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Old 01-20-2009, 08:56 PM   #1
tconlan25
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Default Some notes from my first brew

So after a week of reading Palmer's How to Brew I felt ready to unpack my shiny new home brew kit and make my first batch, an all extract Porter from True Brew. It was a great time and I'm waiting anxiously to see how everything comes out. In the mean time I'm adding to my bottle collection (the fun way) and keeping an eye on the temperature of the primary.

Below are some notes I took while preparing everything. Large text items are notes I made for procedures before I started, ones in smaller text are notes about those procedures and readings where appropriate. Items in all caps are places I feel I either made a mistake or could have done something better. Feel free to make suggestions or ask questions, I've been reading great examples of both so I know you all can do it

Ingredients in True Brew Porter kit:
2 lbs Muntons Dark DME
1 can Muntons Dark LME
About .5 lbs Chocolate Malt
1 oz UK First Gold Hop Pellets
About 4 oz Malto-Dextrin
Muntons Dry "Active Brewing Yeast"

Procedures for True Brew Porter
Add 2 packets of C-brite to 5 gallons of warm water in the primary
Put all items that need to be sanitized into primary and let stand for 1 minute
Pour sanitizer on lid in sink to sanitize lid
Cover items that will be used later with plastic wrap, put lid on primary
Add 1 gallon water to brew pot (4.5 gallon stainless steel)
Warm water to 150, remove from heat
Steep Chocolate Barley 30 minutes
Remove grain bag and add 2 gallons water and turn on heat (high)
Add DME (2 lbs) and Malto-Dextrin (~4 oz)
Stir until dissolved

Stirred moderately until all additions were dissolved, about 5 minutes
Stirred for about a minute every 5 minutes until roiling boil reached
Bring to a boil and add hops
Stirred for about a minute after boil started, about 1:50 pm
ADDED HOPS IMMEDIATELY, Palmer suggests waiting for the hot break to occur
Boil 30 minutes
Rehydrate yeast at 95-105 degrees, wait 20 minutes to pitch

Pre-boiled water was 100.1 degrees at rehydration, 2:07 pm
IMMEDIATELY GENTLY STIRRED YEAST INTO WATER, everything I have read says to wait 10 minutes before gently stirring
After 30 minutes remove wort from heat and add LME
Added the LME to the brew kettle and stirred until apparently dissolved
WHILE STIRRING, UNSANITIZED SPOON FELL INTO WORT TWICE WHILE OPENING THE LME
SCRAPED THE LME CAN WITH AN UNSANITIZED SPATULA TO GET IT ALL OUT, not the smartest thing I’ve ever done
DIPPED THE SPATULA INTO THE WORT TO TRY AND GET THE MOST OFF OF IT, again not the smartest thing I’ve ever done
STIRRED WHILE ADDING THE LME AND SCRAPER THE BOTTOM OF THE POT SEVERAL TIME WITH THE SPOON, don’t think it will greatly affect the overall taste but don’t know
Let stand for 10 minutes
LET STAND UNCOVERED FOR 10 MINUTES
Cool wort in ice bath to 65-77 degrees
Put in ice bath at 2:37 pm
2:54 pm added 2 gallons of warm water to primary
Covered primary with sanitized lid while wort cooled further
Pour wort to primary back to brew pot 5 times to aerate
3:30 pm poured 77 degree wort to primary
Aerated wort by pouring between primary and brew pot 6 times. Major froth formed.
Add clean water to bring total to 5 gallons and aerate 5 times again
Aerated again with a good froth forming
Pitch yeast
Shake primary for a few minutes

Shook for probably 1 minute
Add lid and airlock
Added vodka to the air lock (Ketel One no less, I’ll have to find some less expensive stuff)
GOT IT GOOD AND SEALED THEN REALIZED I HADN’T TAKEN A SAMPLE FOR OG READING. OPENED BUCKET TO PULL SAMPLE WITH SANITIZED STAINLESS STEEL TURKEY BASTER.
OG reading was 1.052 at 74.8 degrees. Corrected OG is 1.054
EXPECTED OG PER PACKAGING WAS 1.043-5
Expected FG is 1.012-4
Store and monitor temperature
Via Fermometer
Day 1, 7:33 pm 68 degrees
Day 2, 8 am 70 degrees, airlock bubbling
Day 2, 11:00 pm 68 degrees, no bubbling in airlock
Day 3, 7:30 am 66 degrees.
Day 3, 4:20 pm 65 degrees.

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Last edited by tconlan25; 01-20-2009 at 10:53 PM. Reason: Forgot to mention I took out the steeping grains before boiling.
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Old 01-20-2009, 09:08 PM   #2
McGarnigle
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If I understand this correctly, you had an unsanitized spoon fall into hot wort. No big deal at all, as the wort isn't vulnerable yet.

Forgot the OG? For extract, tha wouldn't be so bad. I'm wondering whether you measured it wrong, because it's hard to miss OG for an extract kit recipe.

My experience with True Brew/Munton's yeast is that start and finish fermenting quickly. That being said I'd be interested in your FG (not that you should take it right now).

Question: you added the hops at start of boil. Is that what True Brew said to do? If it were hopped LME, I might have thought the pellet hops would come later. Then again, it's a porter, not a pale ale.

