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.
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:
The 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.
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.
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?