Author Topic: First batch of beer ever and had 3.5% ABV???  (Read 2922 times)

Offline gordonstrong

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Re: First batch of beer ever and had 3.5% ABV???
« Reply #15 on: May 12, 2011, 04:51:13 PM »
I like it when people bring me beer. I like it even more when it doesn't suck. Makes me go 'mmmm'.
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Offline mswilliams1975

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Re: First batch of beer ever and had 3.5% ABV???
« Reply #16 on: May 12, 2011, 06:52:51 PM »
Man you guys are a wealth of information. I did use dry yeast on the first and will try using 2 packets on this next batch. I do not know the brand of yeast as it was one that the guy at my local suggested.

I am going to try and answer some of the other things that came up on this. I use a hydrometer to measure my gravity. Also if I can not control my fermentation temp for this next batch and it stays around 74 in my closet should I let it ferment a longer time than 3 or 4 weeks?
Also the only way I knew to aerate was to just stir the wort vigorously with a spoon. Ideas for cheap?

Also the recipe I had called for WLP001 but I used the dry yeast so sorry for the misinformation on the original post.

In case I have not already I would like to thank you all for the feedback and the help. I am really excited about home brewing and creating my own beer.
« Last Edit: May 12, 2011, 07:00:10 PM by mswilliams1975 »
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Offline jamminbrew

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Re: First batch of beer ever and had 3.5% ABV???
« Reply #17 on: May 12, 2011, 07:09:33 PM »
Also if I can not control my fermentation temp for this next batch and it stays around 74 in my closet should I let it ferment a longer time than 3 or 4 weeks?
Also the only way I knew to aerate was to just stir the wort vigorously with a spoon. Ideas for cheap?.
To help keep temps down, I have used a plastic tub with water, and used old water bottles that were filled and frozen. 2-3 bottles in the tub, with your carboy or fermenter, help keep the temps down in the 60's.
Cheap aeration: cap your carboy (or cover your bucket tightly) and shake the holy crap out of it for 3-4 minutes. I use this method everytime, and along with a starter, get active fermentation within 8 hours.
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Offline mswilliams1975

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Re: First batch of beer ever and had 3.5% ABV???
« Reply #18 on: May 12, 2011, 07:21:02 PM »
OK so just to clarify I shake the holy crap out of it right before adding the yeast or right after I add the yeast?
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Offline jamminbrew

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Re: First batch of beer ever and had 3.5% ABV???
« Reply #19 on: May 12, 2011, 07:24:35 PM »
OK so just to clarify I shake the holy crap out of it right before adding the yeast or right after I add the yeast?
Just before pitching the yeast.
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Offline hokerer

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Re: First batch of beer ever and had 3.5% ABV???
« Reply #20 on: May 12, 2011, 07:34:42 PM »
I am going to try and answer some of the other things that came up on this. I use a hydrometer to measure my gravity.

It's not terribly important just starting out but, once you start really figuring out what you're doing, you'll probably want to calibrate your hydrometer.  Go to the grocery store and get some distilled water.  Your hydrometer should read that as 1.000.  If it's off, you'll know what you'll need to add/subtract to correct any other readings you take.  Also, don't forget to use the temperature correction table that should have come with your hydrometer.
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Offline tygo

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Re: First batch of beer ever and had 3.5% ABV???
« Reply #21 on: May 12, 2011, 07:40:16 PM »
OK so just to clarify I shake the holy crap out of it right before adding the yeast or right after I add the yeast?
Just before pitching the yeast.

If I'm using the "shake the holy crap out of it" method I like to do that after I pitch the yeast.  Get's everything nice and stirred up.  Probably doesn't really matter one way or the other though.
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Offline tschmidlin

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Re: First batch of beer ever and had 3.5% ABV???
« Reply #22 on: May 12, 2011, 08:59:43 PM »
I don't think it matters, before or after.  Maybe even both.  With dry though, if you sprinkle it on top you might want to do it before so you don't leave yeast clinging to the top/sides of the fermenter.

Also, yes, calibrate your hydrometer.  I don't think you have to use distilled, use whatever water you use to brew, it'll be fine.  If it doesn't read zero, just figure out how high/low it reads and adjust all of your measurements by that much.

