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Old 07-12-2012, 07:31 PM   #1
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Default First beer batch, and a little confusion...

Ok, so I startet my first batch of beer. I used one of those hopped malt extract kits from the brewstore. "Brewmart Mexican Cerveza" I also added some local malt extract and some flavoring tettnager hops to take it to next level. I did that because my brother brewed one of those kit beers once for christmas, and while it was drinkable, the flavour was kind of booring...

So what I did was this (Following the instructions of the can)

Boiled 4 litres of water
Dissolved the malt extract from the can in the water
Dissolved 0.5 kg of my local malt extract in the water (The can said sugar, but I used this malt extract instead)
I made some tea from 10g of the tettnager hops and let that sit for 15 minutes.
Then i added the hop tea, and filled it with fresh water up to 22 litre mark on the frementing bucket.
Finally I added 10 grams of hops directly to the wort and took a gravity meassure => 1.056
I added the enzyme and yeast as directed, closed the lid and mounted the airlock.

Now comes the confusion. On the can it says to let the beer ferment for 3 days, then bottle. To me that sounds strange, because when I make wine, the wine will ferment for at least a week or two in the primary stage. After three days the beer was still bubbling like crazy, and the yeast has not dropped to the bottom, so I let it sit a couple of more days. Now after a week, the bubling has toned down quite a bit. So I took a gravity meassure => 1.010 but it was cloudy as hell, and the yeast has still not fallen down.

Should I let it sit longer? Or should I add something to stop fermentation and clear it like wine? I did a taste test, and it tasted pretty good. Very hoppy with a crisp dry start, and a smooth slightly malty finish. It doesn't taste like Corona, Sol or Modelo, but it did taste more like a Peroni. The cloudiness bothers me, because even though I'm not affraid or opposed drinking yeast, my friends are - and since beer is not made to be consumed alone I need to clear it up somehow.

Any tips?

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Old 07-12-2012, 07:34 PM   #2
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Let it sit for another week or two and hopefully it will clear. Cooling it down will also cause it to clear faster.

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Old 07-12-2012, 07:38 PM   #3
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It's definitely going to still be cloudy. You can add finings, but easiest would be time. You could bottle and once carbed, place in the fridge for a few weeks and it should clear eventually.

I agree it shouldn't matter if it is clear or cloudy, but understand your friends might be put off. Maybe use it as an opportunity to educate them.

Congrats on your first beer too. Sounds like you did a good job.

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Old 07-12-2012, 08:12 PM   #4
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Thanks guys!

I'll give it another week, and do another meassure and taste test - hopefully more flavour has developed. If it tastes good, I'll rack it and cool that container down to see if it clears up. Then I'll bottle / keg (still undecided) it and try to get as little sediment as possible into the keg/bottle. If not I'll give it another week and revisit the whole thing

Does that sound like a plan?

I allready have my next batch planned out - I'm going to use some different malts from my neighbour's farm. He grows wheet and barley. So I'll try to cook my own wort using local hops. And I'll add some honey from my uncle's farm. I think it will be more like an ale so I'll order some ale yeast online. Since my beer bucket is allready being used for my first beer, I was thinking I would use one of my glass carboys from my winemaking hobby. Is that ok? Or is it a sacrelegious act against the goods of beer?

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Old 07-15-2012, 09:33 PM   #5
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Ok, so I took another gravity meassure. It was at 0.990 - this is looking to be some strong brew... Clearly not done fermenting. I did take the oppurtunity to take out a couple of litres and bottle them just to see what happens. I also kept a glass for myself to taste to see if I need to add something to adjust. I also wanted to see how cloudy it was. I was starting to fear somekind of infection. Luckily there were no signs of infection. Just a ring of hops around the top of the bucket, and some tiny particles floating - my guess is either yeast or hop fragments. Smell was quite nice, very hoppy and fresh - nothing indicating infection. So I chilled a pint for six hours today to see if the cold would clear it more and to taste.

The pint had some sediment, but didn't look any more clear after being chilled. It didn't taste bad though. Very fresh, hoppy, with a fairly faint bittersweet aftertaste, and an almost lime like aroma at the finish. The smell is also quite nice, very fresh and crisp, not at all as bready as I was expecting. The cold flat beer went straight down, and really left a pleasant effect I think my friends will approve - even though it is pretty unclear. The taste is much more developed now, and does not resemble Peroni any more. It doesn't resemble the Mexican beer I was trying to copy either, well.. it might taste somewhat like Bohemia, but much fuller. Mexican and American beers have this slightly "watered" taste - which I really like - that this brew does not have. This is much more like central/eastern european style beers. Not what I hoped for - but very very very good nontheless

Now I hope the carbonation process in the bottles will work, the rest of the brew will go into a keg and be force carbonated - which is what I will use for my friends in a couple of weeks.

Check out the pictures, nice color - just a pity it is not that clear. But who really cares when it tastes great?

first-beer2.jpg   first-beer.jpg  
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Old 07-15-2012, 11:54 PM   #6
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Too late but you really should wait until fermentation stops before you bottle or you may end up with bottle bombs.

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Old 07-23-2012, 12:58 PM   #7
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Just opened my first chilled bottle. It tastes very nice, has carbonated nicely - not to heavy carbonation, but enough to give some foam, and it bubles when it sits in the glass. The taste is quite nice! I think me and my friends will enjoy it on my birthday party. Very nice hoppy aroma, good balance of bitterness over the malt taste. And it has a lot of dryness, and it's is quite alcoholic. FG was 0.980 so that puts it at about 9.9% so it is a pretty strong brew - at least by Norwegian standards

The final result was also quite clear! Cooling it down, and letting it carbonate cleared it up quite nicely.

Thank you for your help guys I most definately will be back for more advice, once I get my next batcht starting. I'm thinking of making a porter...

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Old 07-23-2012, 02:26 PM   #8
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I'm slightly confused, so maybe somebody else can help clarify something for me.

You say that the final gravity was 0.980, but I thought it was very unusual for beer to get even close to 1.000. The beers I've brewed so far (about a half dozen batches) have all finished above 1.008 for a FG.

You mentioned that you've made wine before. I don't have my hydrometer at hand right now, but I remember there being separate markings for wine and beer. Is it possible you were reading the wine markings, or using a hydrometer that was made specifically for wine? And if so, would that mean the calculation of ABV would have to be adjusted to be accurate?

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Old 07-23-2012, 05:46 PM   #9
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[QUOTE=signpost;4272603]I'm slightly confused, so maybe somebody else can help clarify something for me.

You say that the final gravity was 0.980, but I thought it was very unusual for beer to get even close to 1.000. The beers I've brewed so far (about a half dozen batches) have all finished above 1.008 for a FG.
QUOTE]

I'm lost, too. mine always finish at least 1.008, and all the recipes I have seen show at least that. Should also be higher for this beer since the OG was pretty high. I wonder if the hydrometer is off - it happens sometimes.

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Old 07-23-2012, 05:51 PM   #10
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Specific gravity is specific gravity, no matter what liquid you are measuring. You can check the accuracy of your hydrometer with distilled water at whatever temp it is calibrated to (usually 60F)

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