So my friends and I are making our first batches of beer today. They've never brewed anything in their lives so they look to me for advice and equipment.
My questions are...
1) I'm lending them 5 gallon carboys and we're doing 5 gallon kits. Do we just fill to the 5 gallon mark (very high up near the neck)? My concern is that even with a blow off tube it'll pop the plug and erupt everywhere. I don't want their first experience brewing to be a mess. All I've ever made is wine and cider so I have no experience with the vigorous, foamy, fermentation of beer.
2) We don't have a big enough pot to do a full boil so can we just reduce the water we add after? Make the final volume closer to 4.5gal? This would also make a bigger beer right? I don't want to *F* up a basic beginner noob extract kit on my first try though.
If it matters... here's the kits we're doing: