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Messages - netsteel

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General Homebrew Discussion / Re: 1ST Time Washing Yeast
« on: August 23, 2012, 05:38:52 PM »
I just started washing yeast as well, and thought this question may go along with the thread:
How long can washed yeast be stored in the fridge before you have to throw it out?

General Homebrew Discussion / Re: I've lost that "new hobby" smell
« on: August 17, 2012, 03:09:27 PM »
Thanks guys. I knew you'd get it. I have loved it so far, I think I just got bogged down in "diminishing returns". I think I'll just sit back and try to coast with it a while, rather than actively seeking something new. I'll work on tweaking recipes and taking it easy.
I am a member of the local homebrew club, but I really haven't tapped their resources much. That sounds like a good idea.

You guys are great!

General Homebrew Discussion / I've lost that "new hobby" smell
« on: August 16, 2012, 04:51:08 PM »
I need your help, guys. I've hit a slump. I'm losing my enthusiasm and need a pep talk. I've made it through 7 successful brews, with #8 being bottled this weekend. In the past 6 months, I've gone from kits brewed and chilled in a tub to all-grain and a chest-freezer fermentation chamber. I consumed as much knowledge as I could on brewing from books and the internet. I was borderline obsessed, but it was new so I was excited.
Well, the newness has worn off. My excitement has waned. Now it's just another Sunday in the kitchen.

So, I look to you for ideas. How do you keep it interesting? Do you take breaks? What keeps you coming back? I'm not giving up. I've tasted some of the best beer I've ever had, and you can't come back from that. I just want that spark back.

General Homebrew Discussion / Re: Question about styles
« on: May 04, 2012, 09:51:21 PM »
I was thinking about brewing this as well, but now I'm not so sure. I'm not a big fan of the BMC beers. Would this one have more flavor and character?
I may brew it any way for the learning experience. I can always find people willing to drink it. No one turns down free beer.  :)

General Homebrew Discussion / Re: First brew
« on: April 16, 2012, 06:29:42 PM »
Welcome aboard! I'm a new brewer as well and can tell you you're in for a ride.  I'm 2 months in with 3 batches so far and I'm already plotting out how to move to 10 gallon all-grain brews.

Update: I decided to go for it this weekend (2 and a half weeks since bottling) and threw a 12-pack in the fridge. It was great! The flavors had balanced out and all the bitterness I was concerned about had faded away, leaving a smooth finish. It was as good as anything I have purchased commercially. The wife and I enjoyed it so much I had to throw in a second 12-pack near the end of the weekend. You guys were definitely right about how fast it goes. I just got batch #2 bottled yesterday. I need to pick up the pace if I don't want to run out.
These results definitely solidified my taking this hobby on. I'll be doing a lot more. With your help I'll be brewing great beer for a long time.

Sent from my Thrive using Tapatalk

Update: I tried another sample yesterday at the 10 day mark. What an improvement. The bitterness has mellowed quite a bit since the first sample, only lingering a bit on the back end. The flavor has improved nicely, and the clarity has improved as well. I'll keep testing samples over time to see how it changes. Patience...
I didn't use PBW (still don't know what it is) so that wouldn't be a problem. I used the dishwasher to sanitize, which seemed to work well. It was easy, too. I pulled the bottles out 1 at a time right before filling.

Sent from my Thrive using Tapatalk

Thanks, guys. I'll be doing a lot more experimenting as I get the hang of things. I'll probably just wait until next weekend to drink this one and hope the next one turns out better. I have read so much that I find myself dreaming about it.
My next batch is a red ale, brewed on Sunday. I pitched at 60(cooled much more quickly) and used an ounce of Kent Golding for bittering and an ounce of fuggles for aroma. I'm watching the fermenting temps much closer as well. I plan on leaving this one in the fermenter for 2 weeks before bottling, with 2 weeks conditioning before i hope to drink it (family in town). I have a good feeling about this one.
I didn't stir in the priming sugar, but relied on the position of the racking tube to lightly swirl as i transferred. Il stir next time. I'm not sure how to tell the difference between hop flavor and general bitterness. Hopefully something that will come with time. I really want to learn all about flavor variations in malts, grains, hops, and yeasts. I don't need a life...I have beer!
My next problem is collecting enough bottles to keep brewing while these have time to age. Where to keep them all?  ;D

I'm brand new to brewing and am very excited to be here. I love beer. I started sampling different styles as soon as I was old enough to drink. I was disappointed with the big names in commercial brewing (BMC) and found that smaller craft breweries had more of what I liked. They had flavor and complexity. That was what I wanted. I wasn't looking to get drunk, I wanted something truly enjoyable to drink.
So now here I am many years later. had a special on a Mr. Beer kit. I checked into it, but it seemed to be way too mass-produced to create something really memorable. I passed on it. A few weeks later, as I was channel surfing I came across an episode of "Good Eats" on the cooking channel on brewing at home. This was more like what I was looking for. I started searching the web for more information on homebrewing and among other things found this forum. I have been reading nonstop ever since.
I bought my starter kit last month and brewed up my very first batch. I had a lot of fun with the process. It kind of gave me the "Mad Scientist" vibe. If the end results turn out decent enough I think I'll be doing quite a bit more.

