Author Topic: I'm In A Slump  (Read 1398 times)

Offline MagicRat

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I'm In A Slump
« on: April 18, 2017, 04:43:50 PM »
I've been very disappointed in 3 of my last 4 batches (a tripel, an American stout, and an IPA).  I have a helles in the fermenter (using 34/70 and fermented at ale temps - I brewed this using 029 with great results).  I really need this to be a slump buster!


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Offline dmtaylor

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Re: I'm In A Slump
« Reply #1 on: April 18, 2017, 04:53:12 PM »
Sorry to hear it.  I am in a similar slump currently.  All my recent beers are tasting oxidized.  I think it may be high time for me to focus on HSA avoidance and proper CSA techniques.  And maybe change out my racking hose again.  Seems my hoses might begin to cause problems after about a year of use, in theory anyway maybe.  I also wonder about StarSan and whether I should switch to a different sanitizer.  Probably not a bad idea.  I'm not tasting any contamination, but I also want to eliminate all possibility.
Dave

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Offline goschman

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Re: I'm In A Slump
« Reply #2 on: April 18, 2017, 06:15:46 PM »
I am right there with ya. I have been pretty disappointed in some recent batches including a red lager featuring red x, a blonde ale fermented with english ale yeast, and a cider that just ended up funky tasting. Actually 3 out of the last 4 like you! My most recent brown lager is great and will hopefully be the beginning of the turnaround.

It sucks when you are really excited for a new batch and it turns out to be disappointing. I will be going with some recipes that cannot fail for the next few...
« Last Edit: April 18, 2017, 06:20:36 PM by goschman »
On Tap/Bottled: Haze for Daze IPA, G Pils, Maibock, Kolsch, Summer Gold       

Fermenting: 
Up Next: Euro Pale, IPA

Offline PORTERHAUS

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Re: I'm In A Slump
« Reply #3 on: April 18, 2017, 06:31:18 PM »
I can relate as well, my last couple batches have missed the mark. I have been playing around with a few changes in my process which has not turned out for the better. Sometimes you just have to stick with what works. I have a hoppy session ale I am about to dry hop and I am hoping that gets me back on track and im looking forward to that one.

Good luck with the latest batch.

Online blatz

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Re: I'm In A Slump
« Reply #4 on: April 18, 2017, 06:49:17 PM »
same here - mostly recipe design issues - a Tropical IPA that came out WAYYY too fruity for my tastes, an amber that I used both melanoidin and pale chocolate in that is more of a overly hoppy nut brown ale than the former, and an APA I just dumped because the yeast slurry I guess perished quickly and I tried to save it with US-05 after 2 days of nothing - phenol city...

on the bright side I have a dortmunder that I recently kegged that samples phenomenally and a pils that looks promising brewed last sunday.  here's hoping...
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Offline bayareabrewer

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Re: I'm In A Slump
« Reply #5 on: April 18, 2017, 06:52:46 PM »
Sorry to hear it.  I am in a similar slump currently.  All my recent beers are tasting oxidized.  I think it may be high time for me to focus on HSA avoidance and proper CSA techniques.  And maybe change out my racking hose again.  Seems my hoses might begin to cause problems after about a year of use, in theory anyway maybe.  I also wonder about StarSan and whether I should switch to a different sanitizer.  Probably not a bad idea.  I'm not tasting any contamination, but I also want to eliminate all possibility.

are you using a plastic racking cane by chance? I've had several develop small cracks at the bend that allowed air in during transfer. A SS cane was well worth the extra 10 bucks.

Offline MagicRat

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Re: I'm In A Slump
« Reply #6 on: April 18, 2017, 07:12:38 PM »
same here - mostly recipe design issues - a Tropical IPA that came out WAYYY too fruity for my tastes, an amber that I used both melanoidin and pale chocolate in that is more of a overly hoppy nut brown ale than the former, and an APA I just dumped because the yeast slurry I guess perished quickly and I tried to save it with US-05 after 2 days of nothing - phenol city...

on the bright side I have a dortmunder that I recently kegged that samples phenomenally and a pils that looks promising brewed last sunday.  here's hoping...

+1 on the design issues.  I think I just need to get back to what I know I do well.  I should have known better than to have intentionally brewed an IPA at 70+ IBU because that's a bitterness level I don't normally enjoy.
Also, I'm still bottling and sometimes get really inconsistent results priming with table sugar. I've had a couple batches that were almost flat.  I just used DME to prime for the first time and that seems to have solved the problem.


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Offline dmtaylor

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Re: I'm In A Slump
« Reply #7 on: April 18, 2017, 07:22:07 PM »
are you using a plastic racking cane by chance? I've had several develop small cracks at the bend that allowed air in during transfer. A SS cane was well worth the extra 10 bucks.

