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Old 08-25-2014, 07:39 PM   #1
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Default About to throw in the towel.....

Hello, I just finished up a batch of Dead Ringer IPA and am feeling down about my brewing. It's drinkable but not good. I've brewed 4 total batches and 2 have been really good and 2 barely drinkable. I've paid close attention to sanitizing everything and have followed the kits directions (except didn't rack my first IPA to the secondary). Is this normal or am I just wasting my time?

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Old 08-25-2014, 07:41 PM   #2
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Originally Posted by jc03 View Post
Hello, I just finished up a batch of Dead Ringer IPA and am feeling down about my brewing. It's drinkable but not good. I've brewed 4 total batches and 2 have been really good and 2 barely drinkable. I've paid close attention to sanitizing everything and have followed the kits directions (except didn't rack my first IPA to the secondary). Is this normal or am I just wasting my time?
If you're using good quality kits, fermenting at the proper temperature (mid 60s generally), and following the instructions, the beer should be very good.

Are you using tap water that may not be right for making great beer?
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Old 08-25-2014, 07:41 PM   #3
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Its normal if you don't have proper temp control or you are properly pitching enough yeast for fermentation (if I had to guess your problem based on almost no info). Post your recipe and your process and you will get a lot of help on how to improve.

good luck

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Old 08-25-2014, 07:43 PM   #4
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It is not normal. In addition to Yooper's questions, I have to ask which two didn't work (recipes) and are you controlling your fermentation temps? How long do you give your beers before you bottle/keg?

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Old 08-25-2014, 07:45 PM   #5
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Document your process and fermentation and post it here. Details!

Like Yooper asked, what is your water source? What kind of temp control do you have over your brew day equip and fermenting?

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Old 08-25-2014, 07:50 PM   #6
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+1 on ferm temp......

if you brewed the same extract kit multiple times, the same way, and had large taste swings, I put money on poor temp control!
Temp control is the single most important thing in brewing consistent extract beers.

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Old 08-25-2014, 07:51 PM   #7
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Maybe you just don't like the styles you made. A few weeks back somebody posted that they made a pils and it tasted bad. After the description of the taste, the poster went to the store and bought some pils and came to the conclusion that the beer he made tasted pretty much like the store bought pils. Turns out that he just doesn't really like pils.

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Old 08-25-2014, 07:52 PM   #8
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Jc a bit of patience may be in order. You mentioned pitching the yeast on this beer on another thread on July 27, not even a month ago. Try a batch 3-4 weeks in primary (dry hop in primary with 1 week to go) followed by 3 weeks in the bottles and see how that comes out. You can always try going faster once slower is working out ok.

Also some specifics on the flavor issues might help more experienced brewers pinpoint opportunities for improvement.

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Old 08-25-2014, 08:37 PM   #9
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The dead ringer all grain kit from NB was my first batch of beer. What they dont tell you is that with the amount of yeast they give you, you are under pitching. Also they don't tell you about fermentation temps.

You need to calculate how much yeast you need for the gravity and volume of wort. Also know the yeast your using and what temp its optimal at.

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Old 08-25-2014, 08:46 PM   #10
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Thanks everyone. I'll try and answer some of the questions. The 2 kits that were very good were Northern Brewers Dry Dock Pale Ale and the Irish Red that came with my starter kit. I am an IPA fan and tried a Racer 5 clone from Adventures In Homebrewing that didn't work out. The Dead Ringer IPA is the one I just finished that has more of a "malty" taste as my wife says. The Racer clone had a similar taste and very little hopiness. The carboys have been on my basement floor. The temp is somewhere around 67 degrees.

Here's what I did on this one. Primary fermenter July 27th (airlock bubbled almost immidiately and for 3 days)-Aug 12. Racked to secondary Aug 12 and dryhopped for last 7 days. Racked to keg Aug 21 and forcecarbed at 35psi for 48 hours, went to 0 psi then up to 12 psi. Tried on Aug 24.

When I racked it into the keg the first smell when I opened the carboy was very good and hoppy but as I got lower the smell was more malty and stale. Maybe like when you get the first beer of the day at a bar that hasn't cleaned their lines. Any help would be appreciated.

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