Ss Brewing Technologies Giveaway!

Home Brew Forums > Home Brewing Beer > Beginners Beer Brewing Forum > Third attempt and still no good!
Reply
 
LinkBack Thread Tools
Old 02-06-2013, 03:44 AM   #1
xHeight
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Feb 2013
Posts: 12
Liked 1 Times on 1 Posts
Likes Given: 25

Default Third attempt and still no good!



This is my third time brewing on my own so far and none have turned out well.

Tonight I transferred to the secondary. The primary has a very short krausen ring and a very pungent smell. Almost chemical. It's exactly how my other two have smelled.

The flavor of my previous two has been plastic-y and makes your mouth feel dry (and smooth? if that makes sense?). I looked it up and saw that a lot of times it has to do with cleaning solutions you use to sanitize. I was using a very mild bleach solution. I changed it up this time and went with Oxy Clean and some Star San. Same results. What could I possibly be doing wrong?
I used the Christmas Ale kit from Midwest Supplies with wyeast.

Please let me know if you have any questions. I haven't taken a gravity reading on this one but I did on my previous two and they were perfect.
__________________
xHeight is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 02-06-2013, 04:00 AM   #2
brewinchef_fairfax
HBT_SUPPORTER.png
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
 
brewinchef_fairfax's Avatar
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Jan 2013
Posts: 197
Liked 21 Times on 19 Posts

Default

I would think somewhere in the chain you have to look at your equipment and your process.
First things first - equipment and sanitation.

  • From your boil pot to your fermentation chamber - what is coming in contact with the beer and how clean is it REALLY?
  • The hoses, spoons, funnel, rubber bungs, airlocks, hydrometer and test chamber - How clean are they REALLY?
  • Are you using an auto siphon to transfer between boil pot and fermentation chamber - or are you priming the transfer tube with your lips?
  • How clean is your carboy REALLY?
  • How long are your boils?

That's just a start - but if you can answer those I'm sure the crew here will be really good at ferreting out what could be going wrong in the process. Good job on the Star-San - but it's gonna have to be used properly - so explaining your methodology there will help as well as your routine for cleaning (contact time with cleaners and agents and mix of the solutions).

Somewhere out there is an answer. Have you dropped cinnamon sticks onto all of these batches?
__________________
brewinchef_fairfax is offline
xHeight Likes This 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 02-06-2013, 04:01 AM   #3
jmh286
HBT_LIFETIMESUPPORTER.png
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
 
jmh286's Avatar
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Oct 2012
Location: Port Wentworth, GA
Posts: 175
Liked 16 Times on 14 Posts
Likes Given: 7

Default

If you're using StarSan for sanitizing, there is no need to use the OxyClean. If you are using the OxyClean for cleaning after fermentation, then make sure you are rinsing thoroughly afterward. I personally use PBW but I have noticed that if I don't rinse enough, there is a soapy film that is left behind.

Just a few questions:

What ratio are you mixing your StarSan and are you strict about your sanitizing?

Are you controlling your fermentation temperature? Too high a temp could result in a medicinal off flavor.

How long are you leaving these in primary? Rushing your yeast could lead you to believe that your beer is going wrong when it isnt.

__________________

Mmmmmmm...Beer

jmh286 is offline
xHeight Likes This 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 02-06-2013, 04:09 AM   #4
xHeight
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Feb 2013
Posts: 12
Liked 1 Times on 1 Posts
Likes Given: 25

Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by brewinchef_fairfax View Post
I would think somewhere in the chain you have to look at your equipment and your process.
First things first - equipment and sanitation.
  • From your boil pot to your fermentation chamber - what is coming in contact with the beer and how clean is it REALLY?
  • The hoses, spoons, funnel, rubber bungs, airlocks, hydrometer and test chamber - How clean are they REALLY?
  • Are you using an auto siphon to transfer between boil pot and fermentation chamber - or are you priming the transfer tube with your lips?
  • How clean is your carboy REALLY?
  • How long are your boils?

That's just a start - but if you can answer those I'm sure the crew here will be really good at ferreting out what could be going wrong in the process. Good job on the Star-San - but it's gonna have to be used properly - so explaining your methodology there will help as well as your routine for cleaning (contact time with cleaners and agents and mix of the solutions).

