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Old 08-22-2013, 09:34 PM   #1
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Default So I drank this…and is this okay?

This is not really a "did I ruin it" thread because I don't really seem to have that mindset; however, when I made my first hefeweizen (and first brew ever) I couldn't take the OG because upon removing the hydrometer from the package to sterilize, it was shattered. The local brew store said I should just assume that the OG is what the directions said. I'm sure there are gasps happening all over right now, but it is what it is. I was mid-boil, there was little I could do.

That said, I brewed Saturday night, August 17th and decided to take the first reading today. I guess this is a part that I overlooked and didn't realize the size of the vessel I needed to take a reading. I thought a tall glass would be fine. Sterilized everything and set the hydrometer in. You know the rest. It is too shallow for the hydrometer to float. Bygones, I can take a reading tomorrow when I get a test tube type container.

When in Rome, I looked at the beer, it smelled decent enough and took the temp. It is higher than I think it should be 80º. I strained it and took a sip. It tasted like flat warm and somewhat watered down hefeweizen.

tl;dr

Here's a pic. This is from the top of the fermentation bucket. Does this look like it should? Is watered down hefeweizen a characteristic of beer that hasn't fermented enough?

Thanks And if you're thinking that I should look at the other threads, I did, which is why I'm asking. I wasn't sure if this matched what I've seen.

img_5069.jpg

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Old 08-22-2013, 09:44 PM   #2
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I think it looks all right. I'm a relatively new brewer, but the floaties look like maybe yeast clumps.

Flat beer will taste 'watered down' just because it's flat - there's no carbonation to help carry the aroma into the nose which is a major element of flavor.

As for OG, if you brewed with extract, put all the ingredients in, and topped off to the right volume, I think the person at the local brew store was right. It's really, really hard *not* to hit OG when brewing with extracts.

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Old 08-22-2013, 09:48 PM   #3
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Basically, if it smells like beer and tastes like beer then there should be no concern. Even in a bad beer there isn't really anything that will make you sick or kill you It basically looks to be a normal Hefe with yeast floaties in the sample.

Definitely verify the final gravity before bottling or you will risk bottle bombs!

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Old 08-22-2013, 09:54 PM   #4
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Looks fine, you pulled beer from active fermentation so there is yeast, hops and other junk floating around. That will all settle out. I agree with your homebrew shop advice, if you used extract you likely hit your target on OG and that assumption would be the most reliable method without an actual reading at the time you pitched. So, the usual practice for a lot of us when taking readings is to use a sterilized item to pull the sample (i.e., ladle, glass measuring cup, wine thief, etc) and then put the sample into the plastic container that your hydrometer is stored in, filling it up about 2/3 of the way to the top. Then you take your hydrometer reading in there and don't bother to return the sample to the fermenter. This way you don't risk contamination as much, and don't need to worry about sanitizing everything. The added bonus is you get a chance to taste the wort to see how it is coming along. It will taste like crap at first, but as you get the hang of it all you'll start to see how the brew develops from your OG samples (very sweet) to your FG samples which will be much closer to your finished product. Its helpful for understanding the process, plus kinda fun to get a sample.

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Old 08-22-2013, 10:22 PM   #5
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Just spray your hydrometer with a starsan solution and drop it in the bucket. Why waste beer?

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Old 08-23-2013, 03:02 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ster View Post
Just spray your hydrometer with a starsan solution and drop it in the bucket. Why waste beer?
Well there's that way! :-)

Thanks for all of the suggestions. The hydrometer came in a container much like this:


I think dropping it in the bucket is a good idea but I may as well buy the tube so I can take a sample.

My temp was about 78º though. It's sitting in my kitchen and that doesn't get direct sunlight. I haven't read yet, but I wonder if I need to get that temp down somehow.
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Old 08-23-2013, 03:17 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hello

Well there's that way! :-)

Thanks for all of the suggestions. The hydrometer came in a container much like this:

I think dropping it in the bucket is a good idea but I may as well buy the tube so I can take a sample.

My temp was about 78º though. It's sitting in my kitchen and that doesn't get direct sunlight. I haven't read yet, but I wonder if I need to get that temp down somehow.
Yes im pretty sure you need to drop that temperature for your next brew. Im pretty sure its too late for this one since after one week, (especially at a high temp like 78*) your primary fermentation is most likely done or very close to done. Hefeweizens have a lot of estery flavors so i dont think this is the worst style to ferment at 78 but you will most likely have a banana bomb. even more so depending on the yeast you used. 78 is almost a saison like fermentation temp. Next brew you make. Id recommend cleaning out the floor of a closet if possible where it will stay very dark and buy yourself one of the big oversized buckets or a garbage pail and fill it with some water. Then youll want to save some water bottles afteryou drink them, fill them with tap water, freeze them and then add to you bucket/pail as you see fit to get the temp youre looking for. Its called a "swamp cooler" there are a few threads that go into more detail but this is the basic idea. For hefeweizens id say the low 60s would be ideal.

Hope this helps and FWIW any first batch that doesnt get infected and successfully turns into beer is an accomplishment in my book. You dont have to make a great beer your first time out. Just get your technique to improve with every batch and make sure you keep diligent with your sanitation practices and the good beer will come.

Good luck cheers

Dave
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Old 08-23-2013, 03:27 PM   #8
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what is meant by the term banana bomb?

my first beer class is next friday and i'm going to make a wheat beer

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Old 08-23-2013, 03:32 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cwbys4evr View Post
what is meant by the term banana bomb?

my first beer class is next friday and i'm going to make a wheat beer
Fermenting too warm makes fruity, often banana tasting beer.

FAR from desirable. I would have bet that fermenting at 80F would make banana beer for sure.
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Old 08-23-2013, 03:52 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cheezydemon3 View Post
Fermenting too warm makes fruity, often banana tasting beer.

FAR from desirable. I would have bet that fermenting at 80F would make banana beer for sure.
Depends on preference. I'd much rather have a banana hefe than a clove hefe.
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