Author Topic: Trippin' about my dry hopped IPA  (Read 2948 times)

Offline SeymoureButts

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Trippin' about my dry hopped IPA
« on: June 30, 2015, 05:43:36 PM »
I bought a BrewCraft dry hopped West Coast IPA kit the other day and brewed it the day after. On the counter beside my cauldron I had a bowl of water + star san solution I would place my utensils in when I wasn't using them. When I needed one again I would pick them up out of the solution, give it a quick shake, and put it in the wort for stirring or taking temperature.

The questions I have at this point are: Will the solution covered utensils cause off flavors in my beer?

Also, the recipe called for 6lbs of DME + 1lb of Brewer's Crystals. I stirred in the first 3lbs of DME after I brought the water with specialty grains up to 160°F. I stirred out the clumps and brought the wort to a boil, boiled that for 45 minutes. With 36 minutes left in the boil, however, I had a boil over while in the bathroom sanitizing my fermenter. I took the necessary steps to stop the boil over and let the wort continue boiling for the remaining 36 minutes.

Question: Is a boil over a big deal, or is it just a hazard of the brewing process?

After the boil was complete I added the remaining 3lbs of DME and 1lb brewers crystal. This was a lot of sugar to add and clumps started forming rapidly. I stirred pushed them under the water surface to get them out. I then felt a lot of sugar gathering on the bottom of the pot and sanitized a spatula quickly to began scraping at the bottom. On the spatula was a clump of nearly transparent sugar, it was not burnt, but I chose to discard it rather than add it back in. I was able to get everything off the bottom and mixed everything in. I know nothing was burnt because when I poured my wort into the fermenter nothing was black or burnt on the bottom of my cauldron. As a side-note, I always add the sugars to the water with the cauldron off the burner to avoid scorching. However, the wort was over 200°F after the 45 minutes boil and I use a pot (cauldron because I'm brewing love potions) I bought from Walmart so I know it's not the highest quality.

When everything was said and done I moved the hot cauldron into the sink for a bath in cold water. I had to drain and add cold water every other minute at the beginning because the heat would cause the water to warm up almost instantly. When the wort wouldn't go below 120° I gently poured it into my sanitized fermenter with 2 gallons of filtered room temperature water in it. This brought the wort down to 90°. At this point I had been waiting for over two hours for my wort to chill below 80° and it was past 1am. I decided to put the air-seal lid and air lock on it and leave it outside to chill overnight. In the morning it was a little below 80° so I pitched my yeast and sealed it again.

I also took an OG reading of my wort and NAILED the recommended reading of 1.069 on the nose!

I kept playing with my air lock, though, because it had star san in it which was causing the water to bubble. It was really frustrating me. I ended up taking it out, washing it with filtered water, and reinserting it again. Then I began adding and deducting water from it with a medicine dropper to get it just right. I didn't do it perfectly because right now, over 48 hours after I pitched my yeast there are bubbles in my airlock. At this point I know fermentation is happening because the airlock is "bursting" every two seconds.

Also, ants seem to have found the fermenter. There were drops of wort that turned into sugar-rich stains on the outside of the bucket. I don't want to spray it with ant spray out of fear of poisoning my beer. What do I do? Today the ants seem to have disappeared...

Sidenote: I bought my beginners brew kit and pale ale kit approximately two months ago. The pale ale kit was about $55 and I bottled 48 bottles of beer. A savings of about $20 compared to buying 8 of my favorite 6-pack. This West Coast IPA kit, however, was $62+tax. The savings there isn't very substantial.

Sidenote to the sidenote: I did buy a 22ounce bottle of a local brewed IPA for over $6. The savings there would make home brewing a money saver.

Wondering if partial mash brewing would increase my savings?

The guy at the local homebrew shop talked me out of doing a partial mash for this IPA. He asked if I thought I could make better sugars out of the grains than the companies who make the DME, obviously no. This is only my second batch of brew. Now I am thinking if I did go for a partial mash next batch would I save by buying some grains rather than using all extract.

Regarding the dry hopping stage for my IPA; I saved 1 oz of cascade hops for dry hopping. I plan on waiting a week after I pitched my yeast when the fermentation has died down to add the dry hops. I do not have a secondary fermenter so I plan on sanitizing the hop bag, adding the hops, and tossing it in the fermenter. Have never done it before and don't know any other way to do it.
« Last Edit: June 30, 2015, 05:46:47 PM by SeymoureButts »
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Offline pete b

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Re: Trippin' about my dry hopped IPA
« Reply #1 on: June 30, 2015, 06:05:53 PM »
Everything's fine. All that stuff happens to new brewers. Your beer won't taste like star san, its fine for foamy star san to be in your airlock, the boil over is not a big deal. Its not a big deal that it took your beer overnight to finish cooling and you got it most of the way there anyway. A whole mess of ants could drown in your wort and it wouldn't matter.
My advice is to get the wort down at least into the 60's to pitch and find a way to hold it there for the first couple days and don't kid yourself that the result of this hobby is saving money on beer.
EDIT: your dry hopping approach is fine too.
Don't let the bastards cheer you up.