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Old 01-20-2009, 10:06 PM   #3
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Did u remove the steeping grains after the steep. I assume u did, but just checking.
-john

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Old 01-20-2009, 10:37 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by strider View Post
Did u remove the steeping grains after the steep. I assume u did, but just checking.
-john
You mean I wasn't supposed to throw them into the primary still in the grain bag?!?!?!



I did take them out, thanks for checking. I'll add that to the original post.
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Old 01-20-2009, 10:45 PM   #5
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Nah before the boil I mean. It's better to avoid boiling grain.

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Old 01-20-2009, 10:48 PM   #6
tconlan25
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Quote:
Originally Posted by McGarnigle View Post
Forgot the OG? For extract, tha wouldn't be so bad. I'm wondering whether you measured it wrong, because it's hard to miss OG for an extract kit recipe.
I've certainly haven't had a reason to use a hydrometer before so I wouldn't doubt if I did. I didn't have a proper testing tube either so I just used the plastic tube it came in.

Quote:
Originally Posted by McGarnigle View Post
]My experience with True Brew/Munton's yeast is that start and finish fermenting quickly. That being said I'd be interested in your FG (not that you should take it right now).
Me too, but I won't be opening it for another week. I'll post a follow up here though.

Quote:
Originally Posted by McGarnigle View Post
]Question: you added the hops at start of boil. Is that what True Brew said to do? If it were hopped LME, I might have thought the pellet hops would come later. Then again, it's a porter, not a pale ale.
I believe it did but I've tossed the directions so I can't check. From the reading I did I meant to wait until after the hot break, assuming it would have been noticeable. I would have probably waited like 10 minutes if I had been paying more attention. Also it was an unhopped LME. Is there an appropriate time to wait?

And thanks for the quick response.
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Old 01-20-2009, 11:00 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by strider View Post
Nah before the boil I mean. It's better to avoid boiling grain.
Yes, took them out before the boil. I reread my smarta** reply and that wasn't clear to me either.

Question though, I read that there should be a 1:1 ratio of pounds of steeping grains to gallons of water. In my case I only had a half pound of grain which would have called for a half gallon of water. But that half gallon would have barely covered the bottom of my pot so I put in a full gallon. Is the 1:1 ratio good, and if so could i steep in a smaller pot and then just pour it into my brew pot?
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Old 01-21-2009, 12:16 AM   #8
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Question: How long do u plan to let it ferment? I just finished a tru brew kit for pilsner a few weeks ago and it seemed to start fermentation fast and end within about four days. I bottled on day 7. I was actually going to ask a few similiar questions that you did so I'm glad I found this post so I wouldn't start a redundant thread.

Okay here goes:

a couple of weeks ago i got a tru brew kit for pilsner. It was a very simple kit (not nearly as many steps as described above). I ferment in glass for about 7 days and bottled a few hours shy of the total seven days. I drank my first beer on the 7th day after bottling (probably too soon but oh well...). It wasn't bad...however, i don't think all the priming sugar had completely did its thing because in each glass i poured i could see a little sugary ring in the bottom after i finished. Also, the abv was not very high because i drank quite a few (like i said it wasn't too bad). However, in the morning i did notice an odd taste in my mouth and a rough tongue from which i believe it to be unfinished sugar. The next week, 7 days later, i opened another few bottles with slightly different results. The sweetness had diminished slightly along with the ring in the glass. Also, the abv was significantly higher. what a difference those 7 days made. Okay, those are my findings on my first batch.
Now I plan to brew the same kit again, however, I want to do a few things different.

First, I would like to try 5lbs of liquid extract instead of mixing dry and liquid. What do you guys think that would do?

Second, I believe i would like to try fresh hops instead of the dried hops in the bag and maybe an alternative to the dried hop pellets ( if there is one, please let me know).

Third, I will ferment for a longer time, more like 10-12 days before bottling.

These are simple thoughts from a simple man just trying to make the box Kraft Mac and cheese a little more flavorful than its original packaging. If anyone has any thoughts on these ideas, please feel free. Escpecially if im doing somethinge outlandish or I'm doing some irrelevant/futile processes. thanks for the info and looking forward to hearing your ideas.

Tclon25 definitely let me know what your results are and what might you do differently next time.

Mortimer

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Old 01-21-2009, 02:46 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mortimer77 View Post
Question: How long do u plan to let it ferment?
I'll let it go for two weeks just because I'm a bit anxious to get to the next stage. If this wasn't my first batch I'd probably let it go another week. Same with bottling. I'll open the first one at two weeks, but I may not let my friends have any until week 3.
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Old 01-21-2009, 03:12 AM   #10
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To hell with my friends,
they don't know what beer is besides BMC. A couple of years ago when i was toying around and brewing kits (like i am now) I let my friends taste a few. Most of them said it was the best beer they've ever had. I think brewing at home is similiar to rustic food (in my house: country cookin'). If you've ever been to an italian restaraunt and had comida rustica v. olive garden there is a significant difference. I think its the same with home brew. Just my $.02.

You are brewing and experimenting with a more complicated brew than myself, so keep me informed. That may be the next i will try.

Mortimer

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