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Old 06-26-2008, 05:28 AM   #1
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Default My First Homebrew - w/ some questions

Hi Everyone!
I'd first like too thank all the cool people who make this site happen. I'm very excited about home brewing! Here is some info about whats going on.

I have not started yet, I'm waiting a couple days too get my hydrometer & a siphon tube. Of course there is lots of cleaning too do. I was originally going too try FSR402's - "Citrus Weizen" or EdWort's "Bee Cave Brewery Bavarian Hefeweizen" Sadly my local home brew store had just sold a lot of hops, grains, malt, & yeast. I'm hoping I can try FSR402's & EdWort's recipes in the near future. Looks killer guys!

I ended up buying a "brewers best" kit that had all the ingredients too get going. The box came with instructions, but I'm a bit worried about following the box directions. I've heard from a few people that these kit instructions are usually not very good. I'd really love some feedback from you guys who may have had some experience with a BB kit. If needed I can copy the entire instructions into this thread for you guys too read over. Here are a few pictures for you guys.

Brewers Best - German Oktoberfest






*stuff not shown*
Grain Steeping Bag
Another can of "light malt extract"

I was given Willamette with the kit instead of hallertaur due too the hop shortage, or so the letter in the box said.

Equipment List
================
20qt + large stainless steel pot
Large stainless steel spoon
Pyrex measuring cup
6.5 gallon glass carboy
Airlock
Thermometer
Cleaning & Sanitizing Equipment
Large Steel Mesh Strainer


Still Need
=================
Hydrometer
Siphon Tube
Other? (if you can think of anything please let me know)

I will get a few pictures up of my equipment ASAP. I'll most likely reply too this post tonight and add that up there. I'm very worried right now about messing this brew up. I'm still very confused on a lot of the terms & setup of this. All I can do for now is keep reading though. I'm trying too learn my best. I most likely will be posting more questions before I begin my brew, If I cannot find them.

Thanks guys, this brew is going too be dedicated too you. Anyone taking an apprentice? hehe

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Old 06-26-2008, 05:29 AM   #2
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Brewers Best - German Oktoberfest (pictures that didn't fit)


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Old 06-26-2008, 05:51 AM   #3
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Congrats on your kickoff. One bit of advice, add most of the extract very late in the boil.

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Old 06-26-2008, 06:08 AM   #4
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Style Question....
Is that Muntons Yeast going to make a true Oktoberfest?



Good On you man....You'll make a great beer I'm sure.

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Old 06-26-2008, 06:43 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by blacklab View Post
Congrats on your kickoff. One bit of advice, add most of the extract very late in the boil.
How late, and how much? I know it's supposed to darken if you boil the entire time with LME.

I got a half gallon of "golden" LME for a brew tomorrow, and last time I just tossed the whole can into the boil pot and off I went.
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Old 06-26-2008, 06:54 AM   #6
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Congrats on your first batch OregonNative!

My friend has been brewing Brewers Best kits for years. He consistently produces good beer. Although I never brewed one myself, I have done extract batches and it is pretty hard to screw up. Your biggest worry should be sanitation. The worst thing that can happen to you is to get an infected batch on your first attempt.

I'm fairly confident the instructions will be just fine, but just to be safe, go ahead and post the directions and we'll check it for flaws and make suggestions if need be.

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Old 06-26-2008, 06:55 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by blacklab View Post
Congrats on your kickoff. One bit of advice, add most of the extract very late in the boil.
Thanks very much bro! I'll be sure too remember that.

Quote:
Originally Posted by BigKahuna View Post
Style Question....
Is that Muntons Yeast going to make a true Oktoberfest?



Good On you man....You'll make a great beer I'm sure.
My friend, I'm not really sure about the yeast. I'm sure this beer won't be a true Oktoberfest. Too begin, I'm already using willamette hops instead of hallertauer hops. I believe hallertauer was the traditional hop for a true Oktoberfest. I'm sure there are people who know much better than myself though. Like you mentioned though, I'm not sure if the Muntons yeast will make an authentic Oktoberfest, but I'm hoping it'll drink & taste well.

Thanks for the nice comments & support though brother. I'm hoping it all works out well.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Brew Dude View Post
Congrats on your first batch OregonNative!

My friend has been brewing Brewers Best kits for years. He consistently produces good beer. Although I never brewed one myself, I have done extract batches and it is pretty hard to screw up. Your biggest worry should be sanitation. The worst thing that can happen to you is to get an infected batch on your first attempt.

I'm fairly confident the instructions will be just fine, but just to be safe, go ahead and post the directions and we'll check it for flaws and make suggestions if need be.
Thats excellent news! That took some worry off my shoulder. I'll be sure too sanitize the heck out of everything. I'm hoping I get a decent first batch. I'm not expecting it too be amazing, but I'm hoping it'll at least be decent.

