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Dog33

Tips for an excellent first brew

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Hello

Daughter bought me the smaller starter kit! Want to have a kick a_ _ first brew. What are the top 3 things (besides following directions) that you would tell a rookie in the league that I need to do for success!  Thanks Dog33@PUB33

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Lots of good info in my signature including "New Brewer?  Read This.  No kidding, READ IT" and "The RIGHT way to brew".

 

I would advise NOT brewing today.  Read for a while.

 

There aren't 3 things, there are more...  The biggest is 3-4.  3 weeks fermenting, ideally around 65 degrees.  4 weeks carbonating and conditioning in bottles, ideally at 70 or above.  More is always better.  3 days in the frig before drinking.

 

Welcome!

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RickBeer said it all except, to sanitize everything, and don't rush the process on brew day. The first few times will take you longer.

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Keep it simple for the first few batches. Find out what they taste like straight up then you can make changes on future batches to suit your taste. 

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Don't worry. Nothing you will do is going to make you sick ... and the worse that can happen is that your beer will be awful.. BUT if you can follow directions and you keep everything clean and sanitized then everything you do will be fine. And this is a hobby where you can enjoy the fruits of what you enjoy making and share those same fruits with family and friends...

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Thanks to all!

 

Sanitized to specs. Now the wort and yeast is in the hands of the beer gods and a 67 degee room. I'll look in on it in thee weeks.

 

Dog33

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I to am a noob as well when it comes to crafting beer Dog33. I would like to wish you luck on your first batch and hope everything tastes great when it's time to drink.

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1. If the kit came with booster or a malt packet use it as per the recipe. If it is booster it may take a while to dissolve but just keep stirring until it does so it does not burn on the pot bottom.

2. What RickBeer says. lol     (except for not using booster)

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Like I'm sure it says somewhere in "Rick's Reads". Brew it straight the first time. If you make changes and don't like it. You won't know if it's the changes or the style you don't like.

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5 hours ago, Dog33 said:

Thanks to all!

 

Sanitized to specs. Now the wort and yeast is in the hands of the beer gods and a 67 degee room. I'll look in on it in thee weeks.

 

Dog33

 

Keep one thing in mind. The air temp of the room is not what you want to be measuring. Wort temp is what's important. Especially during the first 2 to 3 days of fermentation when those little yeasties are generating heat. Wort temp during that time can be as much as 5 to 8 degrees higher than the surrounding air temp. You need some kind of thermometer on the LBK (stick on aquarium type, food grade thermometer in the wort, etc).  That's the temp that needs to be kept within the yeasts optimal range. 

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gallery_66088_50_30829.jpgYou could do something like this. 

That's a food thermometer from Walmart. The temp probe is approx. 6 inches long and ends up being 2 - 2.5 inches into the wort. You drill a hole in the LBK lid just smaller than the probe and push the thermometer in. Apply a small amount of food grade silicone adhesive and it is a permanent addition to your LBK. The probe is stainless steel and gets cleaned and sanitized whenever you clean and sanitize your fermenter. I have one on all of my LBK's and checking the temp is a breeze!

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Note the "food grade" silicone, and of course sanitize the thermometer each time.

 

I use the temp strips Mr. Beer sells, and my beer freezer has a temp controller that keeps the wort, via a thermometer on the side of it, at 64.

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From my years of experience I can only suggest that you put extra effort into maintaining temperature control over your wort.

 

For the guaranteed best results:

 

1) Pitch your Ale yeast into 65F wort

2) Maintain a strict 65F during the first week of fermentation

3) Let the fermentation rise 2 or 3 degrees before bottling the beer

 

I remember how my first dozen or so Mr. Beer batches tasted, before buying a good thermometer and using it. Looking back, and knowing what I know now, I know for sure that poor temperature control led to less than perfect tasting beer. Don't get me wrong, I loved my first batches a lot and was very proud to have brewed them too. What I am saying is this, "pampering your yeast will only encourage them to repay you with great tasting beer".  

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if u want ur beer to kick azz! just add 10 alcohol boosters to it, and I guarantee it'll be kick azz! may not taste perfect, but itll kick ur azz!

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12 minutes ago, HoppySmile! said:

if u want ur beer to kick azz! just add 10 alcohol boosters to it, and I guarantee it'll be kick azz! may not taste perfect, but itll kick ur azz!

That's just t'rrible advice! 

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34 minutes ago, Screwy Brewer said:

3) Let the fermentation rise 2 or 3 degrees before bottling the beer

Okay, this is one thing I have not been doing on my first 10 batches.  Is this considered a diacetyl rest?  And how does this fit with cold crashing (which I have found to be beneficial) - should I let the temp rise 2 or 3 degrees for a couple of days before cold crashing?

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10 hours ago, RickBeer said:

Note the "food grade" silicone, and of course sanitize the thermometer each time.

 

I use the temp strips Mr. Beer sells, and my beer freezer has a temp controller that keeps the wort, via a thermometer on the side of it, at 64.

 

Here is some food grade silicone sealant from Amazon:

 

http://www.amazon.com/Clear-Food-Grade-Silicone-Sealant/dp/B0063U2RWU/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1451420607&sr=8-1&keywords=food+grade+silicone+sealant

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4 hours ago, wvu1989 said:

Okay, this is one thing I have not been doing on my first 10 batches.  Is this considered a diacetyl rest?  And how does this fit with cold crashing (which I have found to be beneficial) - should I let the temp rise 2 or 3 degrees for a couple of days before cold crashing?

No it is not a diacetyl rest, that's for a lager. He's simply allowing the ale to warm up so it'll carb up better. You really want to be 70ish during bottle conditioning phase.

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Also wiht a slightly higher temp it will help the yeasties remove any unwanted off flavors before bottling

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Raising the temp in the final week a couple or 3 degrees has been covered by many Craft Brewing sites including this one.

For new brewers it is a challenge to get the flame-out right and keep the LBK in a favorable environment at the right or close to temperature.

Lets make beer and learn to make it better after some trial and error.

 

M

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