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First brew day down!

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phrogpilot73

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I'm pretty stoked - so stoked in fact that I actually commenced my brew day at 6:30 am. I didn't wake up specifically for that, but I had to drop a friend at the airport really early - so why not?!?

Some lessons learned (that I've written down already), and all of these are based on me using my turkey fryer outside and having stuff inside.

1. Have everything outside with me (instead of having to run in and out).

2. Open one can of LME at a time. I opened both cans, and one slipped out of my hand right when I got outside. I ended up spilling about 1/4 of the can (it was a 2 can kit, with another bag of DME). My OG was supposed to be 1.059-1.063, and even with the spilled extract it was 1.061 so I think I'm fine - what do the pros on here think?

3. Boil overs happen quicker than I thought. I had one boil over, and it was because I had forgotten my jacket. Grabbed the jacket, turned to the door and saw the boil over happening. Sweet. I've read "How to Brew" almost cover-to-cover, and he says boil overs are bad but he never really says why. Why are they bad? Is it because I now have a horrible mess to clean up? Or is there another reason?

4. Coiling the wort takes a lot longer than I thought. I kept changing out the ice in an ice bath, stirring the wort, and it still took 35 minutes. Time to read up on one of these wort chillers...

All in all, I think I did a half decent job my first attempt. Although because of the boil over and the spilled LME, I went ahead and dumped it. I want it to be perfect or I don't want it at all. JUST KIDDING. It's in the fermentor, and I'm patiently waiting to see if I see any bubbles.

Thanks for the warm welcomes as well, and advice. I rehydrated the yeast since it will be in the fermentor for a little over a month. I was also really careful to sanitize everything and even used a tip in BYO about using Vodka in the airlock. The only question I have left is this - when I move the fermentor to the storage area later today (climate controlled at 68 deg), should I remove the airlock for transport, or just leave it?
 

BrewDey

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Sounds like you had a good 1st go at it. Sounds like you hit your OG fine. The more you brew, the more you'll get your routine down to a point where you'll have everything ready-in the right place-at the right time. I use the same tuperware container every time as my 'outside box'-basicly everything I'll need for the boil (notes, hops, stirring paddle, etc.). This keeps me from having to run in and out all the time.

Boilovers are really just messy-not so bad if you're outside-but still annoying. Watch it like a hawk until it boils, then turn the heat down until you get a nice rolling boil. This is a big benefit of using a turkey fryer-you can adjust the heat quickly and get it to just the right temp. It's also helpful to have a spray bottle of water handy.

Cooling the wort can take a while, but it is a crucial step. The wort is most vulnerable when it's cool enough that bacteria can sneak in-but too warm to pitch the yeast. The quicker you can cool it and get the yeast to set up shop-the better. I've been struggling with refining this process lately. I would suggest a chiller though-you'll need it eventually if you want to do all grain. Have fun, and welcome to obsession. Brewing has its ups and downs, but in the end, you're still making beer!
 

bull8042

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Although because of the boil over and the spilled LME, I went ahead and dumped it. I want it to be perfect or I don't want it at all.
Holy Doo Doo! When I read this, my chest got tight!
Someone run over and check on Revvy. I am afraid he may have had a stroke before he had a chance to see the "just kidding" part!
 

FxdGrMind

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Revvy isn't the only one!!! I gasped as I read it!! All that I could think of was him pouring it over the edge of the deck and watching the dogs come running from the 4 corners of the earth!
 

jharres

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Hahaha....I did the same thing. I bowed my head in silence for a moment after I caught my breath, then proceeded to read the just kidding part. Well done phrogpilot73, bravo. :)
 

jharres

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Another thing you may want to add to your list is, discover a way to get the SWMBO on board. It will make your obsession much more manageable. :)
 

TwoHeadsBrewing

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Nice work! Now you need to start planning brew day number 2, and get the "pipeline" full of delicious homebrew. I highly recommend a chiller, as using an ice bath can be time consuming and generally doesn't cool the wort very quickly. For 5 gallon batches an immersion chiller works great and can be bought for around $60, or made yourself for a bit less. If you want something that cools a bit faster and would also work for 10 gallons batches, a counter-flow chiller(CFC) is a good option. A CFC is about $80 bucks to buy or build...or you can buy material for two and split the cost with a friend, which brings the cost down to $50 each. I find the CFC cools my wort faster...but takes a bit more work to sanitize.

