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Getting ready for my first home brew

Got a Belgian Wit kit from my local brew store. Super Psyched. Will let everyone know how it goes. If anyone has tips or suggestions feel free.

Welcome to brewing, Lou. Enjoy, have fun and make Beer! The one tip I’d have, and I’m sure you’re read it already is sanitation. Sanitize anything that touches your wort/beer anywhere along the way. I’m looking forward to hearing about your first batch.


Don’t get stressed out. Grain want’s to be beer. There is not much you can do the mess that up.

Let the beer sit in the fermenter for 2 weeks. Try not to even think about it. Then check the gravity and bottle it.

When you get ready to bottle, fill 1 soda bottle. Squeeze the O2 out and cap it. It will expand as the CO2 is formed. Then you won’t be wondering what is happening in the glass bottles.

Get another kit ready. Make it as soon as you have this one in the bottles. Or, get another fermenter and brew it a week after this one. You know you will want a 2nd fermenter!

Have fun!

I did my first 5 gallon extract yesterday. Don’t forget about the time it take to boil things, that adds a bit more time to the process. My dogs were getting anxious for their walks!

I sure hope this 5 gallon batch of English Brown turns out better than my first 1 gallon of nut brown. 2 bottles in and I am not impressed. First bottle was pretty flat, with very little body. The 2nd was a gusher (granted I opened it warm newbie mistake) and tasted off. Hope the whole batch isn’t bad, but it was only 9 bottles anyway.

My kit:

Biscuit 0.5 lbs.
Cara-Pils 0.5 lbs.

Wheat 0.33 qt
Pale 1.66 qt
Adjunct 0.33 qt

Bittering Hops
Nugget 0.5 oz.

Finishing Hops
Saaz 0.33 oz.
Hallertau 0.33 oz.
Irish Moss 1 Scoops

Coriander 1.0 oz.
Bitter Orange Peel 0.33 oz.

white labs belgian wit yeast.

should be starting in about 3 hours.

Welcome to brewing!

+1 to remembering how long it takes to boil. Just be patient throughout the entire process. I know it sounds complicated at first. It’s really not. Good luck and enjoy!

I’m in the process of sanitizing all my stuff. Haven’t started yet. I’m using C-brite because it came with the kit. ( I will be switching to Star-San) do I need to rinse after I use C-brite or just let it air dry. also how long should does it take to sanitize with c-brite?


First (and only) time I made that kit I ground the coriander into a powder. The flavor completely overwhelmed the beer. Reading Palmer later he mentioned that you should only lightly break up the seed so that doesn’t happen.

their yeast pitching rate calculator is great. tells you exactly how much yeast you need for a given gravity of beer. proper yeast cell counts are important, and will improve your beer. great resource for future batches, i wish i knew about it early on

just checking in… boiling wort is the sexiest smell ever.

it’s been in primary for 12 hours now. The krausen was bubbling into the air lock already. After cleaning and sanitizing it twice. I set up a blow off tube and it’s going nuts. I’m doing primary in a 6.5 gallon bucket.

Congrats! Welcome to the obsession that is home brewing. The only thing I see you did wrong was brewing while being a Mets fan :wink:

[quote=“LouJersey81”]it’s been in primary for 12 hours now. The krausen was bubbling into the air lock already. After cleaning and sanitizing it twice. I set up a blow off tube and it’s going nuts. I’m doing primary in a 6.5 gallon bucket.[/quote]Check your fermentation temp - if it’s going this strong this soon, you’re likely in the 70s, maybe even the 80s (fermentation produces heat, so if the ambient is 75F, the beer is ~80F).

Let’s Go Mets!

Yeah figures the day I brew it’s 85 degrees mid april in Jersey. Going to tape some ice packs to the side of the bucket. Ghetto AC, BOOM.

Welcome to Home Brewing!
You already have a special place in my heart, as my very first batch brewed was also a Wit - and it turned out quite tasty.

Sparing the redundancy of a sanitation lecture, which is the #1 rule for any home brewer, I will offer my one piece of advice to you that will certainly help you out with your first batch, and kick your brewing hobby in to a (very addictive) high gear!

I bought the basic home brew starter kit with only a primary and a bottling bucket when I got started. Basically, I was a cheap a** and didn’t think I needed all this extra stuff. Spend some extra dough and get yourself a carboy or better bucket to use as a secondary. Trying to use one bucket for a primary, and then racking from that to a bottling bucket, cleaning your primary, and then racking back for a secondary is a pain.

Buy some extra grain bags / hop bags and use those on brew day. It cuts down on the troub, and will leave you with a cleaner finished product.

Lastly, I remember my Wits started to become volcanoes after they conditioned for some time. I’m not sure if it was the yeast I used, or the amount of sugars that were still present upon bottle conditioning, but I had about .5 seconds to pour after opening those bottles or it would shoot from the top of the bottle.

I’m chalking THAT up to being a newbie, and have been more conscious of priming bottles, etc.

Oh… yeah… another benefit of having that carboy as a secondary… Your primary bucket is open after a week or so for another batch of beer!

This was a longer post than I had expected (sorry!)… but welcome to one of the most addictive hobbies on the planet!

^ to the previous post, your bottles were ‘volcanoing’ due too an excess amount of sugar. this could be because your priming sugar didn’t mix well enough, or because your beer wasn’t completely done fermenting

a secondary is rarely necessary but it is an option. nothing right or wrong about using one. you can primary in both buckets and carboys, that is also up to you. but, it is nice to have more than one fermenting vessel. i never use secondary’s and i am very happy with my beers. Ive never understood the secondary argument “to make more room” when you can primary in either vessel, even at the same time, without a secondary all together

search ‘swamp cooler’ to keep fermentation temperature down. basically its a bucket of water that you can set your primary in. then you can regulate the water temperature by using frozen water bottles.

I actually bought a better bottle when I got my kit at the homebrew store. The kit I bought came with bottles, as a bartender and someone who has done Brew On Premises I have access to a lot of bottles. So I traded the bottles for a 6 gallon better bottle.

That swamp cooler sounds like a good Idea. sounds much better than the bags of ice I taped to the bucket, which will obviously cause a puddle, thus creating a chain reaction that will lead to an angry girlfriend.

Update time. It’s been one week, the i’m getting a bubble every ten seconds. The first few days I needed a blow off tube because it was 80 degrees in my house. now that it’s cooled down I have the airlock back on. it smells amazing.

OG was at 1.049 or 1.050. haven’t taken another reading yet.

HAHA. I had the same issues you did Lou. I too brewed my first home brew last weekend and of course the hottest few days in April every in Upstate NY. Had to switch to the blow off. my OG was 1.050… checked it today… was at 1.013. Mine tasted pretty good too.

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