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Old 10-08-2012, 11:10 PM   #1
JLivermore
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Default brewing better beer

I've brewed 2 batches now, Brewer's Best red ale and English pale ale kits.

They turned out good but not great.

I'm not looking to make fancier or more exotic beer, just better quality basic beer.

What's the best thing to focus on, or what helped you start making notably better beer? Filter water, temperature control, fermentation time, or anything else?

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Old 10-08-2012, 11:15 PM   #2
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everything, what did you maybe not do right? fix that next time.
my first 2 mistakes were boiling with the lid on (more critical with AG or partial mash rather than extract)
and pitching temp could have been lower. I ferment at 65 to 67 deg. (beer temp not room temp) so that has not been an issue.

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Old 10-08-2012, 11:16 PM   #3
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Fresh hops, grains/extract, yeast... fresh ingredients overall

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“Get your beer off the yeast cake on day 7 or your beer will crawl out of the fermenter and eat your youngest child”

“Your beer will be the equivalent of rhinoceros urine unless it sits on the primary yeast cake for at least 4 weeks.”
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Old 10-08-2012, 11:22 PM   #4
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I've been making my own recipes since my first. Take a look at the recipe database. Those recipes you can build/modify if you want. I heard Midwest, northern, and Austin make good kits.

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Old 10-08-2012, 11:25 PM   #5
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1. Fermentation temperature control.
2. Fermentation temperature control.
3. Fermentation temperature control.
4. Switching from extract to BIAB.

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Old 10-08-2012, 11:25 PM   #6
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Temperature control and pitching enough yeast and choice of yeast makes a world of difference!!!

Boil with lid on ha and i thought i was the only one that did that :-)

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Old 10-08-2012, 11:29 PM   #7
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I hate to complicate your question further, but what do you consider better? I would say the best thing would be to identify what exactly you are looking for in a beer. Would you prefer your beer to be more or less hoppy, drier, sweeter, darker,or lighter?

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Old 10-08-2012, 11:30 PM   #8
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Another vote for temp controll and pitching the proper amount of healthy yeast.

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Old 10-08-2012, 11:36 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jprice View Post
I hate to complicate your question further, but what do you consider better? I would say the best thing would be to identify what exactly you are looking for in a beer. Would you prefer your beer to be more or less hoppy, drier, sweeter, darker,or lighter?
I would infer from the question that the O.P. would like to minimize things like off flavors or undesired flavors. That was always a challenge for me at the beginning.

My three suggestions for things that could make a big impact:

- Figure out a way to control fermentation temperature for the first few days. (Along with this, be sure not to pitch yeast when the wort is too warm.)

- If using liquid yeasts, prepare a starter. Or just use good dry yeasts, rehydrated. Strains like Safale's S-04 and US-05 are fantastic for many recipes and have enough cells where you shouldn't risk underpitching on most recipes.

- Give the beer enough time to ferment. It will depend on the recipe, conditions, etc., but a good general rule is 3 weeks in primary before bottling. Not always appropriate but it's not a bad frame of mind to start from at the beginning.
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Old 10-08-2012, 11:44 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by oclairbrew
another vote for temp controll and pitching the proper amount of healthy yeast.
+1
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