First brew and have a few questions

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The Dude

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This is my first brew and I have a few questions. The brew I will be making is Old Elephant Foot IPA. Here is the Recipe:

MALT:
6.6 lbs Pale Malt (2x 3.3lbs Briess CBW Pilsen Light Extract)
1 lb Dry Light Malt (CBW Golden Light Dry)
GRAINS:
16 oz. Cara Vienna
8 oz. Cara-Pils
4 oz. Biscuit
8 oz. Munich
HOPS:
2 oz. Northern Brewer (boil)
1 oz. Columbus (@40)
1 oz. Columbus (@50)
2 oz. Cascade (finish)
ADDITIVES:
2 tsp. Irish Moss
1 tblsp. Gypsum
YEAST:
Nottingham or WLP001
MISC EQMP:
Hop Sack
¾ cup Dextrose for Bottling

1. Put approximately 1 ½ gallons of cold water in a brew pot (capacity of the pot should be at least 12 qts.) and place on stove. Put 3 ½ gallons of cold water into the sterilized fermentation bucket. Put all the grains into the hop sack and place sock into the brew pot with the 1 ½ gallons of cold water. Turn on the stove and bring the water slowly to a boil. When the water is just about to boil remove the grains and throw them outside for the birds.
2. Add 2 oz. of the Northern Brewer boiling hops to the boiling wort (wort is the stuff boiling on your stove), add the gypsum.
3. At 40 minutes add all the malt; add the Irish moss and 1 oz. of Columbus Hops to the wort.
4. At 50 minutes, add the 1 oz. Columbus hops to the wort.
5. After 1 hour turn off the stove. Add the 2 oz. finishing hops and let them steep for 3-5 minutes. You are done! Add the wort to the fermentation bucket containing the 3 ½ gallons of water, top off to 5 gallons.
6. Add the yeast to the fermenter when it is approximately room temperature. Stir the yeast into the wort vigorously for 3 minutes with a sterilized spoon. Add an air lock to the fermenter lid and fill halfway with water. Affix lid to the fermenter. Have a beer!
7. Wait 10 days. Drinking beer during this waiting period is an option. Check the specific gravity of the beer with a hydrometer. If the reading is around 1.010-1.015 you are ready to bottle, if not wait a couple days and check again. Bottle with ¾ cup of dextrose. The beer should be ready to drink in 21 days.



Here are my questions:

First, what is the best way to sanitize the 7+ gallon primary fermentation bucket and 6 ½ gallon carboy with BTF?

I also plan on skipping the gypsum because I will be using bottled spring water, is this OK?

I plan on steeping the grain by slowly bringing it up to 155 degrees and letting it soak at 155 for 30 minutes, is this OK?

I’ve got a 6 ½ gallon glass carboy for secondary but it does not say when to rack to secondary and for how long?


Thanks for the help.

Scott
 

Yooper

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I have no idea what BFT is, so I can't help you there. But I can help with the other questions:

Spring water is fine. (I have good tap water, so I use that). Don't use distilled water, which is stripped of minerals.

Your grain steep sound perfect. If you want to get even more practice out of it, when you're done steeping, put the grainbag in a big colander over the brew pot and pour 170 degree water over it, rinsing all the grains. Don't squeeze the bag, allow it to drip over the pot. This is called "sparging" and you'll use that more in partial mash brewing and all grain, but it does rinse the remaining color and flavor from your grain. Don't pack your grain bag tight, leave the grains in there loose and dunk during the steeping, like a tea bag.

Rack to secondary after all signs of fermentation have about stopped, or your s.g. is about where you expect it to be after it's done. Most of us use the 1-2-3 method: 1 week in primary, 2 in secondary, 3 in bottles, then drink! Of course, that is a rule of thumb- I usually primary about 10 days because of my work schedule. Some people do it differently, of course, and that's not wrong. This seems to work for most people, though.

Lorena
 

backwards

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I would get some more opinions of the size of your secondary carboy - 5 gallons seems to be the norm here. I know most are saying 6.5 for secondary is just too much head space. Good luck - and don't listen to me, I'm still very new.
 
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The Dude

The Dude

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Yooper, I ment BTF, sorry been corrected. Thanks for the replies, please keep them coming.

Scott
 

Yooper

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That's ok, Scott- but I don't know what that is either! I'm sure someone smarter than me will be able to help.

As to the question on the size of your carboy, that's a bit of a debate around here. I use a 5 gallon for secondary, like backwards says, but plenty of others use 6.5 gallon. Go ahead and do a search on secondary, and you'll see what I mean! Really, there are arguments for both sides and I'll stay completely out of that issue.

The best piece of advice anyone can give you is this: Beer is very forgiving and is hard to screw up. If you make a mistake here and there, you'll still make beer. Of course, some beer is better than others.......:cross:

The mantra around here is RDWHAHB. From Papazian, the father of homebrewing. Relax, don't worry, have a homebrew. Ask all the questions you want, and this forum is great for giving answers. Welcome to the obsession!

Lorena
 
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The Dude

The Dude

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orfy - yes. Is the best bet to fill the entire corboy or bucket with water and B-T-F and let it soak for a while or just fill 1/4 of the way and splash it around? Also, how long does it need to be incontact before it is sanitized?
 

the_bird

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Iodophor only needs about thirty seconds of contact, so fill the carboy/bucket partway, swirl it around for a while, then you can re-use it with whatever else needs to be sanitized at the same time. I dump it into a big Rubbermaid tub that holds all the other gear I'm using at the time.
 

MariaAZ

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I've only made two batches thus far, no infections that I can determine, and I followed the basic sanitizing routine that the_bird suggests. I mix half a bucket of solution, put on the lid and swirl it around for about a minute then call it sanitized. It's worked so far.
 
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