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Old 01-01-2013, 08:00 PM   #21
Gartywood
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My best advice is follow the instructions on the kits you brew for your first few brews. You want to first get the process down. The brewers best kits are really tried and true recipes that are pretty well balanced. When you start to find how they come out and what different ingredients do then you can start tweaking. A lot of the brewers that get into the hobby and either quit or suffer through a number of terrible brews before they get it right seem to skip over getting the process down.

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Old 01-01-2013, 08:43 PM   #22
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Gartywood View Post
My best advice is follow the instructions on the kits you brew for your first few brews. You want to first get the process down. The brewers best kits are really tried and true recipes that are pretty well balanced. When you start to find how they come out and what different ingredients do then you can start tweaking. A lot of the brewers that get into the hobby and either quit or suffer through a number of terrible brews before they get it right seem to skip over getting the process down.
Except for the Vanilla beans, that was what I was attempting to do..

I figure no matter how this comes out, I will invest in a new pot and try again.

At least most my mistakes I can remedy..
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Old 01-02-2013, 01:25 AM   #23
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Update #2

Got a thermometer to check the temp.. The garage closet is a steady 65 degrees (Recipe calls for 64-72)

So checked in on it and over the day has developed a good 1/4" head on it..

Since my fermentor has a spigot, I couldn't help myself and drained a sample (1 oz)..

If the beer tastes as good as the wort I am in love.. as expected its a bit flat (I was actually surprised to feel a small amount of carbonation in the sample.) The Vanilla was STRONG.. not overpowering, but unlike other porters and stouts I have had that have had hints of Vanilla, in this case there is no HINT of Vanilla.. It's the primary flavor, along with the roasted nutty flavor of the caramelized and roasted barley malts. I did taste the hops, but not over powering, overall it was smooth with a sweet finish.

I know the wort and the final product will taste different, but I feel the overall flavor balance and any "burnt" or acid flavors would be noticeable at this stage, and thankfully I didn't taste any.

The real issue, is that if it comes out really good.. I guess I will have to "Screw up" the recipe again.

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Old 01-03-2013, 02:54 AM   #24
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Update #3

I know krausen resin, is to be expected and that, as someone stated, fermentation ain't pretty.

That said, had a nice 1/2" head on it, abd it was developing dead yeast on the peaks of the krausen, so far so good.

Now at day three the krausen is collapsing, again.. I know this is normal.

BUT, circular patches of blue green growth are now growing on top of the fallen krausen.

I have seen this growth in my kitchen. Its what grows in the coffee maker if my daughter doesn't clean up and empty the pot and coffee grounds after she uses it. It this a sign of a wild yeast or bacteria infection. Or is that what a stout will look like?

Im concerned as I have a lot of extra protein in this batch as I boiled the grain.

If it is infected, do I bottle at my earliest.. drain into a secondary.. or let it ride..?

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Old 01-03-2013, 02:57 AM   #25
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Old 01-03-2013, 11:27 AM   #26
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Looks something like this on top of the Krausen (Picture was the closest thing I could find online and none of the pictures I tried to take show it well)



on top of this



Am I safe to assume something like this would be over active yeast due to the extra proteins and a concentrated wort (Made 2 gallons from a 2.5 gallon kit, and ended with 4.3 gallons instead of 5) or would it be an infection due to sanitation ?

After using the heck out of the search function I am being lead to believe its the first and what I am seeing are "Yeast Rafts". Which would stand to reason as I have a lot for those hungry yeasts to be eating. Normally wouldn't be concerned.. but may garage is no where near as hygenic as the kitchen, the fermentor is in the garage closet with the garage sink (Yes.. it looks like a garage sink.. ) and would dare say a a bit of black mold could possibly in be in the air. That said, it was sealed before it went into the garage.

Also I hear most don't do a secondary, but my instructions recommend it.. so....

With all the gunk in my batch would it behove me to transfer ? or just let it ride and go straight to the bottle in another week ?

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Old 01-03-2013, 12:11 PM   #27
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Relax, don't worry, have a home brew (or a beer of some kind). When it's time to bottle take a taste and you will probably be pleasantly surprised. There's nothing you can do in the meantime anyway.

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Old 01-03-2013, 12:47 PM   #28
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True, I guess at this point, the real question is to secondary or not secondary..?

Told it will clear the beer, and improve finish.

Also told its unnecessary and exposes the beer to more oxygen and infection..

I would think under normal situations where there wasnt so much crap in my beer I wouldnt secondary.. but in this case, it might behove me to do so.

Not only that, it gets me my fermentor back to do a second batch without all the errors So if this one is bad, I will have a back up right behind it.

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Old 01-03-2013, 12:55 PM   #29
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CDGoin
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.
Forgive me if this was mentioned but I didn't have time to read the whole thread. While temperature is an important part of fermentation light is the beer killer. Make sure that your beer is not exposed to light when it is fermenting, aging, or bottle conditioning. The light (sunlight and uv light in particular) will skunk out tour brew and believe me there is no way to "tough it out" and drink it anyways. Fermenting at non optimal temperatures on the other hand can cause of flavors and long term stability problems with your brews however as long as it was not too cold for ales Or too warm for lagers it should be fine.
Lastly steeping grain to long at high temperatures releases tannins in your beers. Tannins will cause a buttering effect ad from what I have read, case your beer to have flavor stability problems over time. However not to fear. Aging your bottles longer can reduce tannins and improve the flavor. I know this from personal experience. I'm not saying Time will magically heal all beer problems but it can help. For your first time it sounds like you did pretty good.

If I may make a recommendation try a porter in one of your upcoming brews. It is a nice dark beer but is typically very malty. I sounds like it would be right up your ally. I may have a recipe or two I could dig up. If you are interested shoot me a PM
Ryan.
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Old 01-03-2013, 01:45 PM   #30
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Thanks.. I love porters and stouts.. and until I get this down I am sticking with extract kits.

The location is in a garage closet. The garage is dark and the closet pitch black.. the garage itself is heated to about 55-60 degrees and isnt opened much this time of year. In the summer the closet stays in the 70s. Its backed up to the house which is heated and insulated, the walls of the closet are insulated from the garage and all three walls are free standing in the garage so they are "insulated" from the exterior wall by the air space in the garage. Above the garage is the master bedroom so it is conditioned and insulated as well. If not for the dirty old car parts, and nasty garage sink it would be perfect.

From what I am gathering, the temp and location is almost perfect for a stout. Currently on day 3 of fermentation and the fermentor is going like mad.. can only imagine how active it would be if it were a bit warmer. Might pop the cap off the bubbler.

I am hoping in the near future to replace the sink in the garage with a sturdier and cleaner one and get a propane setup so I can brew in the garage. One step at a time I guess.

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