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Old 06-25-2009, 01:57 AM   #1
Apr 2009
ann arbor
Posts: 42

So I did an IPA which had 8.2 lbs of LME, 1 lb of crystal, 3 1oz centennial hops additions, and one 1oz dry hop.

It tastes like Beer Tea. I know part of the problems was a mistake of mine. Somehow along my research I missed the little part about needing to crush the grains. So my 1 lb of crystal did not get crushed.

However, my hops were sold to me in little plastic ziplocs - meaning you could smell the hops through it. It's supposed to taste something along the lines of Bells Two Hearted Ale, but it's more like IPA Light. So I'm pretty sure the hops did that "D" word, yes? I fermented for 14 days, dry hopped for 7, this bottle was condidtioned for 19 days.

It sucks because besides the hops (which were 2.99/oz - so they probably knew they were selling hops the bad way), this brew store is fantastic, but also about 30 mins away. I don't want to have to go to 2 or 3 places to fill my bill. I shouldn't be subjected to that crap.

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Old 06-25-2009, 02:01 AM   #2
Ale's What Cures You!
Yooper's Avatar
Jun 2006
UP of Michigan, Winter Texan
Posts: 69,200
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Even if the hops weren't properly stored (I'm assuming the ziplocs were very short term), it should still be ok. With 8.2 pounds of LME, it should be pretty malty, and not watery at all.

How long has it been in the bottle? Almost three weeks? That's really strange.

At $3 an ounce, I'd definitely let them know of your unhappiness.
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Old 06-25-2009, 02:03 AM   #3
EdWort's Avatar
Jul 2006
Bee Cave, Texas
Posts: 11,914
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I'm surprised your LHBS did not crush your steeping grains and that they sell hops in ziplock bags.

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Old 06-25-2009, 02:15 AM   #4
Jan 2009
Hamlin, NY
Posts: 450
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Are you sure the leafy stuff int he ziplock bag was hops?

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Old 06-25-2009, 02:38 AM   #5
Feb 2008
Oxford, MS
Posts: 823
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find a brew club in your area and see if you can observe another brewer making some good beer. Get some samples. It will reinvigorate you and then go online and check out one of the online vendors (Brewmasters warehouse, austin homebrew, morebbeer etc). The kits they sell will get you setup.

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Old 06-25-2009, 02:54 AM   #6
Apr 2009
ann arbor
Posts: 42

Yes, Ed, I too am surprised. I was a bit overwhelmed, my first time being in a brew shop and I was all excited to get my stuff. But like I said, I didn't even know to ask to have my grains crushed, let alone do it myself. It was a pre packaged 1 lb bag. It is malty, but certainly lacking in body. It said to start grains with cold water, and bring it up to 160 for 10 mins. Here are my notes:

Double Hearted Clone

Brewed 5/14 (?) Rack to Secondary 5/29

Malt Base: 8.4 lbs LME
Specialty Grain: 1 lb Crystal 10iL
Hops 4 oz Centennial
1oz (60)
1oz (40)
1oz (5)
1 oz (dry-secondary)
Yeast: WL001 California Ale

Boiled 2.5 gallons of water and set aside in fermentor (do this early in the day)
Added 2.5 gallons (add 3 next time) cold water to boil pot and steeped 1 lb Crystal malt at 160 for 10 minutes
Added .5 gallon hot water to boil pot to bring it up to 3 gallons so there will be 5 gallons at the end of boil (this was done as a newbie corection)
Added 8.4 lbs LME to "crystal tea" and stirred thorougly.
Brought to a boil and added 60 minute 1oz Centennial Hops. (3/4 cover produces good rolling boil)
Accidentally added 2nd hop addition at 20 mins instead of 40 mins but immediately realized and removed
Added 2nd hop addition for 20 minutes 1oz Centennial Hops.
Added 3rd hop addition for last 5 minutes 1oz Centennial Hops.
Added 4th hop addition on 5/29 in a muslin bag. Swirled on 6/1.

Removed muslin bags of hops and squeezed with metal spoon and spatula (forgot to sanitize spatula on first squeeze)
Placed pot in sink of cold water, sanitized 1gal ziploc and put ice pack inside. Used as ice wand for a few minutes.
Wort cooled to 92 degrees in approx 15 mins. Added to 73 degree water averaged out to 82.
Aerated by shaking vigorously for 5 mins covering hole with sanitized thumb.
Filled airlock with boiled water, sanitized shaft.

