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Old 01-26-2011, 04:43 AM   #1
Kylito87
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Default Prepping for that crucial 1st brew day

Well it is finally time. I have a few well for the lack of a better word n00b questions.

1. I bought a 7.5 gallon kettle but I didn't take into consideration that I would need a long spoon to go with it. I am making a fuggles IPA from Midwest. Would it be ok to do a 3 gallon boil and then top up or should I find a resuraunt supply store and buy a spoon.

2. My equipment kit came with a tub of EZ clean. I have been reading up on this and it seems that it isn't a true sanatizer, which is kind of misleading on Midwests part to make you think you have everything that you need right away. Should I go with what I have or should I track down some starsan? Also EZ clean wouldn't work in my sulfiter would it?

3. Speaking of my sulfiter I got the nozzle together ok but when I put the nozzle/ plate in the bowl all three tabs don't stay down. Is this normal? The directions were in Italian so they weren't much help.

4. I have heard many methods of adding my LME. I heard add 25% after the grain steep and once the boil begins do the hop additions as scheduled there are 3 fuggles additions to this beer. With 10 Minutes left in the boil add the rest of the LME. I am not sure what to do here.

5. This last question is more of a question for the misses. I am planning on doing the boil when she is gone this weekend, My concern is when the fermenter is in my closet. Are there going to be any major smell concerns during fermentation? We live in a 800 Sq ft 1 bed room. I am trying to minimize mess so I will probably put down a layer of News paper and Garbage bag my fermenter just to be safe. If worse comes to worse I will use my siphon hose for blow off. Well I think that is all for now. I am sure I will come up more questions as I am brewing on Saturday and you guys will become tired of my questions. But I guess that is the only way I am going to learn doing, making mistakes, and asking questions. Thanks so much any help would be appreciated.


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Old 01-26-2011, 04:59 AM   #2
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Well it is finally time. I have a few well for the lack of a better word n00b questions.

1. I bought a 7.5 gallon kettle but I didn't take into consideration that I would need a long spoon to go with it. I am making a fuggles IPA from Midwest. Would it be ok to do a 3 gallon boil and then top up or should I find a resuraunt supply store and buy a spoon.

I'd go get a spoon - you'll want one anyway. As you know, there are quality advantages to doing a full boil. But just be warned, cooling 5+ gallons of wort without a chiller can take time and lots of ice. Also If you decide to do a full boil and your kit instructions don't call for it, you will want to adjust your hops amounts to account for the different utilization.

2. My equipment kit came with a tub of EZ clean. I have been reading up on this and it seems that it isn't a true sanatizer, which is kind of misleading on Midwests part to make you think you have everything that you need right away. Should I go with what I have or should I track down some starsan? Also EZ clean wouldn't work in my sulfiter would it?

Starsan is a must have. Get a spray bottle to dispense it too - very convenient.

3. Speaking of my sulfiter I got the nozzle together ok but when I put the nozzle/ plate in the bowl all three tabs don't stay down. Is this normal? The directions were in Italian so they weren't much help.

Sorry - not sure here. One thing I would offer is that you can use a dishwasher to sanitize bottles if it has a hot sanitize cycle. Just pre-wash and don't use any detergent or rinse agent.

4. I have heard many methods of adding my LME. I heard add 25% after the grain steep and once the boil begins do the hop additions as scheduled there are 3 fuggles additions to this beer. With 10 Minutes left in the boil add the rest of the LME. I am not sure what to do here.

There are quality advantages to late extract addition. If you decide to do late extract and your kit instructions don't call for it, you will want to adjust your hops amounts to account for the different utilization.


5. This last question is more of a question for the misses. I am planning on doing the boil when she is gone this weekend, My concern is when the fermenter is in my closet. Are there going to be any major smell concerns during fermentation? We live in a 800 Sq ft 1 bed room. I am trying to minimize mess so I will probably put down a layer of News paper and Garbage bag my fermenter just to be safe. If worse comes to worse I will use my siphon hose for blow off. Well I think that is all for now. I am sure I will come up more questions as I am brewing on Saturday and you guys will become tired of my questions. But I guess that is the only way I am going to learn doing, making mistakes, and asking questions. Thanks so much any help would be appreciated.

Some yeasts will produce foul smells like hydrogen sulfide. Since your kit is an ale, this is unlikely. It will probably smell great . The blow off is a good idea - start with it hooked up, don't wait till it's too late.


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Old 01-26-2011, 05:39 AM   #3
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I'll only reply to #3... you can get all 3 to clip down, you just need to fuss with it a bit and use quite a bit of pressure... I go through this everytime I bottle.
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Old 01-27-2011, 04:50 AM   #4
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So I am going to call up some restaraunt supply stores tomorrow on my lunch break and try and locate some star san and a large metal spoon. Getting amped! I just have to wake up early Saturday and hit resturaunt row area before the store closes if I find one that has star san, because they typically close early on Saturdays. Then I will have to go to a b-day party and get home around 3 that afternoon and commence the brewing. I am sure I will stay up all night and baby sit like a nervous wreck lol. After reading the directions off of my recipe kit I think I am going do a 3 to 4 gallon boil and top up. Mostly because of my lack of wort chiller. I won't be able to hook one up in this apartment.
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Old 01-27-2011, 05:16 AM   #5
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Good luck and try not to over think it. Besides the recipe, a huge part of brewing is developing a process.

Oh, and don't put your bottles in the dishwasher - even if you have a sanitize cycle. If you doubt this in any way, have a look in your dishwasher. Starsan is the only way to go.
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Old 01-27-2011, 05:23 AM   #6
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Awesome! I remember being very nervous and constantly checking things on my first beer. Just remember to RDWHAHB - or in your case a good craft brew! Patience is very important as a home brewer.

Your kit instructions don't look too bad, but if you can be patient, another week or even two in the primary (total 3-4 wks) can help. Also, temp control is important. You can make a cheap swamp cooler if you can't find a place in your apartment that is on the mid to low temp range for the yeast you use. Make sure you initially cool to appropriate temps - don't rely on getting close (like 80F) and letting the beer cool the rest of the way once you've pitched. One last thing ... check to see if your water has chlorine or chloramines. If there are appreciable levels it can cause a beer to have off plastic tastes. Chlorine can be boiled off. Chloramines cannot and need treatment by campden tablets. I'm not trying to worry you - just want your first beer to be excellent. It's actually more hard than you might think it is to screw up a beer. Good luck!

I have chilled 5 gallons without a chiller before and it is possible, but could take as much as 30 lbs of ice, a large tub and 30 minutes.


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