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Old 09-26-2009, 06:17 PM   #1
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Default First Brew Day Questions

I'm doing the Brewer's Best American Amber today.

The directions call for a 2.5 gal partial boil. Can I do a full boil? How will I need to adjust my hop schedule to account for that?

If I do decide on a full boil, should I steep the grain bag in just a couple of gallons, then add it to the water for the full boil, or should I steep the grain in the full amount of boil water? Or is that 6 of one and 1/2 dozen of the other?

It came with an 8 oz. canister of LD Carlson Easy Clean No-rinse Cleanser. Is this sanitizer? PBW? Or do I need to bleach everything first then use the No-rinse?

It came with an 11g packet of Danstar dry Nottingham yeast. Should I go ahead and get a second packet of Nottingham? Save one in case the kit packet doesn't take off, or get a second and pitch both?

Thanks.

Gotta go re-fill the propane, then it's time to cook!


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Old 09-26-2009, 06:20 PM   #2
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It's your beer so of course you can do a full boil. I believe it's about 75% of the hops but someone needs to confirm that.

I would steep in a small amount of water. I read in BYO years ago to steep small, boil big. Other than tannin release I can't remember the science behind it.

Easy clean is not a FDA approved sanitizer but it will work.

One packet of Nottingham will do the job nicely.


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Old 09-26-2009, 06:26 PM   #3
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A full boil will affect your hop utilization. It will extract more bitterness.

Use one of the online calculators to figure out your IBUs.
http://www.brewersfriend.com/ibu-calculator/

The easy clean is a cleanser not a sanitizer. Like oxyclean. You need a no rinse sanitizer like iodophor or starsan. If you use bleach you need to be sure to rinse well with some boiled/cooled water.

One package will be fine. Two will be over pitching. Ferment on the cooler side as Nottingham will attenuate very well and give you a nice clean finish. 65-67 is a good target. It will ferment fairly clean up to 72 in my experience.
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Old 09-27-2009, 01:12 AM   #4
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So far so good. Made it through the hot break without a boil-over, first hopping complete. Final hopping in about 10 minutes, then into the ice bath.

Although I'm a bit POd at Bayou Classic. This pot was supposedly 30 qts. It's not. 28 fills it to the brim. So a 6.5 gal boil was out of the question. Solution: 5 gal boil with 2 gal of pre-boiled water waiting on the stove for addition in the fermenter.
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