First 5 gallon batch using Digiboil

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Draft Master Flash

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I'm new to Homebrew and just completed my 2nd batch. It is Eskimo Amber extract I got from a kit purchased from MoreBeer. My first batch was a 1 gallon kit called Simply Beer Bavarian Blonde. I did that kit stovetop and it turned out really good. So after watching many YouTube videos, I started my first 5 gallon batch using a Digiboil electric kettle. I wasn't quite sure to first heat the strike water up to a certain tempertaure then start steeping the grains or just start steeping grains immediately. I waited till the water was 85f then decided to start steeping grains. My first mistake was pouring in grains while the muslim bag was in kettle. I ended up spilling some of the grains into the kettle outside the muslim bag. I quickly grabbed a strainer from my kitchen and started fishing out the spilled grains as much as I could. Lesson learned, add the grains to the bag over a bowl outside kettle. After 30 minutes I removed what grains that were in the muslim bag from the kettle. Then I set temperature to 221f and once it came to a boil i proceeded to add the liquid malt extract. Mistake #2, I think I added the malt extract too quickly. Although I did turn off the heat some of the liquid extract must of fell to the bottom because my Digiboil stopped working and read "E3" error. Well, as a noob I was thinking OMG I am going to end up dumping my first 5 gallon batch!. After about 15 minutes of fiddling around the kettle came back on and then I was able to come to a boil and witness the "hot break". At 60 minutes I added the Cascade hops using a hop spider then patiently waited. With 15 minutes left of the 60 minute boil I put the immersion wort chiller in the kettle and naturally it killed the boil. Not worried about that because it didn't go below 180f. At 10 minutes left I added the remaining hop and at 5 minutes the whirlock. When the wort cooled down I transferred into fermenter, took a sample for the hydrometer and pitched yeast. The original gravity is 1050. It is now fermenting a 68f. I noticed that there was a considerable amount of grains that I spilled sitting on the bottom of kettle as well as some burnt black sticky crud. T'm thinking this is what cause the "E3" error. It took some major elbow grease to get off all that crud clean. Since grains supposedly release tannins over 170f I'm wondering how this batch is going to end up tasting. Everthing was sanitized properly so I'll just have to wait and see how it turns out.

DMF
 

Sammy86

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Congratulations on your first brew in the electric brewing realm!

First rule of homebrew, relax, dont worry, have a homebrew! From reading your post it looks like you're gonna make beer! Let it ferment out, package it up and let it carb up and see what you got.
 

hotbeer

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I'll just have to wait and see how it turns out.
Yep. That's the best thing to do IMO.

You aren't the first person to have things go wrong. That'll pretty much follow you and many of us through out all brewing. Especially when trying out some new technique you expect to make things simpler or produce better results for you.

You know you are getting better when the number of mistakes start to decline. Sometimes you'll have an entire brew day or two with out any big mistakes.
 
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Draft Master Flash

Draft Master Flash

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Yep. That's the best thing to do IMO.

You aren't the first person to have things go wrong. That'll pretty much follow you and many of us through out all brewing. Especially when trying out some new technique you expect to make things simpler or produce better results for you.

You know you are getting better when the number of mistakes start to decline. Sometimes you'll have an entire brew day or two with out any big mistakes.

I hear you!

Experience is one thing you just can't buy. No matter how much you study up on something it's never the same as just doing it.


DMF
 

davidabcd

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Believe it or not, those are not deal breaking errors. Sounds like you've already learned what you need for the next one.
Steeping grains up to 170°F though I've boiled my fair share and didn't notice much.
You can add LME to boiling liquid but you just need to make sure to actively dissolve it. I use:
1641501701822.png

It's a long-handled, heat-resistant material. I wouldn't leave it in boiling wort but for the five to ten second intervals it's fine. The above instead of a spoon that has a lack of surface area to hit the bottom.
 
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Draft Master Flash

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Believe it or not, those are not deal breaking errors. Sounds like you've already learned what you need for the next one.
Steeping grains up to 170°F though I've boiled my fair share and didn't notice much.
You can add LME to boiling liquid but you just need to make sure to actively dissolve it. I use:
View attachment 754745
It's a long-handled, heat-resistant material. I wouldn't leave it in boiling wort but for the five to ten second intervals it's fine. The above instead of a spoon that has a lack of surface area to hit the bottom.

Thanks will look into getting one of those. I was using a large stainless spoon and I was stirring but I probably should of just slowed it down a bit. Beginner being overzealous I guess!

I may try and go with the DME whenever available. The one gallon kit I did previously had dry and I had an easier time dissolving it. Ofcourse a lot less to add with a 1 gallon batch too.

DMF
 

davidabcd

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Minor pros and cons with DME and LME. I vastly prefer DME.
I haven't had problems with LME sticking or burning, back when I used it which might just be worrying that it was going to burn and stirring a lot.
 
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Draft Master Flash

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I'm thinking with an electric kettle DME would be your first choice. With LME you would have to just add a little bit at a time and just stir it as much as you can. And hope it doesn't end up going to the bottom and covering something and causing a dry boil (E3) error. I'm lucky the Digiboil restarted and was able to reach a rolling boil. I also don't know if it was actually the spilt grain that could of caused the error. The liquid syrup would be more likely to gunk up the bottom and burn I assume.

DMF
 

davidabcd

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You can't go wrong doing things slowly until you got the process mastered. My first brews were...interesting with many mistakes and many mistakes I didn't know were mistakes. it's nice being on the other side of the learning curve.
I haven't used anything but a stove so not familiar with how much power a Digiboil can produce or how i would approach using one.
We're getting a new stove and one burner has an 18,500 BTU capacity. I hope that's a lot because I wouldn't mind my 3 gallons coming to a boil faster and sooner (after I add stuff).
 
