Author Topic: New To Homebrewing - Need Some Help  (Read 1731 times)

Offline Slowbrew

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Re: New To Homebrewing - Need Some Help
« Reply #30 on: November 26, 2019, 02:38:16 pm »

Posted by: jjw5015
« on: Today at 05:05:42 PM »
Insert Quote

 

How do your hydrometer samples taste before transfer/bottling? Should help narrow down where things are going awry.


jjw5015 - you actually bring up an interesting question.  And I think this does begin to lean towards the transfer siphon and the valve in the bottling bucket.  Going from 1st fermenter to 2nd I thought it tasted ok (granted flat and warm).  Then from 2nd to the bottling bucket I could start noticing a slight change.  I was starting to think it was the bottles themselves - so I was boiling in water, dishwasher sanitize cycle, etc.  That racking cane and the valve in the bucket have not been getting the thorough clean that they obviously need.  Ill be trying a new batch shortly with this info.

Again - thanks for all of the feedback.
You should also consider eliminating the transfer to the secondary and possibly the transfer to the bottling bucket.  It encourages oxidation, which is probably the change you are tasting.  If you leave the beer in the primary until you're ready to bottle, it will help with the color retention and fresh flavors.  Perhaps you could siphon out of the primary when done into bottles and dose the bottles individually with priming sugar.
+1 to not using a secondary. 

I stopped using secondarys for any beer several years ago, except when I have a reason to leave a beer in a fermenter a long time.  I haven't seen any issues and I think there have been some improvements.

Paul
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Offline HopDen

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Re: New To Homebrewing - Need Some Help
« Reply #31 on: November 26, 2019, 03:37:53 pm »
Listen, just empty that 401k as soon as possible and buy the biggest, baddest electric brew system you can afford. Believe me, once you get brewing some killer recipes you have designed you have passed the point of no return. It will also be much much cheaper to go balls to the wall now instead of later!! One more thing, don't tell your wife ;) Have fun and don't worry about it.

Offline BrewBama

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Re: New To Homebrewing - Need Some Help
« Reply #32 on: November 26, 2019, 04:48:11 pm »
Listen, just empty that 401k as soon as possible and buy the biggest, baddest electric brew system you can afford. Believe me, once you get brewing some killer recipes you have designed you have passed the point of no return. It will also be much much cheaper to go balls to the wall now instead of later!! One more thing, don't tell your wife ;) Have fun and don't worry about it.

Buy once cry once! 

+1. Have fun and don't worry about it.


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Offline BrewBama

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Re: New To Homebrewing - Need Some Help
« Reply #33 on: November 26, 2019, 05:18:35 pm »
Simply because something hasn’t been proven to one person’s satisfaction doesn’t mean it can’t be true. That’s a Burden of Proof Fallacy based on an Affirmative Conclusion from a Negative Premise. “It hasn’t happened to me” or “been proven to me” so “it’s not true”.

Neither does an Appeal to Popularity. “Experience of Thousands” doesn’t make something true just because our common sense tells us that if something is popular, it must be true. The thousands could be wrong.

An appeal to authority likewise is irrelevant to the truth. Just because someone in a position of power or has a vast amount of repetitions believes something to be true, doesn't make it true. No matter how loud or forceful the voice.


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Indeed.  But we're talking about homebrewing here and that kind of "proof" is usually good enough. We're not trying to cure cancer.

I agree. We’re not curing cancer.

However, I disagree. That kind of statement is not usually good enough for proof around here. (Especially when you’re the one doing the questioning!)


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Offline WiscoGREG

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Re: New To Homebrewing - Need Some Help
« Reply #34 on: November 27, 2019, 08:46:55 am »
Listen, just empty that 401k as soon as possible and buy the biggest, baddest electric brew system you can afford. Believe me, once you get brewing some killer recipes you have designed you have passed the point of no return. It will also be much much cheaper to go balls to the wall now instead of later!! One more thing, don't tell your wife ;) Have fun and don't worry about it.

HopDen…...I like the way you think!!

Offline WiscoGREG

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Re: New To Homebrewing - Need Some Help
« Reply #35 on: November 27, 2019, 08:53:09 am »
OK - so the pattern I see here is......stop transferring to the 2nd fermenter (check); stop using the bottling bucket (check).  I am guessing everyone on here is at the point of kegging everything - and hopefully I will get there some day as well.  In the meantime, can I safely add the priming solution mixture right to the main fermenter just before bottling (after its cooled obviously) or is that too risky?  Otherwise, find a way to divide it up amongst the bottles?

Offline denny

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Re: New To Homebrewing - Need Some Help
« Reply #36 on: November 27, 2019, 08:55:18 am »
Simply because something hasn’t been proven to one person’s satisfaction doesn’t mean it can’t be true. That’s a Burden of Proof Fallacy based on an Affirmative Conclusion from a Negative Premise. “It hasn’t happened to me” or “been proven to me” so “it’s not true”.

Neither does an Appeal to Popularity. “Experience of Thousands” doesn’t make something true just because our common sense tells us that if something is popular, it must be true. The thousands could be wrong.

