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Old 12-31-2012, 11:34 PM   #1
CDGoin
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Default DOH !! - First Brew

OK.. so after spending a lot of time reading and re-reading things.. I of course made a few rookie mistakes in my excitement to start brewing..

Started with a Brewers Best Milk Stout, added Vanilla beans..

Now things that happened/I screwed up

1) Pot too small.. so instead of doing 2.5 Gal, my pot could do 2.25

2) Due to #1 I had to pull about 2 cups of wort (off the top) out to put in all the malt extract..

3) I left the grain bag in the whole time.. INstead of removing after the seeping time, left it in thru the whole boil.. ( Didnt read (or remember reading ) that I was supposed to take it out when adding extracts and sugars.. - DOH !! )

4) Drained wort only came up with about 2 gallons of wort.. when I added water to 4.3 gallons yet still missed my OG number of 1.056-1.061 by .04 (1.052)

Now, I didn't think that will be too bad since I did keep it to a low boil most the time.

Also I am not a fan of hops.. so I put in the Bittering hops for only 25 min of 50 min the boil called for and the Aroma for the 10 minutes called for.

So how bad did I do..? Am I going to end up with a bitter flat weak beer..?

Good thing is I know next time to..

1) Get a bigger pot

2) Pull the grain bag out.. before boiling.

Just curious what I can expect..?

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Old 12-31-2012, 11:55 PM   #2
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A few more questions..

Storing it in my garage (Ambient 55-60 degree) in closet..

Is that too cold, or is cold good ?

I am a complete nub at this.. but looking forward to getting to a point of doing it without extracts.

My favorite beers right now:

Breckenridge Vanilla Porter
Highlander Oatmeal stout
Southern Tier Creme Brule' (Which I believe to be a Vanilla infused Milk Stout)

The smoother, darker, and less bitter the better

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Old 01-01-2013, 12:05 AM   #3
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I am new as well, so you will probably get more input from the senior members. I would recommend reading the first few chapters from the Joy of Homebrewing or something similar. It will help you understand how everything works and it is a very quick read. You only need to read the first few chapters as an extract brewer, and everything will make much more sense to you.

http://www.amazon.com/Complete-Joy-H.../dp/0060531053

For example, it takes about an hour to get the bittering from hops, so your late addition will more likely impact flavor/aroma and not bitterness.

The grains at the high temp (over 165 I believe) can give you some bitterness, but since this is not an all grain batch the impact may be minimal.

Look up the yeast strain that you used to see the ideal fermentation temperatures. It sounds a little cold to me, but there are heater straps/mats that can be used to raise the temperature if you plan to do this regularly.

Others will have more to add. Welcome to the addiction. There is something so satisfying when you pour a home brew and realize that YOU made that...even better when your friends rave about your beer!

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Old 01-01-2013, 12:18 AM   #4
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The bittering effect of hops is to offset the overly sweet malts.
If you underdo the hops you will end up with on overly sweet beer.
For future reference pay attention to the listed IBUs of your favorite beers and work the hops to aim for that amount.

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Old 01-01-2013, 12:18 AM   #5
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Just to revisit, hops have two entirely different functions in brewing: bittering and flavor/aroma. If you don't like hoppy beers, you did exactly the wrong thing. You reduced the bittering time and left the flavor/aroma add stand.

The difference in OG is minor.

The worst thing you did was leave the grains in for the boil. Given that this is a stout and you cut down on the boil time for the bittering add, the tannins from the grain might balance things out.

Brewing is a very forgiving process, dark beers even more so. I think you'll have an acceptable beer.

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Old 01-01-2013, 12:20 AM   #6
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Thanks... hope I didn't pull too many tanins.. and if I did, I hope the lack of putting in much in the way of bittering hops will balance that.

I actually was thinking depending on how this batch came out to try and forgo the bittering hops all together. Lets suffice it to say IPAs are NOT my favorite beers, if anything I don't understand the popularity of something that tastes like a Gin-imbidded beer. But told I have a strong sense of taste and smell.. so that maybe part of it.

The addiction started with an old Mr. Beer kit given to me by a friend along with the 1st edition of The Joy of Homebrewing (Have to love those 80s duds they were wearing..)

I will get a thermometer in the garage and check it out.. the directions of the kit say 64-72 wasnt sure which was more important temp or darkness.

As the garage closet is completely dark, option two is more temp stable and warmer (my office) but will see some light. Can't think of anyplace else in the house where it won't be disturbed.

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Old 01-01-2013, 12:21 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by menerdari View Post
The bittering effect of hops is to offset the overly sweet malts.
If you underdo the hops you will end up with on overly sweet beer.
For future reference pay attention to the listed IBUs of your favorite beers and work the hops to aim for that amount.
Is there such a thing as "overly sweet"

Where can I find said list..?

Thanks
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Old 01-01-2013, 12:24 AM   #8
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If the garage is too cool, try a heating pad or belt to warm the brew. I've never used one, but I have heard good things.

Otherwise, put it in the office and put a blanket over it. Cheers.

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Old 01-01-2013, 12:26 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by david_42 View Post
Just to revisit, hops have two entirely different functions in brewing: bittering and flavor/aroma. If you don't like hoppy beers, you did exactly the wrong thing. You reduced the bittering time and left the flavor/aroma add stand.

The difference in OG is minor.

The worst thing you did was leave the grains in for the boil. Given that this is a stout and you cut down on the boil time for the bittering add, the tannins from the grain might balance things out.

Brewing is a very forgiving process, dark beers even more so. I think you'll have an acceptable beer.
Great to know.. !

Now why did I do the wrong thing..?

If I reduced the bittering time, but left flavor and aroma stand..? Wouldn't that eliminate the bitter hopiness of the beer, but leave the aroma ?

Because wouldn't the opposite be true.. it would be bitter with no aroma..?

I'll let you know how it turns out.. who knows maybe I will love it the way it was and create a whole new brewing method.. (OK I know.. Brewing has been going on far too long for anyone to do anything new I would assume)
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Old 01-01-2013, 12:29 AM   #10
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Once you are ready for your next brew, check out the Deception Cream Stout recipe from NC Beernut. It is one of the best stouts I have ever brewed. It meets all your criteria (smooth, dark, and not bitter).

I am also not a huge hop-head either. I tend to stick to stouts, porters, and I LOVE Belgian styles. Belgian beers are usually not hoppy at all, and are full of amazing, complex flavors. Probably the biggest advantage to brewing Belgian styles is the fact that Belgian yeast strains are often very tolerant of higher temperatures. Many of them are happiest in the high 70's, or even the low to mid 80's. This makes summer brewing here in NC a whole lot easier.

Try not to worry too much about the mistakes you made with your first brew. Most (maybe all!) of us have similar stories of screw-ups from early in our brewing endeavors. It sounds like you figured out where you went wrong, and I doubt that you will make the same mistakes again. I try to learn something new, or apply improvements to my process every time I brew. It could be steeping/mashing temp control, or fermentation temperature control, or possibly yeast pitching rates or fermentation time. Whatever the case may be, always strive to figure out where you went wrong and not repeat those problems. Soon enough you will have a solid system in place, you will be entering your beer in homebrew competitions, and your friends will be constantly bugging you to make new beer for them to try.

Relax, have a craft brew (to hold you over until the first homebrews are ready!) and have fun. Brewing should be enjoyable. Your beer will probably be OK at the very least, and there is a fairly good chance it will be better than you expected. Welcome to the hobby/addiction/obsession that is homebrewing.

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