Author Topic: Well...I drank my first homebrew  (Read 7378 times)

Offline poobah58

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Re: Well...I drank my first homebrew
« Reply #15 on: December 03, 2012, 04:44:55 PM »
Look at it this way, it's sometime painful when your cherry gets popped!  ;D
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Offline neemox

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Re: Well...I drank my first homebrew
« Reply #16 on: December 04, 2012, 12:07:31 AM »
1.010 is not to low for a lightish ale.

Ahh, yup, my brain put another Zero in there.

Does anyone have any idea how much oxidation can play a role based on headspace? I know I want to limit headspace in a secondary, but If it's not mixing, how much headspace is too much?

Offline morticaixavier

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Re: Well...I drank my first homebrew
« Reply #17 on: December 04, 2012, 08:44:08 AM »
1.010 is not to low for a lightish ale.

Ahh, yup, my brain put another Zero in there.

Does anyone have any idea how much oxidation can play a role based on headspace? I know I want to limit headspace in a secondary, but If it's not mixing, how much headspace is too much?

I.d skip secondary all together unless you have a good reason to do it (adding fruit, possibly dry hopping if you want to use the yeast again, REALLY long bulk aging like months and months at room temp) The smaller the beer the less ideal a secondary is really. A nice light ale is going to be completely ruined by a little oxidation while a big barley wine can actually improve with a little oxidation. That being said I think it's about surface area. so fill your carboy up to the neck and there is less beer/air contact so less oxidation.
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Re: Well...I drank my first homebrew
« Reply #18 on: December 04, 2012, 09:15:00 AM »
1.010 is not to low for a lightish ale.

Ahh, yup, my brain put another Zero in there.

Does anyone have any idea how much oxidation can play a role based on headspace? I know I want to limit headspace in a secondary, but If it's not mixing, how much headspace is too much?

I.d skip secondary all together unless you have a good reason to do it (adding fruit, possibly dry hopping if you want to use the yeast again, REALLY long bulk aging like months and months at room temp) The smaller the beer the less ideal a secondary is really. A nice light ale is going to be completely ruined by a little oxidation while a big barley wine can actually improve with a little oxidation. That being said I think it's about surface area. so fill your carboy up to the neck and there is less beer/air contact so less oxidation.

This.

I used secondary on my first two batches just so I could clear carboys (1wk primary, 1 wk secondary, 2 wks bottles) so I had enough beer to get me started. now that I brew once every 2-3 weeks, I don't use secondary unless it is spending at least 6 months bulk aging (like my 1.085 Scotch Ale)
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Offline Herminator

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Re: Well...I drank my first homebrew
« Reply #19 on: December 04, 2012, 11:42:04 AM »
Well,they say you learn something new everyday....so I'm calling it a day and going home.  No idea about the general feeling of secondary racking.  Really interesting. 

So my general question is this.  If I was going to do an IPA with some dry hopping with pellets.  Would it be smart to rack into a secondary and then dry hop or dry hop in the primary after about 2 weeks?  Maybe leaving them in for about a week?

Just curious when it would be good to rack to a secondary if the general consensus is bigger beers (i.e. barley wines, Scottish ales, etc.)

Thanks again for the great feedback. 
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Offline morticaixavier

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Re: Well...I drank my first homebrew
« Reply #20 on: December 04, 2012, 11:45:36 AM »
Well,they say you learn something new everyday....so I'm calling it a day and going home.  No idea about the general feeling of secondary racking.  Really interesting. 

So my general question is this.  If I was going to do an IPA with some dry hopping with pellets.  Would it be smart to rack into a secondary and then dry hop or dry hop in the primary after about 2 weeks?  Maybe leaving them in for about a week?

Just curious when it would be good to rack to a secondary if the general consensus is bigger beers (i.e. barley wines, Scottish ales, etc.)

Thanks again for the great feedback.

If I was doing an IPA and I did not want to re-use the yeast, I would dry hop in primary after the bulk of fermentation is complete. I would have said for about 1 week but after reading this thread
http://www.homebrewersassociation.org/forum/index.php?topic=14077.0 I might alter that advice. But I haven't finished reading the article so maybe not yet.
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Offline Joe Sr.

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Re: Well...I drank my first homebrew
« Reply #21 on: December 04, 2012, 11:47:59 AM »
I haven't racked to a secondary in a couple of years.  For any beer, regardless of strength.

Mine typically sit in the primary for around four weeks before kegging.

I don't dry hop often, but the last time I did so in the keg.  I also have been adding oak chips, bourbon, etc. to the keg rather than the fermenter.  Of course, if you don't keg that's useless info.

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Offline Herminator

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Re: Well...I drank my first homebrew
« Reply #22 on: December 04, 2012, 11:54:31 AM »
Yeah..I don't keg, yet.

I just opened up that article and Wow!  Looks like I may have some reading to do, but man it is long and I am going to need a lot of beer to get through it.

