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Old 04-16-2007, 07:14 AM   #11
Ó Flannagáin
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Hey man, if you are using extracts and your recipe is for 5 gals then you can top off with water to get 5 gals total, otherwise, yea, you will have very strong beer, but I doubt its ruined. Just let it age a while in the bottles, its gonna be like a barley wine or something.

You should definitely chill in the brew pot. Maybe get a smaller pot? Dunno, I have a 30qt pot and I just stick it in the bath tub and fill up with ice cold water, I leave the lid about halfway on so steam can escape, its cooled to 75 within 30 or 40 minutes usually.

You should leave the lid OFF when boiling. There is a unwanted ingredient that is supposed to be evaporated out during the boil.

Best! and don't let one bad experience ruin brewing for you. Learn from your mistakes and keep going.

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Old 04-16-2007, 11:49 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Cable Guy
1. How much water do you use to start out with for a 5 gal batch?
2. When boiling your wort, do you leave the lid off your brew pot or leave it on?
3. What do you guys do to chill your wort?
Other than that I know what I did wrong and am making the equip corrections this week. I plan on doing my 2nd brew next Sunday.
Any insight guys would be really apreciated.

Cable Guy
1. 6-6.5gal starting boil should get you near 5gal on a full boil. If you miss you can add water to top up. I you have a 5gal recipe but only 3gal of beer you will have a very strong beer but it will probably taste fine. Might even be great. Call it an Imperial IPA.
2. Lid off to allow volatiles to escape.
3. You should be able to reshape your chiller slightly to allow it to fit. Even it all the coils are not covered it will still chill faster
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Old 04-16-2007, 02:05 PM   #13
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Thanks for all your encouragement guys. I was a bit worn down after the whole ordeal but I learned a ton from it and am going to brew again this weekend.
This time I am going to have a big tub of ice as well as the wort chiller so I can get the temp down. I am also going to boil 4 gal of water the day before so I have it ready to top off the carboy. I'm sure I will run into diffrent things along the way, as long as I learn from them I know I will be brewing good beer in no time.
Thanks again guys.

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Old 04-16-2007, 02:06 PM   #14
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Also, remember that you don't want a really strong rolling boil--no point. You'll lose more water to evaporation (and waste gas/electricity). You should boil, then reduce the heat just so you can see that wort from the bottom of the pot is coming up to the top. You still will sterilize/cook just fine, but you don't waste as much gas or electricity or whatever you use on your burner.

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Old 04-16-2007, 02:21 PM   #15
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Yea, I boiled the HELL out of it. I got one of those banjo cookers and that thing throws off some crazy heat. I did turn it down quite a bit after the boil started but not nearly enough. Like the post said, I boiled down from 6 gal to 3 gal in one hour.
I'm learning.

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Old 04-16-2007, 04:06 PM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Cable Guy
Yea, I boiled the HELL out of it. I got one of those banjo cookers and that thing throws off some crazy heat. I did turn it down quite a bit after the boil started but not nearly enough. Like the post said, I boiled down from 6 gal to 3 gal in one hour.
I'm learning.
That will do it. That is a crazy aggressive boil that is way more than necessary. What I've read is you do want a roiling boil that should evaporate around 10% an hour. Aim for between 0.5 to 1gal loss for your 60 min boil. At the rate you were boiling not only was it a waste of fuel but you may caramelize the wort changing the flavors.
You can always add some water to your beer to dilute it even after fermentation. Just make sure everything is sanitized that contacts the wort/beer. Your beer will be much bigger than planned and will only make a little over 24 bottles but it may turn out to be a pretty good IIPA.
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Old 04-16-2007, 10:45 PM   #17
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You won't believe this. I came home today @ 3 P.M. and my brew was going crazy. The lock was bubbling every 2 or 3 seconds and the yeast was jumping up and down the carboy. It may work out after all. My next question is should I add water after the fermentation when I go to secondary??? I know you said I could add water after fermentation but should I? This may turn out to be a Stronger than normal IPA.
What do you guys think??

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Old 04-17-2007, 12:00 AM   #18
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wait...how many gallons are you at at this point? don't add water after fermentation begins.

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Old 04-17-2007, 12:06 AM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Cable Guy
You won't believe this. I came home today @ 3 P.M. and my brew was going crazy. The lock was bubbling every 2 or 3 seconds and the yeast was jumping up and down the carboy. It may work out after all. My next question is should I add water after the fermentation when I go to secondary??? I know you said I could add water after fermentation but should I? This may turn out to be a Stronger than normal IPA.
What do you guys think??
I think they said you could add water after boiling to top up, not after fermentation. You can do that if you want- take your s.g readings before you add any water, though, because one you water it down that measurement will be meaningless. I would have added water at the beginning to 5 gallons, but I wouldn't add any now unless your beer is so strong you can't drink it.

Edit- since the fermentation is just starting, you can add the water if you want. Did you ever take an s.g. reading? That'll give you the definite answer.
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Old 04-17-2007, 10:53 AM   #20
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It's been about 36 hours since the brew and the yeasties are flying
I've got about 3 1/2 gal in the fermentor and I am not adding water. I plan on conditioning this beer for about 3 to 4 months in a keg and then diviing in.
Thanks for everyones support.

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