About to brew 1st batch, need your input

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Symbiote

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Hi friends and neighbors,

Finally got some malt and hops.

Going to brew my first batch, a plain old pale ale. Think "session beer".

Grain bill is 6 pounds of Briess 2-row Brewer's malt, 8 ounces of Briess 2-row Caramel 60, and 1.5 ounces of East Kent Goldings added in .5 ounce segments.

Batch size is 5 gallons.

Here is the list of steps I have written out so as not to get lost on the trail.

Please give me your input:

Strike Water Needed (gal.) 3.0
Sparge Water Needed (gal.) 6.0
Strike Temperature (deg.) 164.33

the day before brewing - get yeast started (boil small saucepan of water, pour into sanitized jar with sanitized lid, allow to cool to room temperature, add yeast, add 1 teaspoon of sugar)

heat strike water, 10 degrees over strike temp

sanitize thermometers, hydrometers, etc.

add strike water to mash tun

float thermometer, wait for temp to subside to strike temp

add mash, stirring to prevent dough balls

after 60 minutes, take 3 pitchers worth out and pour them back in (called "vorlauf"), using a spoon to prevent disturbing wort

drain first runnings into kettle

set kettle on stove to begin boil

heat sparge water to 180 degrees in separate pan

add sparge water to mash tun

after 10 minutes, vorlauf again

drain second runnings into kettle

bring to controlled boil and add first hops - .5 oz fuggles

wait 15 minutes, then add second hops - .5 oz fuggles

at 15 minutes mark, add 1 oz irish moss

wait until 5 minutes mark, then add final hops - .5 oz fuggles

at 1 hr mark, remove from heat and sit in sink

fill sink with ice water and let wort cool

take sample of wort in sterilized glass cool to 60 degrees, then use hydrometer to check original gravity. write it down

while waiting on wort to cool, sanitize primary fermenter, racking tubes, etc. and then clean mash tun. save mash to make dog cookies

when wort has cooled to 65 degrees, stir into frenzy, cover and let sit for 30 minutes to allow sediment to settle in center

rack into primary fermenter

pitch yeast starter

close fermenter and add airlock

sit in cool location until fermentation stops* (2 to 3 days)

rack into sanitized carboy for secondary

wait 3 days, then rack into sanitized bottling bucket

add 4 oz. dextrose and stir with sanitized paddle

sanitize bottles

bottle beer

drink beer

make more beer

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Help me, Obi-Wan!
 

hoppymonkey

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sounds very well thought out to me. just a few things

1. What type of mash tun do you have?

2. You need to cool the water for the the yeast starter down to at least 75 degrees and it would be a good idea to do it 24rs before pitching the yeast

3. ALso you probably need to leave the mash on for at least 60 minutes.
 
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Symbiote

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hoppymonkey

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To get a really strong yeast colony going before you pitch. There are ton of reasons using a yeast starter, but the best reason for me is it greatly reduces the risk of infection/bad yeast.

+1 on the really going to enjoy brewing. IT took me 6 months to work up to where you are starting
 
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Symbiote

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Yeah, lots of reading and stuff.

Got a brewer in the next town over who is a buddy, went over there a few weeks ago and brewed with him.

It seems like the process is fairly easy to master, but the numbers not so much. A few degrees in temp seems like it can do a lot to or for your brew.

So when you make a starter overnight, where do you let it ferment? Sanitized mason jar with lid?
 
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