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Old 08-06-2011, 03:35 AM   #11
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Jayman931, I use nylon hop bags with pellet hops all the time without issue.

I will say that the kits I used from the LHBS for my initial brews were pretty good. But I quickly graduated to making my own recipes. While this allows me to make exactly what I want, it also means I have no one else to blame if it turns out different than I wanted/intended.

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Old 08-06-2011, 04:40 PM   #12
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Thanks for all the responses. To answer some of your questions:

- I steeped the specialty grains for about 30 minutes at 150 degrees.

- I used hop pellets, but did use a steeping bag. I think next time I will just throw the hops right in.

- I added Irish Moss at the end of the boil for clarity.

- I left my first beer (amber ale) in the primary for 2 weeks, second (cream ale) in the primary for an entire month.

YEAST: This is where I think I might have messed up. On my first beer I used a Wyeast smack pack, but only let it sit for about 8 hours before I pitched it. For my second beer, I made a yeast starter the day before. I didn't really notice any extreme foaming on top. I pitched the starter, but DIDN'T shake it up before I did. There was a lot of yeast left on the bottom of my growler. However, my OG and FG were about right. 0.050 to start and finished at about 0.010.

- I let the beers sit in the bottles for 3 weeks. Once I opened them, the carbonation was fine, but that flavor that you get on the sides of your tongue w/ any beer is not there. I only taste it on the tip.

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Old 08-06-2011, 05:16 PM   #13
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If your beer fermented completely I doubt the yeast is to blame. What temperature did you ferment at? Aside from that, the only other problem I can think of is possibly old extract.

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Old 08-06-2011, 05:44 PM   #14
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I have to agree that you likely rushed the process due to the instructions. Maybe too much top off water to compensate for trub/hop loss (which I don't do). Give the brew whatever time it needs to get down to a stable FG. Then 3-5 days to clean up & settle out more.
Then,if it tastes good for being green,then go on to bottling. 3 weeks @ room temp is good,4 is better for aroma & flavor to develop better as well as carbonation.
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Old 08-06-2011, 06:12 PM   #15
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When it comes to adding 'top off' water, I add my cooled wart to the carboy, and then I top off w/ tap water (straight from the faucet) until I get it up to the 5 gallon mark. Are you suggesting that maybe I'm adding too much water to my wart?

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Old 08-06-2011, 06:37 PM   #16
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Measure 5 gallons & put it in the fermenter. See where it comes up to. Sometimes,those graduations are off. The symptoms you describe point to that as a possible cause.
**Oops,wrong # of gallons,edit!
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Old 08-06-2011, 06:55 PM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by unionrdr View Post
Measure 6 gallons & put it in the fermenter. See where it comes up to. Sometimes,those graduations are off. The symptoms you describe point to that as a possible cause.
A 1.050 OG beer shouldn't be watery and flavorless. I exclusively use my buckets for measuring volume and have no problems with it.

How much priming sugar did you use? Low carbed beer always seems a bit watery and thin to me.
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Old 08-06-2011, 07:08 PM   #18
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Yeah,that's true too. Forgot about that one. My Whiskely Ale was much like that at 22 days in the bottle. Needed more aging time. Won't hurt now to try that...
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Old 08-06-2011, 08:41 PM   #19
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My first two kits were Midwest, and both were great. My stout was a little watery at first (or at least not nice and full like I had hoped), but after a month in the bottle was stellar. I'd also vote it is a carb issue, not yeast. How long have they been in bottles and did you chill for at least 48 hrs before drinking?

Edit: Just saw 3 weeks. Another week might help. Be sure to chill for a couple days! Good luck!

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Old 08-08-2011, 01:50 PM   #20
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Carbonation has never been an issue, however, I cracked a few open this weekend (from my first batch) which was brewed about 3 months ago (amber Ale) and they tasted the best they ever have. So, unfortunately—looks like I'm going to have to wait 3 months to drink my beer rather than 1

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