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Home Brew Forums > Home Brewing Beer > Beginners Beer Brewing Forum > My hydro readings, and some nasty tasting wort
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Old 02-03-2009, 01:33 AM   #1
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Default My hydro readings, and some nasty tasting wort

First off you guys here are great. Trial by error would take a long time to get things right.
So I wrote about my 1st batch and nothing bubbling, I added more yeast after about 4 days and still not much action. I found out that the plastic buckets from Canada, have been causing a lot of brewers pains in their nether regions because the lids don't seal tight. The buckets top is rounded, and the lid, where it seals is flat.
Anyway, I racked my beer to a secondary and took a hydro reading, if I read it right it was 1.011. I'm not sure what this means. I'm making an IPA with Coopers malt and Bries malt and two dry packs of yeast, one coopers, one Munters. But I tasted the wort after I took the reading and man did it taste nasty. Bitter not sweet at all. Not burnt or anything, not real yeasty but not good. I'd sure appreciate some feed back on the hydro reading and the nasty taste. I guess I'll leave it in the secondry for 2-3 weeks?, keep testing and tasting every week or so? What do you guys think.
Thanks for all your help.

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Old 02-03-2009, 01:35 AM   #2
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1.011 is probably close to the final gravity for your beer. Give it some time to condition, and it should turn it fine.

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Old 02-03-2009, 01:35 AM   #3
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The hydrometer reading seems ok, so don't worry about that.

The beer shouldn't taste great, but shouldn't taste nasty either. It should taste like mediocre flat beer.

What does it taste like? harsh, astringent, sour, overly bitter, etc?

What was the recipe along with the technique you used?

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Old 02-03-2009, 06:27 AM   #4
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Sounds like you made beer. An IPA is hoppy and will be bitter, but will quickly mellow. Most beer improves dramatically with a couple of weeks of conditioning followed by carbonating.

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Old 02-03-2009, 04:17 PM   #5
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I dunno about conditioning really mellowing the beer...my finished beer always tastes like a carbonated version of whatever comes out of primary, but then again, it stays in the primary for several weeks. However, if you took your reading out of the spout at the bottom of the bucket (if yours has one), beware because it will pick up nasty trub. I did this on my first batch and thought my beer was going to be terrible.

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Old 02-03-2009, 04:52 PM   #6
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I agree with a previous poster, "nasty" is an ambiguous term. Some people think overly hoppy beers like IPAs taste like soap (I love 'em). Try to pinpoint exactly what you are tasting. Here is a chapter from John Palmer's How to Brew that lists common off flavors and the culprits:

How to Brew - By John Palmer - Common Off-Flavors

If your OG was on target and your FG is 1.011 and you saw none of the vigorous fermentation and top cropping usually seen with ale strains, I would assume...

Bacteria (or mold). Yuck.

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Old 02-03-2009, 05:20 PM   #7
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If IPA is a style that you haven't tried much of before, I can see how it could seem 'nasty' to you.

As to airlock activity, some will tell you that an airlock is never an accurate gauge of fermentation - only a hydrometer is. I disagee. A hydrometer is an absolute measure of fermentation, but a properly secured, bubbling airlock in a system with no leaks is a sure fire sign of fermentation as well. Unfortunatley for you, your lid didn't make a good seal, rendering your airlock mostly useless.

1.011 sounds about right. Give it a couple of weeks, then bottle it off and enjoy it in a bit over a month.

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Old 02-03-2009, 06:32 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ohiobrewtus View Post
As to airlock activity, some will tell you that an airlock is never an accurate gauge of fermentation - only a hydrometer is. I disagee. A hydrometer is an absolute measure of fermentation, but a properly secured, bubbling airlock in a system with no leaks is a sure fire sign of fermentation as well.
Bubbling in the airlock is a positive sign that you either have active fermentation, or possibly that you had fermentation at some point over the last couple of days (bubbling can continue after fermentation stops, as CO2 is released from the beer).

But the opposite is not true. A lack of bubbling does not mean there is no fermentation. It can also mean you have a leak, or that the CO2 is being absorbed by the beer. Looking for bubbles can prove a positive, but not a negative. And the negative tends to be the more interesting thing to look for: hence the need for a hydrometer.

+1 on waiting to let the flavor mellow.
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Old 02-16-2009, 06:57 PM   #9
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Thanks for all the replies. This beer was made with 3lb Coopers hopped IPA malt, and 3lb Bries Sparkling Amber malt. I followed the directions in 'the book' explicitly, and also got some tips from Larry, at Larrys Brew Supply in Kent, WA. The beer fermented for 1 1/2 weeks and then into a secondary fermenter for 1 week. I bottled it yesterday, it tasted quite bitter. I have been drinking IPA's for years but have never tasted anything quite so bitter. I like a beer with a bit of bitterness though. l'm hoping that it will mellow in the bottle a bit. Do you think I should wait a couple weeks to try it?

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