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Topics - n518lf

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General Homebrew Discussion / Fermentation temp control
« on: September 05, 2013, 07:47:06 AM »
I have a couple of batches under my belt and it is time for me to get a better handle on my fermentation temps.

I live in the San Diego area so it never gets very cold, so the question is, should I get a single stage controller or a dual stage? I have a small freezer that I will be using with the controller, just big enough for a 5 gal bucket and airlock.

Thanks.

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General Homebrew Discussion / when to check for bottle bombs
« on: June 08, 2013, 07:39:17 AM »
Okay, I don't want to get into why, but I just bottled my first batch last night and I am a little concerned about bottle bombs. After searching on my own I see some people recommend uncapping and seeing if you get a gusher. My question is one is a good time to do that? 1 day, 3 days, 1 week?

If it makes any difference, it is a NB chocolate mile-stout kit and I used NB's website to calculate the proper amount of priming sugar (by weight) to use based on quantity and temp of my beer.

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Norther Brewers Chocolate Milk Stout Extract kit, OG 1051

Followed the instructions the entire way...

Steeped the specialty grains for about 20 minutes which resulted in a temp of just over 160 degrees. Removed grains and brought everything to a boil. Removed from heat and added the LME and Lactose (chocolate "milk" stout). Back to a boil and almost immediatly added the 60 minute hopps. 30 minutes later added the 30 minute hops.

With about 15 minutes left on the boil I realized I never experienced anything that looked like a hot break. Boil finished and the kettle went straight into an ice bath. Cooled the wort pretty quick. reydrated the dry yeast. Reflecting back, there was quite a bit of foam after bring the water to a boil after the speciality grains, but no "egg drop soup" and no other foam after the LME or hops was added.

Poured the wort into 2 gallons of water, then added a little more water to bring it up to 5 gallons. Mixed it and took a hydro reading which, after adjusting for the temp, read about 1055, maybe 1056. The issue here is I never say any sludge or anything when I mixed the wort. I poured slowly but never saw anything. I left a little in the bottom of the kettle but even when I rinse it out, it was all pretty clean. Yes, there were particals suspended in the wort but nothing that I could purposely leave behind.

I was going to rack to a secondary next weekend but maybe I should do it after a few days?

Not really sure what happened but I am just taking it as a learning experience... I took a couple of pics but not sure how to post them.

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I finally assembled everything I need and am really excited to give this a go! Everything on the forum has been great and I hope some day I will be able to contribute instead of asking these newbie questions...

The two kits I bought from Northern are specialty grain extract kits with hop pellets. My question is, do the pellets completely dissolve in the boil or should I expect to need to drain out residual pieces?

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General Homebrew Discussion / sanitation questions
« on: April 28, 2013, 10:00:59 AM »
First, thanks everyone for giving input on my question about what size kettle. I decided to go with a "high" quality 5 gallon kettle figuring that should last me for a bit and I can go larger when my needs warrant. I have almost everything together and I am hoping on having my first brew day next weekend.

So onto my sanitation question. Using Star San, is it okay to let plastics and rubber sit in the solution for an indeffinate amount of time. Would it be okay to use this proceedure:

Sanitze my 5 gallon better bottle first which I plan on using as my secondary (I know, I have read that it isn't neccessary and there is potential risk of oxidation but lets not discuss that here). then sealing up the bottle with the bung and airlock until I need it (probably about a week or two).

Take the same solution and sanitze my 6.5 fermenation bucket, then dump the solution into my bottling bucket which I will then leave sit for up to a month with things like the auto-siphon and tubing sitting in the solution.   

I guess I am trying to do as much sanitzing as possible up front so I am not going back and forth sanitzing one piece at a time and wasting water and sanitizer each time. Since I will be moving the beer into the secondary. After cleaning them, I could put the siphon and tubing back into the bottling bucket since the solution will still be there. Then when I am ready to bottle, move the solution from the bottling bucket into my 6.5 bucket to santize that for the next brew day. I can think of ways to always move it from one bucket to another but I suppose I would mix a new batch of sanitizer at least once per brew batch.

I suppose I just don't know how long the sanitizer stays effective and I am also unsure if it is okay to sanitze something like the seconday and then seal it up and let it sit for a couple of weeks, or if it is better to only sanitize once I am ready to use it.

Sorry for the long post, thanks in advance for your help.

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Hi, I am new, but eager to learn. Will be buying a kit soon from my local brew supply store but I am trying to determine the best size stock pot. I know the brand that I want but don't know a good size. I will be doing 5 gallon extract batches but possibly some smaller 2 or 2.5 gallon batches too. I think eventually I will want to get into partial mash and full grain. So, is there a one size fit all (which I don't think there is). Assuming there isn't a one size fit all, which size would you recommend someone to start with?

Don't worry, have a home brew!

thanks!

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