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Old 01-16-2012, 06:24 PM   #1
irishbrew26
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Hello, i just made my first two brews, one an american pale ale, the other a belgium wheat in which i am going to add orange in a second fermentation.

In both brews, the beers turned out much darker than expected, and both had low original gravities (supposed to be 1.05 and were 1.04). I was wondernig if anyone might know why this might be??

I also have a question about my second brew of the belgium wheat with orange. I was supposed to leave a gallon out of the first fermentation and add the last gallon when i heat the orange. Should i take a gallon out after the first fermentation, use it to heat the orange, and put it back in? Or should i take out a gallon, use regular water to heat the orange, and put that into the second fermenter??

Thanks!!!!

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Old 01-16-2012, 06:39 PM   #2
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I'm also new at this with only an american pale that I just bottled. I thought it was dark too but in reading in differant places I think it's supposed to clear/lighten up as it sits in the bottle. But who cares, it's the taste that matters, right?? IMO

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Old 01-16-2012, 07:09 PM   #3
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This is where late extract additions are a big help. Lighter color & cleaner flavor. I add the orange zest the last 10-15 minutes of the boil myself. If you have dried zest,& held it out till secondary,maybe soak it in some vodka till it re-hydrates. Then pour all through a hop sack into secondary. Then tie off the sack & drop in it & reseal.
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Old 01-16-2012, 07:13 PM   #4
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In general, beers lighten up over time - well, not really lighten up so much as have all sorts of things fall out of suspension. When these particulates are in suspension it makes the beer look darker. Also, beer poured into a glass will look lighter than it looks in a bucket/carboy - it's an optics thing.

I assume these were extract batches? Were they partial boils? If so, getting a good OG after you top off with fresh water is difficult because of the different densities of the wort and the fresh water. The fresh water just sits on top and no matter how much you think you mixed it up, you almost never get it thoroughly mixed. If this was an extract batch, your true OG is likely right around your expected OG.

The whole orange thing sounds weird to me. I would not pull beer out now to boil it - I can only imagine what this would do (not to mention drive off all the alcohol that your yeast were nice enough to put there). In what form is your orange? Dried peel? I might soak it in some vodka for a few days before dumping it in. I suppose you could boil it in some water, but a gallon seems like an awful lot and you would be seriously diluting your beer. You might be OK just dumping it in as is.

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Old 01-16-2012, 07:23 PM   #5
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Just going to piggyback off this thread rather than start a new one since there are thousands of 1 or 2 new question threads...

1. What is the best way to install an airlock? I know it should be simple, but when I tried to drill a whole in my bucket lid, I broke it. I'll get another one, but is there an easier way to do it?

2. Shouldn't my auto-siphon flow freely after a couple pumps? I tried it with water and had to keep pumping it to get liquid to flow through. Is this normal?

Thanks!

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Old 01-16-2012, 07:28 PM   #6
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I make sure I get a lid with the grommet already in it. Lacking that,use a dremel with a small router bit to make the hole. Your auto siphon might be suckin air somewhere. Mine takes 2 or 3 pumps to get going.
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Old 01-16-2012, 08:02 PM   #7
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Ahh I didn't see any lids that already had a hole and grommet. Guess I will keep an eye out for one of those since I don't have a dremel saw. Right now i'm just using seran wrap .

Thanks for the tips

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Old 01-16-2012, 08:02 PM   #8
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Auto-siphon should only take a few pumps and then flow on its own. Sounds like yours isn't working correctly. CHeck that it's not cracked or otherwise not letting air in somewhere. I've also found that if you use tubing with too large a diameter the siphon has a difficult time maintaining itself. Even if you use a hose clamp to ensure that no air is getting in. If your autosiphon came with tubing this probably isn't the issue though.

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Old 01-16-2012, 08:53 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JLem View Post
Auto-siphon should only take a few pumps and then flow on its own. Sounds like yours isn't working correctly. CHeck that it's not cracked or otherwise not letting air in somewhere. I've also found that if you use tubing with too large a diameter the siphon has a difficult time maintaining itself. Even if you use a hose clamp to ensure that no air is getting in. If your autosiphon came with tubing this probably isn't the issue though.
That might be the problem, it didn't come with any tubing so I bought some...it fits fairly snug, but possibly not as much so as it should. I'll look for a better fit if there's no crack anywhere, which I don't think there is
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Old 01-16-2012, 08:54 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SasquatchSmith View Post
Ahh I didn't see any lids that already had a hole and grommet. Guess I will keep an eye out for one of those since I don't have a dremel saw. Right now i'm just using seran wrap .

Thanks for the tips
My LHBS carries both. Even the online sites give a choice of with or without Grommet. And a "dremel" is also known as a moto tool. you know,the electric dye grinder sort of tool all the model shops carry? Even power tool sections of stores have them. I even wore out a dremel mini mite portin & polishin a set of SB heads.
Anyway,They should have a lid with a grommet in it. Drilling flexible plastic with a drill bit is tough at best. A piece of 2x4 to back it up with should make it easier. Or a step drill. I've seen folks use those. But most impoertantly,don't hog it. Let the tool do the work.
Every noob at Ford always tried hoggin the parts together with the industrial type power/neumatic tools we had. gotta let the tool do the work. And while twere,if you don't see something,ask. I do & get what I can't see/find.
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