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Old 12-12-2012, 03:05 PM   #21
DrunkleJon
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Another question, you say a brew kettle that's a couple of gallons bigger than my brew. I'm assuming then that you mean a 7 gallon brew kettle since I'm looking at a 5 gallon kit. My question is in the videos I always see them brew with about three gallons and then pour two gallons of water in the pail when they transfer it. I've also seen one add 7# of ice to the fermenter to cool the wort quickly. This seems like a bad idea to me but if its something worth doing I'd like to know.
What I mean is that you want a couple more gallons capacity over the amount you are boiling. Most kits are partial boil where you boil 2-3 gallons of wort and there a 5 Gal pot is sufficient. I only suggest on pot size because boilovers are a huge PITA.

Yeah I got the Midwest kit as well. I still use all of the equipment from it. Well, to be honest I dont really bottle much anymore, but I have yet to break my hydrometer and it has been serving me well for the past couple years.

As for adding ice to the fermenter, I will admit I have done it. There is the possibility of infection, but it never happened to me. If you have a large enough sink, some ice and cold enough tap water, you can cool it quickly enough in an ice bath.
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Old 12-12-2012, 06:31 PM   #22
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Originally Posted by DrunkleJon View Post
What I mean is that you want a couple more gallons capacity over the amount you are boiling. Most kits are partial boil where you boil 2-3 gallons of wort and there a 5 Gal pot is sufficient. I only suggest on pot size because boilovers are a huge PITA.

Yeah I got the Midwest kit as well. I still use all of the equipment from it. Well, to be honest I dont really bottle much anymore, but I have yet to break my hydrometer and it has been serving me well for the past couple years.

As for adding ice to the fermenter, I will admit I have done it. There is the possibility of infection, but it never happened to me. If you have a large enough sink, some ice and cold enough tap water, you can cool it quickly enough in an ice bath.
That's probably the route I will take. And I think the Midwest kit is the one I'm getting. I just wish I could go pick it up in their store! And I was going to go with the ice bath since I don't trust the bagged ice or the stuff in my ice maker.
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Old 12-12-2012, 06:52 PM   #23
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Make your own ice. sanitize a 2 liter fill with boiled\cooled water, squeeze out some space for expansion then cut out of the bottle and drop in your wort. Tupperware works too, but it always seems to not stay square. Lots cheaper. Maybe ziplocks? Otherwise, you will not regret a chiller such as a homemade/purchased immersion chiller

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Old 12-12-2012, 09:32 PM   #24
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Make your own ice. sanitize a 2 liter fill with boiled\cooled water, squeeze out some space for expansion then cut out of the bottle and drop in your wort. Tupperware works too, but it always seems to not stay square. Lots cheaper. Maybe ziplocks? Otherwise, you will not regret a chiller such as a homemade/purchased immersion chiller
I had looked in to an immersion chiller but those things area bit pricy for a guy that hasn't brewed his first batch. I may go that route in the future. For now, it's ice baths in the sink.

And I may try the homemade ice as well but again, with contamination concerns, I'd rather take the surer route and just stick it in the sink. Less to clean that way anyways.
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Old 12-12-2012, 09:55 PM   #25
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Gotcha. Ice baths work well if you keep stirring and change the water/add fresh ice as it warms.
Put some ice packs or something else below the pot so that the cold water can bathe that part as well. really speeds things up.
If you make your own ice, just make sure it has been boiled prior to freezing and frozen in a sealed sanitary container. It will save you some top off water as well.

Happy brewing and keep reading. lots of good advice and information on here.

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Old 12-12-2012, 09:58 PM   #26
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Starter kit for sure and also buy the book Joy of home brewing by Charlie P. Best investment you'll make.

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Old 12-12-2012, 11:59 PM   #27
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Originally Posted by DrunkleJon View Post
Make your own ice. sanitize a 2 liter fill with boiled\cooled water, squeeze out some space for expansion then cut out of the bottle and drop in your wort. Tupperware works too, but it always seems to not stay square. Lots cheaper. Maybe ziplocks? Otherwise, you will not regret a chiller such as a homemade/purchased immersion chiller
I use zip locks filled with filtered & boiled water, about 6 of the large sandwich sized ones, stuck in the freezer 2 days before brew day. Those and an ice bath get me from a 3 gallon boil to ~65° in about 10 minutes. Plus it's less top off water I have to put in.

One other 'trick' to pass along: If going with a bucket for primary fermentation, get one of the large reusable grain bags with an elastic top. They are *great* for straining from your brew kettle to the bucket. Just make sure to get one that will go down to the bottom of your bucket.
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Old 12-13-2012, 12:57 PM   #28
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I appreciate all of the info. I hope to be brewing before I go back to work this week but if i am that means I either went to the local (1 hour drive) brew shop or settled for a mr beer for now. In the meantime I guess I just read as much as I can.

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Old 12-13-2012, 01:33 PM   #29
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I would call Midwest brewing and ask if you can get the Groupon starter deal. It's the perfect intro duction to brewing. $75 gets you everything you need to get started including a recipe kit. you also get $25 towards your next kit.

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Old 12-13-2012, 02:44 PM   #30
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I would call Midwest brewing and ask if you can get the Groupon starter deal. It's the perfect intro duction to brewing. $75 gets you everything you need to get started including a recipe kit. you also get $25 towards your next kit.
That looks like a decent deal but I need a brew kettle.
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You'll Be Boch
Cherry Wheat

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TBDIPA

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