***I'm wondering if I somehow "over sanitized". Sticking spoon and thermometer in sanitizer every time before putting it in the wort and resanitizing fermentor lid just before aeration. Do I need to let it air dry first?***

OG 1.060 (1.0629 adjusted for 82 degrees)
FG at rack: 1.014 (at 70 – need to adjust)

Thoughts: (6/1) DO NOT squeeze bag of crystal after steeping. This will release tannins…we will see how it turns out. Just let water run out of bag for a few mins. Next time, put a portions of specialty grains in gallon Ziploc and roll with rolling pin to crack malt then add to muslin. This is to release more starch. Wondering if enough water reduced off…sample tasted watered down, but it is flat, and the spoon was still hot...

Donner: Thanks for the advice. I live in Ann Arbor where there is a strong brewing culture and Brewers Association. I must say I'm a bit intimidated, being new and all...you think they have brew sessions? not just meetings?

Also another note: my beer is lacking head and I expected more carbonation. I dissolved 3/4 cup corn sugar in 1 pint of water, boiled for 5-10 mins and swirled it into my bottling bucked halfway through siphoning. When I was racking to bottling bucket, i was very careful to not let much yeast get off the bottom of the secondary yeast cake. Could I have not let enough yeast come though to eat the corn sugar?

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Old 06-25-2009, 04:15 AM   #7
Feb 2008
Oxford, MS
Posts: 823
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make sure you stir after racking to the bottling bucket, you really want those sugars mixed. As someone else said, you give it three weeks at 70 degrees? Give it longer. It will mature and improve. Also, you chill the bottle down for a couple of days before opening after carbing?

I'm sure if you went to a meeting and asked announced you'd like to assist and learn, someone will likely invite you over to watch, help and sample. LHBS' also sometimes do teaching sessions on saturdays and such. It can be intimidating, but most brewers are nice and laid back. Heck, there are several michigan brewers here and they might know someone who'd teach you. See if the state has a group and post there or just put a thread in the general topics section. Never hurts to ask.

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Old 06-25-2009, 04:45 AM   #8
Aug 2008
Camano Island, Washington
Posts: 11,538
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I get my pellet hops in little ziplock bags. The LHBS keeps them in big, sealed containers in a fridge and measure them out to order and put them in little ziplocks. Then I take the little ziplocs home and put them in a bigger ziplock, evacuate the air out of both and toss them in the freezer.

I'd rather get them measured out to order in ziplocks than be required to buy them in 2oz quantaties.
"Science + beer = good!"
-Adam Savage

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Old 06-25-2009, 05:12 AM   #9
Mar 2009
Posts: 368
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I did some calculations. It depends on your on the AA rating of the hops. With an 8.5 AA, you would get 33.4 IBUs. The style guidelines for an IPA are 40-60 IBUs.
I don't know how new this is to you, so I'll explain. Hops have alpha acids (AA) which make your beer bitter. The higher the number the more bitter the beer. Because of mother nature, even hops of the same kind may not have the same AA rating. Right now I can by centennial from my home brew shop with an AA of 8.5%.
IBUs are "International Bitterness Units." It's just a number which tells you how bitter a beer is. IPAs are suppose to be between 40-60, so even if you did everything right your bitterness is low for an IPA.

By not crushing your grains you probably lost a lot of the malty richness the beer is suppose to have. It's hard to imagine 8 lbs of LME tasting light though. Did you do gravity readings? Was the ABV correct? Was it light like a Coors light, or light like a Heineken? I'm guessing it should be more in the Heineken range. I'm just guessing though. I don't think bells 2-hearted is supposed to be very malty (unless you compare it to Coors). It does have a lot of hop aroma. Don't discount that you probably lost a lot of that crystal flavor.

Nice choice of beers to clone, btw.

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Old 06-25-2009, 06:02 AM   #10
Dork of all Tech
TechyDork's Avatar
Dec 2008
Seward, Alaska
Posts: 833
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only a 10 min steep, that feels a little short to me. I usualy do 30 min at 160 when i am using a recipe from my LHBS.
---Do you know what happens when you drink too much metric beer?---



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