Yes mine is plastic; however I just got a new one last year and have only used it like 4 or 5 times, so I don't think it's the raking cane.  Could be something with my hose though which is a little bit older, not by much, but a little.  Or it could just be my carelessness with moving hot wort around.  I think that is the most likely thing.  I'll try to be much more gentle with hot wort in the next few batches and see if it pays off.
Dave

The world will become a much more pleasant place to live when each and every one of us realizes that we are all idiots.

Offline Rusty Nails

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Re: I'm In A Slump
« Reply #8 on: April 18, 2017, 08:35:14 PM »
When I get in a slump, and who doesn't, I always go back to two recipes. One is for the very first beer I ever brewed, a Porter from Bader Brewing, the other is for a red ale that doesn't meet any style guidelines but everyone likes. Same way when changing equipment or ingredients. I know how those two beers should be, and they always give me a baseline to judge from.

Thanks

Ed (or Rusty)
Southwest Washington

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Re: I'm In A Slump
« Reply #9 on: April 18, 2017, 08:52:03 PM »
When I get in a slump, and who doesn't, I always go back to two recipes. One is for the very first beer I ever brewed, a Porter from Bader Brewing, the other is for a red ale that doesn't meet any style guidelines but everyone likes. Same way when changing equipment or ingredients. I know how those two beers should be, and they always give me a baseline to judge from.

Thanks

Ed (or Rusty)

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Offline IPAnic

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Re: I'm In A Slump
« Reply #10 on: April 18, 2017, 09:47:23 PM »
When I get in a slump, and who doesn't, I always go back to two recipes. One is for the very first beer I ever brewed, a Porter from Bader Brewing, the other is for a red ale that doesn't meet any style guidelines but everyone likes. Same way when changing equipment or ingredients. I know how those two beers should be, and they always give me a baseline to judge from.

Thanks

Ed (or Rusty)

This. I've also been in slumps from reading this site too often. Once I get back to the realization that I'm not a chemical engineer, biologist, metalurgist or anything other than just a happy old homebrewer, I usually get out of the slump quickly. Please note: I'm not saying these experts aren't important to the craft or this site. I'm always intrigued by their posts and employ a good deal of their advice. It's just that brew day should be fun and fussing over every little detail that's available here can get me out of my fun zone. I'm also not one to think about the chemistry behind the Maillard Reaction when eating a perfect steak either...so :D

Offline majorvices

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Re: I'm In A Slump
« Reply #11 on: April 19, 2017, 01:33:48 AM »
If you get in a slump it is usually due to poor quality processes. After brewing commercially for going on 7 years I have found this out the hard way.

One thing you might try to do is brew the same 2 or 3 batches over and over again until you start perfecting them. Write out your processes as exact as possible. Throw an odd one in brew here and there to fight back boredom, but focus on brewing certain styles until you feel you have mastered them.

Offline zwiller

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Re: I'm In A Slump
« Reply #12 on: April 19, 2017, 03:39:04 AM »
I think a better term for this is plateau and I do exactly what Major says to break through.  It is a slow process but eventually you can push through.  Strangely enough the common thing I find with my own plateaus is just changing hops can make all the difference in the world.  IE brew a NGP with the classic hops and it is yawn.  I decide to try again and LHBS is out of these and on a whim I try santiam and BAM, I'm back, baby!   
Sam
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Offline HoosierBrew

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Re: I'm In A Slump
« Reply #13 on: April 19, 2017, 11:17:08 AM »
If you get in a slump it is usually due to poor quality processes. After brewing commercially for going on 7 years I have found this out the hard way.

One thing you might try to do is brew the same 2 or 3 batches over and over again until you start perfecting them. Write out your processes as exact as possible. Throw an odd one in brew here and there to fight back boredom, but focus on brewing certain styles until you feel you have mastered them.



Yep, good advice.
Jon H.

Offline Phil_M

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Re: I'm In A Slump
« Reply #14 on: April 19, 2017, 11:30:05 AM »
My slumps are different. I get jaded and fed up with beer in general whenever I don't brew. In my area, it's difficult to find good fresh beer, and it's tough to be excited about stale beer. It's not the breweries faults, I blame the distributors for buying in bulk more than can be sold before sell by dates. (and a consumer base that isn't discerning enough to refuse to buy said beer.)

 If you want to see how much of a stranglehold the distributors have on breweries in my state, look at the recent HB1283 fiasco.


The only cure for this sort of slump is to just get brewing again, and get some fresh beer in the pipeline.
Corn is a fine adjunct in beer.

And don't buy stale beer.