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Old 02-08-2013, 09:58 PM   #1
mclaughlindw4
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Default My first beer and the lessons learned

I brewed my first beer using kit instruction. A description of why (I think) it is bad:

Specialty grains - not crushed, i know most kits come with grains precrushed, these were not, nor were there any instructions to crush.

After boil, added hot wort to extra water in fermenter. Waited until it cooled to 90 degrees, no ice bath (took hours). No shaking/aerating, add dry yeast at 85 degrees, wait ten minutes and stir.

OG = 1.050, FG=1.020 (was supposed to be 1.012), two weeks in primary (here is the only thing I didn't do per instructions, which would have had me bottle after a week).

My tasting notes for your reading enjoyment (I am bad at these but thought I would do them since its my first beer):

Aroma – lightly malty with bread yeast and green apple, reminiscent of a bottle redemption center
Apperance – cloudy, hazy, orange/red. One finger head stubbornly fixes itself to the top of the beer. Light carbonation present
Flavor – Sweet upfront, green apple and diacetyl, slightly bitter and sweet to finish with maybe a hint of sour.
Mouthfeel – Sticky
Overall impression – I will give to my drunk friends, or use it to cook

I mostly just wrote this in hopes people might get a kick out of it, but... If anyone would like to chime in on what they think was the offense that most made my beer bad feel free. Seems like it was just a combination of things. I have learned a lot and have high hopes for my next beer all the same!!!

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Old 02-08-2013, 10:14 PM   #2
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The green apple flavor may improve with time. Don't cook with it just yet - at the very least, stick a six-pack in the back of your closet and try it again in a month. You never know!

Right now, this one batch represent the entirety of your experience. But a year from now, you will have lots of other (good) experiences to draw on. Don't worry!

Cheers,

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Old 02-08-2013, 10:22 PM   #3
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+1. It's remarkable how a beer changes with age. Especially that green apple flavor will fade with time as the beer conditions. Wait at least a month before you decide to write it off.

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Old 02-08-2013, 10:30 PM   #4
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Yes yes, I will certainly try more after some more time after all I have two cases! One thing I left out it has been 5 weeks since bottling. And it's not undrinkable as it is now, just not very good.

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Old 02-08-2013, 10:46 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mclaughlindw4 View Post
I mostly just wrote this in hopes people might get a kick out of it, but... If anyone would like to chime in on what they think was the offense that most made my beer bad feel free.
The two most important things I learned between my first and second batches:

1. Temperature control! For most ales, the beer should be within a couple degrees of 65* F; fermenting too warm will generate a lot of off flavors.

This doesn't mean set your house thermostat to 65; the metabolic activity of the yeast generates enough heat to get the beer several degrees warmer than the ambient air. A $20 15-gallon bucket full of cool water with occasional ice infusions will keep that in check.

2. Patience! Give your beer three, four, five weeks before bottling; this will give the yeast time to clean up some funky-tasting fermentation by-products and settle into a nice, compact cake on the bottom of the fermentor, leaving you able to rack the clear, tasty beer from above.
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Old 02-08-2013, 10:55 PM   #6
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The ice water things sounds tricky, but is a good idea. I do have a fermometer I will be using for my next batch which is a saison so I can get away with it being warm. And I do plan on leaving it for longer before bottling.

How often do you check on/add ice to your bath when you use one? morning and night kind of thing? How are you monitoring temp?

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Old 02-08-2013, 11:11 PM   #7
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I rotate out 1 ltr soda bottles approx every 8 hours or so. It depends on your setup (size of tub), ambient air temp and size of ice bottles you use. It's easy for me to keep water temp in tub to 60-62F. YMMV

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