I just brewed my first batch of Scottish ale last Saturday using malt extract. I got the kit from “Grape and Granary”, and I modified the procedure a bit in accordance to what Palmer suggests in his book “How to Brew”. I have a couple of questions regarding the procedure:
- Regarding the steeping of specialty grains, I have noticed that some recipes suggest steeping until a certain temperature is reached in the kettle (such as 170F) and that some recipes, like the one for my Scottish ale batch, suggest boiling to 150 - 170F and then steeping for 20 minutes.
What is the difference between these two methods?
- So after about 25 minutes have past with the steeping of the specialty grain (I added an extra 5 minutes), I turned up the oven burner until I would get a vigorous boil. The only problem is I don’t think I ever got a vigorous boil.
I steeped with 1g of water, then added 2g more. I’m using a 5g stainless steel kettle. There was boiling, but it wasn’t very vigorous. So after about an hour, I added the LME, and waited about another hour until I would reach that vigorous boil. I never reached it unfortunately, so I tossed in the hops and boiled for 45 minutes (as specified in the instructions).
Why do you guys think I never got that vigorous boil? I’m thinking that perhaps I actually did get as vigorous of a boil as I can get with 3g of water in a 5g pot, but I’d like to know your opinions.
- In regards to my previous question, I notice that instructions always say to remove the kettle from heat to stir in the extract, and then go back to the boil to add in the hops.
What is the purpose of removing the kettle from the boil to pour in the LME if it’s just going to be boiled again after the addition of hops? As noted above, I never removed the kettle from the boil until the hops were fully utilized. In fact, I boiled the wort with the LME extract for an hour prior to adding hops. Will this affect my batch?
- During the cooling of the wort, I opened up the lid to my kettle about three times for about 30 seconds each in order to check the temperature to ensure that it was around 80F. The thermometer was sanitized. I’m not sure if this was a bad idea, because I didn’t know of any other way to check the temperature of the wort as it chilled.
Do you guys think this will affect the quality of the batch?
- About taking Hydrometer readings, some instructions suggest taking a reading after 5g have been put into the fermenter. I’m not sure how this is possible because I use a 6.5 gallon carboy as my primary fermenter. How would you guys suggest I go about taking the SG reading?
Thank you for your time everyone.