Thanks for the suggestions and feedback.
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Offline bigchicken

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Re: Well...I drank my first homebrew
« Reply #23 on: December 04, 2012, 12:04:26 PM »
Out of curiosity, what brand of kit did you buy? I've noticed kits from Brewer's Best often come out thin, but kits from places like Northern Brewer are much improved.
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Offline Herminator

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Re: Well...I drank my first homebrew
« Reply #24 on: December 04, 2012, 12:34:52 PM »
The kit was from Northern Brewer - Irish Red.  Has awesome reviews and it was a kit that came with my brewing kit.  I think my process probably had negative results on the final product.  Seems like everyone else that has reviewed it really likes the kit.
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Offline thirsty

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Re: Well...I drank my first homebrew
« Reply #25 on: December 06, 2012, 06:23:14 PM »
I always had good luck with the NB kits too. Really good stuff. And just to say it again: skip the secondary.

Offline euge

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Re: Well...I drank my first homebrew
« Reply #26 on: December 06, 2012, 07:02:01 PM »
Damn. I was hoping for reports of hallucinations. And maybe a night spent in the pokey. :(
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Offline Herminator

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Re: Well...I drank my first homebrew
« Reply #27 on: December 07, 2012, 09:47:02 AM »
hahaha...no hallucinations but after each one there is a desire for a better beer. 

I attended my homebrew club meeting last night and brought a few bottles trying to get an idea of what may be wrong with the brew.  Here is some of the feedback I received...

1. Grains.  Someone asked if it was extract or all grain.  Extract.  Right away they asked if it had specialty grains.  I said yes.  The following question was...Did you wait 3 weeks to brew this kit?  With a surprised but ashamed look on my face, I said...yes.  They indicated they could tell that it was missing something and that if I would have brewed upon receiving the kit, I would have had a totally different beer.

2.  Oxidation.  This was split.  Some indicated a slight taste of oxidation and some didn't say anything. 

3. Boil.  A few people asked about the boil and I said I couldn't get a good vigorous boil.  They said that would have also changed things significantly.  I am working on getting a real burner. 

Just wanted to share some of the feedback I received. 

Thanks for all of your suggestions and feedback.  You provided a lot of the same feedback that people who actually tasted the beer did.   Which means....you can virtually drink beer which is rather impressive and cool. 
Hermen D.
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Re: Well...I drank my first homebrew
« Reply #28 on: December 07, 2012, 10:04:33 AM »
That is the benefit of this forum, there are so many years of experience on here that we can usually troubleshoot problems just by bouncing information off of each other. I know it has been very helpful for me as a new homebrewer.
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Offline alcaponejunior

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Re: Well...I drank my first homebrew
« Reply #29 on: December 10, 2012, 08:52:56 AM »
stuff

Well I'm no expert, but my mom thinks I am.  ;D

Things I noticed in this thread so far...

1. wort chiller.  You know you want one, we know you're probably about to get one.  8)

2. bottling day... do you have a bottling wand?  they work wonders and I can't see how anyone could bottle without one (unless they have that fancy bottling gun thingie, but the wand is fine).

3. fermentation on my beers is usually begun within 24 hours and mostly stopped after 72, so this is normal.  I generally make ales in the 1.050-1.065 OG range, so this might not apply if you do something heavier.

4. get a gram scale and weigh your sugar.  I got one from amazon, I think it was about 12 bucks.  Since doing it this way, I've been right where I want to be carbonation wise almost every time. 

5. I personally fill each bottle till it just barely reaches the top or overflows slightly, then remove bottling wand.  this gives the right amount of headspace every time.  I cap every bottle immediately, but I don't know that this is a major issue for you.

6. obviously you need more heat so you can get a full rolling boil. 

7. I would just skip the secondary.  Unless you're doing something big like a RIS or barleywine, these kit beers and extract ales of average strength just don't need a secondary.  I would recommend at least two weeks on primary, but still skip the secondary. 

8. no need for secondary for dry hopping either.  For clarity, you can use a sanitized nylon paint strainer bag weighed down with something stainless steel, or some marbles.  Make sure everything is sanitized (except the hops, which won't hurt the beer).  I often toss the dry hops in anywhere from 3-7 days before I plan to bottle.  Any comments on optimal dry hopping anyone?  This always works well for me though.

9. Clarity is over-rated.  However, you can get pretty good clarity by using paint strainer bags for the hops (in boil, dry hopping), using a sanitized paint strainer bag over the end of your auto-siphon when you rack to the bottling bucket, and by using Irish moss.  I toss in some Irish moss to every boil too (about a quarter tsp).  The tub isn't that expensive and it lasts forever because you don't use much. 

10. I honestly don't think that brewing your kit three weeks earlier would have made any difference at all unless you just had horrid storage conditions. 

my 2c.