Questions. Starting my first brew next week.

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DryHeat

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First of all I want to say thank you to everyone, I have already learned a lot from everyone here over the last few weeks from just reading the forums. The tittle pretty much says it all, I will be brewing my first batch next weekend and have a couple of questions. I was hoping you guys could look over what I plan on doing and giving me your input.

I will be making a Breakfast Stout extract kit that I ordered from Northern Brewer. I plan on doing a full wort boil. This kit includes 2lbs. of specialty grains(1.5# flaked oats, .5# Simpson's roasted barley). I have read a few different ways of steeping specialty grains, and planned on steeping them in two gallons of water at approximately 160°F for 30 minutes. Does this sound right?

I planned on adding 3.5-4 gallons of water to the wort and bringing it to a boil. My next question is when do I add the 3.15#'s of dark malt extract? Should I add it when I remove the specialty grains? I only have one hop addition at 60 minutes so no problems there.

After my boil is done I will cool the wort with my IC and then siphon it to my carboy. Does it sound like I am missing something obvious or doing something incorrectly?
I do have one more question. The kit i bought came with 2 "S" type airlocks and a blow off tube. The OG is supposed to be 1.030. I will be using a 6 gallon glass carboy for primary. My question is do i need to use the blow off tube for this just to be safe or will i be ok with the "S" type?

Hope I can wait until next weekend to start, the wait is killing me.

Brad
 

BrianP

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First off, good luck with your upcoming brewing.

#1) I've never tried steeped grains, so I can't help here. 160F is probably right though.

#2) You can add the LME early, but you can also add late. The main reason for the boil is extracting hop bitterness and sterilizing the wort. If you were making a lighter-colored beer, a late addition would make a lighter color beer (since malt extract can carmelize and darken during the boil). In your case, it doesn't matter much since it's a stout, although a late addition could also prevent possible scorching in your kettle.

#3) Make sure to put your IC into the kettle during the last 15 minutes of your boil to sterilize it, and this is also when you add Irish Moss or other fining agents if you want (this makes for a clearer beer) - again, not a big deal with a stout since you can't see thru it anyway. You could also add a small hop addition in the last 15 minutes and/or 3 minutes for flavor and aroma - but that's if you like hop flavor and aroma.

When you transfer to your carboy, make sure anything that touches your cooled work has been sanitized. Star-san is a good way to go. Aerating the wort is recommended for helping your yeast get off to a good start. Spashing it around during the transfer will incorporate some O2, otherwise you can use an air stone with an aquarium pump, or you can get fancy and introduce oxygen thru an air stone. Make sure the wort is 70-ish before pitching yeast.

Lastly - the blow-off is a good insurance policy. I use them on all beers, even though my primary fermenter (6 gallon) is large enough for most vigorous fermentations. The S-shaped airlocks are more prone to clogging than the 3-piece airlocks, so if it were me, I'd use the blow-off tube.

Other advice: write down the steps before you start, since it's pretty easy to forget something while in the midst of the process (especially if you're enjoying a beer or three).

Good luck - and welcome to the addiction.
 
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DryHeat

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Thanks for the quick reply. Already have the notebook ready to go and already filled out what I could:). I think I should be good with the sanitation. I have been reading on here about a month now, read "The Complete Joy of Homebrewing" and "How to Brew" so I will be sanitizing anything within three feet of the wort lol. For this batch I think I will stick with just the 60 minute hop addition because the wife doesn't like hopy beer, hence the Breakfast Stout. I figure if the first batch is something she likes, will make it easier when I buy more equipment. I will make sure to post when its done to let everyone know how it went.

Brad
 

fat x nub

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Seems like you have done a lot of reading. Good luck on your first brew....BrianP gave you all of the advice you need. And yes, steep grains for 30 minutes between 160-170
 

FishinDave07

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+2 also remember not to raise the temp of your steeping grains above 170F, because you will release astringent tannins in your beer. Don't squeeze the bag when you take it out either. Just let it drip.

I typically steep in 155F-165F.
 
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