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Old 01-04-2009, 02:34 PM   #1
elm33
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Default My Sample tasted awfully bitter

I have not homebrewed in several years. When I had just gotten into the hobby before and made 2 batches some things occurred which removed me from the hobby (I had to travel overseas for a long time)

Now I am back giving it another go.

I currently have a SN Celebration Ale clone cooking up. I am a little concerned though as I believe it is going to be quite dry. My starting gravity was 1.066. I tasted the fermenting hydrometer sample that I have kept back this morning and we are at 1.009 after 4 days in the primary and the beer is still bubbling the airlock every second. I was meticulously sanitary using star san (don't fear the foam). I used US-05 because frankly, when I did my original two batches, I did one with dry yeast and one with Wyeast.. The dry yeast beer seemed to just do a lot better. I have read so many great things about US-05 I thought I would give it a spin.

In my haste to get another batch going I went ahead and racked the IPA to secondary even though I knew it was not completely finished fermenting (buying craft beer everyday is killing me, I gotta get several batches in the works so I can stop feeding the commercial breweries).. I did this by siphoning and tried to introduce no bubbles or oxygen.. Well apparently I roused the yeast in the process because it blew my airlock off of my Carboy. I improvised a blow off tube with my siphoning hose, a #10 bung, and some painters tape and we are fine now, but I am afraid this is going to drive the final gravity even lower.

I have added in the beersmith report. The grains were steeped at a steady 154F for 30 minutes then temp was raised to 170F and grains were removed. Brought to boill. 4 lbs DME added, then late addition method with 2 lbs DME @ 20 minutes, also recipe calls for the following dry hopping:

1oz chinook 14 days
1oz cascade 14 days
1oz centennial 14 days

Type: Partial Mash
Date: 12/24/2008
Batch Size: 5.50 gal
Brewer: David
Boil Size: 3.82 gal Asst Brewer: Elvie
Boil Time: 60 min Equipment: Brew Pot (4 Gallon)
Taste Rating(out of 50): 35.0 Brewhouse Efficiency: 75.0
Taste Notes:

Ingredients

Amount Item Type % or IBU
4.00 lb Light Dry Extract (8.0 SRM) Dry Extract 43.2 %
2.00 lb Light Dry Extract (8.0 SRM) Dry Extract 21.6 %
2.00 lb Pale Malt (2 Row) US (2.0 SRM) Grain 21.6 %
0.75 lb Caramel/Crystal Malt - 80L (80.0 SRM) Grain 8.1 %
0.50 lb Cara-Pils/Dextrine (2.0 SRM) Grain 5.4 %
1.00 oz Chinook [11.10%] (60 min) Hops 41.4 IBU
1.00 oz Centennial [9.10%] (10 min) Hops 6.8 IBU
1.00 oz Cascade [5.40%] (10 min) Hops 4.0 IBU
1.00 tsp Irish Moss (Boil 15.0 min) Misc
1 Pkgs Safale US-05 (Fermentis #US-05) Yeast-Ale



Beer Profile

Est Original Gravity: 1.063 SG
Measured Original Gravity: 1.066 SG
Est Final Gravity: 1.015 SG Measured Final Gravity: 1.009 SG
Estimated Alcohol by Vol: 6.3 % Actual Alcohol by Vol: 7.4 %
Bitterness: 52.2 IBU Calories: 294 cal/pint
Est Color: 11.9 SRM Color: Color



Thanks!

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Last edited by elm33; 01-04-2009 at 03:05 PM.
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Old 01-04-2009, 05:44 PM   #2
ArcaneXor
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Your process looks ok (although i think you steeped when you were supposed to partial mash, but your temperatures look reasonable and your low final gravity indicates that you got good conversion). You may have picked up some astringency from tannins in the process. Highly hopped beers also tend to be fairly harsh until the flavors have had a chance to blend and mellow for a bit, so I wouldn't be too concerned at this point.

I would have let the beer sit on the yeast for a while longer, but what I would do in your case is simple let it sit for a few weeks in the mid-60s, occasionally taking (and tasting) hydrometer samples and monitoring its progress. Once it is completely fermented out and has had a chance to clear, you can decide if you like the beer as-is, or whether some adjustments are necessary (e.g. malto-dextrin to boost the body, or something like amber malt extract for a little extra body and a bit more malt backbone to stand up to the bitterness). If you add extra malt extract, you'll want to do a very concentrated boil. Software like Strangebrew Java (free) or one of the commercial software packages may be able to guide you as far as how much extract to add, etc.

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Old 01-04-2009, 06:40 PM   #3
elm33
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Hi there. Thanks for the response. I was initially under the impression that the steeping and mashing were the same thing. I understand you need to have some "base" malt i.e. 2-row in your mixture to consider it a "mash" (I think) or to achieve some sort of starch > sugar conversion. I think where I may have errored here is I did not sparge the grain bag other than within the original wort. I just let it run @ 154 then raised the temp to 170 and removed it and then dipped it in and out of the wort several times finally letting all remaining fluid within the grain bag drain back into the wort (wow that took a minute)

.. I agree I should have let it sit on the yeast a bit longer but in an effort to "build up the pipeline" I was anxious to get another batch fermenting.. I have 2 5 gal carboys but one 1 fermentation bucket. Once I moved this beer to the carboy it blew the airlock off within an hour, so I jury rigged a blow off. All seems to be well today and its no longer trying to blow off so I believe I will go back to the airlock.

I think I may bottle condition it with malt extract, perhaps that would get a little of the malty flavor back in vs corn sugar, which I understand ferments out very clean and does not really contribute to the flavor profile.

Thanks for the response

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Old 01-04-2009, 07:19 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by elm33 View Post

I think I may bottle condition it with malt extract, perhaps that would get a little of the malty flavor back in vs corn sugar, which I understand ferments out very clean and does not really contribute to the flavor profile.
The amount of priming sugar (whether corn, table, DME, honey or something else) relative to the original grain bill is very small, so you shouldn't expect a major flavor contribution from it. If you want to "fix" a beer that doesn't quite taste right, it's easiest to just do some calculations and add additional fermentables or adjuncts to the carboy (after boiling and cooling them as usual) and let those ferment out; then bottle.
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Secondary: Orange Blossom Mead, Flanders Red I
Kegged: Fat Man Porter w/ 1469, Fat Man Porter w/ 005, Centennial Falcon w/ Conan, Centennial Falcon w/ Denny's, Barrel-aged Fat Man Porter, Belgian Dark Strong
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Old 01-05-2009, 04:19 PM   #5
elm33
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Thanks for the suggestion. That sounds like a good idea. If I determine I am unsatisified with the body of the beer perhaps I'll just boil out a pound of DME and let it ferment out through that to improve the body.

Thanks again

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