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First Time Brewer - Chinook IPA from Extract - Various Questions

So I have been reading Palmer “How to Brew” and comparing some sections to my included recipe sheet from NB. A few questions have risen. First let me state my Recipe so we are on the same page.

5 gallon total Volume, I will brew in 3 gallons of water. I have a 5 gallon stainless steel brewpot.

  1. The kit includes 1 lbs. Pilsner DME; I have read that this will dissolve easiest in cooler water as apposed to adding it in once boiling has started. Q: Is there any issue with adding only the DME while I am steeping the Milliard Malts Specialty Grain?

  2. Recipe states to pour all the LME in and then add first bittering hop addition (1oz Chinook) for 60 min. boil time. Palmer suggest partial, lets say half or (3lbs) of the LME the last 5 min for pasteurizing purposes. Q: How will this affect my OG and BG? and Utilization of Hops? I have read many reviews of the Chinook IPA recipe and most say its a little Low in ABV and not as hoppy/bitter as they would expect an IPA. My thought was that the IBU’s were lower for most because the BG was higher due to all the extract being added in the beginning plus a smaller Volume in a 3 gallon boil. Is this right?

  3. I want to avoid boil-over at all cost. I rent, and the gas stove I will be using is possibly an Antique. If I ruin it I’m SCREWED lol. Q: Is it best to wait for “Hot-Break” then add first Hop addition and start my timer? So process would be: add 1 lb. DME while steeping grains apx. 20 min or till 170 degrees. bring to boil, take off heat, stir in half LME (3lbs) bring to boil, Hot- Break, add 1oz Hops start 60 min. timer. Am I over thinking this?

Thanks to all who can help and comment.

If you are “solo” brewing your 1st batch, I would suggest sticking close to the NB recipe. A relatively common point of confusion/misunderstanding with these recipes is the fermentation temperature. You will get a better beer if you can ferment (with US-05) in the 65-68 range.

No flavor issues, color might be a little darker. I use a wire whisk when adding DME to boiling wort.

If it’s “at all costs”, then a very closely watched pot never boils over.

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Thanks for the advise @chertel! probably best if I steep grains alone, then just add the DME once grains are removed. I’ll go that route.

The way i do. Once done steeping the grains. Bring to boil. Than add dme. Add about 1/2 the lme. Than start my hop schedule. 20 min before end add the other 1/2 of the lme. This makes the beer not so dark. Mailard effect. I us irish moss as wel. This seems to work. And a bigger pot. Works to to avoid. Boil over. I sort of did change now the compleet schedule. Full boil. And minimash. In a separate kettle. As well hops schedule. But. Move slow. With changes. Become. Easy with your brewing way. Learn and do changes. Any way good luck and have lots of fun.

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Dang… you’ve done research. You’re pretty much on the right track. Late addition of the LME should help hop utilization, and improve the color. Totally right on boilover… watch like a hawk, bring gently to a boil, and give it a few minutes for hot break to form and settle before adding hops and starting the timer. Another tip: keep a spray bottle of cold water… a spray can knock down boil overs quickly. If you can get to a local home brew store, look for a product called Fermcap. Added before boiling, it reduces the foam that can lead to boilovers.

Follow NBs’ instructions to a “T” until you get to “Optional - transfer to secondary”. Some hop heads may say it is low on IBUs but this is the Chinook IPA recipe. The hop heads can brew a double IPA for more hops. It tastes great as is and you can have more than two without becoming silly. Just keep the fermenting beer between 66° and 70°F for the cleanest yeast flavor to let the hops shine through.
Steep the grains separately.
DME and LME dissolve faster in boiling water.
The late extract addition for this IPA is great. While the boil is going add hot wort to the last half of the LME to make it easier to pour.

Dried boil over residue is easily cleaned up with a paste of Barkeepers Friend. (BF is also used for shining up your stainless steel cooking utensils and repassivating damaged stainless steel.)

I most likely missed a lot just ask for clarification.

I second what Uber said about the Fermcap for preventing the boilovers. Makes a big difference in controlling the foam that will rise in a hot break. Boilovers can come up quick. You can also just move the pot off the heat if it gets too bad. Just keep an eye on it and you will be fine.

Be happy you have a gas stove. Turning off the gas will quickly stop the boil over. On an electric the coil will stay hot and you get a mess. The water bottle is a great idea too.

Normally I would say with the first try on a kit to follow the instructions to a T. Your ideas are well researched and proven so in this case, brew on. What I don’t suggest is changing the ingredients on the first try. If you do you won’t know if the recipe is not so good or your changes were.

Sounds like you are ready to brew! Have fun and don’t worry. It will come out beer, good beer.

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Thanks folks for all the input. It looks like tomorrow is going to be my first Brew Day! Friday the 13th, wish me luck. I’ll let you know how things go.

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How’d it go?

The Chinook back in early December was our first too. I think we fermented too warm and ended up with a weird flavor. We set aside one bottle which I think we’ll open tonight. I’m interested to see what it’s like now.

The beer turned out absolutely spectacular. Very clear color and crisp hop flavors.

Took about 4 weeks for it to finally carb fully and I started cracking into a few around the 2 week mark, lol. I just couldn’t wait! It was definitely worth waiting to drink the majority of them after the 4 wk mark tho. I fermented around a pretty steady 64-68 degrees and was diligent about making sure it didn’t get to warm, as i figured that would be the only thing that would have been able to ruin the taste. Conclusion: Super happy, wish I had more, already set for my next batch which will be a Doule IPA Westcoast Cascade. High ABV, I will probably start it up in a few weeks.

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Thanks for the update! Enjoy!

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