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Home Brew Forums > Home Brewing Beer > Beginners Beer Brewing Forum > newbie, first time brewing !
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Old 06-06-2012, 09:19 PM   #1
shanek17
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Default newbie, first time brewing !

Hey everyone so I am finally going to make some beer! But I'm not completely sure how to go about it. I've made wine and have been soon much reading about beer, but I'm still unsure of some things. I bought a beer mix in a can and spray malt and dextrose and I'm wondering how to properly bring them together in the boil. Do I just dump them in all at once ? How long do I boil the mixture? I also bought Irish moss to help with clarifying but I don't know when to add it or how long to leave it in the boil for. Any tips would be great ! the beer kit in a can came with instructctions but there not so good. The instructions say to "dissolve the contents of the can with fermentable sugars with 2 liters of boiling water" that's all it says ! Doesn't say for how long or nothing!

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Old 06-06-2012, 09:37 PM   #2
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Read this:
http://howtobrew.com/intro.html

All you need to read is section. It will give you a whole overview of the process and break it down step by step.

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Old 06-07-2012, 12:49 AM   #3
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Originally Posted by SC_Ryan View Post
Read this:
http://howtobrew.com/intro.html

All you need to read is section. It will give you a whole overview of the process and break it down step by step.
I have read some of this before, do they mention how to use Irish moss?
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Old 06-07-2012, 01:26 AM   #4
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1tbs Irish Moss somewhere in between minute 30 and 15. It supposedly aids in a more clear finish product. I sometimes forget and never really notice. Toss it in with one of your later hop additions.

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Old 06-07-2012, 01:30 AM   #5
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What kind of kit do you have?

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Old 06-07-2012, 03:36 PM   #6
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What kind of kit do you have?
its a coopers real ale in a can. that's why I'm confused as to how to brew and boil this stuff. all the videos I see they don't open a pre made beer in a can. they have fresher ingredients and they put them into the boiling water seperatly. so I didn't know If I can still follow their directions.
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Old 06-07-2012, 03:49 PM   #7
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It's simpler than you might think. Do you know how much water to boil? Once you have a good boil, take it off the burner, add your ingredients and stir until completely dissolved. This is so that you don't ruin your pot by having the sugar burn at the bottom. Once completely dissolved, you can boil it for a few more minutes, or as long as you want, then cool it completely... In your shoes I would force myself to re-read the directions several times until I felt more confident.

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Old 06-07-2012, 03:58 PM   #8
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Generally with the kits you'll have the can, as you mentioned, which is malt extract. If there are any grains (barley) those would be "steeping grains" and usually the kit also comes with a muslin bag (a mesh bag for those steeping grains).

If there are steeping grains you would heat the water up to the 150's and then let the grain bag sit in the water (tied so grains don't escape bag) for about 20 minutes to get the flavor from those grains.

Then you'd remove the bag full of grains and bring the liquid to a boil. If there are hops included in the kit, the instructions should tell you when to add each bag of them. If not, you would add the mix in the can after the boil has been going for about 40 minutes and stir VERY well. After the boil has gone for 1hr. you would turn the heat off and place the pot in an ice bath to cool it (or if you have an immersion chiller, pre-sanitized and boiled for 15 minutes). Once the temperature of the internal liquid is around 70 degrees F you would move the liquid to the fermenting vessel and pitch the yeast.

If the yeast is a dry package, I would first put it in some 90* water, about a cup, for 15 minutes covered with sanitized foil. Then pitch it into the cooled liquid in your fermenter.

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Open log Fermenting and gas-can secondary?? I am planning my next brew right now!!
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Old 06-07-2012, 03:58 PM   #9
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Do exactly like imbeer describes. Typically, we boil wort for 60 minutes - not sure if that's necessary for this kit or not, but it'd probably be good practice for you for future batches. Then add the Irish Moss when you have 15 minutes left to go in your boil.

Chill the wort as well as you can, transfer it into your fermenter and top it off to whatever the intended final volume is for the kit (5 gallons, or the metric equivalent, is typical, hopefully your kit instructions will tell you this much!). Then pitch your yeast.

And here is where most kit instructions really tend to fall apart: fermentation times: Your instructions likely tell you to leave in primary for some number of days, then transfer to secondary for some other number of days. Likely this is an arbitrary number of days, and they're much too short.

Most folks around here agree that transferring to secondary is unnecessary - it's a step you can safely skip. Leave you fermenting wort in your primary for at least 2 weeks. 3 or 4 if you can bear to wait that long (most newbies can't, we understand!). At that point, check the gravity (you do have a hydrometer, right?), make sure the gravity is at what your kit says the final gravity should be. Check it again 2 days later. If it's still the same, you're ready to bottle.

Bottle it up, put those bottles away for 2-3 weeks before refrigerating them, then you'll be good to go.

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Old 06-07-2012, 04:02 PM   #10
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Personally, I would skip Irish moss with a pre-hopped extract kit, and, unless you are adding hops, they (pre-hopped extract kits) don't have to be boiled. I've brewed 2 of them (pre-hopped extract kits) recently to see how well I can get them to turn out. This is what I would do:

1. Bring 2 to 2.5 gallons of water to a boil, turn off heat.
2. Add pre-hopped extract, and spray malt (DME), stir gently to get it all dissolved and mixed. If you use dextose, don't use a lot. I've added 4 oz (along with 1 lb, 12 oz DME). Let it sit 10 mins or so now.
3. Cool the wort by your method of choice; I'd try to get it to about 70 degrees ballpark.
4. Add top up water to get to your final volume, typically 5 gallons.
5. Stir, check gravity, aerate and add yeast.

The key to getting good results out of these pre-hopped kits is much the same as with any of the other brewing methods: use fresh ingredients (particularly the liquid pre-hopped stuff), good sanitation practices and control of ferment temperature. Also, skip the included yeast and go get a good quality dry yeast or even go with a liquid yeast. For simplicity's sake, my suggestion is a good quality dry yeast, and re-hydrate it, though if you want to keep it as simple as possible even that's not really necessary.


So far, I've found that I can get a pre-hopped kit brewed like this in a little less than 2 hours, including set up (my brewing equipment is in my basement, and I have to bring it upstairs when I brew) and clean up, and I'm not a rush rush person, if you know what I mean. The results thus far have been pretty good, though honestly I still prefer my partial mash brews over the pre-hopped kits. It's a good way to start for sure, and I don't think you will be disappointed with the results. I'm going to continue to brew them occasionally, and try some of the various styles available.

EDIT: stratslinger mentions it, but I don't use a secondary either. Three (sometimes 4) weeks in the primary and then bottle. Check with the hydrometer, of course, to gauge fermentation progress and completeness before bottling. Bottle condition minimally 3 weeks @ 70 degrees.

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