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First batch tips

Thursday, July 17th, 2008

Here are some tips that will keep you out of trouble for your first batch. These tips apply to an extract style recipe using malt extract (dry or liquid).

  1. Scrub the kitchen, sink, stove, and all counter tops.
  2. Start boiling the water early, since that will take awhile.
  3. Do not use bleach to sanitize equipment, instead get a one step no rinse sanitizer.  With bleach, there is a possibility of a bleach odor left behind in your carboy unless it is rinsed many times, but that risks contamination.  Star San is a great product and it is worth being worry free in this area.
  4. Do not use boiling/boiled water to sanitize or clean anything, unless you know it is cool enough to work with.  No need for this if you use a one step sanitizer.
  5. If using steeping grains, make sure to turn off the burner for the first 25 minutes. Do not let the temp get above 180F or else you can get tanic flavors.
  6. Watch the pot and stir a lot when it is getting close to initial boil. Boil over is where a foamy head on the wort develops and rises over the top of the kettle, making a sticky mess. Stirring avoids this problem.
  7. For wort cooling, use an ice bath the first few times. Have at least eight trays worth of ice cubes on hand to get the wort chilled quickly.
  8. Prepare a sanitized jug or bottle on hand to top off your wort in the carboy with water.
  9. Keep the lid on the pot while the wort is cooling. Avoid smelling it, sampling it, or checking on it.
  10. Don’t forget to aerate after pitching the yeast, basically that means to rock the carboy and splash the contents around after you get everything into it.

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