Author Topic: An obsession is born - newbie taken hook, line and sinker  (Read 613 times)

Offline war2112

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An obsession is born - newbie taken hook, line and sinker
« on: May 09, 2016, 01:09:56 AM »
What the heck just happened?

On March 20, 2016 I walk into the local home brew supply store and buy basic brewing equipment and a DME kit for an APA.

Now I sit here with not one but 2 primary fermenters - the first one has my second try at that APA and is in it's 8th day of fermentation and coming along VERY nicely based on lessons learned from first batch. Second one I just pitched the yeast on last night at 10pm and contains a basic dry stout. This one has begun to show some airlock activity. So I am already into my 20th gallon of brew.

First batch - An APA that turned out pretty well. Had some slight fruit esters which I now realize were due to fermentation temps getting a little high. Have rectified with big tubs of cold water to set ferm vessels in. Last 3 bottles though were just quite good, really good.

Second batch - not so good. I don't believe technique. I was using some pre-hopped LME that was on clearance because it was past expiration. Like way past, like 8 months. Bit you know what they say about milk... Well, I say don't use LME that old. No prob though, worth a shot.

I am already planning my next batch and am thinking of creating my own. Still with using DME and steeping grains as I can't really do all grain at the moment.

But, what the hell just happened? I have a regular microbrewery going in my 730 sq. foot apt with an electric range!

Offline crakers540

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Re: An obsession is born - newbie taken hook, line and sinker
« Reply #1 on: May 09, 2016, 01:23:24 AM »
Glad to hear the APA worked out well.  IMO, old extract can give you poor results.  I do like your statement of  "I am already planning my next batch and am thinking of creating my own. Still with using DME and steeping grains as I can't really do all grain at the moment."

The one thing that is fun about this hobby is "creating your own".  I make beer that I like, don't care what others think about it.

Offline Erik_Mog

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Re: An obsession is born - newbie taken hook, line and sinker
« Reply #2 on: May 09, 2016, 02:17:06 AM »
I know how you feel.  My first batch will have been fermenting 7 days tomorrow.  I am already planning on buying a small chest freezer and a temp control unit to use as a fermenting chamber.  I also got Brewsmith, and have created 9 recipes that I want to try.  Of course I will run them by people at some people first to see if they would actually work (according to Brewsmith, they all meet the styles except for one) before I drop the money for ingredients.

Heck, with all this beer I want to brew, I need some more friends to help me drink it.
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Offline Lazy Ant Brewing

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Re: An obsession is born - newbie taken hook, line and sinker
« Reply #3 on: May 09, 2016, 02:22:59 PM »
they all meet the styles except for one.

Don't worry if something doesn't meet a style guideline unless you're submitting it for competition.  You should be brewing what you want to drink--not trying  to meet the expectations of others.
It's easier to read brewing books and get information from the forum than to sacrifice virgins to appease the brewing gods when bad beer happens!

Offline udubdawg

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Re: An obsession is born - newbie taken hook, line and sinker
« Reply #4 on: May 09, 2016, 02:46:48 PM »
welcome.

however, are you sure your previous batches were ready?
If this was "basic" homebrewing equipment then I assume you aren't kegging.  And it's only been 7 weeks since the purchase.

I encourage you to get even more fermenters (and some shelf space for your bottles).  Don't be in a hurry to drink that beer if it isn't ready, or too hasty to dump something that isn't ready yet.

good luck--
--Michael


Offline war2112

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Re: An obsession is born - newbie taken hook, line and sinker
« Reply #5 on: May 09, 2016, 11:45:29 PM »
welcome.

however, are you sure your previous batches were ready?
If this was "basic" homebrewing equipment then I assume you aren't kegging.  And it's only been 7 weeks since the purchase.

I encourage you to get even more fermenters (and some shelf space for your bottles).  Don't be in a hurry to drink that beer if it isn't ready, or too hasty to dump something that isn't ready yet.

good luck--

--Michael

Thanks for the welcome and the advice. And you are correct, I am bottling.

The first batch of extract/steeping grains APA was in the primary for 12 days. A couple of FG readings were steady at 1.006 so then I bottled. I sampled a couple at the 1 week mark but then at 2 weeks began to drink and gave some out. yeah, maybe a bit too early. It did turn out well but definitely got better after 3 weeks. But it tasted pretty darn good after 2 weeks in bottles so could not keep my hands off it.

That second batch did not turn out quite so well I am sure because the LME was 8 months past expiration and never in a cooler environment. It is quite a bit darker than it should be for an IPA and I can taste where the malt has "gone off" a bit. Kind of drowns the hops too. It does have an amazing head to it, though. I wonder why that is? Is it the proteins - are they excessive due to age of malt? Just asking is all. It leaves incredible lacing in the glass and retains foam but the taste is merely sufficient at best.

I am going to leave the new APA and especially the stout alone for awhile. The yeast have been really having their way with that stout for the last 48 hours. All kinds of activity. But I've got it steady at 66 degrees.

The APA I took a gravity reading tonight and it is at 1.008 so going to check again in a couple days. But will let it sit in bottles longer.


Offline santoch

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Re: An obsession is born - newbie taken hook, line and sinker
« Reply #6 on: May 10, 2016, 12:13:17 AM »
My guess is that the hopped lme's age allowed the hops to age as well.  Some hopped extract has been boiled to some extent, so its like having a concentrated wort aging in a can.
As hops age, alpha acids reduce and beta acids remain.  They offer less bitterness and don't taste as prominent.

Hopped kits are not worth the money.  If you can measure the weight of the hops, and drop them into the pot, you can use plain extract and hop the beer yourself.  Now you aren't tied to some manufacturer's unknown recipe like a ball and chain.  At some point, you'll want to create your own recipes (or start with others' and tweak to suit your tastes) and at that point, you will be able to freely choose what to tweak, because you will know exactly what is in it.

Similarly, amber and dark extracts are just as mysterious.  You don't know what the manufacturer put in there, so you'll never REALLY know how to convert your recipe to AG or how to properly tweak it.
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Offline brewinhard

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Re: An obsession is born - newbie taken hook, line and sinker
« Reply #7 on: May 10, 2016, 01:08:38 AM »
Similarly, amber and dark extracts are just as mysterious.  You don't know what the manufacturer put in there, so you'll never REALLY know how to convert your recipe to AG or how to properly tweak it.

Most definitely. Stick to light DME/LME with steeping grains to begin with.