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Old 07-31-2013, 01:54 AM   #1
garrett19
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Default First Batch in the Bottle

First off, thanks for all the help that is here at HBT.com. I have been trolling for the past month or so while I worked through my first batch.

Here is my noob question. I just bottled a wheat beer that I bought from high gravity in Tulsa OK. (I am from there, but live in NC).

My first time brewing beer was a comedy of errors, but I hit all the steps and time hacks that came with the ingredients and water levels.

The recipe called for the following:
5 lbs of Wheat LME added in two steps during the boil.

The following were steeped for 30 minutes at 150F.
.5 lb Brewers Malt
.25 lbs Light Wheat Malt
1.25 lb flaked wheat

for the Hops, the kit came with .20 oz magnum with 1 tsp of irish moss finings.

A long story, but I had to get new yeast, which I cant remember which I used, but I picked it up at my local homebrew shop.

Anyway, I followed the recipe to a T, but got so caught up, I never got a good OG (target OG from the recipe is 1.045 to 1.048)

The batch went into the primary and fermented without issue for one week before I moved it to the secondary. I was a little concerned about putting a wheat beer in a secondary fermenter as they are normally a little cloudy.

Anyway, it sat in there for two weeks and then I prepped for bottling.

Primed and mixed, the bottling went smooth as silk and now I have two cases conditioning in a rubbermaid bin to prevent a mess with a blown off top (it will be my luck that will happen.)

Anyway, I poured myself a glass of beer from the bottling bucket and gave it a taste. It was very watery and light tasting. I had no body to it, however, I could tell that it did have the ABV I was looking for.

I couldn't determine ABV b/c I never got a good OG, however the FG I measured on bottling day was 1.030 or so (however, I think that my hydrometer is a little hard to read) and I think I messed up the temperature conversion.

I followed the instructions to the letter, watching my times and water amounts, and I am just curious as to what I may have done wrong. The instructions matched what I have read here and in two books about home brewing (How to Brew by Palmer and Papapzian's book).

Did I put too much water in with my wort and that is why it tastes light and watery? The beer taste is actually pretty weak.

Any help you can give me would be great.

Thanks again for all the help!

Garrett

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Old 07-31-2013, 02:04 AM   #2
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What was the reading before your temp conversion? That seems way off.....

Don't judge until it's carbonated and chilled.

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Old 07-31-2013, 02:07 AM   #3
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Smizak, honestly I don't remember what it was before the temp conversion. I had to add 1 b/c the temp was around 76. I know this is warm for bottling day, but I just couldn't keep it much lower than 72-74 during the secondary. I live in NC, so my AC has been barely able to keep up.

And after I posted thread I did a refined search and found several threads that help to put me at ease. I swear I am not a forum noob, I just forgot about the search function!

Garrett

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Old 07-31-2013, 02:41 AM   #4
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If your FG was around 1.030, your fermentation was not complete. Adding water to top off your volume is normal and probably not your concern here. The ABV you sense is probably phenol alcohol from high fermentation temps. That flavor is not indicative of ABV. I have only been brewing about 8 months and that is my opinion. That being said, stick with this. Learn. Be patient. Your yeast may not have been viable or something to cause incomplete fermentation. I don't know what you read that put you at ease. Also, I have never seen a recipe that only called for .2 oz of hops total, even if high AA bittering hop only. The lack of bitterness and the watery flavor may be due to this as well. The good thing is, you came to the right place. There are many people like me to help you out. Learn to use the hydrometer. Just because you followed the instructions doesn't mean you met your goals. You have to measure that. Maybe find a LHBS. Good products, good knowledge. Hopefully I misunderstood and your beer is going to be fine. Cheers and welcome.

Also, don't worry about the temp of your hydrometer at this point while your new. Those differences are minimal at this point. Your FG should have been closer to 1.010 to 1.018 off the top of my head. Hope this helps.

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Old 07-31-2013, 01:03 PM   #5
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Either you completely misread or misinterpreted the FG reading, or it's a damn good thing you put those bottles in a bin! If your gravity really was 1.030 or anything close to that when you bottled, there will be bombs. That would mean there is still a ton of sugar left in solution and the yeast will eat that, combined with the priming solution, and overcarb dramatically. Now, if you did everything right - pitch the right yeast, ferment properly, etc, but just didn't read the final gravity right, you'll be fine. Use your hydro and check the gravity of some water and see if you can read it properly.

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Old 07-31-2013, 01:07 PM   #6
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You need to learn how to properly take gravity readings, and make sure you do it from now on. It's important. It's really the only way to be assured that fermentation is done and that it's time to bottle - or that everything went ok. Your FG should have been 1.010-1.014

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Old 07-31-2013, 01:17 PM   #7
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Also,1 week primary for the average home brwer isn't long enough for the beer to finish fermenting completely. It's likely that when you racked it to secondary,it stalled at that 1.030 you measured. Toss out the instructions,as their time tables are typically quite short to hurry you into buying another kit.
Leave the beer in primary till it's at FG before racking it anywhere.

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Old 08-15-2013, 06:21 PM   #8
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Well after bottle conditioning for over two weeks, i am happy to say that the batch turned out great. The taste good and the ABV seems acceptable. Thanks for the help. I am going to look at double checking my hydrometer and getting better at reading it, if not replacing it.

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Old 08-15-2013, 09:37 PM   #9
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Told ya so.....

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