Author Topic: Noobie Slip-ups - How much will this effect my beer?  (Read 1209 times)

Offline gritts

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Noobie Slip-ups - How much will this effect my beer?
« on: September 03, 2014, 05:49:34 AM »
Hello all,

Thanks for welcoming me to this great community, I hope this post is the first of many as I become more acquainted with the art of homebrewing.  Thanks in advance for your help.

My dad and I started our first IPA with a Brewer's Best kit.  We decided to do a half batch to leave room for the learning curve.  It wasn't until I had my wort set in the fermentation bucket that I realized had a few slip-ups during the boil process.

1.)  I had a few inaccuracies in the grain steeping process that I wasn't aware of until later.  For one, my water got up to 173º F.  This was partially my fault, and partially my thermometer's fault (it reads 5º low).  It was not at 173º the whole time, but it was there for a good 5-8 minutes.  Will there undoubtedly be leeched tannins at this temperature?  How much will it effect my final product?  Also, in the steeping process, we constantly bobbed the grains up and down, as if it was a tea bag.  We didn't just let it sit.  We never got violent with it, but the grains were always moving.  Will this effect my brew?  If so, in what way?

2.) When I poured in my liquid malt extract, I knew I had to begin stirring it into the boiling water quickly.  What caught me off guard is that a minute after adding it, I briefly smelled something burning.  The smell subsided quickly, and it wasn't until we were done pouring the wort that I found a burned patch, about the size of a silver dollar, on the bottom of the stockpot.  Will this mistake influence the taste of my beer?

3.)  I knew we would have to be very careful with sanitation.  I did, however, have one (potential) slip-up.  I set the mixing spoon (plastic, brand new, and recently cleaned/sanitized) down on the stove for a minute or so.  It did not come in full contact with the surface, rather, the handle of the spoon was only touching two dime-size points on the stove.  I then used it to stir the yeast into the fermentation bucket.  Do you think I contaminated my batch by doing this?

Thanks for all of the help, ladies and gentlemen.  It is much appreciated.  I'm looking forward to learning more, correcting my mistakes, and actually starting to contribute to these boards.  Thanks again!

Mike

Offline Stevie

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Re: Noobie Slip-ups - How much will this effect my beer?
« Reply #1 on: September 03, 2014, 07:40:10 AM »
1 - doubtful regarding the tannins. Time was limited, but it really depends on the water used. Highly alkaline water will pull tannins out more readily than lower alkalinity water.

2 - scorching is no good. You want to turn the heat off when adding extract. Stir the extract until dissolved completely before turning the heat on again. With electric coils, might need to move the pot off as the burners can hold heat for a very long time. Taste sample in a couple of weeks when you check your gravity. Do not pour a pulled sample back ever

3 - I'm sure you will be fine here. Any bugs picked up will be out paced by the yeast. It's good to be concerned about sanitation, but this isn't surgery.

Good luck and have fun.

Offline Slowbrew

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Re: Noobie Slip-ups - How much will this effect my beer?
« Reply #2 on: September 03, 2014, 11:12:23 AM »
I agree with Steve on all the points.

We have all, likely, done the same things and worse. 

173F isn't that far outside the norm, especially on a first batch.  You may have a bit of flavor added from the scorching but that will be overshadowed by the fact you are tasting your first batch.  ;) And infections are much harder to pick up in a clean kitchen than people generally believe.

All in all, you made beer.  Enjoy it and start prepping for the next batch!

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Offline ynotbrusum

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Re: Noobie Slip-ups - How much will this effect my beer?
« Reply #3 on: September 03, 2014, 11:44:47 AM »
Welcome to the forum!

For future reference, I always keep a bucket of sanitizer on hand to put a rinsed off item into on brew day, just to avoid picking up any bugs on the post-hot side use of that item in the wort.  But I also try to avoid contact with cooled wort - basically just a spin paddle to aerate and yeast going in at that point.  The contact of your spoon with a clean stove is not likely to be a problem, but the spoon sitting out for a prolonged period could catch airborne microbes.  Most likely your yeast will outcompete a low level contamination like that, but it depends...do you have a lot of pets in the house or fruits in the kitchen (fruit flies)?  If not, you probably have no worries, especially if you have a stove top power vent above this area sucking upward....
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Offline factory

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Re: Noobie Slip-ups - How much will this effect my beer?
« Reply #4 on: September 03, 2014, 12:11:58 PM »
Welcome to the forum!

For future reference, I always keep a bucket of sanitizer on hand to put a rinsed off item into on brew day, just to avoid picking up any bugs on the post-hot side use of that item in the wort.

+1! I was going to mention that. 

Online dmtaylor

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Re: Noobie Slip-ups - How much will this effect my beer?
« Reply #5 on: September 03, 2014, 12:15:30 PM »
Burnt extract tastes horrible.  I worry that you ruined your batch in that regard.  The other things are not a real big deal.
Dave

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Offline mihalybaci

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Re: Noobie Slip-ups - How much will this effect my beer?
« Reply #6 on: September 03, 2014, 02:02:46 PM »
I have done all those things before (probably on the same batch at some point), and they didn't affect the beer quality. I used to use a really thin, cheap kettle that always left some wort burned on the bottom and never noticed the flavor in the beer. As long as you didn't scrape the bottom and get the burned bits floating around I think you'll be fine.

