I just ordered my first starter kit this week the Brew,Share Enjoy IPA edition. I downloaded the instructions for the Chinook IPA that it comes with and have been reading them. Several questions. It says a 60 minute boil does that mean 60 minutes at a rolling boil or 60 minutes of heating with most or it boiling. I also ordered the herculometer hydrometer and have read that some just sanitize it and drop it in the ferminator to get a reading. Is this a good way and I was under the impression that the lid needed to stay on untill you dry hop or transferred. Something about to much o2. I plan on brewing next Saturday if all goes well. Thanks for any help.
60 minutes of boiling. Get the water to boiling, then start adding ingredients and start timing.
Oxygen is not good for fermented beer so you want to minimize oxygen exposure. Fermentation produces CO2, which will fill the head space of your fermenter, driving out the air. You can check the gravity with the hydrometer before fermentation starts if you want, but it should be what it says on the instruction sheet as long as you have the correct amount of water and add all the ingredients from the kit. You really don’t need to start checking gravity until the fermentation appears to be done. That is, in about a week or two. Check it again a day or two later. If gravity hasn’t dropped, then fermentation is really done.
As for checking gravity it in the fermenter, you need to be able to read the hydrometer at close to eye level. That is hard to do if you are fermenting in a bucket.
… and welcome to brewing.
Yes rolling boil once done. Start your hops. Than boil for 60 min. Is it extract or all grain. ? If extract. Add 1.2 the lme. And the other 1.2 about 20 min before the end. To avoid mailard effect. Your beer to dark. What i do start my boil with 6. gall water. Steep the grains separte. About 1gall. Than add everything. Due to boil of you end up with. 5.5 gall wort. You might want to get a grav sample kit. So you take a sample of wort. And you do not need to add your hydro meter. In your fermenting bucket. So you dont take the risk your hydrometer. Cracks in your brew. Any way have fun brewing
Great advice above. In regards to the boil. The wort just needs to be boiling; it does not need to be boiling so hard that it is leaping out of the kettle. Excessive boiling results in more darkening if the wort and higher boil off rates.
Looks like you’ve done your homework so have you established a way to cool your wort when the boil is finished?
O2 before fermentation is good. Yeast (especially liquid) need it to reproduce and have a healthy fermentation. O2 uptake after fermentation is bad and results in oxidation which will give your finished product a stale, wet cardboard taste that can also be harsh and more bitter (not a ‘good’ bitter). Avoid O2 uptake by racking/bottling very slowing, minimizing splashing.
One thing often overlook it water, even for extract Brewers. Chlorine or chloramines in water can give your beer a vinyl, plastic, or band aid off flavor. No need to worry though. You can use distilled water or add a 1/4 tab of crushed camp den tablet to your tap water in the kettle and this will remove the chlorine.
Just some additional insight. Welcome to the hobby. Be prepared to hold on as before you know it this hobby will grab you by the ass and soon take over your life. Seriously. It has a tendency to do that.
Thanks for the help. Yes it is extract and I plan on cooling it in the kitchen sink for now. I have a favorite local beer that I want to imitate as close as possible but that will come later. Thanks again an I will let you know how it goes.
Somewhere down the road you will want to invest in a gadget called a wine thief and a hydrometer flask. It will allow you to draw samples quickly to measure the gravity.
For now if you are doing a kit beer that has stated OG & FG, if you follow the instructions and come up with the right volume, it is likely that you get very close to the gravity.
The important one will be the FG. It tells you if the beer is finished. Three days of the same gravity will tell you it’s done. For a beer with a normal ABV 1.010 or close is normal.
BTW what @loopie_beer said about this hobby taking over your life can be true.
I haven’t even gotten the kit yet and I am already looking at labels. I have already figured one thing out. I bought two cases of bottles and the realized that I could have bought two cases of beer with pry offs and drank the beer. Dang it.
You will want more than two cases so there is still an opportunity. Next will be kegs.
I am sure I will need more. Kegging looks like the real way to go but I will stick to bottles until I am more confident. Thanks
My wife is a fan of the more citrus tasting IPA’s. From what I have read the Chinook is going to be a more pine tasting beer. I have also read of people adding grapefruit and other citrus peels to their brew. Would I be messing up or is this an option? My first thought is just brew it as it comes but she is a big reason I want to start brewing my own. Thanks for any suggestions
The Chinook IPA is one of my favorites. I wouldn’t describe Chinook hops as piney. More just a little less grapefruit/citrus than Cascade and Centennial.
Thanks. Probably best thing to do is leave it alone and see how she likes it and then go from there. Looks like first brew day is Saturday and hopefully pop a few open Christmas Eve.
I would suggest brewing the first couple kits as is until you get your process and system down. If you go changing things and have problems it will be hard to determine if it was a change, a process, or system error.
Thanks. I believe that is the best plan.