An appeal to authority likewise is irrelevant to the truth. Just because someone in a position of power or has a vast amount of repetitions believes something to be true, doesn't make it true. No matter how loud or forceful the voice.


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Indeed.  But we're talking about homebrewing here and that kind of "proof" is usually good enough. We're not trying to cure cancer.

I agree. We’re not curing cancer.

However, I disagree. That kind of statement is not usually good enough for proof around here. (Especially when you’re the one doing the questioning!)


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But people rely on Brulosophy for "proof" and they do only a single test.  People rely on Experimental Brewing for "proof", but we only do maybe 3-15 tests on a subject.  But you have thousands of people using buckets without problems which provides far more data points than either of those.  For me, its a question of context.
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Offline denny

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Re: New To Homebrewing - Need Some Help
« Reply #37 on: November 27, 2019, 08:56:31 am »
OK - so the pattern I see here is......stop transferring to the 2nd fermenter (check); stop using the bottling bucket (check).  I am guessing everyone on here is at the point of kegging everything - and hopefully I will get there some day as well.  In the meantime, can I safely add the priming solution mixture right to the main fermenter just before bottling (after its cooled obviously) or is that too risky?  Otherwise, find a way to divide it up amongst the bottles?

You wou,d have to stir the priming in, which would stir up the trub in your fermenter.  I say skip the secondary, use the bottling bucket.
Life begins at 60.....1.060, that is!

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The best, sharpest, funniest, weirdest and most knowledgable minds in home brewing contribute on the AHA forum. - Alewyfe

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Offline Visor

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Re: New To Homebrewing - Need Some Help
« Reply #38 on: November 27, 2019, 09:14:57 am »
^^^This.
  Also, I have to disagree that longer bottle conditioning is going to help in this situation. With enough healthy yeast the beer can sometimes be fairly well carbonated in less than a week, and from my experience pale ales and IPA are at the best when they are at their freshest and the longer they sit, the more likely they are to develop off flavors. I bottled an APA last Friday and was drinking it Monday, it was pretty well carbonated if not fully so, and the flavor was better than it will be in a few more days. That was a shorter turn around than I usually experience, but not dramatically so.
  Regarding the secondary/no secondary issue, I use plastic conicals, instead of transferring to a secondary I simply dump the trub ball, purge it with CO2 and reattach the FV. Whether or not dumping the trub makes a noticeable difference in the final beer, I can't say conclusively but in lieu of a overriding reason not to, I'll continue to do so.
« Last Edit: November 27, 2019, 09:17:12 am by Visor »
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Offline Chino Brews

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Re: New To Homebrewing - Need Some Help
« Reply #39 on: November 27, 2019, 08:40:06 pm »
WiscoGREG, a few thoughts:

  • The darkening on extract brews can be caused by oxidation and non-enzymatic browning of the extract, especially with liquid malt extract. It will darken with time, which will be somewhat apparent in the jug and will dramatically increase during the boil. Solutions include finding a supplier who is fanatical about freshness, storage, and packaging and has very high turnover, Switching to dry malt extract can help.
  • Skip the secondary for sure.
  • I'm not as sanguine as Denny about scratched plastic and sanitizers. Principals at both major sanitizer makers (National Chemical and Five Star) have discussed on Basic Brewing podcasts how smooth surfaces are easier for their sanitizing chemicals (and even non-sanitizers to clean). I don't need to see a mad cow to believe that mad cow disease exists.
  • Definitely use a bottling bucket, so consider getting a new bottling bucket. I keep a soft sponge with no scrubby sides (soft on six sides) in my brewing cleaning kit, and don't even nest my buckets. The alternative is to bottle directly from the fermentor and prime directly into each bottle, such as with carbonation tablets/drops or measured doses of sugar syrup of known concentration.
  • Your water is well water? That could have some high concentrations of minerals in that lead to the same flavor in every beer. If you use city water, be sure to remove and chlorine or chloramine -- 1/2 Campden tablet per 10 gal, crushed and mixed in, will address the issue instantly
  • Use an online priming sugar calculator to ensure you are not overpriming the beer.
  • Are the bottles becoming more carbonated over time? If not, that could indicate bottling before the beer has stabilized at terminal gravity. Measure the gravity twice over two or three days to make sure the gravity is stable and near the expected terminal gravity. However, if the bottles are at one carbonation level and then slowly increasing in carbonation level, you may have contamination by unwanted microbes. Check the gravity at bottling, and then de-gas a carbonated beer and check to ensure the gravity has not dropped (it may go down by 0.001 from alcohol produced by refermentation).
  • No matter what, overcarbonation and contamination with unwanted microbes are two things I believe you should rule those out first. Overcarbonation can cause a sour taste from excess carbonic acis, while unwanted microbes can cause overcarbonation or produce lactic or acetic acid.
  • The last thing I suggest is in evaluation -- if you can get an experienced taster to taste your beer, they may be able to help. You also probably need a bit more experience with tasting so you can identify your beer's flaws more precisely - BJCP.org has lots of resources, and Mosher's Tasting Beer is one of my favorites.

Best of luck figuring this out! Cheers!
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