« on: January 09, 2012, 10:00:56 PM »
I'm waiting to get paid to buy a kettle bigger than the 8 qt stock pot I have on hand, and I'm reading up. I have a few questions.
My recommendation is to get a turkey fryer, which should come with a 30QT pot, thats what I use, and now I am looking to upgrade to a 40 or 60 QT pot.
1. I've been reading through "How to Brew" and it's definitely more enlightening than other references, but I got to section 5.4, hops measurement, and it says:QuoteThe gravity of the boil is significant because the higher the malt sugar content of a wort, the less room there is for isomerized alpha acids.
So why don't we boil the water and add hops while gravity is low, boil X amount of time before adding extract? If the hops would make everything way too bitter, couldn't you just use less hops? I'm assuming there's a good reason why everyone doesn't do this.
There has been some evidence that adding hops to boiling water extracts a vegetal(sp?) flavor which is noticeable. I have not tried this on my own though.
Next, I've read all about how secondary fermentation is not usually necessary, but I also have the 5 gallon glass carboy (feels like I ought to shove a u into that word) with my Christmas kit. I like to experiment with variables, so what I'd *like* to do with my first batch is this: ferment 5 gallons in primary until the airlock slows down. Then bottle a few, rack 1/2 of the remainder in a secondary fermentor, and leave the rest to sit in primary. I also read though that lots of headspace in secondary may be a problem, and I suppose the same may be true of primary? My intent would be to bottle from both primary and secondary the same day a week or so later.
Biggest problem with alot of headspace is that you will introduce oxygen and that can cause staling of the beer. If you do this as you are planning, you will probably not notice the difference. This is the reason that secondary is usually recommended against. It doesn't really offer any benefit, and the possibility of introducing oxygen or wild yeast/bacteria is an issue.
2. is this just asking for trouble, and assuming it is, how much trouble?
3. My basement is around 60 F - is that too cold to condition beer after bottling? Everything says 65-75, preferably the low end, but what happens when it's too low? Takes longer to finish?
If the beer gets too cold, the yeast will fall out of solution without fermenting the priming sugar. I doubt 60 F would be low enough for that, but it would take a bit longer to carbonate properly.
Last but certainly not least, welcome to the obsession.