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Old 01-25-2013, 06:59 PM   #1
Sween
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Default Help with my 90min IPA...

--Noob disclaimer--

I signed up for this forum a few days ago, and have already learned a laundry list of mistakes I made... I realize that. This was my first homebrew. It is a learning batch, but hopefully will still turn out tasty. I will not make the same mistakes again. But in an effort to save this batch, I'm going to ask "what would you do?"...

--Summary of mistakes--

Lesson Learned #1 - Don't just "follow the instructions" on the the kit especially regarding fermenting and bottling times...

Lesson Learned #2 - B Brite is not a sanitizer, it is just a cleaner.

Lesson Learned #3 - Always have enough ice on hand to chill properly.

Lesson Learned #4 - If using a wired digital thermometer don't let the entire wand dunk in the wort (past the end of the probe)... it kills them.

Lesson Learned #5 - Patience is a virtue.

Lesson Learned #6 - RDWHAHB

--The situation--

90 min DFH IPA clone (extract w/ steeping grains) kit from my LHBS. I realize that this probably was not the easiest kit to start with, but it seemed like the tastiest. This is perhaps my favorite beer of all time.

My HB starter kit came with B-Brite, and no Star San... The kit came with no descriptions, so I assumed (wrongly) that it was a sanitizer. So long story short, I did not sanitize any of my fermenting equipment. Maybe not a big issue since this was the first time it was used. (I'm relaxed... and no I don't think I have any infection)

Steeped my Thomas Fawcett Amber at 155. Brought to boil (3 gallon boil). Added extract (8 lb LME Alexander's Pale, and 3 lb DME Muntons Light I think). Hopped every 10 mins for 90 mins. Used Centennial (they subbed this for Simcoe I think), Amarillo, and Warrior. Chilled the wort but ran out of ice, so I ended up putting the pot in the snow outside...

Got it down to about 85 before I pitched... Yes, I think that was too high. But I also brewed this on New Years Eve, and it took muuuuch longer than I thought it would... and it was getting late, and I was going to a party. The yeast package (Wyeast American Ale) said it was okay at 90... so I pitched. No starter. OG came in at 1.085. (Target was 1.081, I now think I didn't add quite enough water to hit the target OG exactly).

(I now realize that I may have done a job on my yeast by throwing it in at high temperature, high gravity, and no starter)

Fermenting took place in a 6.5 gal Truebrew bucket in a closet at about 60 to 65 degrees... (I now realize this temp is a little low) After 2 days it was going crazy. Foam bubbling out of airlock... Cleaned it a few times.

Excited to brew a different kit, I rushed back to my LHBS and bought a glass carboy, bottles, and star san. After a week I racked the 90IPA to the carboy leaving the trub behind. FG was 1.050 at this time.

The kit said to ferment for 2 weeks... So I checked FG at 2nd week... 1.035. I opened up the door and turned the heat up to almost 70 and wobbled the carboy to stir things up. Let it sit for another week. Krausen weakened but did not fully drop. After 3 weeks FG was 1.031...

So I bottled. (3 weeks total ferment) Target FG was supposed to be 1.015 or 1.018 or something like that... I was impatient, because I wanted the carboy empty to make yet another kit...

I'm not worrying. A little concerned maybe, but it tasted good at bottling. Really good... although a little sweet maybe. The bottles are currently sitting in the same closet at 60-65. (Put some in a growler too).

Now... what would you do? I was thinking about popping a bottle after a week just to make sure I don't have bombs... I would rather not dump the batch back into a carboy (especially since the carboy contains a Belgian Wit now). How would I even know if I did have bombs? Could I just pop them open, release the pressure, and then re-cap? OR of course I could just RDWHAMB and do nothing...

Like I said, I won't start worrying until bottles start exploding... but I'd also rather not have that happen. What would you do?

Thanks for listening...

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Old 01-25-2013, 07:04 PM   #2
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Just in case, I would put the bottles and especially the growler into some sort of a blast-proof enclosure. Growlers aren't designed for carbonating.

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Old 01-25-2013, 07:08 PM   #3
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Just in case, I would put the bottles and especially the growler into some sort of a blast-proof enclosure. Growlers aren't designed for carbonating.
...And I guess I can add that to the Lessons Learned list!

Good to know. I guess I will be racking what's in the growler into bottles when I get home tonight...