Offline reverseapachemaster

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Re: Noobie Slip-ups - How much will this effect my beer?
« Reply #7 on: September 03, 2014, 02:33:37 PM »
It may not be the best batch of beer you ever make but it will probably be drinkable.

At some point everybody screws up at least one batch of beer. It is an acceptable loss so long as you learn from your mistakes.
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Offline klickitat jim

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Re: Noobie Slip-ups - How much will this effect my beer?
« Reply #8 on: September 03, 2014, 02:36:19 PM »
I take sanitation pretty seriously, just cuz. But here's something to think about. If you become addicted to brewing, eventually you will be trying to contaminate your beers. AKA sour beers. Its interesting to me that a brewer can go from worrying about milling grain (covered in lactobacillus) near their brew gear, to one day saying "Dang, that's not sour enough! I'm going to have to use a starter for my lacto and pitch it a week before I pitch my sac yeast."

So, its good to be meticulous about sanitation, but keep in mind that it takes a bunch of wild bugs, and/or a bunch of aging to screw it up. It can happen, but don't worry too much.

Offline morticaixavier

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Re: Noobie Slip-ups - How much will this effect my beer?
« Reply #9 on: September 03, 2014, 02:45:02 PM »
Welcome to the forum and the obession

+1 to the others comments. It may not be the best beer you ever make but it will be the best beer you've ever MADE.

The only thing you did that MIGHT be a problem is the scorching. did you taste the wort at all after the boil? always a good idea to get to know how it tastes throughout the process.
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Offline gritts

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Re: Noobie Slip-ups - How much will this effect my beer?
« Reply #10 on: September 04, 2014, 04:58:32 AM »
First of all, let me say that I am so pleasantly surprised by how many people who are willing to help out a noble, like myself.  Thank you, everyone!

1 - doubtful regarding the tannins. Time was limited, but it really depends on the water used. Highly alkaline water will pull tannins out more readily than lower alkalinity water.

I am waiting to hear back from my local water works (Elmhurst, IL), but a nearby suburb (Western Springs) has provided an alkalinity of "99 (CaCO3)."  Is this considered "high?"  I will try tasting the beer between fermentation stages.

To everyone else - I will undoubtedly keep your tips in mind.  From the bucket of sanitizer, to pulling the pot off the flame when adding extract, and even turning contaminated batches into sours... I'm looking forward to incorporating these techniques!  Many thanks again!

Offline mugwort

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Re: Noobie Slip-ups - How much will this effect my beer?
« Reply #11 on: September 04, 2014, 06:40:05 PM »
First of all, let me say that I am so pleasantly surprised by how many people who are willing to help out a noble, like myself.  Thank you, everyone!

Welcome sir!  While this forum is rich with commoners, we could really use more nobility. :P

I seriously doubt the scorching you describe will be detectable in the beer.

What really matters is that you're probably already planning for your next beer, and the one after that, and the one after that...
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Offline denny

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Re: Noobie Slip-ups - How much will this effect my beer?
« Reply #12 on: September 04, 2014, 07:06:08 PM »
First of all, let me say that I am so pleasantly surprised by how many people who are willing to help out a noble, like myself.  Thank you, everyone!

I am waiting to hear back from my local water works (Elmhurst, IL), but a nearby suburb (Western Springs) has provided an alkalinity of "99 (CaCO3)."  Is this considered "high?"  I will try tasting the beer between fermentation stages.

To everyone else - I will undoubtedly keep your tips in mind.  From the bucket of sanitizer, to pulling the pot off the flame when adding extract, and even turning contaminated batches into sours... I'm looking forward to incorporating these techniques!  Many thanks again!

That alkalinity shouldn't be particularly harmful.  I think you'll be OK. 
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Offline tress

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Re: Noobie Slip-ups - How much will this effect my beer?
« Reply #13 on: September 12, 2014, 02:40:25 AM »
First of all, let me say that I am so pleasantly surprised by how many people who are willing to help out a noble, like myself.  Thank you, everyone!

Welcome sir!  While this forum is rich with commoners, we could really use more nobility. :P

I seriously doubt the scorching you describe will be detectable in the beer.

What really matters is that you're probably already planning for your next beer, and the one after that, and the one after that...

That's funny  ;D
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Offline gritts

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Re: Noobie Slip-ups - How much will this effect my beer?
« Reply #14 on: September 21, 2014, 09:04:02 PM »
First of all, let me say that I am so pleasantly surprised by how many people who are willing to help out a noble, like myself.  Thank you, everyone!

Welcome sir!  While this forum is rich with commoners, we could really use more nobility. :P

JUST caught that hahahah — oh, auto-correct