Author Topic: Update on my first ever homebrew!  (Read 1313 times)

Offline chadjjones89

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Update on my first ever homebrew!
« on: June 05, 2013, 07:13:23 PM »
So I tried my hand at brewing back in May. I brewed on May 8 (an Irish Red from Midwest), and didn't have time to bottle until June 2. My FG was 1.010, adjusted. Hygrometer gave an ABV of approximately 5.2%. Kit was supposed to finish around 4.2%- is that a result of the prolonged fermentation?

Checked the bottles tonight and they all seem to have cleared and have approximately 1/8 to 1/4 inch of sediment at the bottom. I'm guessing those are my lovely little yeasts and some remaining grain/hop particles. Room where conditioning has been taking place has probably been 70-75F for the duration. How long should I allow for conditioning prior to checking carbonation?

As an aside- I'm thinking about trying my hand at an apple beer sometime soon. I saw that many kits will include an "apple flavoring", but I think I could probably get a decent flavor by using the Simply Apple brand of juice. Any thoughts on that tactic?
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Offline ynotbrusum

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Re: Update on my first ever homebrew!
« Reply #1 on: June 05, 2013, 08:07:13 PM »
I think you may have been better served by leaving the beer on the yeast in the primary longer based on the amount of sediment in your bottles, but no big problem there.  Just pour easy to avoid too much yeast and trub in your glass. Give them a week to carbonate at room temp. 

 If you add fruit juice, you will be adding more fermentable sugars and may not get the fruit flavor you expect.  The yeast will simply metabolize it as more alcohol is produced in that case.
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Online kramerog

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Re: Update on my first ever homebrew!
« Reply #2 on: June 05, 2013, 08:12:01 PM »
You didn't provide a lot of information to work with. Tell us more.  Was your first beer an all extract beer?  What was you original gravity?
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Offline chadjjones89

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Re: Update on my first ever homebrew!
« Reply #3 on: June 05, 2013, 08:26:47 PM »
It was an all extract brew from Midwest Supplies. Unfortunately, I forgot to grab an OG reading as I was a bit scatterbrained during the brewing process. I opted for an extended stay in primary fermentation in lieu of a secondary fermentation.

What else can I provide to make feedback easier? Being my first time brewing I'm still very ignorant in the processes of brewing (learning, I promise!) and what I should be including in my posts. Everything you wonder ladies and gents can tell me is very helpful.
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Offline denny

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Update on my first ever homebrew!
« Reply #4 on: June 05, 2013, 08:27:34 PM »
Apple juice ferments out so completely that you won't get much, if any, apple flavor from it.
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Offline chadjjones89

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Re: Update on my first ever homebrew!
« Reply #5 on: June 05, 2013, 08:37:39 PM »
Bummer. Maybe chunks of whole apple in a secondary fermentation?

Along those same lines, I'm getting a couple of 6 gallon carboys shipped in the next few days. Are those suitable for secondary fermentation when adding stuff like that? I ask because I'm going to be brewing a pumpkin ale next, and I'm trying to figure out a way to really bolster that pumpkin flavor. I've seen a lot of people talk about adding canned pumpkin, which I will do, but they also mention that it adds only a slight flavor. I'm wanting to make mine taste basically like a pumpkin pie in beer form, so you can see the desire for that really rich flavor.

Any suggestion on how to make that happen with the pumpkin ale, or any other beer like that? For reference, this is the kit I will be using- http://www.midwestsupplies.com/pumpkin-ale.html. I opted for the Premium Dry Yeast; whether or not that will make any discernible difference, I have't a clue.
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Offline garc_mall

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Re: Update on my first ever homebrew!
« Reply #6 on: June 05, 2013, 10:17:35 PM »
The thing that generally provides the "pumpkin pie" flavor in most pumpkin beers is pumpkin pie spice. Pumpkin on its own doesn't really provide any flavor.

If you want beer that tastes like Apple, try using apple skins. One of the guys in my club produced an "Apple Pie Scotch Ale" and it was Extremely tasty (one of the most popular beers at NHC Club Night). He use apple skins to get more flavor. I might be able to find the recipe if you want it, but it is an all grain recipe.
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Offline thebigbaker

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Re: Update on my first ever homebrew!
« Reply #7 on: June 05, 2013, 10:30:18 PM »
The thing that generally provides the "pumpkin pie" flavor in most pumpkin beers is pumpkin pie spice. Pumpkin on its own doesn't really provide any flavor.

If you want beer that tastes like Apple, try using apple skins. One of the guys in my club produced an "Apple Pie Scotch Ale" and it was Extremely tasty (one of the most popular beers at NHC Club Night). He use apple skins to get more flavor. I might be able to find the recipe if you want it, but it is an all grain recipe.

+1 on the pumpkin.  I put mine in with the mash (all grain) and I just get the color and extra sugars out of it.  The flavor comes from the pumpkin spices added to the boil. 

I've had and "Apple Pie" blonde at a homebrewer's night last year at my LHBS and if I remember correctly, the brewer used apple extract to give it the apple flavor.  I'm not exactly sure if he actually used any apples in his recipe. 
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Offline ynotbrusum

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Re: Update on my first ever homebrew!
« Reply #8 on: June 06, 2013, 04:47:00 AM »
To the OP - one thing that helps here is to assume that almost all starches added to the beer will be eaten by the yeast, so that what is left is what contributes to flavor - that may not be the way to get the right flavor.  That's why the use of spices and extract flavorings  work so well.  Also, there is a big difference in all grain brewing, where you might mash grains along with actual pumpkin (even then the flavor is what boiled pumpkin chunks taste like), versus an extract beer that has its wort provided by liquid or dry malt extract, so you merely add spices - often in the secondary.  Stick with basic recipes for now and you will be fine; you can move to all grain soon enough, if you like it.

You can make fine tasting extract beer.   Also give most beers about three weeks to a month in the primary and skip the secondary, if no additions are being added.  Use a hydrometer to see if terminal gravity has been reached.
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