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-   -   1st Brew SNAFU (http://www.homebrewtalk.com/f39/1st-brew-snafu-77665/)

GunnyW 08-25-2008 07:20 AM

1st Brew SNAFU
1st of all, great site. Been lurking around for a while trying to get all the answers to my questions prior to posting. Found most everything I needed, but wanted to confess my homebrew sins to get the opinions and hopefully a pardon from the HBT brewmasters.

A LONG story as short as possible, here are the main points.

"Honolulu Hefe"
7#'s MWE (syrup), .5# Light Crystal 10*L, .5# Wheat Malt, WL300 liquid yeast 1oz German Spalt hops.

No hydrometer yet...getting one next week.

All the pre-primary steps went very well. Paid close attention to detail on all temps, times, hot/cold break, etc... Got everything to the primary without a hitch, that's when everything went to crap.

Squirted a full air lock's worth of filtered tap water directly into my beer while trying to push in the air lock. (lesson learned)

Thermometer was off by almost 20*F so the bath of water my plastic bucket primary was sitting in was at nearly 91* for the first 12-24 hours. Needless to say had a VERY active primary and had to do a tactical airlock to blow-off tube change over. Didn't do it in time however and lid popped off on day two. After getting the temp under quasi control, fermentation continued at what I think to be normal. Kept bubbling for 3-5 days. (again, lesson learned)

Today is day 7 and my instructions say to rack to seconday, however I have decided to give it at least another 3-5 days in primary in order to rid any potential nightmare I created by the 90* early on. I know that's not going to be enough time, but its better than nothing.

I plan on leaving in secondary for at least 10 days before bottling. Hopefully that will help any off flavors. I tasted it today and it didn't taste all that horrible...but not good.

Is there anything else I can do besides give it time? I don't have any problems letting it sit in the bottles for a few months, but just want to make sure I don't miss any other options.

Also, since I am now down to a little over 4 gallons, when I prime can I just add more water to the corn sugar solution to get closer to the 5 gallon mark without watering down the beer?

More Q's to follow I'm quite sure.

shertz 08-25-2008 09:41 AM

Well I'm rather new also, but I would say the warm fermentation can't be changed now. Those first couple of days are critical. You'll probably have some off flavor from it but it will drinkable and probably still pretty good. The water dumped in from the stopper won't hurt anything. I have heard that Hefe's are pretty wild fermentations so it sounds normal with the blow off. I wouldn't mess with the extra water with the corn sugar, doesn't sound worth it to me and would lower your numbers.

A4J 08-25-2008 03:32 PM

My very first brew fermented on the high side (mid to upper 70's if I remember correctly). The fusel alcohol was very noticeable and even after 6 months (I opened the last bottle a couple weeks ago), the fusel is still there. I'm not saying the batch was ruined - my friends and I drank most of the bottles within 1 month, so it wasn't that bad.

TwoHeadsBrewing 08-25-2008 03:37 PM

Most likely, you're going to get some banana esters in your hefe if temperatures were over 80F...but that isn't bad really :ban:. Banana esters can be a great compliment to a hefe as long as it doesn't overpower the rest of the flavor profile. By "not good" what did the sample taste like? All of my hefes have been pretty "yeasty" up until week 3 after brewing, and they really cleaned up after 2 weeks in the bottle.

Nanobru 08-25-2008 03:55 PM

Although it is by far the warmest fermentation I have heard of, You might be ok. The warmer the fermentation, the more active your fermentation will be (hence your lid blowing off). Warmer fermentations will bring more esthers, "unfavorable" yeast byproduct alcohols like the banana flavors mentioned in the previous post. Lower fermentation temps will be less active and create "smoother" tasting alcohols, which yield the different taste profiles of a lager and an ale (although the lager is a different strain).

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