Offline Stevie

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Re: Trippin' about my dry hopped IPA
« Reply #2 on: June 30, 2015, 06:16:50 PM »
Homebrewing is a money saver only until you decide you need new/better/bigger gear.

I'd be concerned about the ants, but everything is is pretty much normal. Clean up the outside of the fermenter with a warm damp cloth.

Offline SeymoureButts

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Re: Trippin' about my dry hopped IPA
« Reply #3 on: June 30, 2015, 11:08:59 PM »
Everything's fine. All that stuff happens to new brewers. Your beer won't taste like star san, its fine for foamy star san to be in your airlock, the boil over is not a big deal. Its not a big deal that it took your beer overnight to finish cooling and you got it most of the way there anyway. A whole mess of ants could drown in your wort and it wouldn't matter.
My advice is to get the wort down at least into the 60's to pitch and find a way to hold it there for the first couple days and don't kid yourself that the result of this hobby is saving money on beer.
EDIT: your dry hopping approach is fine too.

Thanks. You're right about the result not really being about saving money. It was, and still is, an amazing feeling to crack open an IPA I brewed and enjoy it. Saving money on beer is an added bonus.

Homebrewing is a money saver only until you decide you need new/better/bigger gear.

I'd be concerned about the ants, but everything is is pretty much normal. Clean up the outside of the fermenter with a warm damp cloth.


Don't know when I will get to add bigger/better equipment, but I think about regularly. I think a wort chiller might be added soon, maybe a glass carboy. What would you recommend? Also, is grain brewing/partial mash cheaper than extract brewing?

Thanks!
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Offline Frankenbrew

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Re: Trippin' about my dry hopped IPA
« Reply #4 on: June 30, 2015, 11:19:17 PM »
Homebrewing is a money saver only until you decide you need new/better/bigger gear.

I'd be concerned about the ants, but everything is is pretty much normal. Clean up the outside of the fermenter with a warm damp cloth.
Everything's fine. All that stuff happens to new brewers. Your beer won't taste like star san, its fine for foamy star san to be in your airlock, the boil over is not a big deal. Its not a big deal that it took your beer overnight to finish cooling and you got it most of the way there anyway. A whole mess of ants could drown in your wort and it wouldn't matter.
My advice is to get the wort down at least into the 60's to pitch and find a way to hold it there for the first couple days and don't kid yourself that the result of this hobby is saving money on beer.
EDIT: your dry hopping approach is fine too.

RDWHAHB! Translation: Relax, don't worry, have a homebrew!

You read about homebrewing, and the books/writers rightly want to make you aware that there are pitfalls, mostly with regard to sanitation, to brewing your own beer. There are many things that can spoil your beer if you are unaware of these pitfalls. But, it sounds like you are aware, even hyper aware of these potential  beer spoilers. So, you are careful. That is good. Because you are careful, your beer will be clean and good. It will be fine, as the others above have already told you. You are doing fine, and you will undoubtedly produce fine beer. So, as one of the pioneers of homebrewing so eloquently said, "Relax, don't worry, have a homebrew!" Your beer will most likely turn out good.

As far as brewing being economical, it can be once you have control of the processes well enough to know what you need and what you can do without and still make good beer.

Good luck!
« Last Edit: June 30, 2015, 11:20:53 PM by Frankenbrew »
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Offline johnnyb

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Re: Trippin' about my dry hopped IPA
« Reply #5 on: June 30, 2015, 11:25:52 PM »
Homebrewing is a money saver only until you decide you need new/better/bigger gear.

I'd be concerned about the ants, but everything is is pretty much normal. Clean up the outside of the fermenter with a warm damp cloth.

It's definitely a money saver....




For my friends that is.

Offline HoosierBrew

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Re: Trippin' about my dry hopped IPA
« Reply #6 on: June 30, 2015, 11:31:57 PM »
RDWHAHB! Translation: Relax, don't worry, have a homebrew!

