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Old 02-01-2009, 07:57 PM   #1
jonbrout
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Default Good but Watery. Input needed for next batch.

Alrighty then.. Here goes.

I purchases a Scottish Ale Extract kit from Midwest. The kit (5 gallon batch) came with I believe was 3 pounds barley extract, specialty grains, brown sugar, and 1 oz hops added 30 minutes into the boil i believe. (i could tell you the exact details but it doesn't seem to show what's in the kits on the site, wtf? Here's the link anywho Scottish Ale w/ Scottish Ale Activator Wyeast 1728 :: Midwest Supplies Homebrewing and Winemaking Supplies) I steeped the grains at 155 degrees for the maximum time recommended (30 minutes). Fermentation started off well, bubbling a lot within the first few hours and lasted a week or so. I didn't take a hydo reading before primary however it's been in primary for 3 weeks at ~68 degrees. I transferred to secondary yesterday, tasted a sample, and took a hydro reading. Hydro reading was 1.010 which is = like 1.5% ABV... lame...but this is the FG stated on the instructions (but not on the site) so i guess i hit the nail on the head. Wish i knew the FG specifications before i bought this. Anywho, the taste was actually pretty decent, nice aroma, however it was indeed watery. About a half inch of trub....

Now, I'm pretty certain there is nothing i can do about the watery part at this point (if there is tell me) but I am going to be brewing another kit i bought from them that so happens to magically have the same FG of 1.01 as well. It is an Irish Red Ale including the following:

6lbs Barely Extract
1oz Cascade
1oz Fuggle
Munton's Brew Yeast.
and i didnt have a scale but i believe 2-3lbs of specialty grains.

I'm worried that this batch will also turn out watery like the first and perhaps another type of yeast may work better. So I would love some insight on why this brew is watery and likewise any recommendations on how to make the Irish Red Batch not...at all...I plan on ordering some stuff and just needed to know before hand.

Thanks for your time.

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Old 02-01-2009, 08:03 PM   #2
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If your current SG is 1.010, that doesn't tell you your ABV at all. You need to know your OG to figure the ABV. I think you're looking at the potential alcohol scale on it, which isn't useful for most beer makers. I use it for wine, since it tells you the amount of POTENTIAL alcohol you would have if all of the sugars ferment out. In beer, the sugars aren't all fermented out. So, ignore the PA scale and look at the SG scale.

If you tell us the OG, we can tell you the actual ABV.

Incidentally, it's watery because it's not carbonated.

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Old 02-01-2009, 08:08 PM   #3
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Are you trying this before it's carbonated? Without carbonation, beer tends to feel watery. Also, it looks like you bought the Scottish Light Ale. Did it come with Malto Dextrin? That will help with the mouth feel.

Midwest has a great paper catalog with much better descriptions than are on the web site. The catalog gives you the ingredients and a bittering scale so you can check it out before you buy.

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Old 02-01-2009, 08:21 PM   #4
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Thanks for the fast replies. Yes it came with Malto Dextrin, but it was already added during the boil, sorry i forgot to mention that. You're saying it will become A LOT less watery when it's carbed? Perhaps i should just wait to brew the Irish Red kit until i find out what this one turns out like? I'd hate for it to be watery too in the end. Ummm the SG for the Scottish Ale kit says it's suppose to be 1.038, but like I said I didn't take it before primary.

I'm correct in saying that the FG is 1.01 right? I took it 3 weeks into the primary. Yooper said SG so perhaps i'm just confusing myself or wrong completely.

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Old 02-01-2009, 08:32 PM   #5
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You have to know your OG and FG to figure out how much alcohol is in the beer.

Commonly used abreviations in reference to specific gravity readings.

OG=Original specific gravity (after the boil before fermentation has begun)
FG=finished specific gravity (after fermentation is complete)
SG=specific gravity

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Old 02-01-2009, 08:38 PM   #6
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the gravity being 1.010 sounds correct, if the gravity went from 1.038 originally to 1.010, it should be about 3.5-4% abv.

and yeah, it should taste less watery when carbed.

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Old 02-02-2009, 01:16 AM   #7
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Should I order any additional ingredients for the Irish Red to buff it up or do you all think it should be just fine like it is? I like strong full bodied beer.

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Old 02-02-2009, 01:19 AM   #8
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http://www.bjcp.org/2008styles/style09.html#1d
An easy-drinking pint. Malt-focused with an initial sweetness and a roasted dryness in the finish.
Sometimes brewed as a lager (if so, generally will not exhibit a diacetyl character). When served too cold, the roasted character and bitterness may seem more elevated/
Moderate caramel malt flavor&sweetness, occasionally w a buttered toast or toffee-like quality.Finishes with a light taste of roasted grain, which lends a characteristic dryness to the finish.Generally no flavor hops, although some examples may have a light English hop flavor.Medium-low hop bitterness, Medium-dry to dry finish.Clean&smooth.No esters.
ABV: 4-6%

If you're making an Irish red, those are some of the style guidelines.

If you want to make a "bigger" beer, why not order one, instead of trying to ramp up and totally change what you have? That's like saying, "I have the ingredients for lasagna. How can I make it into ravioli?"
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Old 02-02-2009, 01:29 AM   #9
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lol, thanks for the reply yooper, and yea I get what you are saying. These are my first two brew kits i've purchased and rather than waiting 3 months to find out if i'm going to have a subpar beer I just thought i'd get some opinions.

out of curiosity what are some recommendations for a "bigger" beer. I'm only doing extract atm and I'm down for trying anything pretty much, excluding chocolate malts.

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Old 02-02-2009, 01:33 AM   #10
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I've made about 30 Midwest kits, including both the Scottish and the red, and never had one of them turn out disappointing. I think you are making a judgment on one flat, green beer you bought from them. Four weeks from now make your judgment on how well your beer turn out.

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