Hi, I'm just getting started and am looking for some advice. I do not have all the equipment yet, but it's expensive and I would like to get started. I have a 5 gallon stainless steel pot, electric stove, 3 - 5 gallon carboys, a fermentation thermometer, easy-siphon with bottle filler, sieve, airlock with plug and blow-off hose, Iodophore, glass bottles, bottle caps, capper and a can of Mangrove Jack's Tyneside Brown Ale. The can contain's Malted Barley, water and hops, and comes with a small packet of dry yeast.
I've been doing some reading on this forum, I know everything needs to be clean and sterilized. I have done some reading about putting the yeast into the wort in the carboy. I see there are some different opinions. Love lots of opinions!
The recipe on the can says:
1. Thoroughly clean and sterilize all equipment.
2. Remove plastic lid and put yeast packet to one side. Remove can label. Stand can in warm water for 10 minutes to soften.
3. In a sterilized fermenter mix 2L (.5 US Gallons) boiling water with 1kg (2.2 lbs) of Dextrose. Open can and add malt to the fermenter. Rinse the can with warm water to extract all malt. Stir thoroughly to mix.
4. Top up fermenter with cold water so you have a total of 23L (6 US Gallons) in your fermenter. Make sure brew temperature is between 18-30C (64-86F). Open yeast sachet and sprinkle on surface of brew. Stir well.
5. Fit airlock and grommet to fermenter lid. Fit lid to fermenter, making sure seal is air tight. Fill airlock "U" with water to protect brew while fermenting.
6. Leave to ferment for 5-7 days (or until fermentation is complete). Monitor temperatur and maintain at 18-30C (64-86F). In cooler temperatures use a Copper Tun heating pad.
7. Check Specific Gravity (S.G.) with hydrometer. Bottle when SG is stable below 1.008. (Note that if you are using a Copper Tun Beer Enhancer your SG will be higher.) Clean and sterilize before bottling. Use Copper Tun PET or Flip Top bottles. Don't use non-resealable bottles.
IMPORTANT WARNING The SG must be stable for at least 2 days before bottling. Never bottle until fermentation is complete.
8. For best results clear your beer with Copper Tun Beer Finings. Add to beer just before bottling. Stir well.
9. For fast easy bottle priming use Copper Tun Carbonation Drops.
10. Store your beer in a warm place for 7 days then move to a cool, dark place to mature. Ready to drink in 2 weeks, but will improve with age.
Of coarse my equipment won't handle a whole batch so I was thinking of splitting everything in 2 and trying that. Would that be ok?
I have read reviews of this kit and found that it tends to be sweet. I was thinking I would like to incorporate some of the hops I grew last year, dried and have in a ziplock freezer bag in my freezer. Any suggestions on how to go about that?
I neglected to pick up the dextrose. Could I use granulated sugar or brown sugar from the grocery store and how would I do that?
I don't have a hydrometer so am hoping to guess when it is done fermenting. Would take suggestions here as well.
I am hoping to brew next weekend when I can keep a close eye on the first couple days of fermentation. My supply store is a 5 hour round trip away and I am not sure if I would get a delivery before then.
I'm sorry this post is so long, but I am headed to work for the next 24 hours and won't be able to answer questions until after that. Thank you and have a great day!