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Old 10-06-2010, 03:11 AM   #1
weathejx
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Default Is my brew bad?

I brewed up the ol' smokey recipe from BrewMasters this past weekend and I'm worried I messed it up.

I've been doing extract kits and have been doing pretty well so far, but this was the first time I've used liquid yeast and I'm not sure if I used it right.

Saturday 10/2:
I brewed up the recipe like normal (steeped grains at 155 for 30, brought to a boil, added 3/4 of LME, brought back to a boil, added chinook hops, added the rest of the hops on schedule and the remaining LME and DME at about 20 to go), cooled the wort as quickly as possible with my IC (got it down to about 70 in 30 minutes, ugh stupid not cold tap water), transferred it to my bucket fermenter, popped the yeast packet and pitched the yeast.

Today 10/5:
No noticeable blow-off, and I got worried. So I popped the top and there didnt seem to be much activity. I sanitized and pulled a sample to check the gravity and it seems to be about the same. I did a taste test, and it tasted... well... bad. it had a hint of a porter with a strong almost sour taste. Could have been a yeasty taste, but I might just be wishing that. There was a small amount of carbonation.

Is this normal? This is the first time I've tasted during fermentation.

Help.

TIA

john.

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Old 10-06-2010, 04:07 AM   #2
weathejx
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I resealed the bucket and reseated the blowoff and it now appears to be bubbling happily away.

I guess my question still stands, in regards to the weird taste, is my brew bad?

john

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Old 10-06-2010, 04:10 AM   #3
cinderbike
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The sourness could be due to carbonation. If it's bubbling, just let it do it's thing, you'll know soon enough.

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Old 10-06-2010, 04:34 AM   #4
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You should be fine wait for it to finish. And you know what to do, relax, don't worry, etc.

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Old 10-06-2010, 08:17 PM   #5
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Hi John:

To chime with the others, don't worry. However, as to what's going on, here is a bit from my experience. If you brewed the beer within parameters (observed proper cleaning and sanitation, followed the recipe, and used standard brewing procedures), fresh brewed wort can taste awful and the finished product still turn out marvelous. You will have fresh yeast, phenols from the smoked ingredients and pretty strong hops flavoring your wort. Without knowing what you mean by sour, I agree, it could have come from the carbonation, but it could also be the smoke profile and/or hop character.

As far as your slow-starting ferment my guess is that you underpitched (from the statement, "I popped the yeast and I pitched"). While for years I popped and pitched those wyeast packages, I also had a lot of slow starts and few beers that took a while to reach terminal gravity. Now, I pretty much will always pitch from a starter. Mr. Malty has a good article on yeast starters, you can find at http://www.mrmalty.com/starter_faq.htm

Good luck.

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Old 10-06-2010, 08:28 PM   #6
kanzimonson
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Excellent choice on getting into using liquid yeast, but you'll definitely want to learn how to make a starter. It's sooooo easy, just do enough reading and you'll figure it out.

When I first got into liquid yeast, I had similar problems to what you've described. If you get a really fresh batch of yeast, your beer will be kicking so quickly. If the batch is older, you will have fewer viable cells in there, and your lag will be longer. If there are way too few yeast cells, you'll have some off flavors produced as the yeast goes through massive amounts of growth after pitching.

And +1 to beer tasting pretty crappy when it's still fermenting.

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Old 10-07-2010, 02:52 AM   #7
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I've been using liquid yeast since my 1st brew, It works amazing with a starter!


To make a starter you boil 1 cup of DME with 1 liter of water. Cool to 70 degrees then pitch yeast, let sit for 3 days in a growler with tinfoil covering the top.

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