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    First Beer - 3 months later

    Hey Guys, so I tried an American Wheat Ale, and I brewed it back in late October. Here is what I wrote down about it in my journal as time went on. American Wheat Ale Directions followed exactly. Brew Date: 10/30/11 Yeast: started in ~ ¼ cup of LME and 325ml of water for 24 hrs, and...
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    Blow off valve vs. airlock

    Do you really NEED an airlock? I have one, but I have my swamp cooler in such a way that the top is on top of the blow off hose so its lifted up to catch the air from the fan and push it inside to keep it at 66 degrees. I tried putting on the airlock but it will require no top which means no...
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    No heat break

    Hey guys, I am making my first brew, and I am doing a 4 gallon partial boil, and I haven't gotten a heat break yet (its barely foaming up). Is this okay? It has been boiling for quite some time (about 15-20 min with only the LME in it and about another 26 min with the bittering hops) Its...
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    Brew Day Tomorrow

    Hey guys, brew day is tomorrow, and this is my first batch. Just had a quick question, I just bought a 5 gallon SS kettle and I was wondering how big of a wort I should make. Recipe says I should do 2.5 gallong min and put 2 gallons of cold water initially and top off with more cold water at the...
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    New Kettle Break in

    Do I need to "break in" my new 5 gallon kettle. I just finished washing it, but I was wondering if I needed to boil water in it first, and if so how much for how long. And would I need to clean it again afterwords?
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    yeast floculation

    Hey, so I am getting my beer brew kit tomorrow along with the recipe. Tell me how this sounds. Start tomorrow (Friday) - Activate liquid yeast until pouch inflates ~3-5 hrs - Make a starter 1L (this will be weird because I only have LME that comes with the recipe kit is it okay if I use some...
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    Primary in bedroom

    Hmm, so I am thinking of where I can leave my primary, I have a very limited set of options. I was wondering if I could leave my primary in my room, or if that would be too annoying/loud with the bubbling going on for 3 days straight? I have a roomate, and my gf lives with me so its a little...
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    So I just realized I have quite a problem on my hands. I don't have a brewing kettle. I have one that is stainless steel, and it seems big to me (so big in fact that I never use it because I feel its wasteful of water and takes forever to heat up) but I was measuring it out and I put a gallon in...
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    I have been looking into sparging, but it still kind of confuses me. I looked at John Palmer's site, but it just does't add up for me. I get that you are rinsing water over the grains you take out, but the amoount and how you do it doesn't add up. For example "Sparging is the rinsing of the...
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    Johnson Temp. Control

    Hey guys, I live in an apt. and its usually around 70-72 degrees farenheit in here. I was thinking that that is probably too warm, and it is probably a little bit warmer than that in some areas. My gf was not a fan of swamp coolers, and I liked the igloo cooler idea since it didn't appear to...
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    I am deciding which beer I should make for the first time. Are there some extract recipes that are harder than others? (i.e. lagering recipes). If I were to go the lagering route, I live in Miami. I imagine I would have to buy a mini-fridge to make it work out. Should I avoid doing this for my...
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    Secondary Fermenting

    Do none of you really use secondary fermenters? Why not? What are the pro's and con's? It seems as if most everyone leaves their beer in primary on average 3 weeks. Why not secondary after this or why not some other combination? BTW are some beers better to brew as a first timer? Or should I...
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    Best Brewing Kit?

    What is the best kit to buy? I am just getting in to the hobby, but havent been able to brew anything yet. I was looking at the "Deluxe Starter Kit" from Northern Brewer, but wasn't sure if there are better options in terms of equipment or price. Thanks for the input