Author Topic: Getting frustrated. Can you help?  (Read 947 times)

Offline imacho2

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Getting frustrated. Can you help?
« on: February 20, 2016, 01:46:40 AM »
Hello. Just joined and have a question.

Ive been attempting to home-brew for about 6-7 months now. My first brew was a German hefe and it was great.

My next 3 have been problematic.

2nd attempt was a pumpkin ale. It ended up way to diluted. Tossed it.
3rd attempt was Citrus Belgian Wit. It never fermented and turned sour, stunk up the entire house. Tossed it.
lastest project was a German Lager. Used lager yeast and cold fermented. 2nd stage fermentation was 3 weeks. Kegged it a few days ago and tried it today. It was sour.  >:(

All equipment is sanitized the morning of brewing. Also any equipment that touches the beer is sure to be sanitized. All instructions are followed exactly as stated. Do you have any suggestions to help with my last 2 attempts at brewing?

Thanks

Offline fmader

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Re: Getting frustrated. Can you help?
« Reply #1 on: February 20, 2016, 01:51:27 AM »
I'd start with sabrizuzing as you go. Sanitizing the morning of the brew gives it several hours to collect bacteria.
Frank

Offline flbrewer

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Re: Getting frustrated. Can you help?
« Reply #2 on: February 20, 2016, 01:57:35 AM »
Sanitation aside, perhaps step back and build a repertoire of basic styles that you know work. 

Offline coolman26

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Re: Getting frustrated. Can you help?
« Reply #3 on: February 20, 2016, 01:58:18 AM »
I agree with sanitize as you go.  What is your sanitizer?
Jeff B

Offline yso191

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Re: Getting frustrated. Can you help?
« Reply #4 on: February 20, 2016, 01:59:59 AM »
It may be that the critters are hiding on something that you have not sanitized, or not sanitized thoroughly.  Another thing to consider is what are you using to sanitize.  Some sanitizing solutions are not good on certain bugs.  Try another type of sanitizer.  Some of these bugs are quite resistant to dying.
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Offline flbrewer

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Re: Getting frustrated. Can you help?
« Reply #5 on: February 20, 2016, 02:02:26 AM »
Are you milling grain near the rest of your equipment?

Offline fmader

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Re: Getting frustrated. Can you help?
« Reply #6 on: February 20, 2016, 02:04:51 AM »
Another thought. Are you washing your equipment with PBW or Oxi-Clean after its use. Washing thoroughly is just as important as sanitation.
Frank

Offline imacho2

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Re: Getting frustrated. Can you help?
« Reply #7 on: February 20, 2016, 02:11:17 AM »
I agree with sanitize as you go.  What is your sanitizer?

Ill try that. I use Star-San

Offline imacho2

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Re: Getting frustrated. Can you help?
« Reply #8 on: February 20, 2016, 02:12:27 AM »
Are you milling grain near the rest of your equipment?
[/quote

I dont mill anything yet. Im still learning and using prepackaged kits for now.

Offline imacho2

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Re: Getting frustrated. Can you help?
« Reply #9 on: February 20, 2016, 02:14:13 AM »
Another thought. Are you washing your equipment with PBW or Oxi-Clean after its use. Washing thoroughly is just as important as sanitation.

I use Star-San post brewing and just general dish soap after use and just prior to sanitizing.

Offline flbrewer

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Re: Getting frustrated. Can you help?
« Reply #10 on: February 20, 2016, 02:16:28 AM »
Maybe this is a bit too over precautions, but are you mixing the Starsan with distilled water in the case you are keeping it in a squirt bottle for long periods of time? Starsan will lose effectiveness over time if mixed with tap water.

Offline Wort-H.O.G.

