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Old August 5th, 2011, 05:39 PM   #1
Wehan
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Default Home beer brewing

Just got a home brew kit and supplies to make American red ale. I got the good kit with the 2nd ferment glass carboy. Any tips before I start brewing this Sunday?


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Old August 5th, 2011, 10:39 PM   #2
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Sanitize. Oxyclean is your friend.
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Old August 5th, 2011, 10:53 PM   #3
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Sanitize. Oxyclean is your friend.
oxi-clean is not a sanitizer, but it is useful for cleaning.

Cleaning removes surface buildup, removing places for bacteria and such would still be able to hide after surface sanitation.

Sanitation kills (most) bacteria and such.


- Proper cleaning and sanitation are critical

- Try not to infect your wort after flame-out (i.e. after you've stopped the boil), don't breathe into the pot while you're pouring into your fermentation vessel. Have a nice, big sanitized funnel to do the transfer to carboy.

- Temperature control is extremely important to prevent off flavors from getting into the beer. Read up on the type of yeast and the type of beer you're making to determine what temp you want to ferment at. Do your best to stay as close to that temperature for the duration of your fermentation. If your basement temp doesn't stay fairly stable and in the mid-60's during the summer, you may want to wait until fall.
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Old August 6th, 2011, 09:17 AM   #4
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yeah, clean everything you use. I use a light bleach solution.

Don't get over-anxious and add the yeast while the wort is still hot, it will die.

I use a blow off tube for the first fermentation (clear plastic tube into a quart jar of water), then change to the bubbler type. I have had first fermentations blow through the lock, emptying the liquid and allowing contamination back into the carboy.
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Old August 7th, 2011, 07:16 AM   #5
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I use a notebook and keep track of boil times, ingredient dumping, equipment used, temps, everything. Helps to track back if needed, and see what worked or didnt work well. Pain in the ass, but definately helps in brewing experience.

Also, santize. I prefer old school method of boiling everything.

If you use plastic for anything in your brew process, don't use scrathy pads to clean, only sponges and non-abrasive cleaners.
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Old August 7th, 2011, 08:05 PM   #6
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Brewed it up today and I think it went pretty good. I was extremely cautious about sanitizing everything and wouldn't even place thermometer in the wort without a quick rinse with the sanatiser solution. Luckily I have a Michigan basement and it is pretty much 65* - round. Can't wait to pop the first bottle open (fingers crossed). I also can't wait to do some cider this'd fall.


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Old August 8th, 2011, 12:14 AM   #7
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yeah, clean everything you use. I use a light bleach solution.
Bleach isn't recommended. I forget why, though.

I always use Five Star Star San - it's a food grade no-rinse acid surface sanitizer.
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Old August 8th, 2011, 11:02 AM   #8
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Originally Posted by schweeb View Post
Bleach isn't recommended. I forget why, though.

I always use Five Star Star San - it's a food grade no-rinse acid surface sanitizer.




At my local brew store they sell a one step no rinse cleaning solution that works great. A lot less work than the Five Star system and I have never lost a batch of beer to bad sanitation.

Welcome to the art of brewing beer. It is fun when you get to try your first beer. Also when you give a beer to a friend always pour it in a glass and keep the sediment in the bottle. But don't be afraid of drinking the sediment. You just want to give it a good appearance to others.
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Old August 8th, 2011, 12:23 PM   #9
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65 might be a little cool for an ale yeast. I've been using a bleach solution for 15 years with no issues. The main reason it is not recommended is that the brew supply places don't make any money off it.
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Old August 8th, 2011, 01:09 PM   #10
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The main reason it is not recommended is that the brew supply places don't make any money off it.
Not quite. I just looked it up.

Bleach/chlorine is heavily corrosive to many of the metals typically used in brewing equipment. It also can seep into plastics.

Bleach needs to be thoroughly rinsed.

I'd rather spend the $20 on a huge bottle of star-san that lasts a year or more, be able to soak my stuff as long as I want/need, and not have to worry about rinsing.

Star-san can also be pre-mixed and kept in a spray bottle, which is very useful for quick on-the-spot sanitation - spray on your yeast packs before opening, spraying into your airlock, on your bungs, etc...

Bleach's effectiveness as a sanitizer drops quickly over time.

There were probably more reasons, but I don't really feel like searching any more.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Big_T_Roose View Post
At my local brew store they sell a one step no rinse cleaning solution that works great. A lot less work than the Five Star system and I have never lost a batch of beer to bad sanitation.
What is the name of this stuff?


The following podcasts are pretty informative about cleaning and sanitation, including the differences between the two:

http://www.thebrewingnetwork.com/sho...10-08-Cleaning
http://www.thebrewingnetwork.com/shows/469

Last edited by schweeb; August 8th, 2011 at 01:13 PM.
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Old August 8th, 2011, 01:21 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tsaguy View Post
I use a notebook and keep track of boil times, ingredient dumping, equipment used, temps, everything. Helps to track back if needed, and see what worked or didnt work well. Pain in the ass, but definately helps in brewing experience.

Also, santize. I prefer old school method of boiling everything.

If you use plastic for anything in your brew process, don't use scrathy pads to clean, only sponges and non-abrasive cleaners.
And number you batch ! With notes and batch numbers to reference , you can always duplicate batches .. or make changes as you like !
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Old August 8th, 2011, 01:28 PM   #12
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sounds like a lot of work
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Old August 8th, 2011, 02:42 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by schweeb View Post
Not quite. I just looked it up.

Bleach/chlorine is heavily corrosive to many of the metals typically used in brewing equipment. It also can seep into plastics.

Bleach needs to be thoroughly rinsed.

I'd rather spend the $20 on a huge bottle of star-san that lasts a year or more, be able to soak my stuff as long as I want/need, and not have to worry about rinsing.

Star-san can also be pre-mixed and kept in a spray bottle, which is very useful for quick on-the-spot sanitation - spray on your yeast packs before opening, spraying into your airlock, on your bungs, etc...

Bleach's effectiveness as a sanitizer drops quickly over time.

There were probably more reasons, but I don't really feel like searching any more.




What is the name of this stuff?


The following podcasts are pretty informative about cleaning and sanitation, including the differences between the two:

http://www.thebrewingnetwork.com/sho...10-08-Cleaning
http://www.thebrewingnetwork.com/shows/469





It is called "One-Step" No-Rinse Sanitizer
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Old August 8th, 2011, 04:43 PM   #14
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I use iodine. Works great and it's a cool color. Do not let a boil over occur, unless you love messes, in that case, do it.

I suggest cooking outside in a turkey fryer. It's harder in the summer to cool off the wort to a reasonable temperature quickly without a chiller.
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Old August 9th, 2011, 02:44 AM   #15
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Cool tips, I defiantly want to get a wort chiller, but I did come up with a neat way of chilling the wort. I put the pot in my sink with the sprayer hose (sprayer removed) to supply a constant flow of cool water and it just overflowed into the other sink. The recipe I used called for a 65-70* dark place to ferment so I am ok with this batch but I will keep in mind that it may be to cool for other types.


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