4th brew last night and each one is getting better
For one I started kegging and brewing at the same time; have one beer fermented and ready to go, clean and sanitize everything, into the keg, brew, and into the fermenter. This saves a bit of time cleaning and sanitizing, and keeps a steady supply of beer around.
(Except now, the 2 days I'm carbing at 30 psi, which is frankly killing me)
I always had problems with having enough ice to cool the boil. Finally I realized by just adding a bit at a time and moving it around the kettle, it keeps it very cold and I can cool it down w/ one bag from the store.
I tried to aerate the wort before pitching the yeast, which so far as I understand mostly involves splashing it. I splashed the hell out of it into the fermenter, splashed in the top off water, and stirred the crap out of it.
I rehydrated the yeast, but I don't think the water was quite hot enough. My understanding is it's good when it noticeably foams up; this pretty much just melted into the water. That's the main thing I think could have gone better this time.
I also started transferring the iced water from cooling the brew into the container around my fermenter to give it a head start on keeping cool, and I got a ton of plastic bottles from my friend who drinks pop and **** all the time so I'm confident I can keep the water around the fermenter in the low 60s.
Last brew I let ferment for 10.5 days... (red ale) It was the first time I properly measured the OG and FG and hit the recommendations from the kit.
I'm hoping w/ a couple days more head start on this one I'll be able to lay off it for at least 12 before kegging. (IPA)
Anyway I'm hoping the last brew will be good and this next one will be great!