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Old 07-14-2008, 12:44 AM   #1
SudsGuy
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Default Tips for first brew

I'm looking into starting homebrewing, with an extract kit first with the intention of ramping up to all grain brewing. Is there any advice or tips anyone can give me to avoid some pitfalls you guys have had in your experience?

Thanks for the help!



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Old 07-14-2008, 12:48 AM   #2
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Follow the directions, sanitize everything, Relax, and enjoy yourself.



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Old 07-14-2008, 12:48 AM   #3
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Well, I think one of the most important things is temperature control. Fermenting ales at 65 degrees and maintaining that temperature made a huge difference in my beer. The other big thing I watch out for is sanitation. With proper sanitation and temperature control, you have a much better chance of having great beer.

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Old 07-14-2008, 12:50 AM   #4
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Welcome...this place is full of tips...Rather than reinvent the wheel, read the stickied threads in the Beginner's Forum, as well as the wikki...ANd if you have specific questions, ask away, but first use the search feature and type in what you're wondering, you'd be surprised to see that just about every topic you may wonder about has already been asked...and answered.

Also...this book is one of the best resources you could find, and it is readable online for free... howtobrew.com

Welcome to your new obsession *laughs evilly*

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Old 07-14-2008, 01:55 AM   #5
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I like reinventing the wheel - you learn more then then rehashing old news. -

first boil probs - once you get things boiling turn the heat down to a point where it is still boiling but not HIGH!

This will also help with not burning the bottom of the pot.

I do partial boils - make sure you get a BIG pot. Don't use a 3 gallon pot for a 3 gallon boil.

Revvy has it 100% right

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Welcome to your new obsession
Yes - instructions - read them - follow them and once you learn more you will see tweaks and changes to the instructions (I don't dump 100% of the extract in for partial boils).

Have fun and be patient. A GOOD beer will not be good at 2 weeks. Plus - look into NOT using a secondary carboy. Seems to be a thing around here.
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Old 07-14-2008, 09:02 PM   #6
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I just did my first brew yesterday. The only problem I had the whole time had to do with the dry malt extract. I cut open the bag about 2 feet straight above my burner, the bag slipped and a small amount spilled out of the bag, floated slowly to the burner and caught fire, I wasn't expecting it so when it flamed up I jerked backwards causing more dry malt to fly into the air. My wife said it looked like I was more or less engulfed in flame. As impressive as it may have looked, it didn't burn long and I'm only missing some hair on my right arm and my mustache and right eyebrow got singed.

So my tip is to remember that fine organic powder is pretty flammable when suspended in the air.

My wife and I really enjoyed the whole thing and we plan to do it all again, hopefully minus the being engulfed in flames part.

Oh, as a final note, we were using the burner from a propane turkey fryer, we had the forethought to have a fire extinguisher close by, but it wasn't needed in our case.

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Old 07-14-2008, 09:13 PM   #7
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a fire extinguisher?! what a novel concept. I'm glad you're ok. That sounds scary.

As far as the OP goes, just make sure you sanitize everything that touches your beer after you boil, watch your fermentation temps, don't panic at any point, it probably won't get infected if you're sanitary about everything, keep it in primary until it is done, even if the kit says rack after 7 days to secondary, and give it enough time to carb in the bottles. Be patient. Maybe you can get a rabid pit bull to put in front of your beer until it is ready. A blowoff tube will be needed at some point, so keep that in mind too.

Oh, and read every sticky on this site and then read them again. There has been a lot off good advice given on this site and it is all still there if you look.

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Old 07-15-2008, 06:34 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Loup View Post
I just did my first brew yesterday. The only problem I had the whole time had to do with the dry malt extract. I cut open the bag about 2 feet straight above my burner, the bag slipped and a small amount spilled out of the bag, floated slowly to the burner and caught fire, I wasn't expecting it so when it flamed up I jerked backwards causing more dry malt to fly into the air. My wife said it looked like I was more or less engulfed in flame. As impressive as it may have looked, it didn't burn long and I'm only missing some hair on my right arm and my mustache and right eyebrow got singed.

So my tip is to remember that fine organic powder is pretty flammable when suspended in the air.

My wife and I really enjoyed the whole thing and we plan to do it all again, hopefully minus the being engulfed in flames part.

Oh, as a final note, we were using the burner from a propane turkey fryer, we had the forethought to have a fire extinguisher close by, but it wasn't needed in our case.
Hahaha LMAO! I know I shouldn't laugh - it must have been pretty scary but that is a hilarious image!! Your Homer moment. Kablamoh!
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Old 07-15-2008, 07:08 PM   #9
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I think the most important thing to remember is that beer is fairly sturdy.

There are a lot of things that will improve your beer - like pitching rate and fermentation temperature control - but you can still make fine beer if you don't nail these things.

Doing it right is a great thing, but if you have to compromise on some of it, you'll usually be fine.

Pretty much the only thing to never compromise on is sanitation. The rest you can work on improving at as you go.

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Old 07-15-2008, 08:39 PM   #10
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Give yourself plenty of time on brew day. Have a beer beforehand to relax a bit.



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