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Old 06-14-2006, 04:52 AM   #1
mileswilliams
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Default Where am I going wrong

I have just done my first batch, it tasted ok, nothing like beer I have had before, but I was told it would be different. It was really cloudy though.... here is my process...

Coopers larger kit.

Heated up the opened can in boiling water to help it pour. This, hot water and shugar are added to the bucket (primary(?)) Cool water added, and then yeast... I stirr it and put it under the stairs.

Every morning before work I stirr it and take hydrometer readings checking to see when the readings stop moving.

After a week of this...

syphoned the lager into a keg, with some more sugar and finings, waited a week and drank it all by about 14 days later.....

It was really cloudy, and not too bad to taste but I think it could be better.

What advise have you pro's got for my simple kits..

Where do I go from here ?
What is the next step from these concentrated kits... what extra equipment do I need ?

Go easy on the Jargon, I'm new to the whole scene.

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Old 06-14-2006, 06:58 AM   #2
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Get an extract kit with bittering hops, flavor hops, and aroma hops.

heat your water to boiling, take pot off heat add extract and fully dissolve extract in hot water.

Place back on burner and heat to boiling.

Once it boils add bittering hops cook for 60 minutes
30 to 45 minutes in to boil add flavor hops
At the end of the boil(60minutes) add your aroma hops
remove from heat and cool to ~70
pour in plastic bucket pitch yeast place lid on and airlock
Let it go for 1 week
dont stirr
siphon into 5gal carboy
place airlock and let it go for another 2 weeks
then bottle or keg
I would stay away from canned malts they could be old and they yeast they send with them are not always fresh
Stick with ales unless you have a cold place with steady temps to ferment lagers
Ales ferment well at 68F to 70F
Ask yourself this if you were to go to your favorite beer store what beer would you buy.....Then brew that beer Have fun


You can also use the coopers if you prefer I would add some more bittering hops like cascade.
If your gonna use the coopers I would add some pale extract to add body to your beer. 1 or 2 pounds. and cook it as described above.

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Old 06-14-2006, 09:36 AM   #3
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I agree, the stirring is unnecessary, and actually may be detrimental (could add oxidation to the beer--plus, every time you remove that airlock, you are risking contamination and are getting rid of the nice protective layer of CO2 on the beer). I would secondary ferment just about every beer to help prevent the musty yeast flavors. (so go get a secondary vessel). Also, steeping grains in the beer and doing your own hopping would be the next step to doing an all extract beer.

If you really want to get going, buy and read "The Complete Joy of Homebrewing" by Charlie Papazian (if you haven't already). He describes beginning steps, and gradually takes things up a notch for you.

Good luck and welcome to the best hobby on the planet!

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Old 06-14-2006, 09:37 AM   #4
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Oh, irish moss added to the boil may help with the break and precipitate more protein and decrease the haze (if you didn't do this).

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Old 06-14-2006, 03:33 PM   #5
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One word: TIME! No ale is ready for drinking at two weeks. Most take a minimum of 6 weeks.

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Old 06-14-2006, 04:52 PM   #6
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Go for an ingrediant kit next. Just a bit more work, but gets you a little deeper into that chemistry we call zymurgy. The beer produced is usually better than the canned malts. They have so many varieties, just find a beer place on the web, and go nuts! Welcome to the hobby, padawan...

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Old 06-14-2006, 10:39 PM   #7
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You didn't really do anything wrong, except for the stirring and not waiting part.

Having said that, these kits just won't make authentic, tastes just like (insert name of desired microbrewery or commercial beer here) no matter what you do.

They are the beer equivalent of an 'add water and microwave' chocolate cake when what you were expecting was something like Mom's best made from scratch.

There's lots of info available on how to make a better quality beers by fisrt getting away from these kits.

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Old 06-17-2006, 08:51 AM   #8
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Thanks for the responses, I'll see about getting that book ! I knew that the canned malts would be the easiest and as a result the least rewarding, but I have never done anything like it before, nor do I know anyone that could steer me, so I thought I would dip my toe in... I'm hooked. I'll do the second fermentation as suggested, and get the book and take it from there. Cheers for the replies again !!

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Old 06-17-2006, 11:43 AM   #9
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Or read this book on line for free!

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Old 06-17-2006, 01:21 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by david_42
One word: TIME! No ale is ready for drinking at two weeks. Most take a minimum of 6 weeks.

Did you read the Speed Brewing article in the most recent BYO?
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