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I like the idea of a nice pale ale for your brew, but you might consider a yeast that is neutral and very reliable - WLP-001 or (dry) Safale US-05. This is less sensitive to process variations like temperature, and I think it is consistent even if you overpitch a bit. I've not used the dry version, but have heard it works great. You might bump up the crystal malt since this is a high attenuator. It will ferment quickly, carbonate bottles reliably and give you a clear, beautiful beer. I'd use that for a stout as well.

For sanitation, I agree with the posts about Iodophor. I keep a bucket full and keep spoons and other tools soaking until I need them. And I do not rinse before using. I actually use an equivalent product used in dairy operations, with great success. Of course focus especially on equipment that touches the wort as and after it cools from boiling (chillers, fermenters, etc). Before sanitation, you must physically clean surfaces and then, preferably, use chemicals like PBW to finish the job. Keep in mind that a smaller batch (2.5 gal vs 5 gal, for example) requires MORE vigilance since you have greater surface area per volume.

If your local vendor either moves grain quickly or keeps it in a low humidity environment with minimal air exposure, the grain should be fine. Hops are harvested once per year, so if they are packaged in air-tight containers and kept cool they are usually fine. You see lots of folks using northern hemisphere hops from fall to spring and New Zealand hops from spring to fall for max freshness. Yeast has expiration dates, which seem (to me) to be conservative. If kept refrigerated, go with the freshest liquid yeast available. Dry yeast is more forgiving, I believe, but still has a freshness date. But it all depends on how the vendor handles it. I usually buy hops online in 1lb packages, but get the rest of my ingredients locally (from a shop that handles them right).

I agree with those who suggest scaling by half for your first batch. You will have to adjust your recipes since extract from grain varies greatly depending on your equipment and process, and your mash will likely be less efficient with a less-than-optimal mash depth with a 2.5 gallon batch. You may find too that you need to adjust hopping rates or boil times to get what you want, but that sounds like fun to me.

Good luck!
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The Pub / Re: This has gone far enough!
« Last post by Robert on Today at 02:01:24 AM »
Tasty

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LOL. Exhibit A. Cheers!


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Yeah well anything to do with Marion Barry is gonna contain some substances it oughta not.  Oh wait that's Marionberry.   Still. 
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The Pub / Re: This has gone far enough!
« Last post by BrewBama on Today at 01:49:20 AM »
Tasty

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LOL. Exhibit A. Cheers!


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Ingredients / Re: Post your water report
« Last post by Robert on Today at 01:35:46 AM »


New Castle, DE - Municipal Services Commission
June 1, 2019
4 wells, 1 treatment facility, carbon-filtered

Avg. Fluoride reading: 0.80 ppm
Avg. Chlorine reading: 1.20 ppm
Avg. pH: 7.5 (annual range: 6.7-8.2)
Temperature range: 50º-60.8º
Alkalinity, annual range: 18.3-18.9 ppm
Most recent test for water hardness: 26.6 mg/liter, considered soft (less than 60 mg/l)
Calcium: 12.2-16.1 ppm
Chloride: 61.2-95.6 ppm
Chlorine: 0.54-2.08 ppm
Manganese: 0.0021-0.0021 ppm
Magnesium: Not tested for
Sodium: 22.9-25.5 ppm
Sulfate: 9.5-14.2
Zinc: 0.0278-0.0278

It's fairly tasteless water but there's something that my Brita filters out of our drinking water, so it's probably the chlorine. I've brewed only with spring and distilled water so far but I'm going to give this stuff a go in a test batch this summer. Thoughts, anyone?

You'll definitely need to eliminate the chlorine, of course.   It would help if you knew whether your water plant used chlorine or chloramine.   A carbon block filter run at <1 gpm (gal/min) will eliminate chlorine, but you'll need to go up to10 times slower to eliminate chloramine, and a chlorine test kit to periodically confirm that the filter is still in good shape would be prudent.  Otherwise, Campden tablets or another form of potassium or sodium metabisulfite will eliminate either chlorine or chloramine instantaneously (1 tablet to ~20 gal) but be aware this will add small amounts of both sulfate and chloride, as well of course as sodium or potassium.  I would favor gypsum for adding calcium (you'll want at least 50 ppm) since you already have a fair amount of chloride.
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Ingredients / Re: Post your water report
« Last post by Robert on Today at 01:21:31 AM »


From a 500’ well in NE PA. This is what I got back from Ward Labs:



So what’s the best way to add sulfate?  Gypsum?


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Yes, gypsum. You can add some Epsom salt, but keep those Mg levels low.

Agree.  Malt itself provides all the magnesium that's really needed, and it can lend an unpleasant taste in any quantity.  Calcium is the magic dust of brewing anyway, so gypsum is the way to go.
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Ingredients / Re: Post your water report
« Last post by hopfenundmalz on Today at 01:16:39 AM »
From a 500’ well in NE PA. This is what I got back from Ward Labs:



So what’s the best way to add sulfate?  Gypsum?


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Yes, gypsum. You can add some Epsom salt, but keep those Mg levels low.
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The Pub / Re: This has gone far enough!
« Last post by Wilbur on Today at 01:09:21 AM »
Tasty

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Ingredients / Re: Post your water report
« Last post by Megary on Today at 12:51:32 AM »
From a 500’ well in NE PA. This is what I got back from Ward Labs:



So what’s the best way to add sulfate?  Gypsum?


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
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General Homebrew Discussion / Brew Guru 3.0.1
« Last post by Virwill on Today at 12:05:36 AM »
My God. I can navigate and scroll through Brew Guru on my iPhone. It works. Finally. Whoever fixed that, much appreciated.
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Ingredients / Re: Post your water report
« Last post by hopfenundmalz on June 25, 2019, 10:29:22 PM »
Would love any advice.  Just got my Ward Labs report.  This water is from the ‘Water Store’ downtown.  Is 7.2 pH too high?  Anything look out of range?   -Thx

7.2 pH
28 Total Dissolved Solids (TDS) Est, ppm
0.05 Electrical Conductivity, mmho/cm
.3 / .3 Cations / Anions, me/L

6 Sodium, Na
< 1 Potassium, K
< 0 Calcium, Ca
< 1 Magnesium, Mg
< 1 Total Hardness, CaCO3
0.4 (SAFE) < 1 Nitrate, NO3-N
< 1 Sulfate, SO4-S
2 Chloride, Cl
< 1 Carbonate, CO3
15 Bicarbonate, HCO3
13 Total Alkalinity, CaCO3
pH of the water does not count for much, the malt will take that pH down in the mash. You want to add some Calcium for most beers.

A water spreadsheet will help you decide what to do for the beer you are brewing.
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