Author Topic: want to brew better ...  (Read 3434 times)

Offline tshearer

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want to brew better ...
« on: May 07, 2017, 06:29:26 PM »
Wondering about my process:  I'm an extract brewer, for now.  Have about 10 batches under my belt.  Except for a couple, my results have been good, but not quite as good as I've liked, always striving for better beer.  I'm an IPA fan, this example would be from a Pliny clone recipe.  I suspect this part of my procedure:
At the end of my boil, after adding the final hops, I cool then transfer all to my car boy for fermenting(should I keep trub?).  After 14 days I add the first dry hop, then with 5 days to go, I add the 5-day dry hop.

Do I have this wrong?  The recipe just says, 'dry hop 14 days', so should I project out, estimate the day I'll be bottling, subtract 14 days, add those hops at that time?

And should I dry hop on top of the (considerable) trub at the bottom of my fermenter?  Or transfer to secondary, then dry hop?

Usually, I get a lot of the hippiness bitters, not enough malt flavor.

I greatly appreciate the feedback!

Offline Frankenbrew

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Re: want to brew better ...
« Reply #1 on: May 07, 2017, 10:45:30 PM »
Whether to dry hop in primary or to rack to secondary is a personal preference. I've done it both ways and it doesn't make a ton of difference--I would describe either way as "good," but more often than not, I rack the beer onto the dry hops in a secondary fermenter.

Trub is not a big deal. As long as it is settled, you can leave it behind when you rack to secondary or package your beer.

5-7 days is sufficient for dry hopping, but, again, not a big deal if you leave it a bit longer.
Frank C.

And thereof comes the proverb: 'Blessing of your
heart, you brew good ale.'

Offline Joe Sr.

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Re: want to brew better ...
« Reply #2 on: May 07, 2017, 11:58:26 PM »
If you want to boost the malt flavor, I would recommend adding some steeping grains (basically a small mash),

Instead of projecting out, I'd wait for the krausen to drop and then dry hop.

I don't worry about trub.  I try to minimize it, but I don't worry about it.
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Re: want to brew better ...
« Reply #3 on: May 08, 2017, 11:46:19 AM »
If you are brewing with extracts alone it can be hard to get some of the flavors you are looking for or expecting in your beers. Nothing wrong with extracts, just theres not as much control over what you are getting when you are using them.

If you arent ready, I also suggest steeping some specialty grains to your batches. That was one of my biggest improvements when I started brewing. Its a way to get that fresh malt character into your batch and add some layers of flavor and complexity. You can read up on it for yourself. Sounds like you got other things in line so give it a try.

Offline reverseapachemaster

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Re: want to brew better ...
« Reply #4 on: May 08, 2017, 02:46:21 PM »
What kind of water are you using on these batches?
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Offline EThome

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Re: want to brew better ...
« Reply #5 on: May 08, 2017, 09:37:56 PM »
I only did my first brew all extract. Definitely go to brewing extract with grains (steeping). It really does not involve much more than what you currently do and you should be surprised with the improvement. I've switched to all grain but still brew some exact with grains when I'd like a slightly shorter brew day.

If your brew kettle is large enough, do full boils too, in lieu of adding water to the fermenter post-boil.

I've added dry hops to the primary and racked off onto hops in a secondary. Both work fine and will typically get you the results you're looking for. Sometimes I think the final clarify seems better when I rack off the trub onto the hops in a secondary.

Most of the time, I let the primary go for two weeks before dry hopping - mostly because it's just easy to remember when it was time and since my primary are buckets, I can't see if the krausen dropped without opening the fermenter. With an IPA, I've usually just gone 2, 2, 2 - 2 weeks primary, 2 weeks secondary/dry hop, 2 weeks carbonation (whether bottled or kegged). It is likely you could shave days off each, but for the directions you posted originally you could go 14 days in the primary and then dry hop #1; go another 9 days and dry hop #2; let it go the final 5 days and package (after checking your final gravity of course).

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Offline tshearer

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Re: want to brew better ...
« Reply #6 on: May 09, 2017, 01:33:43 AM »
Thanks for the info, gang. 

The water I use is off the grocery shelf.  I usually look for a 'Spring Water'.



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Re: want to brew better ...
« Reply #7 on: May 09, 2017, 01:17:02 PM »
Try adding like a 1/2-1 tsp of calcium chloride to your brewing water and using RO instead of spring water (the refillable jugs at the supermarket) should help bring out the maltiness.