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Old 09-19-2012, 11:08 PM   #1
prince49
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Default Temperature effect and first brewing experience

So here's how I "screwed up" my first brew Honey Hibiscus Wit

- Added Coriander seeds directly into wort instead of cracking them first. There goes the coriander flavor!

- Austin Homebrew had forgotten to add hops to my package, so I had to stop the boil and run to the store to get it. Luckily, they are just 10 minutes away!

- Wort took 3 hours to cool to pitching temperature. I had a wort chiller but didn't know how to use it properly, and didn't have any ice handy in the house

- Primary fermenter wouldn't seal properly, so it wasn't air tight throughout fermentation

- Fermentation temperature varied between 78F and 85F

- Transferred to secondary after 7 days - I couldn't work the auto-siphon properly, so aerated the beer too much. As a result the beer started aggressively foaming out of the secondary (not sure why - would love to have ideas why this would happen). I got scared and poured out about a gallon on beer from the secondary so there wouldn't be a mess on the floor. Would this affect the flavor profile of my beer in any way? If the beer got oxidized, what kind of flavor would I get in oxidized beer?

- Bottling process went through ok, but the bottles were left again at room temperature, which varies between 76 - 85 F. How does such a high temperature affect the bottling process? I understand the yeast would be working overtime, but does it affect the flavor in anyway?

- I couldn't figure out how to use the hydrometer initially, so have no idea what the OG was. However, the FG before bottling was pretty close to what I should get, at 1.012

After reading enough threads on this forum, I now know how critical temperature is in the brewing process. However, I am curious how the high temperatures could have affected my beer, and what flavors could be missing and highlighted here?

I am about 1.5 weeks through the 3 week bottling wait. I opened my first bottle today and am pleasantly surprised to report that the beer doesn't taste like crap. It tastes a little yeasty, but I assume that is because I didn't chill the beer at all. Other than that, it's a pretty light sweet low hop beer, a lot like fruli. I was expecting a little more character from the Hallertau, but keeping in mind the temperature and the other hiccups along the way, is this what I should expect?

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Old 09-20-2012, 12:03 AM   #2
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A beer that is drinkable is a success in my book. Oxidation off flovers typically will taste like card board, see link:http://www.howtobrew.com/section4/chapter21-2.html.

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Old 09-20-2012, 12:38 AM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by prince49
So here's how I "screwed up" my first brew Honey Hibiscus Wit

- Added Coriander seeds directly into wort instead of cracking them first. There goes the coriander flavor!

- Austin Homebrew had forgotten to add hops to my package, so I had to stop the boil and run to the store to get it. Luckily, they are just 10 minutes away!

- Wort took 3 hours to cool to pitching temperature. I had a wort chiller but didn't know how to use it properly, and didn't have any ice handy in the house

- Primary fermenter wouldn't seal properly, so it wasn't air tight throughout fermentation

- Fermentation temperature varied between 78F and 85F

- Transferred to secondary after 7 days - I couldn't work the auto-siphon properly, so aerated the beer too much. As a result the beer started aggressively foaming out of the secondary (not sure why - would love to have ideas why this would happen). I got scared and poured out about a gallon on beer from the secondary so there wouldn't be a mess on the floor. Would this affect the flavor profile of my beer in any way? If the beer got oxidized, what kind of flavor would I get in oxidized beer?

- Bottling process went through ok, but the bottles were left again at room temperature, which varies between 76 - 85 F. How does such a high temperature affect the bottling process? I understand the yeast would be working overtime, but does it affect the flavor in anyway?

- I couldn't figure out how to use the hydrometer initially, so have no idea what the OG was. However, the FG before bottling was pretty close to what I should get, at 1.012

After reading enough threads on this forum, I now know how critical temperature is in the brewing process. However, I am curious how the high temperatures could have affected my beer, and what flavors could be missing and highlighted here?

I am about 1.5 weeks through the 3 week bottling wait. I opened my first bottle today and am pleasantly surprised to report that the beer doesn't taste like crap. It tastes a little yeasty, but I assume that is because I didn't chill the beer at all. Other than that, it's a pretty light sweet low hop beer, a lot like fruli. I was expecting a little more character from the Hallertau, but keeping in mind the temperature and the other hiccups along the way, is this what I should expect?
So as it all proves, you made beer even with all the issues you encountered! Congratulations

Now to learn from mistakes take notes, check inventory before brewing, never assume, understand how your equipment works prior to using it, prepare your brew session ahead of time . These are steps that will make your next session better.

The wort chilling isn't a huge problem, some people cool ambient over night. The faster the better though so figure that chiller out

Temperature of fermentation is critical and it appears you read about that already so get some temp control like a swamp cooler or ferm chamber

Usually if you are at the higher end of the yeasts temperature range the potential for off flavors or perhaps excessive typical flavors may be greater and at lower end these types of flavors are either less pronounced or slightly different.

The excessive foaming on transfer could be several things.most importantly never move your beer out of the primary until you have confirmed completed wfermentation-this means stable gravity. Oxidation occurs when you introduce O2 back into there after fermentation and it's not ideal, practice siphoning water so you figure out first.

In the end you made beer!
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Old 09-20-2012, 01:11 PM   #4
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On the plus side, belgian yeasts are known for performing well at higher temps. Upper 70's are fine, but you might be pushing it with 85. If you get too high, they might produce some fusel alcohols. That is a sharp alcohol taste . You also undoubtedly produced tons of the characteristic belgian ester flavors - and that is a good thing.

