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Old 08-01-2013, 12:32 AM   #1
jmarko579
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I started brewing about 2 years ago and made 3 beers right out of the gate. They turned out as follows:

1. Not bad
2. Drinkable
3. Awful dirt water

Disillusioned and about to have my first child I gave up. Clearly I didn't have what it took. Now that my child is a little older and I have a little more free time, I decided to give it a go again. I got the Speckled Heifer partial mash kit from Norther Brewer and had at it. I didn't have a great plan, kinda winged it and was pretty sure this was going to turn out the same or worse as the others.

Fast forward a few weeks and decided to try one after it had been in the bottle for a week. I cracked the bottle and gave it a whiff. It smelled....good? I poured, it poured well with good carbonation. It tasted....good? I actually got the bottle out and looked it over to make sure that I didn't grab one of the craft beers out of the fridge by accident. I am so amazed and overjoyed I don't know what to do with myself. Needless to say this is the worst news my wife could have received.

Anyway, what happened? My technique definitely wasn't any better. I fermented it warmer than I should have for sure. Is partial mash a little more forgiving? Was the style more forgiving?

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Old 08-01-2013, 12:40 AM   #2
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Who knows. It depends on the recipe, brewing conditions, ingredients, method, tools, phases of the moon (not usually) just be glad it did, and get back into it! Once you tighten up your method, learn all you can (and then some more), and figure out that moon thing, then you might be able to piece it together. Until then, try to brew as often and SWMBO and the kiddo allow.

I've got a 16 month old and a wife who loves and misses me when I brew, but I still push the envelope to brew as much as I think I can get a way with.

Oh yeah, it doesn't help that my dad is bugging me to brew every weekend!

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Old 08-01-2013, 12:44 AM   #3
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It's a dad thing.

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Old 08-01-2013, 12:50 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jmarko579 View Post
Needless to say this is the worst news my wife could have received.
Congrats!

I have no idea why this worked better for you, other than to say that NB's kits are generally pretty good if done according to their instructions.

I laughed at the comment about your wife. Mine supports my brewing, but more than once has given me the rolled eyes as she sees dollar signs for new hardware I'm going to want.
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Old 08-01-2013, 01:17 AM   #5
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I guess I will just have to stay on the horse and try something else to see how it turns out.

Wife is fairly supportive, she just hates the smell. Like despises it. So a burner may be in my future so I can do it outside.

Thanks!

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Old 08-01-2013, 01:28 AM   #6
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I've done 7 batches now, only one of which has been outstanding - the rest have been either 'meh', or outright undrinkable. I don't know yet what I'm doing wrong, as I think I've done everything by the book. All of the Pale Ale's I've done have had this malty-syrupy bite to them that is quite sharp and unpleasant.

Congrats on doing a really good beer. If you figure out what you were previously doing wrong then kindly share - I might be doing the same thing.

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Old 08-01-2013, 02:12 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jmarko579 View Post
I guess I will just have to stay on the horse and try something else to see how it turns out.

Wife is fairly supportive, she just hates the smell. Like despises it. So a burner may be in my future so I can do it outside.

Thanks!
My wife is a BIG fan of the "turkey fryer in the backyard" brewing method. Big, big fan. It's not as much the smell for her, as it is me not being in the kitchen at all.
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Old 08-01-2013, 02:25 AM   #8
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Probably the best way to learn to brew while avoiding mistakes, besides reading "how to brew" is, IMHO, hook up with your local home brew club. They really helped me out in the beginning.

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Old 08-01-2013, 02:54 PM   #9
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After some 9 PB/PM BIAB beers,I do think PM brews are cleaner tasting with flavor/aroma complexity linked to that. The different malts can be tasted more easilly being made fresh. A subtle difference sometimes,but def better.

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Old 08-01-2013, 08:18 PM   #10
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congratulations

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