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Old 03-15-2010, 07:38 PM   #41
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Originally Posted by coy View Post
Yep in antisipation for brewing my first batch..
I was curious to see; What would be that ONE thing you'd tell a newb just getting started?

good, bad or indifferent what is that one thing you think everyone should know.
Buy a bigger pot.


Don't read anything about All Grain. Just watch a video. Then decide.
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Old 03-15-2010, 07:39 PM   #42
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LOL thanks. I'm thinking it'll be a bit before I do the grain thing.

for now I'll just utilize my $5 16qt pot. I'm sure I'll need to upgrade sooner than later.

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Old 03-15-2010, 07:42 PM   #43
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Relax and go with the flow. Be flexible in the process - not everything will go as planned but staying calm and relaxed will help you figure it all out. HAVE FUN!

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Old 03-15-2010, 07:43 PM   #44
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dont bottle your beer. it is a pain in the ass. start off kegging and then bottle later if you feel like you have to. there are too many ways to screw up bottleing and it adds an extra month onto your grain to glass time.
Absolutely untrue. Forced rapid carbing leads to drinking green beer. People complain about bottle carbed beer tasting better than kegged beer for this specific reason.


It takes time for the carbonic acid to react with things. Beer needs to age whether or not its in a keg or a bottle.
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Old 03-15-2010, 08:13 PM   #45
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Use a blow-off hose. I'm really championing that. It was my very first inkling when I brewed my first original beer, and I was glad I did.

Residual Co2 in the fermenter or not, I don't want to throw anything off by having to remedy a blow-off I could have avoided from the start.

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Old 03-15-2010, 08:40 PM   #46
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Although I'm new to the forum, I've been brewing since 2005. I can think of several things that would help someone just starting.

Start with proven Ale recipes.

Always use a checklist for your process. It's easy to forget critical steps when things get busy or when you get interrupted.

Keep a log - spreadsheet. It's invaluable when you are trying to improve things. What went right is just as important as what went poorly. Be honest about about activities that you don't understand and read up about them.

Don't brew at night. Most of my problems have occurred because I was tired and just wanted to finish up - and screwed something up.

Chill the wort below 75F. It's hard if you don't have a wort chiller and you just want to pitch the yeast and finish up. The temptation to just pitch before you get the wort below 75...or 70F (better), is great - and it does odd things to the taste of the finished brew.

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Old 03-15-2010, 08:43 PM   #47
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1 – Brew often. Brewing is like golf - if you only do it once a quarter, you’re never going to improve your game. But if you string 4 rounds together in rapid succession, you’ll find you become adept rather quickly. Being sanitary almost goes without saying, but to do that it’s a matter of having good form. (e.g. when you take off that plug/air-lock to check for a reading, where do you put it? Do you sit it on the counter?) Good sanitization is about a smooth clean process. You can’t learn that by reading online – only by doing it. Even in all the YouTube videos they skip all the small stuff.

2 – Understand the proper usage of your sanitizing agent. (i.e. don’t rinse off your Iodophor/StarSan.) People go for decades using it improperly: rinsing it off with tap water, waiting for a “full” [arbitrary] soak time, using 3x as much as needed, using .3 times as much as needed, etc. If you’ve used the proper amount, it’s specifically designed not to be rinsed off. It’s also designed to have contact time for only 2min. If you rinse your equipment with “clean” tap water, you negate the purpose of the sanitization rinse product. Will you get away with it if you’ve cleaned your equipment well before? – sure. I did for years. Then I listened to a couple of radio podcasts with the creators of Iodophor & StarSan and they took all the myth out of it and explained that if you rinse with tap water, you negate the sanitization product’s purpose. Save yourself some grief and learn that up front.

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Watch the pot when it is coming up to boil after you've added the extract. Be super ready to reduce heat and stir.
+1

3 - If you do boil-over, take the kettle off, turn off the heat, and clean up immediately rather than baking the sugar onto your stove. The extra 10min of stall time won’t hurt the wort at all.

4 – You don’t have to purchase anything other than what you already have in the kitchen, but if you do purchase a large brew kettle, don’t get one less than 7.5 gal (30 quart). (Note: if you have an electric stove you may have to stick some washers under the heating element to lift it up to make sure you have 100% contact to your kettle to get a full boil.)
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Old 03-15-2010, 11:02 PM   #48
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thank you - thank you - thank you

all very helpful.

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