Congrats of the first brew! Here's some links to chiller information, props to Bobby_M:

https://www.homebrewtalk.com/f51/immersion-chiller-tutorial-video-60522/
https://www.homebrewtalk.com/f51/counterflow-chiller-tutorial-51793/
 
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phrogpilot73

phrogpilot73

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Final Gravity was 1.011. Target was 1.010 - 1.016. Hit it again... Beginner's luck? We're headed to the LHBS tomorrow to start batch #2 (and prove that I can learn from the mistakes I made), and only a couple more weeks 'till I crack this open:

 

llazy_llama

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Just a wild guess here... You're a Chinook pilot in the Marine Corps?

Just gonna throw that random shot in the dark out there.

Edited: Oh, and congrats on your first brew day! You probably just killed 4 or 5 forum members with your joke there, but no harm done here. Hope it turns out tasty.
 

HillbillyDeluxe

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Just a wild guess here... You're a Chinook pilot in the Marine Corps?

Just gonna throw that random shot in the dark out there.

Edited: Oh, and congrats on your first brew day! You probably just killed 4 or 5 forum members with your joke there, but no harm done here. Hope it turns out tasty.
I'll take this one Phrog! No sir, he's a HH or maybe SH 46 pilot for the USMC (reserve i beleve). The 46 is a bit smaller than the Chinook(48 i believe) and floats when you crash it in the water(hence the name Phrog). I been retired a while but i believe that info is close(Sound about right phrog?)
 

llazy_llama

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The Chinook is the 47. I'm not too up to date on my choppers, since the only one I really need to worry about is the HH-60.

Dont mind me though, just a lowly maintainer putting bombs on B-1B aircraft at the moment. I'm a plane guy, not a chopper guy.
 

pompeiisneaks

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I don't know planes, choppers or any aircraft really, I was army. I know bradleys.... I will say, though, that in Iraq, the Air Force and the Army air support were loverly :) I loved rolling up on "stiff resistance areas" and seeing smoke and rubble :)

I loved watching A-10's smokin things... and the Apache's were incredible in action :)
 

HillbillyDeluxe

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The Chinook is the 47. I'm not too up to date on my choppers, since the only one I really need to worry about is the HH-60.

Dont mind me though, just a lowly maintainer putting bombs on B-1B aircraft at the moment. I'm a plane guy, not a chopper guy.
May wellbe a 47. I dealt mostly with 60's and 53's myself. As for the B1B, thats one sexy ass aircraft. I spent a tour at tinker AFB, depot for the B1. Thats a nice bird,THANK YOU RON REAGAN!!!!!!
 
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phrogpilot73

phrogpilot73

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The helo on the label is the mighty CH-46E Sea Knight... It's actually a picture of me flying from back in '03. And in case anyone's curious... The REAL reason it's called a Phrog hearkens back to 1964 when two pilots from HMX-1 were standing on the flight line watching the first CH-46 being delivered to the Marine Corps. As it was flying up the river, in its green paint scheme one pilot remarked to the other "it looks just like a Frog." The PH spelling was added later, as in amPHbious.

So I was so excited about bottling my first batch yesterday, today SWMBO and I went to the LHBS. As she said "Happy Valentines Day", I was walking out with 2 more kits and a Better Bottle.

Batch #2 is now in the fermenter (LHBS custom recipe for Irish Pub Ale), and very shortly I'll be brewing up batch #3. You were right about this being an obsession!!
 
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