Brewing my first next weekend

Homebrew Talk - Beer, Wine, Mead, & Cider Brewing Discussion Forum

Help Support Homebrew Talk:

MasterShake

Well-Known Member
Joined
Nov 12, 2008
Messages
106
Reaction score
0
Location
Brooklyn,NY
Hey guys,

I am going to try and brew my first ever home brew batch next weekend. I have read a lot and do understand what it entails. I do hope some of you can help me out as I go along.

First I am looking to brew a simple recipe, I am not looking for a great beer..if my first batch comes out drinkable I'll be excited. My goals are to get a drinkable good beer that I can share with my friends and family. I am not sure what a simple and yet good recipe is.

I have a two fears in brewing. The most intimidating is sanitizing, I want to get this part right, but I don't want to have any off flavors. What are some good sanitizing solutions that are no-rinse and wont produce any weird flavors.

Another problem I have is fermentation chilling. It is always hot in my apt and I am looking at buying a chest freezer and converting it, are there any other good options for this? I want to be able to fit atleast 2 5 gal buckets in my chiller.

I hope you guys can help me out with my first brew !

* i know this is a subjective topic, so any suggestions to get me started in the right direction is good.
 

Arkador

Well-Known Member
Joined
Apr 16, 2009
Messages
1,700
Reaction score
20
Location
Fort Worth, TX
First I am looking to brew a simple recipe, I am not looking for a great beer..if my first batch comes out drinkable I'll be excited. My goals are to get a drinkable good beer that I can share with my friends and family. I am not sure what a simple and yet good recipe is.
a Heffeweizen is a good first beer, you don't have the step of steeping grains, and it prefers the warmer tempratures (70's)
or a Saison which will thrive in the 80's
there are lots of great recipes here https://www.homebrewtalk.com/f82/


I have a two fears in brewing. The most intimidating is sanitizing, I want to get this part right, but I don't want to have any off flavors. What are some good sanitizing solutions that are no-rinse and wont produce any weird flavors.
Sanitize with StarSan, it works GREAT and you will not have any off flavors

Another problem I have is fermentation chilling. It is always hot in my apt and I am looking at buying a chest freezer and converting it, are there any other good options for this? I want to be able to fit atleast 2 5 gal buckets in my chiller.
Swam cooler!
Find something that will fit 1 or 2 fermenters, fill with water to just below the Wort, throw a tshirt over the fermenter and point a fan at it. Add a frozen 20oz bottle of water every couple hours for even cooler fermentation. You only need to do the ice for the first week.
This method will get you a 7-10deg difference
 
OP
MasterShake

MasterShake

Well-Known Member
Joined
Nov 12, 2008
Messages
106
Reaction score
0
Location
Brooklyn,NY
Swam cooler!
Find something that will fit 1 or 2 fermenters, fill with water to just below the Wort, throw a tshirt over the fermenter and point a fan at it. Add a frozen 20oz bottle of water every couple hours for even cooler fermentation. You only need to do the ice for the first week.
This method will get you a 7-10deg difference
Thanks for your advice, I will look into a swamp cooler. The only problem is i have a 9-5 job and cant change frozen water bottles every couple of hours...
 

Arkador

Well-Known Member
Joined
Apr 16, 2009
Messages
1,700
Reaction score
20
Location
Fort Worth, TX
Thanks for your advice, I will look into a swamp cooler. The only problem is i have a 9-5 job and cant change frozen water bottles every couple of hours...
I use 1gal apple juice bottles leftover from making Apfelwein also, they take several hours to melt. You could swap those out 3X a day. with a Saison or Wizen, you aren't going to add ice anyways, or it would be too cold.
 
OP
MasterShake

MasterShake

Well-Known Member
Joined
Nov 12, 2008
Messages
106
Reaction score
0
Location
Brooklyn,NY
I use 1gal apple juice bottles leftover from making Apfelwein also, they take several hours to melt. You could swap those out 3X a day. with a Saison or Wizen, you aren't going to add ice anyways, or it would be too cold.
I've been looking into maybe building Mother of Fermentation Chiller...
 

Synovia

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jan 8, 2009
Messages
1,324
Reaction score
6
Location
Chicago, Il
Thank you. I am just worried about keeping the right temp's its 97 outside :(
Then brew a Saison and just don't worry about it. Brew stuff thats more temperature dependent in a couple months when it starts getting cooler.
 

corvax13

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jul 21, 2009
Messages
294
Reaction score
1
Location
Savannah, GA, US
+1 on the swamp cooler. I live in Southern Georgia, and it pretty hot and humid outside - I have a stout I brewed last week, and the swamp cooler is keeping it in range (granted, its on the higher end of the spectrum - 70s not 60s, but it works).
 
OP
MasterShake

MasterShake

Well-Known Member
Joined
Nov 12, 2008
Messages
106
Reaction score
0
Location
Brooklyn,NY
Then brew a Saison and just don't worry about it. Brew stuff thats more temperature dependent in a couple months when it starts getting cooler.
I decided to brew a Saison, will get my kit from Northern Brewer soon. Thanks for your suggestion.
 

android

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jan 31, 2009
Messages
3,058
Reaction score
52
Location
Ames, Iowa
don't sweat the sanitizing too much, it's not all that intimidating after you get through the first brew. in fact, brew day is the least of sanitizing worries IMHO. once the boil is over, just make sure the fermenter, lid, and airlock are sanitized and dump her in.
 
OP
MasterShake

MasterShake

Well-Known Member
Joined
Nov 12, 2008
Messages
106
Reaction score
0
Location
Brooklyn,NY
So I've compiled a list of items to order. I will be ordering from Northern Brewer in one packed.