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Re: Getting frustrated. Can you help?
« Reply #11 on: February 20, 2016, 02:31:31 AM »
Maybe this is a bit too over precautions, but are you mixing the Starsan with distilled water in the case you are keeping it in a squirt bottle for long periods of time? Starsan will lose effectiveness over time if mixed with tap water.

depends on alkalinity of tap water .  key with starsan is attaining appropriate acidic PH. If i mixed it with my well water it would be virtually useless. I use my RO water and no issues.
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Serving:        In Process:
Vienna IPA          O'Fest
Dort
Mead                 
Cider                         
Ger'merican Blonde
Amber Ale
Next:
Ger Pils
O'Fest

Offline Wort-H.O.G.

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Re: Getting frustrated. Can you help?
« Reply #12 on: February 20, 2016, 02:36:29 AM »
Hello. Just joined and have a question.

Ive been attempting to home-brew for about 6-7 months now. My first brew was a German hefe and it was great.

My next 3 have been problematic.

2nd attempt was a pumpkin ale. It ended up way to diluted. Tossed it.
3rd attempt was Citrus Belgian Wit. It never fermented and turned sour, stunk up the entire house. Tossed it.
lastest project was a German Lager. Used lager yeast and cold fermented. 2nd stage fermentation was 3 weeks. Kegged it a few days ago and tried it today. It was sour.  >:(

All equipment is sanitized the morning of brewing. Also any equipment that touches the beer is sure to be sanitized. All instructions are followed exactly as stated. Do you have any suggestions to help with my last 2 attempts at brewing?

Thanks

lots of possibilities here. would need to know details of each brew to help you out.
Ken- Chagrin Falls, OH
CPT, U.S.Army
https://www.facebook.com/pages/Harveys-Brewhaus/405092862905115

http://braukaiser.com/wiki/index.php?title=The_Science_of_Mashing

Serving:        In Process:
Vienna IPA          O'Fest
Dort
Mead                 
Cider                         
Ger'merican Blonde
Amber Ale
Next:
Ger Pils
O'Fest

Offline majorvices

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Re: Getting frustrated. Can you help?
« Reply #13 on: February 20, 2016, 12:32:45 PM »
Here's some suggestions:

sanitation aside, make sure your stuff is CLEAN. You can't sanitize something that is dirty. Something like OxiClean hot soaked at 120 degrees for at least an hour and gentle scrubbing on problem areas works like a champ.

Use a quality dry yeast like US-05 and make a simple beer like a Pale Ale. Dry yeast is easy to handle, doesn't require making a starter and is not as heavily dependent on O2 levels in the wort for healthy fermenatation. If you intend to use liquid yeast you need to make sure the yeast is extremely fresh or make a starter/pitch multiple packs. Proper aeration becomes critical at this point.

Monitor fermentation temperatures closely. If you are fermenting at room temp you are most likely fermenting far too warm (unless your house is at 58-60 degrees.) Fermentation is exothermic and can be as high as 6-8+ degrees over ambient. For most ale styles fermentation temps over 68-70 (72 max) can cause problems. Keep temps steady and slowly raise near the end of fermentation to ensure attenuation.

Read a good homebrewing book like www.howtobrew.com and come hang around and read this forum every day. Brewing is a craft and it takes time, skill and a desire to learn to make great beer.

Offline ynotbrusum

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Re: Getting frustrated. Can you help?
« Reply #14 on: February 20, 2016, 01:22:47 PM »
^^^^this!  Welcome to the forum.  Great brewers are here and Keith is one of them (also a pro, so his income depends on these attention to details things). Oxyclean should be unscented type or use PBW.  Those will clean (with a little extra elbow grease or use Craftmeister tabs - those get everything without much scrubbing needed.

Brew brew brew and you will get the system down with almost thoughtless processes to keep things clean and sanitized.  Summer is the most difficult time to keep the bugs away, but even then, good processes will keep things in good shape.

Best of luck - you will be making very good beer very soon and will wonder why you didn't start brewing sooner in life (at least I felt that way).
Hodge Garage Brewing: "Brew with a glad heart!"