First AG questions

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Matt Foley

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Did my first AG yesterday. A few problems understanding how my new burner worked caused me alot of delay. But I think everything worked out ok. 4 questions:

1. My stove never would boil very heavy but this propane burner will. On your boil should it be just a mild boil or a full rolling boil? I lost more water than I thought I would.

2. There was a lot more break material than I realized. I transfered cool wort to bucket with auto siphon. Should you strain when you do that?

3. On the recipe. This was Northern Brewer's American Amber AG kit. It is my experience that the color of this brew is generally .. . well . . . AMBER! It came out awfully pale. The instruction sheet had the recipe as 9 lbs Rahr 2 Row Pale and 1lb. Dingemans Caravienne but on the bag of crushed grain the sticker said 1 lb Briess Caramel 20 rather than the Caravienne. Would this account for lack of amber color?

4. I have seen youtube video of people collecting runnings in their pail. This seems like a good way to calculate the gallons collected. However, when you pour to boiling kettle wouldn't you be aerating the wort? What do you do?

Thanks
 

cheezydemon

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Rolling Boil

Don't strain

Neither option would make it very amber.

Before the boil it doesn't matter. After the boil and it has cooled, you want to aerate.
 
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Matt Foley

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thanks for the input. How To Brew talks about "hot side aeration" and avoiding splashing around hot wort. Anyone else with any thoughts?
 

maltMonkey

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Matt Foley said:
1. My stove never would boil very heavy but this propane burner will. On your boil should it be just a mild boil or a full rolling boil? I lost more water than I thought I would.
Generally you want a good rolling boil, although I've been learning lately that on some styles with certain grain bills you would want to reduce the heat a bit.

Matt Foley said:
2. There was a lot more break material than I realized. I transfered cool wort to bucket with auto siphon. Should you strain when you do that?
I usually tie a nylon bag around my autosiphon to prevent some of that getting into the fermenter. If you whirlpool first it makes if easier. Break material in the fermenter is not a problem though--I've even read that small amounts can help yeast health.

Matt Foley said:
3. On the recipe. This was Northern Brewer's American Amber AG kit. It is my experience that the color of this brew is generally .. . well . . . AMBER! It came out awfully pale. The instruction sheet had the recipe as 9 lbs Rahr 2 Row Pale and 1lb. Dingemans Caravienne but on the bag of crushed grain the sticker said 1 lb Briess Caramel 20 rather than the Caravienne. Would this account for lack of amber color?
I have know idea what's up with their recipe. Caravienne and Crystal 20 both have the same lovibond rating so no issues there--but that recipe only gets you to just under 6 SRM (assuming 5g batch) while the style guidelines for American Amber are 10-17 SRM...

Matt Foley said:
4. I have seen youtube video of people collecting runnings in their pail. This seems like a good way to calculate the gallons collected. However, when you pour to boiling kettle wouldn't you be aerating the wort? What do you do?
HSA is always an issue until the wort is cooled. It can happen during the mash, while sparging, etc. It's not something I would really worry about too much (a lot of people believe it's pretty much a non-issue for homebrewers) but you generally don't want to splash the wort around until it's chilled post boil.

I mark my boil pot with a sharpie on the inside. Carefully measure a gallon of water, pour it in, make a mark, etc. I usually have to re-trace my lines every few batches as they fade due to the boil. You could also make a measuring stick and mark lines on it in the same manner...or install a sight glass.
 

Sigafoos

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I think 'hot side aeration' is one of those topics like 'stainless steel vs aluminum' that everyone will have an opinion on. From what I've read I've sort of picked up on the opinion that it doesn't really matter... but I've never actually tried it, so I don't know :)

I agree though, the web version of How to Brew is very worried about it. I had mentally written it off as a non-issue, but it's brought up so many times that it made me wonder again.

maltMonkey, does marking it with a Sharpie have any danger of getting something nasty into your brew? It seems like an efficient method, but if I'm going to get permanent ink in the wort... (what's the Lovibond rating of Sharpie ink? :D)
 
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Matt Foley

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Sigafoos said:
(what's the Lovibond rating of Sharpie ink? :D)
From the looks of my American Amber recipe I probably could have used the Lovibond of a little Sharpie ink.
 

maltMonkey

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Sigafoos said:
maltMonkey, does marking it with a Sharpie have any danger of getting something nasty into your brew? It seems like an efficient method, but if I'm going to get permanent ink in the wort... (what's the Lovibond rating of Sharpie ink? :D)
I've thought it causing off flavors but never noticed any problems with it. We're talking about just a few small lines and I've never tasted any "sharpie" flavors in my beers.

To answer your question, Sharpies are 473 lovibond ;)
 
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