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Old 03-23-2014, 04:25 PM   #1
Tomokka
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Hey all!

I am a beginner in brewing beer and was wondering if the members of this forum could answer a few questions for me. I have currently bottled one batch and the second one has been fermenting for about a week.

The first question relates to the batch i have already bottled. It was a muntons nut brown ale extract kit. I replaced sugar with 1 kilogram (2,2 pounds) of muntons dark spray malt. For yeast i used Safale S-04 dry yeast (11,5 grams). I let it ferment in primary for 3 weeks before bottling it. Fermentatiton temperature was about 72 degrees.
The beer has been in a bottle for about 2 weeks now and i have tried it twice. The problem with it is that the taste and aroma are very yeasty. I am not sure if this is because the beer is still too "green" or because there was something wrong with the procedure. The one thing that did go wrong was that I piched the yeast when the wort was a bit too hot (about 84 degrees).

The second question relates to how i should move forward from here. In the future i will hope to make a complete switch to all grain, but i wanna still devolop the basic skills with extracts. I was wondering what people thought about pre hopped kits? As i understand you shouldnt boil pre hopped kits. Because of this i have been thinking of moving to un hopped malt extract kits with maybe using more hops and special grain. Do people suggest going this route or maybe just using pre hopped kits?

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Old 03-23-2014, 05:25 PM   #2
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For your first question, that's a tough one. I guess I would ask if you are sure its yeast you are tasting and not something else. S04 is a high floc'ing yeast so most of it would have settled out assuming you were careful when transferring to a bottling bucket to leave most of it behind.

I find that most (not all) pre-hopped kits aren't all that great. They make beer and some make great beer, but I would want to be in charge of all aspects of the process. So if you plan on moving to all grain, I suggest you move away from pre-hopped kits and more to recipes that require you to add the hops to the recipe. This will give you more control of the flavor of your finished product as well as prepare you for the switch to all grain (where you are responsible for everything).

Good luck ..

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Old 03-23-2014, 05:38 PM   #3
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Well,84F is a bit high to pitch at,but wouldn't kill the yeast. More likely produce off flavors,& maybe that's what you're tasting? Next time,chill the wort kettle down to about 75F,then strain into fermenter. Top off with water chilled in the fridge a day or two before brew day. I start with a boil volume of 3.5 gallons in my 5 gallon BK/MT. I top off to 5 gallons in the fermenter with the now very cold water. It gets the temp down to about 65F,a great temp for fermenting ales. Check out the kits on line that use plain (un-hopped) extract with or without steeping grains & all the hops for those additions. In those kits,you do your own bittering addition as well as flavor & aroma additions.
As for the current bottles,let them sit in the dark at 70F or better for another week or two. That can help carbonation level & flavor. Then give'em a week in the fridge. This'll give them time to develop & settle out any chill haze & compact the trub on the bottom of the bottles for better pours.

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Old 03-23-2014, 06:26 PM   #4
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Thanks for your answers!

I am pretty sure its a yeast smell and flavor since atleast the smell is the same as the wort smelled when it was going through active fermentation. Really sweet yeasty smell and taste.

One of the problems i think i have when moving to boiling extracts is that i only have a 2,5 gallon (10 liter) pot. I was thinking of getting a bigger one when i am closer to moving to all grain, but the problem i have is that i live in Finland and we dont use gas stoves here. We have these crappy electrical ones that can barely boil 2,5 gallons. So I would actually have to drill a hole in the pot and install a heat element to it. I was hoping of going through this step when i am building my mash tun / boiling pot.

So i guess my question is, would it be possible to boil like 2 gallons of wort with the extracts and hops instead of 2,5 gallons that is recommended for example in the brewers best recipes?

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Old 03-23-2014, 08:44 PM   #5
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I use the same 5 gallon,stainless steel stock pot I started with. I moved to partial boil,partial mash biab. I use a cake cooling rack in the bottom of my kettle to keep the 5G nylon paint strainer bag of grains from melting on the bottom. I mash 5-6lbs of grains in 2 gallons of spring water for an hour. Sparge with 1.5 gallons of 170F spring water to get my boil volume of 3.5 gallons. Do all hop additions,adding the extract at flame out. Stir to completely incorporate & cover to steep while getting ice bath ready. I chill to about 75F,topping off to recipe volume with jugs of spring water chilled in the fridge for a day or two before brew day. This gets the wort down to 65F,a good ale temp.

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