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Old 04-18-2005, 12:00 AM   #1
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Default recipe for disaster...?

hi everyone,
I just tried to make a batch and i can safely say it will be a disaster. I was just wondering if there was anything I could do now to help it or avoid any more idiotic antics.
Had a 1.7kg can of gooey tar like malt extract(i think its called that, the instructions didnt make it clear) which i added to some hot water and some normal sugar - about 750gms, and put that much into my 'fermenter'(an old water bottle(19litres). Then i topped it up with about 17 litres of cold water and stirred. The mixture after all this was cold, not ice cold but cold. Someone told me honey was good for it so i squeezed some in. Then I put a little 5 gm packet of yeast in on top of it all. I then took a rubber glove and covered the bottle opening, securing with a rubber band. I put a few slits in the glove. I have it in a room with the heater on full blast.
I am worried the yeast is dead to start with. Any ideas?

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Old 04-18-2005, 02:50 AM   #2
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Originally Posted by Charlie Papazian - The New Complete Joy of Home Brewing
It was inevitable that someone would leave their porridge, malted barley flour or bread in the rain. The dissolved sugars and starches were fair game for yeasts in the air. Soon, the yeasts began to ferment the "malt soup." When the mysteriously bubbly concoction was consumed, it was with pleasant suprise that the household felt a mysterious inner peace with their surroundings. However crude the process may have been, the first "beer" had been brewed.
My suggestion, read this book! Your batch sounds scary but hey, figure how the batch from the quote above must have looked/smelled/tasted!

If that batch comes out horrid and you are truly interested in brewing beer, don't be discouraged by what you now have. Read up on 'modern' techniques and try again. I'm on my fourth batch as a home brewer and I am loving the hobby already (and my first batch that I am currently consuming).
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Old 04-18-2005, 04:03 AM   #3
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I agree. Read a book aimed at new brewers like the Papazian books. You're just doing too many things wrong to really give pointers. You need to read up on the proper way to brew beer in the first place.

A couple things: boil the wort before fermenting, don't add sugar, buy an airlock, and you need to sanitize all tools that come in contact with the beer. Oh, and honey doesn't ferment very well at all.

This is really one of those things that you need to start out with a basic foundation of knowledge if you want to have any measure of success. Good luck, and welcome to the forum!

Oh don't give me none more of that Old Janx Spirit
No, don't you give me none more of that Old Janx Spirit
For my head will fly, my tongue will lie, my eyes will fry and I may die
Won't you pour me one more of that sinful Old Janx Spirit
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Old 04-18-2005, 04:47 AM   #4
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Originally Posted by Janx
Oh, and honey doesn't ferment very well at all.
Well then how does mead come about? I realize that brewing with exclusively honey based wort can cause problems (yeast need some nutrients from malt to really do their thing well), but I can see no reason adding a bit of honey to a batch wouldn't ferment well enough (although honey MUST be boiled, or at least heat sanitized, as it can introduce lots of wild yeast/bacteria off flavors). I thought that honey actually ferments TOO well for some beers, like if you want to have a more full bodied brew, not too much attenuation etc. I often add a bit of honey, up to a pound, to many of my lighter beers like pale ales and whatnot, specifically to lighten the body and boost the alcohol level. It might add a bit of additional sweetness, but in those heavily hopped beers it doesn't seem to throw off the ballance. Anyway Open-book, adding honey to the batch probably won't be its downfall, but the fact it wasn't boiled first might do some weird things. And did you add any hops to the batch? Without some sort of bittering, the brew will probably turn out unpleasantly sweet, especially if you added plain sugar. But everybody's gotta get their feet wet somehow, and I'm sure you will learn plenty from this batch that you can apply to future brewing. Good luck, and have fun!
O, guid ale comes, and guid ale goes,
Guid ale gars me sell my hose,
Sell my hose, and pawn my shoon -
Guid ale keeps my heart aboon!
-- Robert Burns
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