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Messages - anje

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226
General Homebrew Discussion / Re: A few newbie questions
« on: January 06, 2012, 01:09:31 PM »
Well, the frozen bottle thing sounds do-able, as long as the weather cooperates.  It's been warm lately.  I'll probably use the jugs my water came in, though, since I lack 2L bottles.

227
General Homebrew Discussion / Re: A few newbie questions
« on: January 06, 2012, 12:44:24 PM »
I'll see what I can do.  Offhand, I don't know how well the tub holds water (recently moved in and all).  My main freezer space for bottles would end up being outside, and the weather hasn't been all that cooperative on the freezing front lately.

I'm planning to cool the wort in the tub with some ice around the outside and pitch the yeast when the thermometer reads 70F.  Sound kosher?

Am I going to have to get a second refrigerator if I want to make beer in the summer?

228
General Homebrew Discussion / Re: A few newbie questions
« on: January 06, 2012, 12:25:41 PM »
Well, I'm stuck doing all this in a two-bedroom apartment, so fermentation is pretty much limited to the temperatures I want to live at. (The reason I haven't made beer before now is that I wanted to wait til I had a basement. Got sick of waiting.) I've taped over the vent to the spare bathroom to reduce the temperature fluctuation and I'll keep the thermostat steady, but that's about all I can do to control the temperature unless I also put water in the tub where I keep the fermenter.  I've had a thermometer with a 24 hr high/low readout in the room for a few days and it's been staying between 68F and 70F.  I can push it a little cooler and constantly wear sweaters, but that's about it.

Edited to add: Before you ask, it's an interior room with only incandescent lights.

229
General Homebrew Discussion / Re: A few newbie questions
« on: January 06, 2012, 11:49:16 AM »
Use normal tap water- about 150ml. I place in pyrex measuring cup, cover with cling-rap, poke small hole in it and microwave for 3-5 minutes. Then let cool to 85. Sprinkle yeast on this- after 10 minutes stir it in and leave for another 5 minutes. Then pitch directly into fermenter.

You will get much better results this way than just sprinkling the package on top of the wort.
Cool.  My regular tap water (mistyped that as "whater," which is rather descriptive given the flavor) is chloraminated, though.  I'm afraid it might kill the yeast.

230
General Homebrew Discussion / Re: A few newbie questions
« on: January 06, 2012, 11:41:06 AM »
In that case, some rehydration instructions suggest giving the yeast a bit of a sugar solution after they've rehydrated for a few minutes, others just say to use boiled/cooled water.  I'm not quite clear on what the circumstances are surrounding this -- are the instructions to give the yeast some food just there for when it's taking the wort forever to cool?

Yet another question (I told you, I'm full of them!)
Do I need gloves for handling the diluted Star-San?

By day I'm a microbiology grad student, so I'm probably used to handling more caustic stuff and needing a higher level of sanitation that is required here.  I'm obsessing about whether I need to disinfect the floor of the bathroom where I'm doing the fermentations...

231
General Homebrew Discussion / Re: A few newbie questions
« on: January 06, 2012, 11:34:06 AM »
Just to add to what euge said:

Batch 1 is an extract-based Old Speckled Hen clone with some crystal malts that I'll need to boil and un-hopped syrup.
If the instructions actually say to boil the crystal malts, throw them away right now!  Steep the crystal between 150 and 170F for 20-30 minutes or so.  We can talk you through the rest of it, let us know.
The instructions actually say to keep it under 160F. Kit came from Listermann in Cincinnati, so I'm hoping they know their stuff and have a high enough turnover that everything's good.

Another question (I keep coming up with these...)
The instructions do say to dump the dry yeast (I only got one packet...) directly on the cooled wort.  Should I follow these, or am I better off rehydrating the yeast first?  

232
General Homebrew Discussion / A few newbie questions
« on: January 06, 2012, 10:58:24 AM »
I'm new and planning to cook my first batch of beer tomorrow, and I hope/believe I have everything I need.  (The kit came with an O2-based cleanser but no sanitizer, so my hubby's supposed to bring some Star-San on his way home, since he has a local homebrew shop near his apartment and my nearest is an hour away.)  Batch 1 is an extract-based Old Speckled Hen clone with some crystal malts that I'll need to boil and un-hopped syrup.

1)  I'm planning on using Wally-world "drinking water" for brewing, since the local water is chloraminated and tastes a bit weird. I see conflicting information -- Do I want to boil the first few gallons that go into my fermenter, or am I safe to dump them in cold and trust that they're sufficiently clean to just pour in before adding my boiled wort?

2)  What's the best way to sanitize? How much can I rely on a spray bottle of Star-San solution and how much do I really need to soak?

Working ahead...
3)  I have 2 cases of 22 oz bottles which I plan to supplement with some used 12 oz ones.  Do I have to worry about amounts of priming sugar given the different bottle sizes, or should that be OK?

4)  What's this I've read about bottling into a few pop bottles to assess carbonation?

5)  What's the best procedure to sanitize all those bottles?  Due to funky water, the dishwasher has a rinse agent in it, so that's out. Do I fill the bathtub with sanitizer solution? Am I better off just capping them all with foil and borrowing my lab's autoclave?

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