Somewhere out there is an answer. Have you dropped cinnamon sticks onto all of these batches?
I'll try to go into as much detail as I can. Firstly, I brew based off the instructions that come with the Midwest Supplies kit.

I start by scrubbing the boiling pot in the sink, soap and water. Then fill with pure clean water from the tap and let that start boiling.

Then I take the primary bucket into the bath tub (as that's the only faucet I have that can fill it) and begin scrubbing with Oxi. I throw the airlock and thermometer into the bucket to soak for a bit. I wash and rinse those pieces and the lid. I also have a "paint stirrer" that attaches to my drill that I use just before I pitch the yeast to get some extra oxygen into the wort. I wash and sanitize this at the same time.

Then I brew. I use a wood or plastic spoon. I just wash that and sanitize it in the boiling water.

Then I poor the wort into the primary bucket, stir with the drill attachment, pitch yeast, place it in the closet with the air lock on the lid.

Clean everything and put it all away.

8 days later (tonight) I transferred to the secondary. I clean/sanitize the exact same way. I have a bucket that I can fill to soak everything like my pump and tubing.

I still have a sneaking suspicion that it's going to turn out well. So I'm going to go ahead and bottle just to see what happens.
__________________
xHeight is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 02-06-2013, 04:14 AM   #5
xHeight
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Feb 2013
Posts: 12
Liked 1 Times on 1 Posts
Likes Given: 25

Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by jmh286 View Post
If you're using StarSan for sanitizing, there is no need to use the OxyClean. If you are using the OxyClean for cleaning after fermentation, then make sure you are rinsing thoroughly afterward. I personally use PBW but I have noticed that if I don't rinse enough, there is a soapy film that is left behind.

Just a few questions:

What ratio are you mixing your StarSan and are you strict about your sanitizing?

Are you controlling your fermentation temperature? Too high a temp could result in a medicinal off flavor.

How long are you leaving these in primary? Rushing your yeast could lead you to believe that your beer is going wrong when it isnt.
I use about 1.5 oz of Star San - sometimes a little more per 5 jug (bucket or carboy).

While I'm not exactly sure of the temperature in the closet, I know that it can't be that drastic. I keep my house at about 65-70 degrees all the time and closet that it's in is well insulated. I should probably buy a thermometer for this. Suggestions? I'm a pretty tech savvy person so I think it would be awesome to have a thermometer that connects to my network so I could check with my phone or computer.

All of these have spent at least 8 days in the primary.
__________________
xHeight is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 02-06-2013, 04:15 AM   #6
Hackwood
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Mar 2011
Location: Phoenix, Arizona
Posts: 627
Liked 63 Times on 53 Posts
Likes Given: 117

Default

Not REAL sure it has anything to do with it, but in the far right pic you say you did a 5gal batch with 4.5gals. It looks like you ONLY used 4.5gallons and boiled off at least 2 of it. Unless that's a really big carboy you got there. Lots of extra headspace isn't good for your fermenting beer. Plus, if it does end up as only 2-2.5 gallons isn't the ABV going to be pretty darned high if not stalled due to the high ABV??

__________________

Fermenting - Brian's Best Bitter.
Lagering - Nothing.
Secondary - Nothing.
Bottle-aging -Nothing.
In the Fridge - Nothing.

Hackwood is offline
xHeight Likes This 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 02-06-2013, 04:26 AM   #7
jmh286
HBT_LIFETIMESUPPORTER.png
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
 
jmh286's Avatar
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Oct 2012
Location: Port Wentworth, GA
Posts: 175
Liked 16 Times on 14 Posts
Likes Given: 7

Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by xHeight View Post
I use about 1.5 oz of Star San - sometimes a little more per 5 jug (bucket or carboy).

While I'm not exactly sure of the temperature in the closet, I know that it can't be that drastic. I keep my house at about 65-70 degrees all the time and closet that it's in is well insulated. I should probably buy a thermometer for this. Suggestions? I'm a pretty tech savvy person so I think it would be awesome to have a thermometer that connects to my network so I could check with my phone or computer.

