From the HBD Archive
From: dredge@lancashire.STANFORD.EDU (Michael Eldredge)
Subject: Re: More novice questions
Date: 1989-05-08 17:07:18 GMT

> Date: Fri, 5 May 89 12:01:47 EDT
> From: gh0t+@andrew.cmu.edu
> Subject: More novice questions

> I've noticed, in "complete joy" and elsewhere, directions that call for
> boiling wort with part of the water required, and then adding the rest
> of the water to it in the fermenter. I'm not exactly sure how to
> interpret this. In particular, does this mean that it's OK to just add
> tap water to the boiled portion of the wort, or should pre-sterilized
> (boiled) water be added? It sure would be
...

It can be quite hard to get going in brewing. There are several
very good books, each of which describes a different (and sometimes
contradictory) method.

The most important lesson I've learned in brewing is that it is a
creative art -- much like fine cooking (well, that's just what it
is). As with any cookbook recipe, a homebrew recipe and method come
from a particular perspective. Miller, Burch, Papazian (and each one
of us) have a particular style that has worked before. Their method
may work well for you, too. Or you may need to develop one of your
own. Adding tap water can work fine if you trust it to brew with in
the first place. Two friends and I just did 2 batches yesterday. We
have two 5 gallon SS kettles, but by the time the 90-120 minute boil
is done, each batch is about 1.5 gal short of the 5.5 gal. This time
we sparged the hops with cold tap water. We've actually done it
several ways (hot boiled, cool pre-boiled, cold tap and also
near-frozen bottled water from the store). We've never had any
problems, in fact we've been lucky enough to have brewed several very
good beers.

The bottom lines seems to be: ~4 gal wort at 210 degF + ~1.5 gal at
65 degF -> 5.5 gal at ~96 degF. Still "pretty" hot.

In addition, ever since Batch#2 we've used a wort chiller. We
*strongly* maintain that it is the most important second round piece
of equipment to buy. It is the best $40-$45 you can spend. It cools
a batch to pitching temp in 15-25 minutes (depending on whether we
sparged with cold water or not). Everyone knows how it aids in
reducing risk of contamination and saves time. But it also helps
greatly in reproducibility. The slowly cooling wort can still break
down the aromatic hop oils. With the wort chiller, you quickly get
the wort temp below that which affects the aromatic hop oils. We've
been able to get very nice and very reproducible aromatic hop
qualities in our beers.

Michael Eldredge
Stanford University, IC Lab

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