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J+M brewers

that’s jim and mike, more commonly known as me and my dad. i guess we can call ourselves “brewers” now (and i’m 47 years old and just starting!), as we officially started our first beer two days ago. we picked 3 beers for a summer party (all our brewing will be 3 gallon batches, 5 is too much for the two of us we decided), and our first that we started is the bourbon barrel porter! how did it go? pretty smoothly for the first time out i think. the only bumps in the road:

  1. making 3 gallon batches i had to adjust each ingredient (multiply times 0.6). when calculating the first ingredient (grains) my dad started talking to me and i had already cleared the calculator with the correct adjusted amount. i hope i remembered the correct amount but neither me or my dad were quite sure at that point. lesson #1 - WRITE DOWN IMPORTANT STUFF.

  2. when i went to shake the carboy to aerate it, i had so much foaming that i had a hard time getting the yeast into it.

  3. when i went to take my OG, i gave the hydrometer a spin and released it in the beer. much to my suprise, it dropped about halfway down into the carboy, turned sideways and is now stuck in the carboy. so no OG. i could probably fish it out somehow, but i don’t want to mess with my hopefully clean beer too much. so i will get it out after transfering to the secondary.

it is really a blessing to be able to do this with my dad. we have always been close and it’s just another fun thing for us to do. hopefully we will be doing this together for a long time. :cheers:

It is much safer to use a wine/beer thief to remove a sample from the fermentor for SG readings. This is typically done before the yeast is pitched. Drink the sample, don’t return it to the fermentor. Five gallon batches take the same amonut of time as smaller brews. Some ales benefit from a long aging period. You could have 2 to 5 years to finish a 5 gallon batch. Yeast in liquid form; liquid yeast or rehydrated dry yeast, will penetrate/settle very nicely into the wort as the foam settles.
Myself, relatives, and friends can make 5 gallons of beer disappear rather fast once it is ready.
Happy brewing.

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