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Old 12-18-2011, 07:45 PM   #1
jackiolantern
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Default Dissatisfied and can't figure out why

So... I have brewed 3 batches in total and I'm noticing a trend that I'd like to correct. Please help!

1st Batch- Irish Red Kit- Turned out okay- Took a long time in the bottle to taste palatable. Very Carbonated, Cloudy, and slightly metallic taste (like pennies). Think of it more as a dark Pilsner than an Irish Red.

2nd Batch- Hopstache Black IPA- In the carboy 3rd week now- dry hopped and moved from the bucket to the carboy after 7 days. It has been in the carboy for 2 weeks now and the SG is still changing and it's still not at the correct SG. It's sitting at 1.8? After tasting the most recent draw- it tastes murky....kinda off, not like the Red.... but kinda thick... My husband says sour.

3rd Batch- Coffee Stout- Boiled, pitched, ready to add coffee and move to the carboy anytime now. SG is in range (1.2?) but it is starting have the same cloudiness issue as the other two batches.

Any recommendations for a newbie?

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Old 12-18-2011, 08:04 PM   #2
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How's your sanitation? Did you use a low to medium flocculation yeast? Controling ferment temps will help with off flavors.
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Old 12-18-2011, 08:25 PM   #3
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You OGs are way off. Unless you added a crapload of fermentables and have a specialized hydrometer, there is no way you could even read a gravity of 1.8. Do you mean 1.008?

The penny taste in the first beer make me think high amounts of iron in the beer. Portland has great water, so it could be something else.

I sounds like your second batch was transferred too early. You should wait until the gravity stabilizes before racking to another vessel. The sour descriptor is a pretty big indication of a bacterial infection.

Cloudiness can be caused by a number of issues. Unconverted starch, yeast, tannins, etc. can all cause haze. Most beer will be cloudy until you store it cold for awhile and let the have settle out.

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Old 12-18-2011, 09:00 PM   #4
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Please describe your equipment (e.g., what type of boil kettle, fermenter, etc) and your entire brewing process, including sanitation, how you cool your wort, temperature you pitch at, temperature you ferment at. You get the idea. We need to know all the details.

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Old 12-18-2011, 09:18 PM   #5
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More information please. Fermentation temp., type of yeast, temp. of the wort when yeast was pitched, and more on sanitation. It does sound like something is being passed on from one to the next. Sanitation practices or equipment used without proper cleaning and sanitizing before or during use. The 1.8 & 1.2 gravity is why I ask about wort temp. at pitching, unless you mean 1.008 & 1.020? If you pitched to hot and killed the yeast than 1.080 would make sense, but you said its still changing.

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Old 12-18-2011, 09:33 PM   #6
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OK - pick one of the beers that you like, like the irish red, and brew it untill you get it right. Address each issue and find the cause and you will become a better brewer.

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Old 12-18-2011, 09:34 PM   #7
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On the first, a high carbonation can make for some change in the perceived flavors, generally for the more bitter/sharp so that may have some bit to do with it.

The second, probably moved too soon so the SG could change for quite a while. As for the taste, an IPA is going to take a while to settle down so that should be just a waiting thing.

The third, well how can you tell it's cloudy in a stout anyhow? That aside, if clarity is a real issue you could try gelatin in any of your brews (I keep a few packs of Knox unflavored around for emergency use) and it will pull down about anything still hanging around, tannins and proteins included. Ultimately though if it's just a cosmetic thing, just tell the guests that it's homebrew so it's not supposed to look like commercial, over-filtered swill.

Oh and as noted above, the SG is not 1.8 unless something was way off in the making, 1.080 is still high, 1.008 is exceptionally low for most any beer. 1.8 is more than even wine should be.

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Old 12-23-2011, 05:03 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by unionrdr View Post
How's your sanitation? Did you use a low to medium flocculation yeast? Controling ferment temps will help with off flavors.
Used the sanitizer that came with the Kit from Midwest Brew Supply.
Used the yeast that came with the Kit.
Consistent temp has been a challenge... Apartment living kinda sucks
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Old 12-23-2011, 05:16 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by billtzk View Post
Please describe your equipment (e.g., what type of boil kettle, fermenter, etc) and your entire brewing process, including sanitation, how you cool your wort, temperature you pitch at, temperature you ferment at. You get the idea. We need to know all the details.
My brew Kettle is a Stoneware (new) 5 gallon
The Fermentation bucket for the first step is from a kit from Midwest Brew Supply as is the bottling bucket and siphon.

I cool my wert with Ice and a sick full of cold water & by topping off my wert with Ice.

The First batch I pitched the yeast dry on top and admittedly the temp was a bit too high- but I did see action in the air lock within a day so I figured I hadn't killed it... but definately not the best start
The Second Batch- I cooled to 80 degrees, gave the yeast a 10 min head start (with some previously boiled water cooled to the right temp)
Same process for the 3rd batch
All of the yeast has been premium dry yeast included with the kits stored in the fridge from the time it arrives at my doorstep until the day I start the boil.

Fermentation temps:
I was shooting for between 60-70 degrees- but little to nothing was happening until I got close to 68 so I let it get a bit warmer and capped my indoor temp (to the best of my ability with a wall mount radiator from the 40's) at the low 70's... Consistency has been an issue and it may not be something that I can controll in my current living situation.
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Old 12-23-2011, 05:23 PM   #10
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OK lets make this easy. Make sure you wort is at a maximum of 65 before you pitch and do not let it go higher. If you are having the same off taste issues after that we will start working on other possible issues.

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