Author Topic: NEED HELP  (Read 909 times)

Offline jeremybrown_9

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NEED HELP
« on: December 24, 2009, 07:16:22 AM »
I just tasted my first batch of beer and it was pretty awful.  Super Bitter.  I used a kit from Midwest called Irish Red Ale.  I followed directions to a "T".  Primary Fermenter (bucket) - 7 days; Secondary Fermenter (Glass Carboy) - 7 days; Bottled using EZ-cap bottles and let sit at room temp for 2 weeks.  Average temp during fermentation and bottle condition was 65-70 f.  Should I dump it or wait another week.  Oh yeah, I used Wyeast Propagator.  No yeast starter due to me not really knowing anything about it.

Offline ndcube

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Re: NEED HELP
« Reply #1 on: December 24, 2009, 07:53:09 AM »
You especially need a starter for a propagator as opposed to an activator.

I found the ingredient's list online.  What was the recipe you followed?

Offline jeremybrown_9

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Re: NEED HELP
« Reply #2 on: December 24, 2009, 07:54:39 AM »
I followed the Irish Red Ale kit from Midwest.

Offline majorvices

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Re: NEED HELP
« Reply #3 on: December 24, 2009, 08:03:00 AM »
First off, don't dump it yet. Let it sit for a week or two more, maybe even a month longer. First batches don't always turn out to be the best beer ever. My first batch was a dumper even though I tried to convince myself and everyone else it was great. Aging can alleviate some of the off flavors that will be due to improper fermentation techniques that most noobs commit.

You say "fermentation temp was between 65-70" - was that the ambient temp? Because if ambient temp was 65-70 actual fermentation temp would have been 4-6+ degrees over ambient temp, which would have been a bit too warm.

"Following the directions to a "T"" is kind of a crap shoot because most of the "kit directions" are crap. You will need a good homebrewing book. pick up John Palmer's "How to Brew".

As far as a starter goes, for your next batch stick with dry yeast, no starter needed and aeration is less of a concern. I highly recommend Safale US-05. It is very clean and very easy to use and makes a great beer wether you are a beginner or experienced brewer.

Finally, seems like your main complain it is it "bitter". What kind of beer do you normally drink? Do you drink Craft beer mostly, or are you more of a Bud/Miller/Coors guy?
Keith Y.
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Offline jeremybrown_9

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Re: NEED HELP
« Reply #4 on: December 24, 2009, 08:09:21 AM »
The thermometer sticker on the bucket read between 65-70 f.  I went with liquid yeast because of all the talk about it being superior to dry.  I mostly drink Newcastle, Dunkleweiss, Hefeweiss, mostly German beers due to my current location, Sam Adams, Guinness Draught(bottle or can), and any English Ale my buddies bring back from London.

Offline majorvices

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Re: NEED HELP
« Reply #5 on: December 24, 2009, 08:14:41 AM »
Not really true that all liquid yeasts are superior to dry - US-05 is basically the same as WLP001, and WY1056. There is small differences between them but it would be hard to tell the three of them apart.

Some recipes are specifically designed to be really bitter so if you are not a fan of American IPAs, etc. the bitterness might be shocking at first. You can figure out how to control the amount of bitterness to meet you taste by increasing or reducing the IBUs. That information can be found in the book I mentioned earlier.

Sounds like your fermentation temp was fine, a yeast starter with liquid yeast would have helped a lot, especially since you use the "Propagator" rather than the pack with higher yeast counts. If using liquid yeast you really will be much better off with starters. But try the dry strain I mentioned - it is a great strain!
Keith Y.
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Offline jeremybrown_9

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Re: NEED HELP
« Reply #6 on: December 24, 2009, 08:28:07 AM »
I just bought the book you mentioned from Amazon.  I will have to study it.  Thank you for all your help.  Hopefully the Porter I have in the secondary will be better.  I used the Activator for that one.

Offline dhacker

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Re: NEED HELP
« Reply #7 on: December 24, 2009, 09:20:54 AM »
I looked up the recipe as well and it seems an oz. of Cascade @  60 and an oz. of Fuggles in the last 2 minutes would hardly over bitter the beer. Kinda tough to pinpoint. Do you have a lot of yeast sediment in your bottles that may be making its way into your glass?
Just brew it...

Offline jeremybrown_9

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Re: NEED HELP
« Reply #8 on: December 24, 2009, 03:21:50 PM »
I looked up the recipe as well and it seems an oz. of Cascade @  60 and an oz. of Fuggles in the last 2 minutes would hardly over bitter the beer. Kinda tough to pinpoint. Do you have a lot of yeast sediment in your bottles that may be making its way into your glass?

No, actually there is very little sediment in the bottles.