questions that arose from my first brew

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bdaddy

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Still waiting for fermentation to begin on my first brew, but thought I'd ask a few questions that came up as I went through my first brew

1) I ordered the kit from midwest and asked for the crushed grain for the specialty grain , instead of doing it myself. When I put the grain in the muslin bag, grain was coming out of the bag even while it was sitting on the counter (not a lot, but was leaving a trail). The same happened within my brew. Is this normal? Or did they crush the grain too fine? Wondering what will be the outcome of the beer, if any.

2) I pre-boiled 3 gallons to put in the fermenter. Palmer suggests doing this the night before, but I did it right before (so had quite a problem getting this temp down as well as the wort temp). Anyways, next time I plan to do it the night before. Is it ok to pre-boil and sit overnight? As much as we worry about sanitization, there's not risk to the water we're mixing in the final fermenter to have sat overnight in this manner?

3) I have an extra kit that I won't be brewing for 3-4 weeks. I saw some threads on storing and most recommend a cool/dry place, but I don't really have one other than the fridge. My options are fridge (cold, moist) or room temp/closet (76-78, dry). What is the best option of the 2 for each of the following: extract, hops, steeping grain, dry yeast packet.

4) The kit recommended adding the bittering hops as soon as you see a bubble, but Palmer suggests waiting until after the hot break. Which is better? (Note: I didn't really notice a major hot break so I'm not sure I was looking for the right thing?)

5) Is there a recommended way to clean a stainless steel strainer? It got quite clogged, and I was soaking it but my wife said that will cause it to rust.

Thanks for all the help!
 

chrisbarnes5000

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Ok lets see...
1 I normally have a little flour/dust coming out of my bag and I haven't noticed any problems after 2 years.

2 If you fermenter is clean and sanitized leaving the water overnight with a lid should not be a problem.

3 I have never really used kits but I think that for a short time they should be fine in the closet. Think about how loing they have been sitting at your LHBS.

4 I wait until after the hot break to add my bittering hop. Although Ido that so I don't boil over. If you don't get much of one then pitch them whenever you feel like it.

5 For the stainless, I usually hit it with the sprayer on my sink to dislodge any gunk and dry really well. Nothing is worse than a rusty strainer.

And get to brewing!
 

HotbreakHotel

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1) The grain will always have a certain amount of powder after crushing -- it was probably crushed correctly. Grain powder in the wort doesn't hurt anything.

2) I'll leave this to someone else with more experience with partial boils.

3) I'd put the yeast and hops in the fridge and leave the grain and extract out. I would put the grain in a zip lock to keep it fresher.

4) It doesn't matter too much, but I wait until after the hot break so that all my hops do not end up on the sides of the kettle instead of in the wort. Even if you don't get a big foam up, your hot break is over if it's boiling and you're not getting any foam.

5) I'd soak it just a minute then use the sprayer on the sink to spray it from the back side then the front side.
 

double_e5

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1) No problem.

2) If you want to do this just keep it covered. I suggest buying bottled water and just keeping that chilled in the fridge.

3) Extract, grain - I would keep it in the closet.
Hops - freezer
Yeast- fridge

4) With extract you may not see a pronounced hot break. If you are not getting a lot of foaming, go ahead and add the hops. If it is foaming, wait for it to break.

5) If it's stainless, it shouldn't rust. That being said, I wouldn't soak it for days at a time.
 

Laughing_Gnome_Invisible

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1. I used Midwest before I crushed my own grain. Their crush is normal for an outside source.

2. See above response

3. Go with the fridge as your best available option

4. It won't make much difference apart from the boil over thing as mentioned above. This is something you have to find for yourself, it's kinda dependant on your character, how you will time your boil, remember when you made your additions, stuff like that.

5. Soak in oxyclean or generic equivilent
 

chrisbarnes5000

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I will stand corrected on #3. Fridge the whole thing or rip out the hops and put those in the freezer.
 

Laughing_Gnome_Invisible

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I will stand corrected on #3. Fridge the whole thing or rip out the hops and put those in the freezer.
Personally, i don't think it's that critical. It depends more on how much slack the missus will cut you versus how much you want to try and do it to your best ability. I agree about how the LHBS stores this stuff. One more month of the same isn't gonna kill anything. ;)
 
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