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Old 06-21-2013, 07:24 PM   #11
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Originally Posted by bxtzd3 View Post
im doing a kit from aih, it comes with grain and extract. with that being said, i am confused with the 5 gallon issue and what way is best to get there.
Do you have a pot big enough for boiling the 5 gallons. If not the question is answered for you.

This isn't a question where one way has significant advantages but also significant costs and you stand at a cross-roads and must make a lifetime decision. Basically you need to cook up 5 gallons of wort and whichever way you do it, although having a few little coincidental tricks and advantages, really doesn't make much difference.

There are coincidental advantages to either way. Smaller boils are quicker to cool (see below). Bigger boils are simply closer to the natural concentrate and will feel more natural. But the choice you make will really be a matter of convenience and whatever works for you. I'd suggest boiling as close to a full boil (and over if possible) as you can. But if you can't no-one's going to ever notice.


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if i do a 2.5 then add another 2.5g, wouldnt this cool the wort down to much to pitch the yeast?
Quite the opposite. It'll cool down the wort fast enough that you *can* pitch the yeast sooner.

You are cooling from 212 (very hot) to 70 and that takes time. If you are mixing with with a lot of top of water its a lot faster but it still takes time. Even if you boil away to a gallon and add 4 gallons of top-off water it will still take fifteen minutes or so to get down to 70.

Either way the concern is getting it down to 70 fast. It's almost *never* a concern that you'll get it down to cold.

And the top off water itself isn't too cold to pitch. although it is better to pitch the yeast in the correct range, pitching the yeast too cold isn't a big deal. It'll be a slow start but when it warms up it'll go in ernest. There are other issues that I don't really understand but none of them are capital offenses. And pitching at 60 is *great*. Pitching when the yeast is too hot is another story. Then you can (but it's not a certainty; nothing in brewing is a certainty) and probably will get off-flavors.


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also in my garage, which is where i will be storing this, gets cold at night but warms up somewhat in the day, N.E penn climate. is this a big factor?
thanks in advance.
It can be. Especially the warming up during the day. How big a fluctuation? Temp control is a really simple way to fine tune. And way out there bad temps seems to be the thing (maybe the only thing) that can actually make otherwise good beer become bad beer. But beer brewing is supposed to be fun. My first few beers with poor temp control and pitch to high were all "pretty good" and "hey, not bad!" but my beers *with* very casual temp control are noticeably better. (Probably because of temp control; maybe I'm just getting better--- but probably the temp control).

I've *really* bought into the ice bath camp for my last four batches or so. (Fill a tub. Chill with ice bottles. Swap out roughly once a day.) A little goes a long way.


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Old 06-22-2013, 03:01 AM   #12
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wow, i only got 2 replies through email, i had no idea you all answered. thanks in advance. i will try the cooler in the garage, i have a igloo one from walmart the one with the wheels on the bottom. i dont plan to start until next week but i will do as advised. i will keep ya posted. oh and i got a 5 gallon pot,


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Old 06-22-2013, 04:02 AM   #13
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wow, i only got 2 replies through email, i had no idea you all answered. thanks in advance. i will try the cooler in the garage, i have a igloo one from walmart the one with the wheels on the bottom. i dont plan to start until next week but i will do as advised. i will keep ya posted. oh and i got a 5 gallon pot,
Google or youtube "Swamp cooler"
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Old 06-22-2013, 04:28 AM   #14
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So with a 5 gallon pot you are going to have to do a steep, then probably about 2.5 gallon (see the directions) boil and top up.
Just relax, pay attention to the details, sanitize well, watch your temperatures and don't try to rush things. If the instruction say 5-10 days for a step go for the 10 days or more in a lot of cases. You can do more harm, again in most cases, by going too quick than too long.

Most of all have fun!

If you are unsure of any steps, ask the question here. You will get answers. Sometimes there are more than one way to accomplish the same thing so you will have to gather information and decide what will work best for you. An example is; you can ferment until you reach final gravity. Then you have several choices. 1) do a secondary to clear the beer more. 2) leave it in primary longer which some think will clean off flavors and clear the beer. or 3)bottle the beer.

