New brewer

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New brewer

Postby caughtinamosh87 » Sun Apr 22, 2007 7:39 pm

Hey all,

Just brewed my first batch yesterday, but now I have a couple of questions.

1) When I was pouring the contents from the pot into the carboy, the strainer in the funnel got pretty clogged up and really restricted the flow. Is this normal? If not, what can I do to prevent it?

2) What is the best way to take a hydometer reading when using a carboy? the opening is quite small.

But other than that, I'm happy so far. Looks like I got some good fermentation going so I don't need to worry about that.

Thanks for your help!
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Postby cozrulz » Sun Apr 22, 2007 11:45 pm

1. Sounds like you just dumped all the grains in the water to steep. Is this correct? In the future you can put the grains in a mesh bag. Or if it was because of the hops, you can buy pellet hops which will dissolve completely.

2. When you are ready for the hydrometer reading get a plastic thief, sanitize it, then draw out just enough to fill up a vessel large enough for the hydrometer (a graduated cylinder works well). This is much easier than trying to drop a hydrometer into a carboy and fish it out. It's also easier to read the hydrometer, and there is less risk of contamination.

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Postby brewer13210 » Mon Apr 23, 2007 9:20 am

1) When boiling, you create a lot of "hot break". It's normal. The best way to avoid clogging up your strainer is the whirlpool the kettle for a few minutes and let the break settle out to a cone in the center of the pot. Then siphon from the edge of the pot in to the carboy.

2) When starting to siphon from the pot/kettle in to the carboy, I run the first bit in to the hydrometer. I don't normally take any more hydrometer readings again until it goes in to the secondary.

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Postby slothrob » Mon Apr 23, 2007 3:33 pm

1) You can also use as sanitized spoon to scoop the hops out of the strainer, if it becomes clogged.

2) I measure my gravity before my boil (make sure you get the volume, too), so that I can adjust the hops if necessary (I'm doing all grain, mostly). Then I get the volume in the pot, after the boil, and calculate my post-boil OG based on the pre-boil numbers.
During fermentation I use a thief.
At any transfers I get the gravity by catching the first bit from the siphon.
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Postby caughtinamosh87 » Mon Apr 23, 2007 7:56 pm

I did have the grains in a mesh bag and also used hop pellets, but still ended up with a bunch of gunk in the strainer. I ended up using a sanitized spoon to get it all out to continue the flow. Maybe next time, I'll try siphoning instead of pouring.

Thanks guys! Much appreciated.
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