Brewing Day Retrospect

By scot in Home Brewing on Monday, November 2nd, 2009

Yesterday, Sunday, I finally brewed my first batch of beer. I didn’t think it was hard but I know I made a handful of mistakes that I plan on fixing in the future. I also noticed different pieces of equipment that I need to help brew a better batch of beer or, at least, help make the process go easier.

I brewed a robust porter kit.

I started getting the equipment in place as I keep everything in the basement. Got together two gallons of water with one step for sanitizing items for post boil.

Placed the brew kettle on the stove with 1.5 gallons of water. Started the stove and added the steeping grains. Yes, I added right away. After three or four minutes I placed the bag into a bowl and brought the water up to 154 degrees. The instructions said to get and keep in the 150 – 165 range. From everything I have read I knew I should keep the temperature, as best as I could, constant during this time. I held it between 152 – 156 for 20 minutes. air jordan 4.5 femmes Not perfect but I was getting accustomed to where to place to the stove temperature to get the temp in the pot constant. That is just past 2.

Added the LME with the aid of my wife (thank you), stirred vigorously to get the LME to dissolve evenly. Added enough water to bring the total volume up to four gallons. Brought up the heat and stirred here and there waiting for the boil.

Boil actually started. Added the bittering hops, which was a half ounce. Turned the stove down to 5 per my wife’s instructions to keep a boil. The boil wasn’t as vigorous as I thought it should be. I eventually found a comfortable home at 7+ on the dial. Stirred some here and there.

Added the flavoring hops: one ounce. Sanitized my carboy and auto primer.

Added final hops which was a half ounce for aroma. Poured water and ice into the laundry tub to get ready to cool the wort. Placed the yeast into a warm cup of water and covered.

Boil finished.

Placed the kettle into the laundry tub full of cold water and ice. I can’t believe how fast the ice melted. Added a second bag of store bought ice. Added 1.5 gallons of cold water to fermenter.

Wort was down to temperature. Siphoned with auto siphon into funnel with screen for keeping hop particles out of fermenter. Wife was nice enough to lend a hand again. air jordan 5 femmes Added the yeast. Placed the orange cap on the glass carboy, shaking vigorously for four or five minutes. Placed the air lock on and brought down into the basement to rest in peace.

Finished brewing and started cleanup.

After cleanup my brew day was a little over four hours. I don’t think that was bad at all. Definitely not as difficult as I thought it would be. I am still a little suspect on my sanitation. Time will tell.

The beer was bubbling about every minute at 9:00pm last night. When I check this morning, at 6:00am, it was bubbling like a monster. Yeast are doing some good work. Happy with this aspect.

Here is a list of the things I think I did wrong:

  • Placed the steeping grains into the pot before it was in temperature range.
  • Thought the boil wasn’t vigorous enough for the first 15 minutes of the boil.
  • OG was 1.044 but the kit said it should be 1.051-1.055, was off my a minimum of seven points.
  • Needed to get OG and used wife’s turkey baster. Don’t know if I cleaned well enough or sanitized well enough. This could be a killer.

Equipment changes:

  • Get a turkey baster for taking gravity ratings on brew day as well as to check for changing to the secondary. Purchased last night.
  • Get a thermometer or devise a way to make the thermometer hang on the side for checking temperature.
  • Get a thermometer for checking temperature during cool down. Used to do fish tanks and they make a digital with about a six foot and temperature probe at end.

I hope the beer tastes good and isnt’ as bad as I am expecting. Once again I over think everything and probably worry too much. But if the beer sucks, I told you so. 😉 Enjoy!

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