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Brewing my first 5 gallon extract kit. I have questions

I’m going to be brewing the Irish red. I have a 6.5 gallon big mouth bubbler. Am I ok brewing a 5 gallon kit and fermenting it in a 6.5? I have a 8 gallon kettle but it’s used for steaming and boiling thing and it pretty wide. Is that going to be a problem while making/boiling my wort? The water I use to top off the wort once it’s in the the bubbler does it need to be boiled first? I’m using gallon drinking water. I think that’s pretty much all the questions I have. Tips are welcome. Thanks for the help

You’re good… the 6.5 is a great size. The 5 gallons will soon have a thick cap of foam that will take up some space.

Your pot should be good. Whatever evaporates will be made up with your top up water. Bottled is great.

Some tips: watch fermentation Temps. If you ferment in a 72 degree closet, you might get some off flavors. Refrigerate your top up water… it will help you cool your wort quicker.

Ask away as you get more questions.

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If you don’t have one yet, you should get a hydrometer and a flask for it.

Here is some info Hydrometers You need one, here is how to use one

Are you going to boil the full volume or a partial volume. Kitchen stoves often can’t bring a full volume 5 gallon recipe up to a boil in a reasonable time. If you are using a propane burner not a problem doing a full boil. Kitchen stoves will handle a partial volume well.

Adding at least half the extract, if you are using extract, with 15 minutes left in the boil keeps the wort a lighter color. A partial volume boil with a SG of 1.040 will allow for optimum hop oil isomerization.

Need more details whether your recipe is extract or all grain. Need more questions also to help make this a good brew.

Edit: My boil kettle also steams crab and makes a big pot of chili.

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I have a propane burner I use to deep fry turkeys. It’s a extract kit I ordered. Does the brew turn out better boiling the whole batch together or does is not make a difference really?(doing the whole 5 gallons) oh and my siphon is broken. With doing the 2.5 gallon boil I could easily pour it into the bubbler unless anyone has ideas to siphon a 5 gallon batch into my bubbler?

That’s the one time you want to pour. Pouring and splashing aerates the wort, preparing for yeast pitching.

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What is a good temp to have it in a closet?

Whatever yeast you’re using should have a recommended temperature range. Try to stay to the lower end of that range. I say that because the yeast heats up as it works. So if your closet is 65 degrees, the beer will be 68-70 degrees (estimated).

I got omega west coast ale 2 and they talk about doing a starter. What is that

Well, it’s good that you’re asking, but I’m thinking a starter is optional on this beer. Usually, it’s a good idea to make a starter if your yeast is old or if you’re making a stronger beer. That Irish Red is 1.044, so you probably have plenty of yeast.

Now if you do want a starter, you usually make a weak wort (like a mini brew session to get a liter or two of unhopped beer), add the yeast to grow more yeast cells (for a day or a week, depending on who you ask), then collect the larger yeast colony for your main beer.

That yeast looks like it has a temp range of 60-72 degrees. If you have a spot in your house that sits somewhere between 60 and 65, that should work out.

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@uberculture has some really good advice. This is a starter/pitch rate calculator I like to use. Play with it by putting different numbers in for fermentor volume, beer OG, or yeast production date to see how it would affect the size of the starter needed.


So I brewed the Irish red. Everything went pretty smooth. So the reds fermentation has an inch thick foam head and seeming to do well. I’ve seen pic/videos of people’s fermentation being really active with foam almost coming out of the top. Does that mean fermentation is really good and have a better beer?

Super active, foaming all over could mean that they aren’t using temp control, so things are too warm and going out of control, or it could just be a more active yeast. It’s fun to watch, but what you see happening in the beer isn’t going to tell you as much as what you measure with thermometers, hydrometers, and by tasting a sample (after things quiet down, mind you). Sounds like you’re on your way to a good beer!

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What will happen if you over oxygenate it during bottling? I may have messed up bad

Splashing and lots of bubbles will begin oxidizing the beer while it bottle conditions. Suspected oxidation can be thwarted by drinking quickly. What makes you think you have a problem?

Bottled less then half the brew and realized I forgot to and the priming sugar. Carefully poured the bottles into the bottling bucket and added the sugar.

This may have caused some oxidation. Condition the beer warm for two weeks. Low to mid 70°F range if you can. Chill a bottle to check progress of carbonation. (This will be the sacrificial bottle.) Taste test for an over malty flavor. If the beers don’t seem overly malty and masking other flavors you might be okay. Wait another week for chilling a second bottle and taste test again.

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