I wanna put it here for 2 reasons. It will help me keep track of what I am ordering and also to make sure I am not missing anything. I think i got it all covered.

I have no brewing equipment to begin with :(

Sterilization
1. Star San 32oz 15.50$

Boil Process
1. 7.5 Stainless Kettle - 78.99$
2. Muslin Grain Bag x4 - 2.36$
3. Floating Thermometer - 5.99$
4. Stainless Steel Spoon - 7.99$

Fermentation
1. Ported Better Bottle 6gal - 29.50$
2. Better Bottle Blowoff - 5.75$
3. Hydrometer - 5.99$

Racking to Keg
1. Better Bottle Racking Adapter - 27.99$
2. Better Bottle Racking Outlet Install Rod - 3.75$
3. Better Bottle SimpleFlo Valve - 13.99$
4. 1/2" ID Siphon Hose x4 - 2.00$

Grand Total $196.05

I think I got everything. Any suggestions or critic is appreciated..
I do still need to buy a keg, but I dunno which one.

Oh and of course I am also going to grab a Saison kit to brew, since I can't control my temperatures yet.

What do you guys think?
 
OP
MasterShake

MasterShake

Well-Known Member
Joined
Nov 12, 2008
Messages
106
Reaction score
0
Location
Brooklyn,NY
sorry to bump this. but i am about to order and i feel like im forgetting something :(
 

51mmz0rz

Member
Joined
Aug 22, 2008
Messages
15
Reaction score
0
I feel like you'd be better off with an autosiphon and some tubing rather than the ported better bottle and accessories. I have heard the ported better bottles aren't worth the money, but have no personal experience with them.
 

HawaiianHippie

Active Member
Joined
Aug 1, 2009
Messages
37
Reaction score
1
Location
Oahu
Personally, I'd skip the stainless steel spoon. I've got a coupla wooden ones and a long plastic one that I use when stirring wort during the boil. Fun thing is, since the wort is boiling anyway, you don;t really have to sweat sanitizing the spoon. Clean, yes. Sanitization happens just because of the heat!

Other than that matter of preference, it looks like you've got a good selection picked. Do remember that you'll want another 5 gallon container to use when you mix the priming sugar in before bottling. I have a generic 5 gallon HPDE bucket I bought at City Mill that I use for that purpose. (I also have to use it on brew day because my brew kettle is only 3 gallons, but that's another story).

Oh, how are you going to cool your wort? I add ice and cool water to bring my volume up to 5 gallons, but that's part of the handicap of the small brew kettle. You may want to look into a chiller.
 

Crazytwoknobs

Well-Known Member
Joined
Aug 2, 2007
Messages
583
Reaction score
3
Location
Chicago
You'll want something to hold your sanitizing solution, as well as another thermometer to check against.

I've only ever used glass carboys, and they're fine. Most people don't recommend fermenting in buckets.

Hydrometer jar would be nice.

Are you going to be bottling? You'll need bottling supplies in a few weeks.

Good luck! Don't sweat the sanitation for pre-boil stuff. Be super clean post-boil.
 
OP
MasterShake

MasterShake

Well-Known Member
Joined
Nov 12, 2008
Messages
106
Reaction score
0
Location
Brooklyn,NY
Personally, I'd skip the stainless steel spoon. I've got a coupla wooden ones and a long plastic one that I use when stirring wort during the boil. Fun thing is, since the wort is boiling anyway, you don;t really have to sweat sanitizing the spoon. Clean, yes. Sanitization happens just because of the heat!

Other than that matter of preference, it looks like you've got a good selection picked. Do remember that you'll want another 5 gallon container to use when you mix the priming sugar in before bottling. I have a generic 5 gallon HPDE bucket I bought at City Mill that I use for that purpose. (I also have to use it on brew day because my brew kettle is only 3 gallons, but that's another story).

Oh, how are you going to cool your wort? I add ice and cool water to bring my volume up to 5 gallons, but that's part of the handicap of the small brew kettle. You may want to look into a chiller.
I will not be bottling. I will be going straight to keg and into my keezer.

I am planning on cooling my wort by placing my kettle into some ice and ice cold water. Hopefully it wont take that long.

You'll want something to hold your sanitizing solution, as well as another thermometer to check against.

I've only ever used glass carboys, and they're fine. Most people don't recommend fermenting in buckets.

Hydrometer jar would be nice.

Are you going to be bottling? You'll need bottling supplies in a few weeks.

Good luck! Don't sweat the sanitation for pre-boil stuff. Be super clean post-boil.
I got a small wash bottle for the sanitation solution.
I'll add on a hydrometer jar. thanks.

I will not be bottling, this will be going straight into a cornie for secondary fermentation and then straight into my keezer and on tap. How would I carbonate it once its in a cornie?

I feel like you'd be better off with an autosiphon and some tubing rather than the ported better bottle and accessories. I have heard the ported better bottles aren't worth the money, but have no personal experience with them.
can you explain this further? I don't really see what the difference is since the ported bottle is only 3 dollars more expensive..and it seems like its less risk of air getting in this way..
 

51mmz0rz

Member
Joined
Aug 22, 2008
Messages
15
Reaction score
0
Yeah, I didn't think there is much risk of oxygenating the beer with an autosiphon (Auto Siphon - 5/16" racking cane), and it costs $9 rather than $45 for better bottle attachments. There may be other advantages to the ported better bottle racking adapter I am not aware of though. It also seems like a non ported version would be a little easier to clean.
 
Top