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Old 04-30-2014, 12:14 AM   #1
Misesian
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Default My Beginner Mistakes so Far in Brewing My Own Mild Brown Ale

The Recipe:
1lb crystal malt 40l.
.5 lbs. chocolate malt
1lb carapils
7.1lb pilsner malt extract
1 oz. pacific jade hops at 0 minutes and another addition at 30 minutes
.25 oz Nelson Sauvin for the final 8 minutes of the boil
Nottingham Ale Yeast

So far I have managed to pitch the yeast too warm, had foam shooting out of the air lock, after that was cleaned up the lid popped halfway off the fermenter and had foam everywhere. I also realized, after the fact, that my projected IBU is about 15 units higher than I was shooting for. However, after all this the odors I can detect through the air lock today, one day after the incident above, still smell like good beer smells.

When I do this again I will pay better attention and actually cool the wort all the way down, put together a blow off tube and jug, and do a better job of calculating my IBUs instead of just bulldozing ahead.

I had previously brewed a William's Brewing kit IPA. That was easy. Making your own recipe is more fun and allows to use your own creativity. However, there are more things going through your head and you make dumb mistakes like I did. I think it will still turn out a decent beer but it could have been better.

I will provide an update once it is time to bottle. I will be fermenting it 3 weeks. I did this with my previous IPA and it turned out great. I also didn't take an OG reading but I figure 3 weeks is a safe bet. The gravity should have been about 1.035-1.040. I was assuming a 65% mash efficiency in steeping my grains.

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Old 04-30-2014, 01:18 AM   #2
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7 lbs of LME in 5 gallons will get you an OG of 1.049.

Steeping grains will get 50% max efficiency, probably lower. You might get an additional 40 points from 2.5 lbs of speciality grain which would get you to about 1.057 for 5 gallons.

2.5 lbs of speciality grain is a lot. Most, if not all sugars from them are non-fermentable. I suspect you will have a hard time getting below 1.020 as an FG.

Just trying to give you an idea of what to expect. Good luck with the brew.

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Old 05-08-2014, 03:29 PM   #3
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uhh.. thats nottingham, so it may pull it down below 1.020. Any chance you rehydrated like the package shows? Aerated wort? For future reference, I also throw in 1 tsp/gal yeast energizer (food grade urea)

And yes 2.5 lbs steeped is a lot.

So long as all those bubble overs didn't introduce any infection, you should be fine. RDWHAHB

Monty

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Old 05-13-2014, 02:16 AM   #4
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I did rehydrate the yeast. I aerate the wort by pouring it back and forth several times. It seemed to work well for my last batch. With the way this yeast behaved I don't think it needed any further energizing. I actually happened to catch sight of another bubble in the air lock 3 days ago; still fermenting. That is why I like 3 weeks in the primary. I don't feel comfortable at only two weeks. I will be bottling it this Sunday. I will take a gravity reading before I do to see where it stands.

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Old 05-13-2014, 11:15 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Misesian View Post
I did rehydrate the yeast. I aerate the wort by pouring it back and forth several times. It seemed to work well for my last batch. With the way this yeast behaved I don't think it needed any further energizing. I actually happened to catch sight of another bubble in the air lock 3 days ago; still fermenting. That is why I like 3 weeks in the primary. I don't feel comfortable at only two weeks. I will be bottling it this Sunday. I will take a gravity reading before I do to see where it stands.
As your yeast fermented the beer it produced CO2. Most of that went out through the airlock, some of it stayed in the fermenter above the beer, and a little of it dissolved into the beer. When the ferment slows the yeast quit producing CO2 and work on cleaning up the intermediate products but they quit making CO2 then. They are still working which is why we recommend that you leave the beer in the fermenter after the airlock bubbling slows down. However, it's pretty unlikely that your yeast are still producing CO2 at this point. The bubble you saw coming out the airlock was from the CO2 coming out of suspension in the beer.

Your beer was probably completely fermented at 2 weeks or maybe even a bit before but the extra time in the fermenter may get rid of some off flavors and for sure it lets more yeast settle out so it doesn't end up as a big layer in the bottles. Longer is even better for that. If you have the patience, let a batch sit in the fermenter for 6 weeks and look for the difference in flavor and the amount of sediment in the bottle.
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Old 05-16-2014, 11:54 AM   #6
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I feel good with 3 weeks. I am patient but not that patient. Everything is sanitized and ready to go for Sunday. Another user commented I used more than necessary of the steeping grains. I did more research and I agree but will test it out as time goes on. I am aware that most of their sugars are not fermentable and that is the nature of kilned and roasted malts. Further affected by the method I chose; steeping. I just wanted to be sure I had the maxiumum flavor of the malts I chose to enhance the pale malt. I didn't want to use too little and have a darker beer that still has a pale malt flavor.
The next beer I brew will be a wheat beer and I will be brewing it using this same method. This time I will use a little less of the steeping grains to see how much flavor they will give to the beer and go from there. All about experimenting and trying new things.

And for other newbies you can check this out for a very brief overview of steeping grains.
http://morebeer.com/articles/using_steeping_grains

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Old 05-18-2014, 02:47 PM   #7
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The batch is bottled where it will sit for two weeks to carbonate and mellow out. Final gravity was 1.015.

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Old 05-30-2014, 01:43 AM   #8
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Tried one and it tastes fine. Has more bittering than I intended but still good.

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Old 06-02-2014, 11:39 PM   #9
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Tried one today with a clean palette and I am very happy with it. Sweet malty flavor and the hops aren't all that pronounced. Very subtle. Just enough that I am not overpowered by the maltiness of the beer. That is a good thing as I don't really care for beers that are heavy in malt flavor like scottish ales. The flavor of the hops comes through and I feel they compliment the flavor of the malt used. Nothing to wild but you can definitely taste a slight tropical note to it on the front end (pacific jade) but it finishes pretty clean with a dry , almost white wine flavor (Nelson Sauvin). Very impressed.

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