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So i started out doing lots of research and buying several books before I started. I picked up a starter kit and an American Pale Ale from my local brew shop. On brew day, I brought 3.5 gallons of water to 150 degrees and placed the grain bag in for 30 minutes.
Turned off the heat and added the malt extract, then brought to a boil. I added the bittering hops and had a boil over...I will be better prepared next time for this. The rest of the boil went without a problem adding the aroma and finishing hops at the prescribed times.
I used an ice bath to cool down the wort and when it showed 75 degrees I poured it into the fermenter along with 2 more gallons of water. The OG at this point was right on at 1.055 The temp at this point was around 70 degrees so i pitched the yeast. I added the stopper and placed it in the basement where it came down to 66 degrees and stayed there for the duration. The only issue I had during this time was the bubbles only lasted a few days then stopped. I kept it in the fermenter for 14 days then took a gravity reading. It was at 1.013. I let it sit another couple of days and checked the gravity again and it still was at 1.013.
I then attempted to bottle at this point. My issues came when trying to siphon. For some reason I just had a hard time getting it started...I finally figured it out but I was worried I had allowed to much splashing. Not much I could do at this point so I finished bottling.
Beer has been in about 10 days so I opened my first bottle and was pleasantly surprised at the flavor. I had tasted it when bottling and it was pretty bitter, but had mellowed out alot during the brief time in the bottles. The color was nice with a good head on it. I am looking forward to my next batch without the mistakes I had made the first time.
Any hints or tips you guys might have would be appreciated.
No zucchini? Man, zucchini on the grill is one of my favorite things to eat.Yeah, we love zukes. Grilled is awesome, but I even like to grate it and mix it in with taco meat.
Going to be growing Zukes for the first time this year. Anyone have any tips? Do they grow like cucumbers or do they sprawl out further like winter squash? Do tomato cages work well for them? Don't know the exact variety of seeds I have, but it's one of the typical straight green varieties from Burpee.
I got onions (white and red), leeks and mustard greens in. My tomatoes are nearly ready to transplant into the ground.
Will triple the size of my growing area this week. Will also have 6 yards of garden soil delivered on Thursday.
Then it will be chiles and cucumbers. Might try some zucchini squash.
Cheaper to buy beans than grow them. Pics will follow.
Contemplating a recipe here. Haven't used malted wheat in anything for donkey's years. Am I going to want/need rice hulls, or at 10% will I most likely get away without a stuck run off.
Unless you have a seriously screwed up mashing system ( and knowing you I doubt it) 10% wheat shouldn't be a problem at all.If you're worried, you can condition your malt before milling. I do this anyway for all my mashes, but I'm kinda weird.
I'm not worried now that I have a pragmatic answer, but thank you for responding.
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I only say near-perfect because i don't want to jinx my next session.
Had some friends over on thursday to help me brew because they were interested in the process and may want to start homebrewing themselves. Everything went smoothly and they had a blast. I let them add the grains, stir the mash, vorlauf, etc etc while I instructed them during the whole process, they even helped me clean up!
We spent the whole day brewing, eating bbq, drinking beers and laughing while the kids played in the yard. Such a great day!
btw, the SNPA Clone we brewed is bubbling away and smells great!
I highly recommend having people over to help you brew, it made my brew day just that much better.
Boiling in the flask works great for me and then no need to transfer to sanitize the flask or transfer to it after cooling. Less steps. Then again I use fermcap in every starter.
Hmmmmm. I'm going to try that.
I'd be interested to hear your feedback on that. I have a Helles planned that I'm going to try it on. Probably won't be for a couple/few weeks though.
I don't want to go quite that far. Let's say "Don't be surprised if you don't get the effects you expect from a decoction".
This discussion has got me really interested in decoction mashing. I went back and listened to Kai's interview on Basic Brewing. Kai said that decoction mashing can draw out tannins. In something like a Marzen the tannins might give the beer some nice structure. In a light lager like a pilsner, you wouldn't want excess tannin extraction.
It seems to me that instead of triple decoction, pilsner-type beers would actually be better suited to no-sparge single infusion. Is that crazy? Does anyone brew their light beers like that?