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Old 05-02-2012, 01:57 AM   #1
ChasidicCalvinist
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Default brew day--gone wrong?

I brewed up my "Carrot Cake Ale" tonight that is based on the Brooklyn Brewshop Carrot-Pils. I knew their recipe had a low ABV so I added 2lbs of honey (this was for a 3 gallon batch). MY OG reading was 1.017!

While it was boiling it smelled fantastic but then it tasted like...sweetened water. Any thoughts?

The good news is my mead I made simultaneously is bubbling away.

It took forever to peel 3lbs of carrots and then grate them, plus the quinoa wasn't cheap. I'd really hate to have wasted my time and money!

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Old 05-02-2012, 04:25 AM   #2
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you're need to post more of your brew process. im not familiar with the above recipe.

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Old 05-02-2012, 05:32 AM   #3
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Did you sprout the quinoa first? The recipe seems to hinge on getting at least a little conversion from the quinoa. Also, how many gallons did you brew? 1 gallon or 5? I'm guessing 5, because 2 lbs of honey would be a lot for a 1-gallon beer. The original recipe was for 1 gallon, did you scale up correctly?

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Old 05-02-2012, 11:19 AM   #4
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Here is my adapted recipe for a 3 gallon batch:

3lbs carrots, peeled and grated
1.5lbs uncooked basmati rice
2.5lbs quinoa (mixture of red and white b/c the store didn't have 2.5 of 1 type!)
2lbs honey

Heat water to 160 and add the above (minus honey) and steep for 60 minutes. Keep at 144-152 and check temp and stir every 10 minutes
sparge using 1 gal heated water

.75oz of Columbus at start of boil
Add cinnamon stick at start of boil
4oz maltodextrine at start of boil
Every 15 minutes add cascade hops (total 1.5 oz)
1/2 cup of raisins at 45 inutes
1lb of honey at 30 minutes
1lb of honey at 15 minutes

I didn't want the honey to be overpowering and from what I've read when it is added at flameout it is the only flavor that comes through. It smelled like carrot cake while boiling but tasted like some kind of crappy vitawater.

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Old 05-02-2012, 03:23 PM   #5
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Hmm. I re-read the recipe in the book, and notice that they don't call for sprouting the quinoa first, nor the basmati rice. I have no idea how you're supposed to get *any* conversion at all in the mash without sprouting at least one of the grains, and also without gelatinizing any of the grains. So, you followed the recipe just fine, but the recipe itself seems flawed. Bummer, mate. You said OG was a mere 1.017? Woof, that's gonna ferment out to be bone-dry.

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Old 05-02-2012, 06:45 PM   #6
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I spoke with someone I know who brews a lot, he suggested I make up a simple syrup using at 2lbs of sugar and pour that in. I think that is what I'll do.
I've never had a wort taste that bad nor come out that low.

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Old 05-02-2012, 07:11 PM   #7
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Adding 2 lbs of sugar to an already thin light beer is likely to get you a very dry alcoholic water.

I've never done anything like this but it sounds like something is missing. Maybe the grains described in the original recipe are not really like the ones you are using.

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Old 05-02-2012, 11:27 PM   #8
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What I would suggest is, let it ferment out as it is, then rack to secondary. The extra space you'll have from leaving behind the trub will allow you to add more sugar without overflowing your fermenter. You could add candi syrup (amber) or brown rice syrup, 1 or 2 lbs, rather than simple syrup, for better flavor.

In any case, are you sure your OG reading was correct? By my calculations, just 2 lbs of honey and nothing else in 3 gallons of water should give an OG of 1.023....

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Old 05-03-2012, 01:44 AM   #9
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Well...that is what is weird. It was the first time I used that hydrometer so I filled it with water afterwards to see if it was working and it gave the correct reading. But with the 2lbs of honey--I just don't get it.

The taste was like sweet water. I'll wait and see I guess 2 weeks won't kill me.

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