After bottling prepare to wait at least 2 weeks (more likely 3+) at about 70 degrees then chill for a day or 2 before they will be properly carbonated.

Again, most of all have fun with your new hobby.
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Old 06-22-2013, 05:05 AM   #15
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My only advise is to not shoot for the moon your first time ... give your self something to improve on. With anything, try and get the basics down first, times, procedure, temperature, that way they carry with you as time goes on and you only get better. And the feeling of having your first beer that you brewed will be close to the best feeling you've ever had
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Old 06-22-2013, 01:49 PM   #16
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I do boils up to 3.5 gallons in my 5G SS kettle, It allows for some boil off during the 1 hour boil. Keep a couple gallons of water in the fridge to top off with after getting the wort chilled down to 75F or a lil lower. I can get the wort down to 60-64F in the fermenter.
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Old 06-22-2013, 03:35 PM   #17
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+1 to every thing said here!

a few more tricks that I have done when using kits are:

start the boil with 3 gallons and about 40% of the extract giving in the recipe. I added the second half of the extract at the end of the boil and let it sit for 10 minutes before cooling.

I would also put 3 gallons of water in the freezer before I started my brew day. That way you will have zero issues reaching pitching temps!

Here was my brewing process if it helps any. My first two batches were meh until I developed this system... ( I only have a 5g brew kettle btw)

1) put 3 gallons of "top up water" in freezer
2) steeped grains with 1.5 gallons for whatever the recipy called.
3) added another 1.5 gallons and ~ 30 percent of extract to start boil
4) fallow directions regarding hopping
5) after boil time added remaining extract and let sit for 10 minutes
6) put BK in sink and filled with ice and water carefully stirring the wort until it reached ~100*
7)I pored the wort and now very cold top off water into my botteling bucket.. let the sediment fall out as the temp dropped to ~ 70 and then opened the spigot and let that splash/ poor into the fermenter to aerate.
8)pitch yeast and ferment!
This is exactly the process I've been using, it has worked very well for me.

Good luck,
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Old 06-23-2013, 04:06 AM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sumone View Post
+1 to every thing said here!

a few more tricks that I have done when using kits are:

start the boil with 3 gallons and about 40% of the extract giving in the recipe. I added the second half of the extract at the end of the boil and let it sit for 10 minutes before cooling.

I would also put 3 gallons of water in the freezer before I started my brew day. That way you will have zero issues reaching pitching temps!

Here was my brewing process if it helps any. My first two batches were meh until I developed this system... ( I only have a 5g brew kettle btw)

1) put 3 gallons of "top up water" in freezer
2) steeped grains with 1.5 gallons for whatever the recipy called.
3) added another 1.5 gallons and ~ 30 percent of extract to start boil
4) fallow directions regarding hopping
5) after boil time added remaining extract and let sit for 10 minutes
6) put BK in sink and filled with ice and water carefully stirring the wort until it reached ~100*
7)I pored the wort and now very cold top off water into my botteling bucket.. let the sediment fall out as the temp dropped to ~ 70 and then opened the spigot and let that splash/ poor into the fermenter to aerate.
8)pitch yeast and ferment!
this is what i was thinking, if you have to get the temp to below 70, why wouldnt you just add ice cold water to drop it? fastest way i know.
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Old 06-23-2013, 04:40 AM   #19
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Many people do exactly that. Want to make sure the ice is sanitary though. I make it from boiling water in sealed containers. I actually like making the ice in metal bowls and covering with Satan wrap. Although it does occur to me if I drop the ice quickly into hot, near boiling wort fast enough and the ice is the wort will sanitize the suffice of the ice. In theory.

Many people advise against commercial ice which might not have sanitary surfaces.

Some worry tap water and the source water of ice isn't sanitary but I don't.
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Old 06-23-2013, 01:23 PM   #20
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BREW DAY! i will be hitting the pots after work and some set up in the garage for the expectant fermentation vessel. wish me luck. I'm going in lads!


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