Author Topic: Brewing Frustrations  (Read 2549 times)

Offline flbrewer

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Brewing Frustrations
« on: October 19, 2014, 01:38:55 PM »
Had a bit of a setback yesterday when I attempted to brew my first all grain BIAB. I thought I was going to save time by trying a smaller 2 gallon brew. The day was just as long and I only ended up with ~1.25 gallons of beer. All of the preparation, cleaning, etc. was enough for me to say "screw it".

I'm really re-evaluating whether or not I want to brew again.

Offline Stevie

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Re: Brewing Frustrations
« Reply #1 on: October 19, 2014, 01:46:51 PM »
Small batches really don't save much time other then less or smaller gear to clean after. I do it so I can brew indoors on hot and humid days. another plus is low investment in ingredients on something that might not work out as well as I hope.

Offline Stevie

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Re: Brewing Frustrations
« Reply #2 on: October 19, 2014, 01:49:49 PM »
And don't give up. Try to find a brew buddy nearby that can help you. It took dozen or two batches before I could autopilot through a brew day. Even now I screw up from time to time. Screw ups can mostly be attributed to drinking during the brew day or forgetting to buy something.

When we moved out here I forgot that I needed a new nipple for my ball valve in my keggle. Didn't figure that out until I was ready to sparge.

Offline 69franx

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Re: Brewing Frustrations
« Reply #3 on: October 19, 2014, 01:50:29 PM »
What problems did you run into other than low volume of finished product? Lots of people here that can help you trouble shoot your day
Frank L.
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Offline riceral

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Re: Brewing Frustrations
« Reply #4 on: October 19, 2014, 02:03:04 PM »
Learn to Homebrew day is coming up Nov 1st. Maybe you can join in with a group near you to see how a typical homebrew day goes before you decide to "screw it."

I've had a number of set backs but just keep plugging away and getting more experienced and (hopefully) better with each batch. And I'm sure many of us on the forum can say the same thing.

http://www.homebrewersassociation.org/aha-events/learn-to-homebrew-day/ 

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Offline majorvices

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Re: Brewing Frustrations
« Reply #5 on: October 19, 2014, 02:03:45 PM »
I can remember many brewdays ending in cursing and once actually throwing my kettle out into the woods late at night in utter frustration. Somehow I always ended up coming back.

Offline MDixon

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Re: Brewing Frustrations
« Reply #6 on: October 19, 2014, 02:09:49 PM »
IMO you'd be better to make a larger batch and to water it down, different yeast, etc to turn it into multiple batches. Same amount of time yields multiple batches.
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Offline flbrewer

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Re: Brewing Frustrations
« Reply #7 on: October 19, 2014, 02:38:50 PM »
What problems did you run into other than low volume of finished product? Lots of people here that can help you trouble shoot your day

Well they were mostly due to my poor planning. At the risk of this sounding like whining, I'll highlight a few things...
-The grain bag I bought was far too small to fit around the kettle
-squeezing the remaining wort from the grain bag took a long time and scorched my hands
-had a brain fart when it came to my hop schedule
-ended up with a ton of trub in my fermenters

I realize this sounds like not an enormous day, but I set out for a quick day with minimal cleanup and ended up working on this for 5 or so hours.

I gave this a try because I was never really jazzed about the taste of my extract beers. At the end of the day, I think my frustration stems from the fact that I want my home-brew to taste as good as my favorite commercial beers which they haven't so far.

Offline 69franx

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Re: Brewing Frustrations
« Reply #8 on: October 19, 2014, 02:46:16 PM »
I think everyone can agree that your first all grain brew day is going to be a head ache, unless you take it slow and steady and read every step from your notes. That doesn't necessarily lend itself to a "fast" brew day, but it will help eliminate errors. I have been doing all grain for about 6 batches so far and really am still trying to dial in my system, and now have a bigger kettle to figure out as well. We will see how next weekend's Dunkel turns out, fingers crossed.
Frank L.
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In keg: Märzen
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In the works:

Offline majorvices

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Re: Brewing Frustrations
« Reply #9 on: October 19, 2014, 03:09:59 PM »
I'm not sure why anyone would mess with BIAB when batch sparging is so much more effective and even seems easier.

Offline brewday

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Re: Brewing Frustrations
« Reply #10 on: October 19, 2014, 03:16:06 PM »
Hang in there - it gets easier and a lot more fun.  And I agree on the batch sparging route to get started - get that down and then decide if BIAB would make things easier.

I'm curious, how much total water did you use on this batch?  And did you take a gravity reading?  Maybe grain absorption and other volume losses weren't factored in and you ended up with lower volume/higher gravity.  If that's the case maybe you can still salvage this batch by topping it off.

It just takes some practice to get everything dialed in, but once you do it becomes really easy and you can start looking for ways to cut down on time.  Give it another go next weekend!
Jon Weaver

Offline HoosierBrew

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Re: Brewing Frustrations
« Reply #11 on: October 19, 2014, 03:20:52 PM »
I'm not sure why anyone would mess with BIAB when batch sparging is so much more effective and even seems easier.

After fly sparging for years, I can't imagine anything easier than batch sparging. 
Jon H.

Offline denny

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Re: Brewing Frustrations
« Reply #12 on: October 19, 2014, 03:36:59 PM »
I'm not sure why anyone would mess with BIAB when batch sparging is so much more effective and even seems easier.

At the risk of offending those that BIAB, I agree.  I really wanted it to be as easy as everybody says, but after I tried it 3 times I decided that it just wasn't for me.
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Offline jeffy

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Re: Brewing Frustrations
« Reply #13 on: October 19, 2014, 03:38:52 PM »
With some more practice you will be making beers even better than some of your favorite commercial examples.  I've got an APA on tap now that is better than any commercial APA I have recently had.  I am quite proud of it.  I wish I had made more than 10 gallons.
Jeff Gladish, Tampa (989.3, 175.1 Apparent Rennarian)
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Offline BrewingRover

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Re: Brewing Frustrations
« Reply #14 on: October 19, 2014, 05:57:10 PM »
I'm not sure why anyone would mess with BIAB when batch sparging is so much more effective and even seems easier.

At the risk of offending those that BIAB, I agree.  I really wanted it to be as easy as everybody says, but after I tried it 3 times I decided that it just wasn't for me.
I see the big appeal of being able to mash and boil in the same pot. I also have two different Cheap and Easy coolers to mash in, so I don't think I would try it. I'm sure it seems easy to someone who's only done extract with steeped grains.
It's such a fine line between stupid and clever.