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Old 11-14-2012, 07:48 PM   #1
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Default First ever homebrew complete, need advice

So, I brewed my first batch of beer relatively without incident. Bought the Ferocious kit from Midwest. Pitched with wyeast liquid, fermented in the mid 60's. It finished a bit higher than the top of the range, 1.02 instead of 1.018. I am thinking that's because I ended up slightly low on the water volume. In total from brew to keg where it is now, about 20 days.

It tastes pretty drinkable, a nice hoppy IPA. Problem is, I think I am getting some yeasty flavors in there. I didn't do the 3 days of readings to ensure it was truly finished, only 2. (I was antsy to get to drinking it, impatient for my first batch)

If I let it sit in the keg at 36 degrees, will the yeast flavor maybe mellow out? I mean if not, I'll just drink it as is, and chalk up some experience. If it will though, I can wait.

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Old 11-14-2012, 08:01 PM   #2
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Sounds like you did pretty darn well for your first batch! One thing I would say is to make a yeast starter or pitch more than one packet of liquid yeast. If you are experiencing a yeasty flavor it is probably a slight off flavor produced by some fermentation issue and since you have your temps right it sounds like you probably just under pitched as far as yeast quantity which caused them to stress out a bit. Try yeastcalc.com and make sure your pitching rate is adequate on future batches and you should have a little more success.
As for waiting or not it is up to you but the longer you wait the more everything fades including yeasty flavors and hop flavors...
If you really want to hone in your skills you could brew this same recipe again only changing a few things (more yeast) to try and improve your process and you will really be able to see if what you change is effective. Cheers

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Old 11-14-2012, 08:06 PM   #3
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how many pints did you pull? The first one will be yeasty as heck, so discard the first 4 oz of beer beforehand. You might have had yeast still in suspension, but two readings is reasonable (did that this weekend on a beer I needed to get kegged). Next time if you're doing two, space them out so there's 2 days between them. You'll probably get more yeast settling out with every day it sits cold, so the flavors may improve.

Now, if it's an off flavor, not "yeasty" but more like fruity or something like that, it is probably due to underpitching. Pitch more than one or make a starter. Very easy to do.

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Open log Fermenting and gas-can secondary?? I am planning my next brew right now!!
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Old 11-14-2012, 08:16 PM   #4
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Thanks for the responses. I've pulled maybe 48oz or so from it, and it's a pretty minor thing. I am sure the yeast were stressed, I thought I had a stuck fermentation, I had to rouse the yeast and bring out of the water bath to get it to more like 68 degrees to get the gravity down from 1.04. Next investment for me is going to be a wort chiller, and I plan on building a stirplate for yeast starters. I was tempted to wash this current yeast for the next brew, but not sure I want to jump there yet, especially if they might just be tuckered out already.

Next up, a graham cracker ale!

http://thebrewhut.com/brewblog.php?p...ewmaster&id=31

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Old 11-14-2012, 08:21 PM   #5
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Also give the beer time to clean up & settle out clear or slightly misty after FG is reached. The flavor will be cleaner & the beer clearer.
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Old 11-14-2012, 08:27 PM   #6
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Sounds like you did well, depending on the yeast I sometimes get that yeasty flavor when it's still green and just plain too young. In fact I just cracked a brew with that yeast flavor which ill wait out another week or two to let it all come together. So basically Im saying, you already have decent beer, wait a little and let it get good!

by the way, definetly look into starters for liquid yeast so you're sure to pitch the right amount

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Old 11-14-2012, 08:28 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by unionrdr View Post
Also give the beer time to clean up & settle out clear or slightly misty after FG is reached. The flavor will be cleaner & the beer clearer.
Yeah I did. Cold crashed it for about 48 hours. Yeast cake was pretty solid at the bottom, along with all the trub. It was heavily dry hopped, so there is quite a bit of hop haze, but of course that's not an issue. Another problem is, that I chose for my first brew a clone of something I have never tasted.

So, heck it might be pretty close to what it is supposed to taste like, an I'd never know!
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Old 11-14-2012, 09:14 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jrodder View Post
Yeah I did. Cold crashed it for about 48 hours. Yeast cake was pretty solid at the bottom, along with all the trub. It was heavily dry hopped, so there is quite a bit of hop haze, but of course that's not an issue. Another problem is, that I chose for my first brew a clone of something I have never tasted.

So, heck it might be pretty close to what it is supposed to taste like, an I'd never know!
No, what he meant was let it go a few days at ROOM temp, AFTER it's reached stable gravity, so the yeast can clean up fermentation byproducts, THEN cold-crash it.

Check the "Shamelessly cheap DIY Stirplate" thread. I think I spent $35 including shipping and it was as easy as taking four nuts off, gluing a washer on, and slapping some magnets on the washer. I'd recommend a 2L flask to start.

Also, get familiar with yeastcalc.com and mrmalty.com. Both great tools to tell you how much yeast you need no matter where you got it from (harvested, new vial, dry pack, etc.)
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Originally Posted by davekippen View Post
Open log Fermenting and gas-can secondary?? I am planning my next brew right now!!
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Old 11-14-2012, 11:27 PM   #9
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Okay, got it. Great advice here. I am tasting some more tonight, and maybe it's not yeasty so much as partially phenolic. I have a hard time believing this beer is supposed to taste like this, lol. I'll make the adjustments and try again. I guess I assumed that since that was the amount of yeast given for a kit, that it was enough to pitch and be ok. Lesson learned!

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Old 11-15-2012, 04:48 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jrodder
Okay, got it. Great advice here. I am tasting some more tonight, and maybe it's not yeasty so much as partially phenolic. I have a hard time believing this beer is supposed to taste like this, lol. I'll make the adjustments and try again. I guess I assumed that since that was the amount of yeast given for a kit, that it was enough to pitch and be ok. Lesson learned!
I hope yours tastes better than mine.

I brewed the Ferocious for my second batch. Gravity samples tasted okay. The hop flavors and aroma came through pretty well. Bottled it and tried one after one week and it was alright. Tried one after two weeks and it was horrible...had an almost licorice taste to it. Will try one again this week so we'll see what happens, but I'm not optimistic.

The consensus here is that adding all the LME at the beginning of the boil wasn't the best idea and I probably scorched some and caramelized the rest. So I'm thinking that I'll order the kit again, doing a full boil and using the late extract addition hoping for a much better result. Or I may just say screw it and attempt this Pliny the Elder clone I just bought ingredients for because I've never had Pliny and the reviews are pretty great.
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