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Old 04-12-2007, 01:47 AM   #1
DanS
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Default My first ever Batch of Beer, am i doing it right?

Hi all, I just finished the first steps of brewing my first beer, i'll explain what i did step by step and i just want to make sure it sounds like im on the right track.
I purchased a john bull wheat beer, beer kit and a john bull amber malt extract. I had to boil them in a gallon of water which ended up having to be in two pots due to a close call with a boil over. i then (after sanitizing everything THOROUGHLY!) poured three gallons of bottled water into a glass carboy, then added the boiled wort (At least i think its wort) into the three gallons of clean water. Let it cool, then i got a hydrometer reading of 1.04, then i added the ale yeast and put a cap on the carboy with a tube coming out into a glass jar for anything that ferments out. Does this sound right to everyone, or is there something else i should be doing, it almost seemed too easy. Any comments would be great, and a question, do i keep pouring the brew into the hydrometer flask to keep getting hydrometer readings as im going, i hate to be wasting precious beer.

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Old 04-12-2007, 01:52 AM   #2
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Sounds good to me. Might be best if you go get a bigger pot so you don't have boil over issues. Also, usually kits are made for 5 gallons not 4 but whatever the recipe said to do, do. Next, I'm not familiar with the john bull extract, but is that pre-hopped?

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Old 04-12-2007, 01:56 AM   #3
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I highly recommend you read a book on brewing such as How to Brew by John Palmer (online edition is free). www.howtobrew.com

Just at a glance, it looks like your first attempt will work out OK, but look for a larger pot the next time you brew. Even a $15 stockpot from Walmart is better than having to split your boil.

As far as hydrometer samples, you do not want to pour the beer into the flask, you need to get something like a turkey baster or a wine thief to transfer the sample to the flask. Yes you will waste a few ounces of beer, but not really, because you can drink the flat beer from the flask and get an idea of how it is developing.

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Old 04-12-2007, 02:02 AM   #4
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[QUOTE=DanS] i then (after sanitizing everything THOROUGHLY!) poured three gallons of bottled water into a glass carboy, then added the boiled wort (At least i think its wort) into the three gallons of clean water. Let it cool, then i got a hydrometer reading of... QUOTE]

I'm new to this but it seems good. Did you use cold water (the three gallons) or an ice water bath to cool the wort faster? How long did it take to cool down to the corrent pitching temperature?

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Old 04-12-2007, 03:47 AM   #5
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next time you might want to think about some aeration before pitching the yeast, the first time i brewed i didnt aerate and the brew was pretty good any way i just hold my thumb over the hole on my bucket\carboy and shake.. other then that it sounds good to me

but im new to brewing you might get better advice from somone else on this forum

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Old 04-12-2007, 04:07 AM   #6
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Sounds good to me! One thing I would echo is the bigger pot- I like a 5 gallon pot for 2.5 or 3 gallon boils. A canning kettle works great!

I'm not familiar with the hopped extracts, so I can't tell you anything about those items you used. For your next batch, I'd suggest a Brewer's Best Kit, or a kit from Austin Home Brew (online). They have great ingredients and very good instructions that can really help you along. I like adding my own hops, instead of the prehopped extracts, because it'll give you a fresher, cleaner taste.

Feel free to ask any questions that you might have. I think you'll find us a pretty friendly place.

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Old 04-12-2007, 04:29 AM   #7
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How much of each malt extract did you put into your batch? 1.04 seems a tad low. Remember to shake or stir the wort to mix it with the top off water vigorously before taking a gravity reading.
I agree with the bigger pot. It will be well worth it.

Welcome to HBT! I hope your first batch is great. Let us know how it turns out.

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Old 04-12-2007, 04:46 AM   #8
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Everything sounds good to me. Watch for blow off and then put an airlock on after it subsides. I agree with that your OG seems low. Check out Promash or Beersmith to check your recipe.
A larger pot will definitely be worth the investment. Try Wal-mart and get a stock pot it's much more cost effective. I use a SS stock pot that I got from there, it's a Tramatino with glass lid 22 qts size and around $50.
Also read as much as you can. You never stop learning. If you make a mistake learn from it then move on and do it better next time. One thing about brewing good beer is that you'll always try and find a way to make your last batch better.

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Old 04-12-2007, 05:42 PM   #9
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Hi guys, thanks for the heads up on my first batch. I'm taking note on the bigger pot and to shake more vigorously. As for the questions, the retailer i bought this from said that the beer kit was hopped "The wheat beer can" but the amber liquid malt was unhopped. When I woke up this morning the brew was bubbling inside and there was evidence of A LOT of activity over night "It looks like beer head residue all over the top of my carboy. So I should wait another day or two to put the fermentation lock on??

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Old 04-12-2007, 07:23 PM   #10
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Hey man, i fyou are using a blow off tube into a jar, make sure you put sterile water in that jar and the end of the tube into that. You don't want anything crawling up your tube and infecting your beer.

Oh, and next time you get a kit, get one that has the hops and malt extract seperate, will be your next step in this hobby and help you understand a little more about what's happening.

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