And, yes, get the beer cooler while it's fermenting.  This is really important if you want it to taste good.  Controlling your temps is huge.  The water bath / frozen bottle method described above is an inexpensive and very effective way of doing it.  Warmer ferments faster, but speed is not your goal.

Let us know how it goes.
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Offline thomasbarnes

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Re: First batch of beer ever and had 3.5% ABV???
« Reply #23 on: May 12, 2011, 09:31:41 PM »
I like it when people bring me beer. I like it even more when it doesn't suck. Makes me go 'mmmm'.

So, you tasted it and had face-to-face feedback with the brewer. What feedback did you give him?

My guess, based on the information provided so far, is that the brewer might just have a calibration problem with his hydrometer. Sometimes if you get too much trub, or whatever, in the sample, the hydrometer can read high, even though the beer has fermented out.

The recipe looks sound. 7 days in primary (assuming no other problems with yeast or fermentation temp.) is about right for an ale. Techniques described so far sound OK. The top-ranked BJCP judge thought it was good. Other than instrument error, all I can think of is yeast management problems, but a 1.027 F.G. would be incredibly underattenuated; hardly "mmmm"-worthy, unless Gordon has a huge sweet-tooth that we don't know about.

Offline tschmidlin

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Re: First batch of beer ever and had 3.5% ABV???
« Reply #24 on: May 12, 2011, 09:41:58 PM »
I like it when people bring me beer. I like it even more when it doesn't suck. Makes me go 'mmmm'.

So, you tasted it and had face-to-face feedback with the brewer. What feedback did you give him?

My guess, based on the information provided so far, is that the brewer might just have a calibration problem with his hydrometer. Sometimes if you get too much trub, or whatever, in the sample, the hydrometer can read high, even though the beer has fermented out.

The recipe looks sound. 7 days in primary (assuming no other problems with yeast or fermentation temp.) is about right for an ale. Techniques described so far sound OK. The top-ranked BJCP judge thought it was good. Other than instrument error, all I can think of is yeast management problems, but a 1.027 F.G. would be incredibly underattenuated; hardly "mmmm"-worthy, unless Gordon has a huge sweet-tooth that we don't know about.
Two different people.  mswilliams1975 had the beer that finished at 1.027.  timberati brought the beer to Gordon.
Tom Schmidlin

Offline Will's Swill

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Re: First batch of beer ever and had 3.5% ABV???
« Reply #25 on: May 13, 2011, 06:33:27 PM »
I just brewed my 399th batch...

Nice, Denny!  Doing something special for 400?
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Re: First batch of beer ever and had 3.5% ABV???
« Reply #26 on: May 14, 2011, 08:08:02 AM »
I just brewed my 399th batch...

Nice, Denny!  Doing something special for 400?

Something big and Belgian.
Life begins at 60.....1.060, that is!

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Offline jamminbrew

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Re: First batch of beer ever and had 3.5% ABV???
« Reply #27 on: May 14, 2011, 08:59:59 AM »
I just brewed my 399th batch...

Nice, Denny!  Doing something special for 400?

Something big and Belgian.
Nice!  I'd love to trade Belgian recipes with you, Denny! 
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Re: First batch of beer ever and had 3.5% ABV???
« Reply #28 on: May 14, 2011, 09:52:20 AM »
I just brewed my 399th batch...

Nice, Denny!  Doing something special for 400?

I started a Belgian quadrupel thread in the recipe section.  When I decide what I'm gonna post I'll post the final there.  I have some candi syrup samples coming and I'm waiting to see what they send me before I finalize anything.

Something big and Belgian.
Nice!  I'd love to trade Belgian recipes with you, Denny! 

Life begins at 60.....1.060, that is!

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Offline mswilliams1975

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Re: First batch of beer ever and had 3.5% ABV???
« Reply #29 on: May 15, 2011, 08:25:50 PM »
OK so based on the feed back from everyone I pitched 2 packs of the Safale US 05 yeast and I built a cooler. So my OG was 1.050 and am fermenting at 60-63 degrees. So to all of you thank you for the help. I will let you know how this turns out in a few weeks.

Now I would have posted the pics but apparently I can not figure that out so here are the links instead.

http://www.flickr.com/photos/62926422@N02/5724595799/
http://www.flickr.com/photos/62926422@N02/5725152888/
http://www.flickr.com/photos/62926422@N02/5724595925/
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