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Home Brew Forums > Home Brewing Beer > Beginners Beer Brewing Forum > Lessons learned with your first brew?
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Old 11-26-2012, 02:54 AM   #21
shaneogle89
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nickh08215 View Post
Don't put a lid on boiling wort!!
Definitely with you on this one! I was trying to get my wort to a boil on my stove top so I put a lid on it. I walked to the garage to wash out my carboy that was filled with star san and on my way back in I saw my precious wort foaming all over my counter. Man what a massive clean up! Still the brew turned out excellent my first try


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Old 11-26-2012, 02:55 AM   #22
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DON'T FEAR THE FOAM. I spent way too much effort trying to drain and dry the StarSan out my carboy and other equipment. After reading up on the issue on this forum, I now quickly sanitize all my equipment while mashing, have a beer, and keep a spray bottle and small bowl of StarSan for quick resanitizing and I don't worry about the foam or if my carboy is dry.

I love this site!


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Old 11-26-2012, 02:59 AM   #23
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Just brewed my third batch today, and American Amber Ale and so far ithink I've done well.I guess we will find out once my first batch is ready to drink.

Ive read allot on HBT and have watched numerous videos (craigtube) ,and various brew videos witch have helped me. All my brews have been partial extracts, but plan to go mini mash once I feel I'm ready.
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Old 11-26-2012, 03:07 AM   #24
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Don't forget to add the priming sugar before you start bottling.
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Old 11-26-2012, 03:08 AM   #25
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sounds like a good piece of advice.
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Old 11-26-2012, 03:27 AM   #26
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Just because the airlock is making bubbles does not mean your beer is still fermenting. A hydrometer is your friend. Use it for the gravity readings to check fermentation.
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Old 11-26-2012, 03:39 AM   #27
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GilSwillBasementBrews View Post
Just because the airlock is making bubbles does not mean your beer is still fermenting. A hydrometer is your friend. Use it for the gravity readings to check fermentation.
First, in the same vein- if you're topping off with water, your gravity reading will be inaccurate. If you're using an extract recipe, the recipe is more likely to be accurate than your gravity reading. That's the way of the world.

Second, get an auto-siphon if you don't have one. Makes racking easy.

Third, get a vinator if you don't have one. Makes sanitizing bottles easy.

And fourth, which I didn't learn until much later when I started getting into all-grain, but I wish I'd known my first batch - easy way to get an accurate gravity reading with a partial boil beer - if you know your volume post boil but before top off, take a gravity reading before you top off. That gravity reading (expressed as gravity points), multiplied by current volume, then divided by the volume you're topping off to, equals your gravity after top off (again as gravity points). 2.5 gallons of wort at 1.080 means 2.5(80)/5=40, meaning if topped off to 5 gallons the gravity will be 1.040.
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Old 11-26-2012, 03:40 AM   #28
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Quote:
Originally Posted by seriousbeef
When siphoning from ferm to bottling bucket, I propped the ferm at an angle with a reasonably thick book before I started. Preferably a bible, just for irony. So glad I did this, no faffing about with the last 1/2 litre or so
Put the 90* threaded elbow in the inside of your bottling bucket, and you will only leave approx 6oz of beer in the bottom with no tipping!

Place a few gallons of top up water in fridge when you start your boil, use this to drop your temp after you hit approx 150* from the ice bath. After adding 2.5-3 gals you will be right around 70* and ready to pitch and have yur 5gals topped up. Takes me 10-15 min to cool to pitching temps this way.

Set all you additions out in the order they are added.
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Old 11-26-2012, 09:18 PM   #29
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Quote:
Originally Posted by seriousbeef
Another thing to add is a fermentor of 5 gallons aint' light!

Next time, I'm going to move my ferm to its cupboard home where it will be for the next three weeks, then add cooled wort and top up water (extract, obviously), instead of adding my liquids in the kitchen and then hiring a JCB crane to move it to the cupboard.
Better bottles, my friend. This is all
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Old 11-26-2012, 10:28 PM   #30
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1. Temperature control is key.
2. Don't let someone drop a pen in the fermenter.
3. If your beer tastes like cider after 5 days because you failed 1 and 2, bottle before the house smells like vinegar and pray to the beer gods.
4. Get a bottling wand or suffer
5. Funnels are our friend
6. Putting sugar in bottles might be recommended to beginners on many kits and by some shops, but it is painful, especially without a friend (5), gets sugar everywhere, and is a lot harder than just adding a sugar solution then stirring.
7. Blow off tube - Use 'em, or at least have one handy.


Some things i have learned since then (might be useful to newer brewers than my young self)
1. It gets easier, and the beer gets better (especially with 1 above well considered)
2. Try ingredients from different suppliers; something you don't particularly love might not be down to you (more true where LME kits are concerned)
3. Get a fermenter with a spigot already on it to save the bother of later buying one to make life easier and save time (or use a turkey baster and practice syphon skills in the bath with water and your swimming trunks - I chose the former).
4. Using a bottling bucket (racking finished beer onto priming sugar) will take some stress out of bottling and ensure more even mixing of carbonation and yeast deposits throughout bottles.
5. If wanting to use secondaries, use your plastic primary fermenter as a bottling bucket!
6. Don't tell friends and family drinking your beer what's wrong with it before they have tried it; they will not know what you were going for and they'll generally appreciate the free pint!


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