Back to Shopping at NorthernBrewer.com

Another first time brew question

My cousin, who came over last weekend and helped with my first brew, ordered the deluxe kit a few days ago (yeah, had to one up me hahaha). I imagine I’ll be heading to his house next week to help him with his first brew.

For his first batch, he ordered the Chinook IPA. While I don’t think he made a mistake choosing that particular recipe, I thought he would have been better off staying with a more simple one with a quicker turnaround time (6 weeks to 4 for my American Wheat). Also, with the IPA, we’re going to be looking at steeping grains and a secondary fermentation. Seems a bit more complex for a first time brew IMO.

So do you guys have any good advice and tips when we start? I worry a bit about racking to a secondary as we don’t have our “brewing chops” down just yet. If I had this kit, I’d probably stay with a longer primary and then just go to bottling. Bad advice?

I just want this brew to go as smooth as mine has went, if not better. That will tell us we’re doing everything right.

Thanks again everyone for your advice and suggestions?

There’s really no need to do a secondary, I’d imagine it’s for a dry hop addition. If you want to skip the secondary you could add your dry hops directly to the primary after 2 weeks fermenting and let it continue fermenting for another week to 10 days or until the hops drop out of suspension.

Steeping grains is pretty straight forward, just follow the instructions with the kit. The main concern is not letting the the liquid you’re steeping in get above 160° to avoid extracting tannins.

I forgot about the dry hopping. Do you think there’s less risk of contaminating the brew if we just dry hop in the primary?

Another thing I like about that idea is it frees up the second bucket for another batch to ferment.

[quote=“Yesfan70”]Do you think there’s less risk of contaminating the brew if we just dry hop in the primary?
[/quote]For me, the less you handle the beer, the less chance of mucking it up, contamination, oxidation, etc. The risk is minimal though if you have sound sanitation.

A secondary is more of a conditioning and clarifying stage rather than a secondary fermentation as it’s commonly called. If you decide to dry hop in the secondary you’ll need to wait until the primary fermentation is finished before transferring to the secondary whereas dry hopping in the primary you can add the hops while the primary fermentation is nearly done but still working on those last bits of sugar.

Racking to secondary always carries a (very) slight infection risk.

Many people (including myself) dry hop in the primary with good results. Be sure the gravity has stabilized before dry hopping, though, as aromas can be pushed out with CO2 from fermentation.

The only problem with the 6 week turnaround will be staying away from it after it’s bottled as a first brew! You actually have good advice, no need for a secondary, keep it simple: primary for 3 weeks then dry hop for a week or 10 days then bottle. I use to always secondary, now I never secondary. Steeping grains, no big deal just follow the directions. Good luck.

Again, I appreciate everyone’s replies and will make those suggestions to him. The good thing about no secondary is he can use the second bucket for another batch.

Thanks again everyone! :cheers:

Back to Shopping at NorthernBrewer.com