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jro16 04-29-2006 01:58 AM

Hi All, it's been a while

I've been a little discouraged by my avocation. I tried experimenting on my last few brews, and am a disappointed by the results. I have had great success with the kits. Somebody help me get my head back in the game. Maybe time for AG?

#1 Gone - Amber Ale
#2 Gone - Pilsner Lager
#3 Drinking - American Amber
#4 - Drinking - Fat Tire Clone
#5 Drinking - Vanilla Cream Ale
#6 - Primary Empty (for 4 weeks)
#7 - Secondary Empty (for 3 weeks)

Ivan Lendl 04-29-2006 02:11 AM

What kind of kits were you doing?

Have you tried mini-mash yet? Its really has the best of both worlds: their is room for mistakes, experiments, tinkering, recipe formulation, weird ingredients, etc. but most of your fermentables come from extract, so youd really have to f-up big time to ruin a batch...

what kind of experiments are you talking about? Like, "lets see what happens if i do an open fermentation on top of the roof" or "i wonder what these hops will taste like in this style beer"?

there are alot of blokes on this site whove "been there, done that" and if you come up with anything youd like to try just ask and theyll tell you whats up. Most likely pretty much EVERYTHING has been done before, and unless you come up with something like, "hmmm if i steal that moon rock from the museum and dry hop with it... what would that taste like?" we'll be able to point you in the right direction...


McCall St. Brewer 04-29-2006 02:18 AM

I second that on the mini-mash. Do you have a homebrewing supply store near you? The ones near me have recipes to try, or you can bring in your own recipe and they will put together the ingredients for you. For a little under $30 I get about 6 lbs. of generic malt extract, steeping grains, hops pellets and yeast. If I use their recipe, they also provide instructions for brewing the recipe.

If you don't have a good store near you, look at the "sticky" they have here for online suppliers. Maybe you need to experiment with suppliers to get some good ingredients.

You also don't say anything about your brewing setup. Are you using a glass carboy to ferment? Do you have a secondary?

Rhoobarb 04-29-2006 02:44 AM

Give us some more info on your set-up, the recipes - anything you can think of. Don't worry about, "Man, this is too much information"... "Where do I begin?"... or "Who wants to read all of this?..." The more info the better!:) Type away!:D I'm an AG brewer, but AG may not be the answer! Let's figure out what you did vs. what you want to do!:mug:

david_42 04-30-2006 05:25 PM

I love mini-mash kits! Even though I have a couple of my own recipes and do AG, mini-mash kits are a great way to get a lot of different ales without too much effort.

RichBrewer 04-30-2006 06:31 PM


Originally Posted by david_42
I love mini-mash kits! Even though I have a couple of my own recipes and do AG, mini-mash kits are a great way to get a lot of different ales without too much effort.

See this thread if you haven't already:

jro16 05-04-2006 03:28 AM

Thanks for the encouragement...I have 6.5 gal primary and a 5 gal secondary. Besides that, the basic starter kit equipment, except I brew on the electric stove in a 3 gal pot.

I followed the same techniques for the first few store bought kits on my past two hybrid recipies on found on the web steep grains for 45-60 min, brew 60 minutes, 3 stage hops, cool quickly (sink), primary 1 week, secondary 2 weeks.
By experimenting, I meant, not using the store bought kits. My last batch, I included 2 vanilla beans and dry hoped in a vanilla cream ale. (extract), and can only drink (1) in a sitting, too sweet, but not extract sweet (statistics below):

#5 Vanilla Cream Ale
- Recipe from internet www.beertools.com
- Date Brewed 03/18/2006
- SG1 1.048 SG2 1.009 SG3 1.005
- Attenuation 89.5%
- Yeast Used White Labs California Ale Yeast #WLP001 (Att. 73-80%)
- Approx. ABV 5.8%
- Weeks in Primary 1
- Weeks in Secondary 2 (Added (2) Vanilla beans/HOPS mixture after week 1)
- Weeks Conditioned 3
- Yield 50

What I would like is a Lager with a mild hop flavor, more bitter than sweet, but I also would like to feel like I'm learning something as I go, -vs- paint by numbers.

Beer Snob 05-07-2006 12:28 AM

How much extract did you use in the wort?

When I first looked at your gravities I thought with those gravities you should not really have a VERY sweet beer on your hands.... but then you said you "dry hoped in a vanilla cream ale. (extract)". Are you saying you took a can that most folks boil in wort and "dry hoped"... as in added it to your secondary...... if thats the case you might get a pretty sweet beer in the end (fermentation could have stoped dead in it's tracks). With a gravity of 1.009, fermentation was pretty much done. When I see dry hops usually it meant something on the lines of the person took hops and added it to the secondary (not a can of extract).

Keep giving more information. The guys on this forum are good. We'll figure it out.

jro16 05-08-2006 02:59 AM

Good evening...

I added a 3 pellets and the vanilla beans (scraped, chopped, and soaked in Vodaka) into the secondary. I didn't add any extract. I have a well carbinated product, but it is sweet. I assumed it was from the vanilla beans.

Any suggestions on a nice crisp beer (except for the king of beers).

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