got to make a IC! The ice bath was difficult and took too long!
Thats about it; Ill keep yall updated as things progress. Any advice, comments, etc. would be appreciated!