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Old 04-10-2012, 06:42 PM   #31
BrewinHooligan
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Originally Posted by mychalg9 View Post
So far Ive brewed two extracts and 3 all grain batches. The last AG batch is still in the fermenter (I'm kind of scared to bottle it), but the first 4 beers have basically sucked. I too am pretty discouraged about the whole thing. I feel like I am very well read about the processes, and each time I am confident the beer will turn out good but it still sucks. And then I research more and find something that I think may fix the problem. So now I am contemplating another beer (a cheap easy one) to see if I have finally fixed my process.
For a cheap, easy all grain brew I suggest a SMaSH (single malt, single hop). Use store bought filtered water (not R/O) and a clean yeast like US-05 and ferment between 60-65f. Simple recipes usually make better beers.
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Old 04-10-2012, 06:49 PM   #32
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Yeah Ive done a SMASH with Cascade and Vienna or MO and it turned out crappy. I came to the conclusion that my boils are not hard enough so I have a turkey fryer that I am waiting to try out on my next brew, which will probably be another 2.5 gal SMASH recipe

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Old 04-10-2012, 06:51 PM   #33
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I want to quote everyone, but it's just too much. Thanks for all the kind words and encouragement.

As far as cheating on the group and doing one solo, I've been thinking about it a lot and I have no qualms with doing that. I have all the equipment, sans carboys. Might need to grab another one.

The hot temps thing is bothering me. Do I really want to spend a week keeping it in an ice bath? I guess if I want good beer I need to.
Without a doubt, the two most important things to brewing good beer are temperature control during the fermentation process and appropriate yeast pitching rates. Proper sanitation is a given - addressing those two things will make the biggest difference in the product of your brew days.
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Old 04-10-2012, 08:17 PM   #34
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Originally Posted by OClairBrew

For a cheap, easy all grain brew I suggest a SMaSH (single malt, single hop). Use store bought filtered water (not R/O) and a clean yeast like US-05 and ferment between 60-65f. Simple recipes usually make better beers.
+1000 and they are very very good and complex
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Old 04-10-2012, 11:34 PM   #35
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When I lived in Seattle, I was fortunate to have very good LHBS with some partial grain recipes. From the very start, mine have ranged from good to great (for my palette and my friends comments...who knows whether they're really competitive.) The worst beer I made was from a kit.

Most of my variability has come from variable hops acidity--I only recently started to track and adjust my hops for those variations.

I read the whole thread and couldn't tell whether you were kegging or bottling. I started at kegging. IMO, much of what can go wrong happens in the bottle. Kegging eliminates this variable. Dry hopping in the keg is easy and effective too.

I am a bit more cavalier than many about "sanitization." Yes, I wash the heck out of my gear, and run a very tidy kitchen. If you know any doctors, especially any infectious disease folks, they'll tell you that modest soap with plenty of clean running water is what creates sanitary conditions. Real breweries resort to chemicals because they are doing clean-in-place with their pipes, kettles, etc. that they can't wash as easily as we can wash our small fermenter buckets.

Now that I live in the south, I have had to adapt a temperature controlled fermentation solution. I had an old under-counter wine cooler and rigged the Johnson Controls temperature controller. So far, so good.

Good luck.

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Old 04-11-2012, 01:42 AM   #36
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My second all grain batch was a Vienna/Northern Brewer smash and I was really happy with it. The first batch I really was thrilled with, especially since it was my own recipe, was my Breakfast stout which was my 8th batch overall and my 5th all grain.

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Old 04-11-2012, 03:08 AM   #37
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My Vienna/Northern Brewer SMaSH was my 1st AG and I am beyond thrilled with it. The two are a match made in beer heaven! It is incredible how something so simple with so few ingredients can be so complex in flavor.

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