First time AG

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zero_gabe

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So im doing my first AG homebrew this sunday. I think i pretty much have my bases covered. Ive done a lot of research on HBT and youtube plus talking to a few people. Just wanted to see if you guys could give me some tips and advice for a newbie. Anything that often gets looked over? Thanks!!
 

haerbob3

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Relax and enjoy it. You will love the beer you get. I have found AG to be very rewarding. +1000 on the check list if you use brewing software printout abrew sheet
 

kingmatt

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Don't start drinking until you make it past your hot break...too many important steps you might "forget" about...
 

elkshadow

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Use a checklist.

Take copious notes. Write down everything even if you think it's not important.

Don't panic if something unusual happens. There is no step of the process that is so crucial that 5 minutes of pause and calm reflection will ruin your day or your beer. If something goes wrong, just stop and relax for a minute and think about what to do calmly.

Don't drink at all until you're finished. Cleaning equipment when you're half in the bag is not fun and will lead to taking shortcuts.

Make sure everything that touches the chilled wort is sanitized. Again, if something goes wrong, don't panic. One time I knocked an airlock off the counter into my bucket of chilled wort before pitching. I panicked. I dunked my arm in sanitizer and just reached into the wort and grabbed it. If I would have relaxed and thought for a moment, I could have gone and gotten a spoon or something, sanitized it and used it to fish the airlock out. The beer ended up OK but of course I worried about infection the whole time.

Have fun and good luck!
 

elkshadow

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one big thing I messed on my first AG batch last week, I didn't adjust my hydrometer reading for the temperature. I was given a great website here to calculate it:

http://hbd.org/cgi-bin/recipator/recipator/hydrometer.html?15964064
On that note, just chill your sample and read it at the correct calibration temperature. Just put your sample in the freezer and wait or dunk the tube in a big cup of ice water. I don't trust those calculators and it's very easy to do it the right way the first time.
 

jaydog2314

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On that note, just chill your sample and read it at the correct calibration temperature. Just put your sample in the freezer and wait or dunk the tube in a big cup of ice water. I don't trust those calculators and it's very easy to do it the right way the first time.
I was checking my pre-boil gravity to see if I hit my mark, test efficiency and see if I needed to add DME before the boil
 

elkshadow

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I was checking my pre-boil gravity to see if I hit my mark, test efficiency and see if I needed to add DME before the boil
I dunk my tube full of hot wort in a quart cup full of ice and water and it takes about 5 minutes to chill it from mash temp to 68. I'm definitely reading it at 68 before my wort boils.

Also, You can add DME at the end of the boil too and many think there are advantages to later additions.

Not trying to attack your way. I just don't trust the calculators and it's really easy to chill your sample to the correct temp.
 

doc5md

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I find AG to be easier. I'm much more relaxed when doing AG than extract. Watch your temps and check a gravity sample pre boil and post boil. I chill them before actually measuring. Other than that, relax, you've got lots of time to do things while the mash is happening.
oh, and don't forget to vorlauf... I almost did that but caught myself... easy to do... (or I'm just an idiot! lol) :)
 

krackin

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Lot's of good advice here but should your pant leg catch fire don't take the 5 minutes to relax. Put it out, then take the 5. If your brew buddy's leg catches fire, use your best discretion in handling the situation. Just make sure he doesn't knock stuff over. Major PIA.
 

jaydog2314

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I dunk my tube full of hot wort in a quart cup full of ice and water and it takes about 5 minutes to chill it from mash temp to 68. I'm definitely reading it at 68 before my wort boils.

Also, You can add DME at the end of the boil too and many think there are advantages to later additions.

Not trying to attack your way. I just don't trust the calculators and it's really easy to chill your sample to the correct temp.
very true that is also where i lost time in my brew day, instead of firing up the BK and doing a late addition I tried to figure out how much DME to add BEFORE boiling...By no means do I have it down pat, I'm always looking at ways to improve the process!
 
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zero_gabe

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Thank you guys soooo much for youre tips and advice! They were all very helpful. Im very anxious and excited for my first brew. If my buddy's pant catches on fire i will make sure to not take it so easy lol
 

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