Thanks a ton for the information though. I'm glad too hear the kit has done someone well. I'll make a reply too this post in just a second and add up the entire directions page. Thanks brother.
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Old 06-26-2008, 07:25 AM   #8
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Default Brewers Best - German Oktoberfest Instructions

German Oktoberfest - Exact Directions (as written in the kit)

Yield: 5 gallons
Starting Gravity: 1.052-1.055
Final Gravity: 1.012-1.015
AVB%: 4-5%
Hop IBU's: 22-25

Ingredients (Included)
6.6 lbs - Plain Light Malt Extract
8 oz - Crushed Crystal Malt 60L
4 oz - Crushed Crystal Malt 20L
1 - Grain Steeping Bag
1 oz - Willamette Hops (Bittering)
1 oz - Vanguard Hops (Finishing)
5 oz - Priming Sugar
60 each - Crown Caps
1 each - Beer Yeast

Equipment Needed
Stainless Steel or Enamel Pot (at least 12 quart capacity)
6.5 Gallon Fermenter with grommeted Lid Airlock
Siphon Package (5' of siphon tube, bottle filler, racking tube with tip & bucket clip)
Hydrometer
Bottle Brush
No-Rinse Cleanser
Liquid Crystal Strip Thermometer
Beer Bottles (apx 53, 12 oz bottles).
Bottle Capper
Bottling Bucket with Spigot
Floating Thermometer

Procedures
===============
A. Following the cleanser package instructions, thoroughly and sanitize these items using no-rinse cleanser:

- Primary Fermenter
- Lid
- Airlock
- Hydrometer
- Heat Tolerant Spoon
- Thermometer

B. Pour two gallons of clean water into a 4 gallon or larger pot. If included in your recipe, pour crushed grains into the cloth bag and tie the end into a knot to close it. If crushed grains are not included, go too step C. Place the grain filled bag into the brewpot water and heat to approximately 160 - 170 degrees (F) and steep 20 minutes. DO NOT BOIL THE GRAINS. Carefully remove the grain bag and allow it to drain into the brewpot without squeezing. Discard the grain-filled bag.

C. Heat the brewpot water to boiling. Add malt extract syrup and/or dry malt extract. Stir constantly until it returns to a boiul. If your recipe includes malto dextrin or rice syrup solids, add at this time. Add Bittering hops. Be careful not too let the pot boil over. Boil for 55 minutes, stirring occasionally, then add finishing hops. Boil for an additional 5 minutes (total boiling time is 60 minutes).

*** Note - liquid malt extract will pour easier if you first place the tin in a pan of hot water for 10-15 minutes***

D. Cool the wort rapidly to 70 degrees (F) Temperature can be monitored by adhearing the liquid crystal thermometer to the outside of the fermenter.

NOTE - cooling can be done quickly by immersing the fermenter into a tub of cold water. Other methods are available to the homebrewer. Ask your homebrew retailer for advice and instructions regarding wort cooling.

E. Pour or siphon brewpot contents into a sanitized 6.5 gallon food grade plastic fermenter, leaving sediment (trub) behind. Add 3 gallons 70 degrees (F) or lukewarm water until the level reaches the 5 gallon mark on the bucket.

F. Sanitize a hydrometer and take the Original Gravity (O.G) reading. Write down this number for future reference. Springer the contents of the yeast packet on top of the wort and stir well. Secure the lid on the fermenter with the airlock in place (approximately half filled with clean water).

G. Place the fermenter in a warm area to maintain a temperature of 68 - 72 degrees (F). Keep the fermenter away from sunlight and fluorescent. You should notice bubbling in the airlock within 24 hours. Bubbling will slow down significantly and then stop completely after 3-7 days. When bubbling has stopped remove the lid, sanitize a hydrometer and and take the Final Gravity (F.G) reading. Write down this number for future reference. If this reading matches the F.G reading specified for your recipe, go too Step H. If the reading is higher than the reading specified in your recipe, place the lid back onto the fermenter and allow fermentation too continue for another few days.

OPTIONAL - a process called secondary (or two-stage) fermenter may be used at this point too improve beer clarity. Consult your homebrew retailer for advice regarding secondary fermentation.

NOTE - in preparation for bottling, we recommend against the use of twist-off bottles. Use a standard crown top or returnable bottles only. Make sure bottle are clean, inside and out. Use a bottle brush too remove stubborn deposits. Following the cleanser package instructions, thoroughly sanitize the bottles using no-rinse cleanser immediately before bottling.

H. Following the cleanser package instructions thoroughly clean and sanitize these items using a no-rinse cleanser.

- 6.5 gallon bottling bucket and spigot
- Siphon Tubing
- Racking cane
- Bottle Filling Wand
- (53) 12 oz bottles
- (53) Brewer's Best Crown Caps

In a small sauce pan dissolve 5 oz priming sugar into 2 cups of clean water and boil for 5 minutes. Pour this mixture into the bottling bucket. Siphon the beer from the primary fermenter into the bottling bucket. The siphoning action should thoroughly blend the beer and the sugar solution. Fill bottles using the siphon tubing connected to the spigot at one end and the bottling wand at the other. Bottles should be filled too approximately one inch from the top. Cap the bottles.

I. The sugar addition in step H will produce natural carbonation in your beer. This process will take up to two weeks at room temperature. Thhe beer should be stored in a dark place at 65-75 degrees (F) to ensure proper carbonation. For best flavor, age the beer an additional 21 days. Aging times will vary, depending on the type of beer brewed and your personal taste. Sit back and enjoy your just reward - QUALITY HAND-CRAFTED BEER!

Thats the entire instructions. I hope its a decent guide.

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Old 06-26-2008, 08:01 AM   #9
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Yep, those are excellent directions! As for the yeast question, no, Muntons ale yeast won't make it true to style. For a beginner kit though I'm sure it's close enough and will be tasty nonetheless.

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Old 06-26-2008, 08:02 AM   #10
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I mentioned before that I'd get a few equipment pictures together. Here they are. The bottle capper is a hand held so it'll require two people in order too not make a massive mess. It'll work though.




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