OK, so with my introduction out of the way, on to my experience as a first-time brewer:
I sampled a bottle yesterday. The recipe was for a pale ale, as recommended by my local homebrew shop. They seemed really knowledgeable and helpful. Their website even had videos of a beginner going through the same recipe to help keep me going.
I fermented for 9 days, bottled, and let it sit for 7. Yesterday morning I threw one in the fridge before work so that I could see how things were going. I know it should sit longer, but had read that a lot of brewers sample along the way so I figured "why not?". I had waited an eternity already...
The color looked good, if a bit hazy. It had carbonation, but not a lot for head. the taste was mostly just bitter. It lingered a bit too long and probably masked other flavors that might be present but it's hard to tell. It was drinkable and I finished it, but it was definitely a bit too bitter for my taste.

My big question is whether or not I can expect the bitterness to mellow out as it ages? Could it be from the hops? I only used 1/2oz warrior hops pellets for bittering with another 1/2oz the last 5 minutes for aroma. I have seen recipes using several ounces over the course of the boil, so it seemed to be a minimal amount.

I'll post my brewing notes below to detail the process I took. After reading more I already see a few things that I should have done differently, so those will hopefully help the next batch (which is already in the fermenter).

I look forward to your input and participating here on the forum. I think I may have found my new home...

---Brew day notes---
First time Pale Ale: Brewed 2-26-2012

Purchased the Signature "First Brew" beginners brewing kit from Brewers Connection
Came with ingredients for "First Born Pale Ale" and instructions

My very first "Brew Day"!
"first born pale ale", instructions and ingredients from Brewers Connection
6lb muntons light dry malt extract
1oz warrior hop pellets
1/2lb carapils grains
1/2lb crystal 60L grains
1tsp Irish moss
1 pkg safAle US-05 brewer's yeast

Filled fermenter with iodophor solution, put all tools in solution
Boil 2.5 gal water for brewing, 3 gal to top off wort
At 160*, kill heat, added grain bag to steep for 25 min, kept heat between 155-160
Drained and discarded bag (had a little trouble getting the bag out of the water)
Added 6lb light dry malt extract, stirred in thoroughly
Brought to boil
Right at boil, killed heat, added 1/2 oz hop pellets, stirred in
Raised heat to low rolling boil
Boil for 50 min stirring occasionally
Add 1/2oz hop pellets, 1tsp Irish moss
Boil 5 min
Kill heat
transfer iodophor solution from fermenter to bottling bucket, moved tools
Chill worth using ice bath (only had 1 bag of ice which disappeared quickly)
Move to fermenter, strained
Add preboiled water to 5gal level
Put fermenter in Ice/water bath to 80*  (ran out of ice. Ran water to keep things moving, took what seemed like way too long to cool, maybe 45 minutes to an hour) ~note - 80* recommended pitch temp by LHBS
Pitch yeast
Close lid
Aerate for 5min (set on floor and shake like crazy.)
Add airlock

Gravity measurement 1.054

Notes: Started around 1pm or so, finished just after 5pm. Took a while to get water boiled. May look further into using ice to top off wort after boil finishes, rather than pre-boiled water. Or pre-boil a day early and cool ahead of time. Did my best to keep everything sanitary. Dipped my hands in Sanitizer every time I handled bucket.

Bottling day
Fermented for 9 days
Soaked all bottles overnight in iodophor solution. Stripped old labels off, scrubbed glue and placed in bottom rack of dishwasher. Ran DW with no soap, high heat, sanitizing cycle.
Collected all equipment, filled bottling bucket with iodophor solution, soaked all equipment in bucket.
Boiled 2/3 cup water for 5 min, added 5oz dextrose. Water had boiled down so dextrose wouldn't fully dissolve, added a bit more water,dissolved, brought back to boil for 1 min.
Drained bottling bucket, saved some solution for equipment.
Placed bucket on floor, fermenter on counter. Added dextrose solution to bucket. Connected hose to auto siphon, transferred beer to bottling bucket.
Move bottling bucket to counter, move hose to bucket spout and bottling wand.
Opened dishwasher, pulled out tray Fill bottles one at a time, 12 per run
Capped 12, repeated until all were done. found the wing capper easy to use

Filled 47 and a half bottles. Sacrificed 1/2 to beer gods
Need to shorten hose for bottling.

Final Gravity 1.011

Notes: Took about 2 hours start to finish, including cleanup. Cleanup was involved, but worth the effort. Sampled, flat and warm but definitely beer! A bit overly bitter. Will reexamine when conditioned and cold. Need to learn more about hopping and hops role in bittering. Probably more malt too. Wing capper was easy to use.

Sample day
Put a bottle in the fridge before work. Was eager to try when I got home. color was a nice amber, carbonation was light but present, and didn't dissipate before glass was empty. Not much head. Smell was nice, not strong but present. Taste: Definitely Ale, but still seems too bitter. The bitterness lasts and overpowers any other flavors that may be present. Will sample again this weekend (3 more days) but may have to let it sit longer to help bitterness mellow.

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