You read about homebrewing, and the books/writers rightly want to make you aware that there are pitfalls, mostly with regard to sanitation, to brewing your own beer. There are many things that can spoil your beer if you are unaware of these pitfalls. But, it sounds like you are aware, even hyper aware of these potential  beer spoilers. So, you are careful. That is good. Because you are careful, your beer will be clean and good. It will be fine, as the others above have already told you. You are doing fine, and you will undoubtedly produce fine beer. So, as one of the pioneers of homebrewing so eloquently said, "Relax, don't worry, have a homebrew!" Your beer will most likely turn out good.

As far as brewing being economical, it can be once you have control of the processes well enough to know what you need and what you can do without and still make good beer.

Good luck!

Great advice. RDWHAHB gets used so much it may seem like a cliche, but it really is a great attitude to brew with. Keep it fun !
Jon H.

Offline Stevie

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Trippin' about my dry hopped IPA
« Reply #7 on: July 01, 2015, 12:50:51 AM »
All grain is by far less expensive, but adds time to the day. Buying base malts by the sack makes it about 50% of the cost compared to extract. Buying hops by the pound can save up to 50-75% compared to some shops.

For me there is always another piece of gear. More kegs, new kegerator. Nitro tank, new kettle, cold room. Every time I break even, I "need" something else.
« Last Edit: July 01, 2015, 12:52:39 AM by Steve in TX »

Offline pete b

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Re: Trippin' about my dry hopped IPA
« Reply #8 on: July 01, 2015, 01:08:05 AM »
I meant to convey that once your into it and making good beer you really think about how you can make your beer better, not how much it costs. at least that's how it is for me.
Don't let the bastards cheer you up.

Offline narcout

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Re: Trippin' about my dry hopped IPA
« Reply #9 on: July 01, 2015, 03:18:08 AM »
I think a wort chiller might be added soon, maybe a glass carboy. What would you recommend?

If you are doing a partial boil and topping off with room temperature filtered water (as you mentioned above), I bet you could avoid having to purchase a wort chiller if you chilled your top off water in the fridge.

You can use cheap rum or vodka for your airlock instead of Star San if it's foaming up and driving you nuts.
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Offline hopfenundmalz

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Re: Trippin' about my dry hopped IPA
« Reply #10 on: July 01, 2015, 11:55:16 AM »
All grain is by far less expensive, but adds time to the day. Buying base malts by the sack makes it about 50% of the cost compared to extract. Buying hops by the pound can save up to 50-75% compared to some shops.

For me there is always another piece of gear. More kegs, new kegerator. Nitro tank, new kettle, cold room. Every time I break even, I "need" something else.
What is this break even thing?
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Offline flbrewer

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Re: Trippin' about my dry hopped IPA
« Reply #11 on: July 01, 2015, 01:52:49 PM »
With regards to the ants...pick up some of the Terro brand liquid baits. Non-toxic, works like a charm, and fun to watch lines of ants drinking their last meal.

http://www.walgreens.com/store/c/terro-liquid-ant-baits/ID=prod393361-product?ext=gooHousehold_PLA_Indoor_Pest_Control_prod393361_pla&adtype=pla&kpid=sku393362&sst=fb90ac8e-462f-4a05-b1d1-a1f881d3739d&kpid=sku393362&SL_ClientGroup=1

Offline toby

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Re: Trippin' about my dry hopped IPA
« Reply #12 on: July 01, 2015, 02:29:11 PM »
Also, is grain brewing/partial mash cheaper than extract brewing?
Yes, and no.  Ingredients per batch will definitely be cheaper, but you'll find that you either a) start buying more expensive equipment, and/or b) start making bigger batches to offset the time differential.  I probably spend about 50% of the cost on ingredients compared to when I brewed extract (assuming 5 gallon batches).  However, since time increased in comparison, I eventually decided to start brewing 10 gallon batches.  I used to brew 2 5 gallon extract batches in a brew day, and from a time standpoint, it made more sense to scale up to bigger batches for AG since brewing a 5 or a 10 gallon batch will still take the same amount of time (roughly).

Offline HoosierBrew

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Re: Trippin' about my dry hopped IPA
« Reply #13 on: July 01, 2015, 08:08:10 PM »
What is this break even thing?

+1   ;D
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Offline johnnyb

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Re: Trippin' about my dry hopped IPA
« Reply #14 on: July 01, 2015, 08:44:32 PM »
In truth, beer as good as really good homebrew costs ~ $6 pint in the northeast. And there is a lot of beer that costs that much that sucks. So if you can brew good beer it does cost less than quality micros. It just takes some time to pay off the equipment.

So if your wife complains that you're drinking too much, just tell her that you're trying to pay for all the equipment.