Re foaming. Foaming is gas coming out of suspension in the liquid and getting trapped in bubbles of proteins, starches or other "sticky" chemicals. Your beer had a fair amount of CO2 in it from fermentation. When you have any aggressive agitation, the CO2 starts to bubble out and you get a big foamy mess.

Anyway, congrats, you made beer.

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Old 09-20-2012, 01:49 PM   #5
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No offense, but when I read this at first I thought you were creating a checklist of all the things that could go wrong during a brew lol...

Regarding the Hops, they are often sold separately as is the yeast - from coolers. Not all brew shops assume you are not purposely neglecting to buy hops, whereas some brewers have plenty of hops at home. They could have offered you a friendly reminder if they knew it was your first time brewing, but it's not that it should have come with your kit necessarily. The real problem is that you started your boil before realizing you didn't have hops - which is a lesson to learn from, step 1 is ensuring you have all of the ingredients you need to have before you even start to clean equipment. Running through your brew day STEP BY STEP before the brew day arrives is very helpful, whereas some procedures need to be done in advance, not as you go per se - IE, smacking an activator of yeast which requires 3 hours to fully swell, or boiling the top-off water ahead of time when you are ready to add to the fermenting.

This can be a huge learning experience. Really, the only problems you had were the result of a slight lack for attention to detail which you can easily fix for the next go. When you brew, NOTHING should be BRAND new to you at the time you are doing it - for example, racking your beer should not be the first time you have ever used your auto siphon - for one, you should have practiced on some water or something - for two, you should have siphoned sanitizer through it before using it, which would have helped you learn it's operation, and was necessary for sanitation. One thing I do is when I have a recipe, I take each ingredient, separate it out mentally, and research what it is, why I am adding it to my beer, and how it is used. For instance, you see that your beer requires coriander, and if you research coriander, what flavors it adds, and how it is used in a brew, you'd see that it should have been cracked ahead of time. This goes for everything - pumpkin, carapils, black patent, moss, etc etc.

Good luck next time and congrats on making BEER!!!

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Old 09-20-2012, 03:20 PM   #6
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Thanks for the feedback guys - Part of my reason to post this is to give fellow newbies hope, that no matter how much they screw up, their beer is still going to be drinkable

Fortunately, for my second brew, a Honey Porter, I was able to fix most of my mistakes.

No issues at boil time, cooled in about 30 minutes, used filtered water to add to my wort to make 5 gallons, got the primary airtight and was actually able to hear the bubbles in the airlock and was able to get an OG pretty close to what was expected (1.052). One thing that definitely helped was having less ingredients in my brew, just hops and LME and honey.

Also, I've also decided to let my porter sit in the primary for 3 weeks before bottling, since I really don't need a secondary for a dark beer like that.

The only thing I need to get a handle on next is the temperature control for my primary. I've looked at several cheap methods on threads here, and plan to implement one of those for next brew.

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Old 09-20-2012, 05:37 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by prince49 View Post
Thanks for the feedback guys - Part of my reason to post this is to give fellow newbies hope, that no matter how much they screw up, their beer is still going to be drinkable

Fortunately, for my second brew, a Honey Porter, I was able to fix most of my mistakes.

No issues at boil time, cooled in about 30 minutes, used filtered water to add to my wort to make 5 gallons, got the primary airtight and was actually able to hear the bubbles in the airlock and was able to get an OG pretty close to what was expected (1.052). One thing that definitely helped was having less ingredients in my brew, just hops and LME and honey.

Also, I've also decided to let my porter sit in the primary for 3 weeks before bottling, since I really don't need a secondary for a dark beer like that.

The only thing I need to get a handle on next is the temperature control for my primary. I've looked at several cheap methods on threads here, and plan to implement one of those for next brew.
Regardless, you don't need a secondary unless you are planning to do something like fruit or dry hopping.

One thing that I think may not always be super clear to people who do preliminary research on temp control is that the basic, inexpensive methods like a water bath, not only work to cool but are also effective at keeping Consistency. On warmer days where the ambient temps have my wort at what would be higher than 70, I add frozen water bottles to the ice bath until it gets down to 66-68, and it then it stays there for quite a while, when it starts to go up a little, add a bottle. You can not only get under those high temps but keep constant as well. Once you get comfortable with your system and learn to feel it out, you can keep it absolutely pinned at a single temp.


I am curious, all the things that went wrong the first time are perfectly understandable and I'm sure all of us can relate - but one stood out. Why were you unable to get your bucket closed air tight?
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Old 09-20-2012, 05:59 PM   #8
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That's what I am planning to do - put in a ice bath that I load up before I leave for work. Also, with cooler temperatures coming, life should get easier.

Austin Home Brew has got this funky primary, a modified 8 gallon paint bucket with with a hole drilled in for the airlock. But its not a screw on top - I have to hammer it in with a rubber mallet to get it air tight.

First time around, I was too scared to break the primary, so I didn't apply the right amount of force. Once I siphoned to the secondary, I took the primary back to the shop and figured out I just have to go at it much harder.

As a stop gap, I did apply plastic film all around the lid. That still doesn't make it air tight, but the bad guys have to work harder to get in the beer!

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Old 09-20-2012, 06:03 PM   #9
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If you can drink it without puking its a success.But its all in the learning.

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Old 09-20-2012, 06:25 PM   #10
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Prince,

You may want to check out the Cool Brewing Bag thread, I'm enjoying mine and not having to hassle with a tub of water.
http://www.homebrewtalk.com/f41/new-...cooler-296052/

As far as getting your lid off, head back by AHB and pick up a lid popper.
http://www.austinhomebrew.com/produc...ducts_id=12791

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