All of these have spent at least 8 days in the primary.
Your StarSan mix seems good so no worries there.

Is it 65 or 70 in your house? Most ale yeast like temp below 70 and also create heat of their own. Usually at least 5 degrees. I would at least get a fermometer for your carboy so you know what heat your fermenting wort is producing. They are usually pretty cheap.

8 days is usually way too short. You want to leave your beer alone for at least 14 days. You may hit your FG after a week, but the yeast make a mess converting all the sugar to alcohol and CO2 and need some time to clean up that mess. Don't rush your beer to be finished and it will improve in quality dramatically.
__________________

Mmmmmmm...Beer

jmh286 is offline
2
People Like This 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 02-06-2013, 04:31 AM   #8
Norie_
Feedback Score: 1 reviews
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Aug 2011
Location: Brooklyn, NY
Posts: 125
Liked 15 Times on 12 Posts
Likes Given: 24

Default

I agree with the comments previously stated. That is way too much head in your carboy. Become obsessed with making sure everything is clean and sanitized. Keep a bucket filled with sanitizer to hold all of your utensils (auto syphon, spoons, paint stirrer etc) that will come in contact with the beer. Get a spray bottle and fill it with san star. What are you scrubbing your equipment with? If you are using a plastic bucket for your primary don't scrub it with anything that will leave scratches on the inside. For your next brew I would consider leaving your beer in primary for 3-4 weeks then bottling. IMO there is really no need to transfer to secondary unless you are dry hopping, adding fruit, or lagering for an extended period of time. Don't get discouraged and keep brewing!!

__________________
Norie_ is offline
xHeight Likes This 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 02-06-2013, 04:35 AM   #9
xHeight
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Feb 2013
Posts: 12
Liked 1 Times on 1 Posts
Likes Given: 25

Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by jmh286 View Post
Your StarSan mix seems good so no worries there.

Is it 65 or 70 in your house? Most ale yeast like temp below 70 and also create heat of their own. Usually at least 5 degrees. I would at least get a fermometer for your carboy so you know what heat your fermenting wort is producing. They are usually pretty cheap.

8 days is usually way too short. You want to leave your beer alone for at least 14 days. You may hit your FG after a week, but the yeast make a mess converting all the sugar to alcohol and CO2 and need some time to clean up that mess. Don't rush your beer to be finished and it will improve in quality dramatically.
Hmm the instructions from Midwest supplies says transfer to your secondary after only 5-7 days. Should it stay in the primary for 14 then transfer to the secondary?
__________________
xHeight is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 02-06-2013, 04:36 AM   #10
BigFloyd
HBT_SUPPORTER.png
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
 
BigFloyd's Avatar
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Dec 2012
Location: Tyler, Texas
Posts: 4,806
Liked 626 Times on 548 Posts
Likes Given: 575

Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by jmh286 View Post
8 days is usually way too short. You want to leave your beer alone for at least 14 days. You may hit your FG after a week, but the yeast make a mess converting all the sugar to alcohol and CO2 and need some time to clean up that mess. Don't rush your beer to be finished and it will improve in quality dramatically.
+1.

Possible that you're tasting by-products of active fermentation (aka, yeast poop) that you haven't given the yeast time to clean up.

Room temp = 70*F means fermentation peaking at 77-80*F. I have recently measured temps on the side of the bucket that are 7 degrees above ambient air.
__________________
BigFloyd is offline
xHeight Likes This 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Reply



Quick Reply
Message:
Options
Thread Tools


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
2nd Attempt after FAILed 1st Attempt - Question brewzofo1 Beginners Beer Brewing Forum 15 12-19-2011 10:25 PM
Suggestions for a good first BIAB attempt? Fanoffermentation Beginners Beer Brewing Forum 8 09-14-2011 09:30 PM
First AG attempt.. need a good safe kit GreenDragon Beginners Beer Brewing Forum 11 03-10-2011 07:13 PM
First All Grain Attempt...Looking Good autobaun70 All Grain & Partial Mash Brewing 6 02-20-2011 01:43 AM
Good corker, good bottles, good corks ? Gabe Bottling/Kegging 2 02-19-2008 10:16 PM