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Old 08-12-2008, 04:26 PM   #1
DJBod129
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Default How I plan to fix my stupid mistake

Background:
First Batch! I just bought an equipment kit, which came with a free beer kit also. Sunday night I followed the instructions that came with the kit and got everything into the primary to start fermenting. I took a gravity reading, and it was on the low side... It was late, I was tired, so I sealed it up and put it in my basement closet to ferment.

Well, it turns out that the gravity was low because I misread an "and/or" as an "or" and neglected to put in the dry ME along with the liquid ME. If I continue to let it ferment, bottle, etc. I would end up with a very hoppy, very bitter "beer" at 2.5% ABV. Boo.

My solution:
I will boil up about a gallon of water, with the DME in it, cool it, and add it to the fermenter and let it work its magic along with what is already in there. It might water the beer down a bit, but at least it will become more like beer, and less like what I imagine drinking cider vinegar to be....

Question:
Should I also add more yeast to it as well? I was thinking that I might add some more ale yeast to it (since the kit had a dry yeast packet, and the store gave me a Wyeast smack pack, which I used). Thoughts?

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Old 08-12-2008, 04:51 PM   #2
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If it is happily bubbling along, I'd say go ahead and add the DME but use less than 1 gallon of water if you can. Just enough water to get it to dissolve. That way you won't dilute your batch. It'll be ok. I wouldn't add anymore yeast. You may want to wait until the fermentation winds down and then add the DME mix, but I am not sure how much of a difference it will make.

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Old 08-12-2008, 04:55 PM   #3
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Sounds good. Boil that up in some water, enough that it can dissolve but a ton. It's probably about 3# so I would use 3/4 to a gallon of water. Make sure to let it cool before adding it to your primary. Hold off on more yeast for now. If you find in a week it isn't fermenting out you can think about it then.


EDIT: Too slow on my part! I would recommend adding the DME mix as soon as you can though, while the yeast are very active.

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Old 08-12-2008, 05:30 PM   #4
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Also - take notes on what you are doing - who knows - it could be FANTASTIC. You really never know - mistakes can turn out pretty nice sometimes.

It'll be interesting to see what happens. Yeast will be a little confused with new ingredients and O2 I would think.

Yeast are awesome little things!!

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Old 08-12-2008, 06:53 PM   #5
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Thanks for the constructive, and prompt feedback...

I will use about 1/2 to 3/4 of a gallon of water (because it is 2# of dry extract) during the boil, maybe adding a liitle more to shock it down in temperature a bit.

But it will have to be later tonight (real life interfering with my new hobby), but it will be almost exactly 2 days in the fermenter, so that should help with my note taking...

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Old 08-12-2008, 08:02 PM   #6
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Just don't get discouraged - my first few batches always something was a little off. too much Hops at the wrong time or this or that.

It all takes practice. Even the mess I made the first time gets better every batch.

There is a learning curve mentally AND physically - how many times have you poured 3-4 gallons into a carboy in your life.

Even bottling has been a learning curve - how to sit on the floor - getting the lighting right so you can see the beer and so on.

Have fun.

When I got into all this I was so sick of the "Don't Worry Have A Home brew" thing. But then I realized MAN - you DO worry a lot.

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Old 08-14-2008, 02:31 PM   #7
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Update:

Tuesday night after work (~2 days after initially making the wort) I boiled the missing DME in 2.5 Quarts of water for an hour, then added 0.5 quarts of half-frozen water to help cool it quickly. Once temp was @80F, I popped open the fermenter and added the new malt. I took my big spoon, stirred it for about 3 minutes (til I started to get tired of stirring). Put the top back on, returned the airlock (after refilling with fresh water), and put it back in the basement closet.

I checked in on it the next day and it was bubbling pretty well, but yesterday it wasn't bubbling really at all.

One more question:
I was thinking of bottling it next week Wednesday, but is that too soon? the recipe said after 7-10 days fermenting it could be bottled. I'm thinking I might want to let it work a bit longer than that, but I am not sure if that would benefit it at all.

Another question:
When I was stirring it up, I noticed there was A LOT of stuff at the bottom (trub, I think it's called). Probably 1-2 inches thick (hard to tell exactly with a spoon as my measuring device). IS that normal? I cant see through it (yes, I'm using a plastic pail... no flames please, since I wanted to spend as little as possible to start)

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Old 08-14-2008, 02:46 PM   #8
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1)
I would give it at least 7-10 after the last time you added fermentables. It would be best if you had a hydrometer and took 3 days of readings. If the readings are the same each day chances are its about done (make sure its below 1.02 or so).

2)
The trub is normal and is composed of settled hops, yeast, and precipitated proteins. Your beer would benefit from a little more time spent in the bucket. It would help the beer clear off.

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Old 08-14-2008, 03:57 PM   #9
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What he said- wait. You just added some fermentables, so allow it to finish.

Next time you make beer, remember not to stir or aerate or mix it up or slosh it around after fermentation starts. The yeast know where to find the fermentables, so no need to aerate the heck out of your beer when you've been so careful to protect it so far.

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Old 08-21-2008, 01:23 AM   #10
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Tomorrow I will be bottling this, and I have a questions regarding my equipment. I have a racking cane, siphon hose, a siphon valve, and an auto-siphon (my parents swear by this, so I spent a little extra to get it)

So I don't feel like a complete idiot I did a little test run (siphoning water out of a big cup on my counter to another cup on the floor) this evening. I hooked everything up as it made sense to me (no instructions, so I used my enginerd mind for the powers of good) with the auto siphon in the "wort" it's output hooked to the siphon hose, that linked to the siphon valve... I successfully got the "wort" from container to container. But since I have a racking cane, I can't help like feeling I should use it somewhere... Does anyone see where/how/why I could use the racking cane too?

Also, when I get the beer into the bottling bucket, is the trub OK to pour down the drain? Will it cause problems with my disposer, or anything? Really, I just want to make sure that I don't have to bury it in the backyard, or something like that.

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