I had a friend who would ferment cider in a growler, so I guess it did not even occur to me.
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Old 01-25-2013, 07:12 PM   #4
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Never occurred to me either, but there have been several threads on here on this subject and I have come to be a believer.

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Old 01-25-2013, 07:14 PM   #5
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What prompted you to get a glass carboy? Was that part of your instructions?

You already had a fermenting bucket, why did you need to empty the glass carboy to make another kit? Just use the bucket.

I would be more worried about the growler than the bottles. If the growler doesn't explode, then I wouldn't expect the bottles to. (I believe) Growlers aren't for priming, only for filling with already carbonated beer.

Keep checking the bottles, you can always dump a bottle in your hydro tube to take a reading. They can take a lot of pressure, but if they start getting out of hand, relieve some pressure by prying the tops off a little, or stick them in the fridge.

The problem with emptying a bunch of small bottles into a large container to finish fermenting is that the beer will get a lot of exposure to oxygen. Especially with how hoppy the 90 min IPA is (assuming), you really want to limit exposure to oxygen.

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Old 01-25-2013, 07:15 PM   #6
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Never occurred to me either, but there have been several threads on here on this subject and I have come to be a believer.
It seems thick, but I don't want to take a chance of it exploding... (especially since it cost me almost $30!)

Any idea why my FG wasn't dropping? Temperature? Over-taxed yeast?
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Old 01-25-2013, 07:18 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by Sween

It seems thick, but I don't want to take a chance of it exploding... (especially since it cost me almost $30!)

Any idea why my FG wasn't dropping? Temperature? Over-taxed yeast?
You racked off of the yeast before it was done. I think you are supposed to wait until you hit FG to rack to secondary.
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Old 01-25-2013, 07:20 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by m_stodd View Post
What prompted you to get a glass carboy? Was that part of your instructions?

You already had a fermenting bucket, why did you need to empty the glass carboy to make another kit? Just use the bucket.

I would be more worried about the growler than the bottles. If the growler doesn't explode, then I wouldn't expect the bottles to. (I believe) Growlers aren't for priming, only for filling with already carbonated beer.

Keep checking the bottles, you can always dump a bottle in your hydro tube to take a reading. They can take a lot of pressure, but if they start getting out of hand, relieve some pressure by prying the tops off a little, or stick them in the fridge.

The problem with emptying a bunch of small bottles into a large container to finish fermenting is that the beer will get a lot of exposure to oxygen. Especially with how hoppy the 90 min IPA is (assuming), you really want to limit exposure to oxygen.
I bought the glass carboy because #1 - I was reading somewhere that they were "the best"... although I now know that is debatable (if not untrue). And #2 I emptied the carboy to make yet another kit (3rd kit!).

I have 3 going now... Trappist ale in the bucket, Belgian Wit in the glass, and the IPA in the bottles. I' was very anxious to get some variety going. (And I'm borderline obsessive when it comes to new hobbies...)


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You racked off of the yeast before it was done. I think you are supposed to wait until you hit FG to rack to secondary.
I think there was still a lot of yeast in suspension... It developed a new krausen.
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Old 01-25-2013, 08:39 PM   #9
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... I'm borderline obsessive when it comes to new hobbies...
I hear ya brother, I hear ya.

You made several fairly insignificant mistakes; the only serious one was moving the beer before it was done. Big beers take time - the more, the better - you can't rush them into bottles. And DFH is a big beer, no doubt about it.

So what would I do? I suppose I'd give them 3 weeks in the bottles, then check the carb level. If good, I'd chill them all and throw a party. I would worry about letting the batch sit around too long. Give your guests aprons to wear, and keep a mop handy.

Cheers!

P.S. I would worry less about the growler than the bottles. The cap on the growler will probably vent the pressure before it gets dangerous. But I could be wrong. Drink 'em early!
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Old 01-25-2013, 08:50 PM   #10
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Originally Posted by Sween View Post
I bought the glass carboy because #1 - I was reading somewhere that they were "the best"... although I now know that is debatable (if not untrue). And #2 I emptied the carboy to make yet another kit (3rd kit!).

I have 3 going now... Trappist ale in the bucket, Belgian Wit in the glass, and the IPA in the bottles. I' was very anxious to get some variety going. (And I'm borderline obsessive when it comes to new hobbies...)




I think there was still a lot of yeast in suspension... It developed a new krausen.

I will not ever own a glass carboy again. One slip and this is what happens. They are slicker than snot when wet.
imag0138.jpg   imag0139.jpg  
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