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Draft Master Flash

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I do have a 100,000 BTU propane stove and the kettle that came with the kit that I purchased. The only thing is where I live there are a lot of bugs and mosquitoes. So brewing outdoors is kind of undesirable. I do think it would be a better option and I would if under different circumstances. But one thing I recently read is once you add the LME is to not stop stirring until you regain your boil. Or better yet have a buddy help with either the stirring or adding the LME. Going to give that a try!

DMF
 

laurentobias

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We're getting a new stove and one burner has an 18,500 BTU capacity. I hope that's a lot because I wouldn't mind my 3 gallons coming to a boil faster and sooner (after I add stuff).
A note about the 18,500 BTU burner: That's what I use for a 3 gallon boil, and I've noticed that when the kettle sits there boiling for upwards of an hour and a half, it is melting the little pads that sit on the bottom of the cooktop grates. I've actually started using the less powerful burners to keep this from happening.
 

davidabcd

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100,000 BTU propane stove
I don't like brewing outside especially since I only do extract. .
For outdoors I do have a Blichmann Hellfire burner but I use it a lot for frying (My wife's choice to get it, not mine). It's a rocket engine. I don't know how many BTUs but when it gets used for frying, it takes a second person to manage the gas to keep the temp down.
 

davidabcd

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A note about the 18,500 BTU burner: That's what I use for a 3 gallon boil, and I've noticed that when the kettle sits there boiling for upwards of an hour and a half, it is melting the little pads that sit on the bottom of the cooktop grates. I've actually started using the less powerful burners to keep this from happening.
thanks. I'll watch out for that. I've melted plenty of things so far but not the stove!
Current stove has metal grate directly against porcelain stove top (if that's what you mean). Using padding that could potentially melt doesn't make a lot of sense, does it? I guess some stoves aren't designed with a giant pot in mind that holds in the heat like for indoor brewing.
 

CascadesBrewer

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Since grains supposedly release tannins over 170f I'm wondering how this batch is going to end up tasting.

I have read results of a few people that have tried to get tannins in their beers (without luck) with a few different methods, like bringing the full grains up to a boil or throwing some grains into the boil. I would say that you cannot extract tannins from grains, but the risks seem to be a bit overblown.

Good luck with your beer!
 

Teufelhunde

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once you add the LME is to not stop stirring until you regain your boil. Or better yet have a buddy help with either the stirring or adding the LME. Going to give that a try!

DMF


One other thing...add it SLOWLY.......best to add slowly while stirring so that it never reaches the bottom.....
 

faithie999

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You might want to try boiling outside once to see the difference in time between an 18K btu stove burner and a 100k btu outdoor burner. Plus, when you have a boilover you just get your garden hose out and wash it away!
 
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Draft Master Flash

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You might want to try boiling outside once to see the difference in time between an 18K btu stove burner and a 100k btu outdoor burner. Plus, when you have a boilover you just get your garden hose out and wash it away!

I'm definetly going to try brewing outside with my burner if I get another one of those error messages on my Digiboil. Just wish there wern't so many bugs outside here!

DMF
 

davidabcd

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@laurentobias
I really appreciate the tip about the burners. Stove came today and the first thing I checked for were the rubber feet. They were there. It's a safe bet that the designers aren't savvy to the use we would put that burner to.
My wife was puzzled by something that seems kind of a big error.
 
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Draft Master Flash

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Well today I kegged this batch into two 2.5 gallon cornys and all looks and smells good. The FG is 1.012 as expected. Gonna give it a few days to carb and will be tasting it this weekend. I really think this was a good beer to start out with for a noob as it is probably more forgiving than lots of other styles.. The recipe is suppose to be an Alt so if it taste like one I'll be pleased. Just finishing up my keezer build so my next batch will be going into a 5 gallon corny. Can't wait to go on to the next!
 

laurentobias

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@laurentobias
I really appreciate the tip about the burners. Stove came today and the first thing I checked for were the rubber feet. They were there. It's a safe bet that the designers aren't savvy to the use we would put that burner to.
My wife was puzzled by something that seems kind of a big error.
If you come up with a solution, let me know. I ended up buying replacement feet. 🤷🏼‍♀️
 
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Draft Master Flash

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We drank some of this batch over the last couple days and it tastes great. My husband really likes it even though we're more acustomed to drinking helles. So the mistakes I made apparently didn't have any kind of impact on the flavor. No hints of cardboard or buttered popcorn. The carbonation is perfect. One thing I can point out is that it is slightly less than 5 gallons. I did end up leaving more than I should of in the Anvil bucket fermenter. I should of tilted it slightly forward to get more of a yield while racking. By the time I took off the lid I noticed a signaficant amount of beer left hovering over the trub. I figured it was oxidized by then so down the drain it went. This is turning out to be a great learning experience. I can see why there are those who say it's addicting!

DMF
 

davidabcd

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If you come up with a solution, let me know. I ended up buying replacement feet.
I was looking at the problem again yesterday. So far, nothing terrific--removing them before they melt. I think they started putting rubber on because without, there tends to be marks/stains left by the nubs in contact with the metal on metal though an SOS works fine.
I also found out, after the fact, that the broiler can only be used closed. Not good for my omelet making (pan has a rubber handle cover) but that can be gotten around by holding in the sensor for two minutes while the cheese melts.
 
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