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Old 10-09-2009, 02:08 AM   #1
dunnright00
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Aug 2009
San Diego
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So, I've been Hombrewing off and on for about 12 years. Started with all extract, but soon started adding specialty grains. I stopped for a few years when my kids were born, mainly because I never seemed to have the time. I still use a combination of extract, but I'm researching the move to PG/AG.

In the last year I've made a few batches and visiting here several times a day over the last couple of months I have found that I have a lot to learn!

My brew has always been "good" and everyone who tries my beer says they love it! But I've come to realize, especially after the last batch that there are a lot of factors that I usually don't pay that much attention to. Primarily temperature.

Now as I said, my beer is always "good". I use the parenthesis because I know it can be better. The one thing I always notice is the smell. With the exception of the really dark stouts, it always seems to have this hombrew/yeasty smell, that I don't notice in commercial beers.

So my question is this: Is the smell an extract thing, or do you think it has to do with the temperatures? This last IPA that I made was sitting in a room at about 80 degrees for a good part of the primary before I moved it to my new fermentation chamber, and it's REALLY good except for this smell.

I know it's hard to guess without tasting it, and I've never really tasted anyone else's brew to compare it with. I guess I'm just going to start paying closer attention to my temps and try to get more accurate hydrometer readings.

Any comments fully welcomed! Thanks!


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Caspean Ales and Cider

“There is an ancient Celtic axiom that says, ‘Good People Drink Good Beer.’ Which is true, then as it is now. Just look around you in a public barroom and you will quickly see: Bad People Drink Bad Beer. Think about it.”
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Old 10-09-2009, 02:11 AM   #2
Rick500
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Jun 2008
KY
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I think the thing you can do that will make the most difference is to control your fermentation temperature.



 
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Old 10-09-2009, 02:13 AM   #3
permo
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Sep 2009
North Dakota
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Without question temperature is affecting your final product. I recently let an ale with notty yeast get up to 80 degrees only for 4 hours before i iced it down to 68 and it has that homebrew bitter twang. Personally, for my ales I shoot for 66-68 degrees and I have had excellent results in this range with my beers exceeding expectations. This temp control is especially critical during the first 1-3 days of fermentation. Fermentation is an exothermic process, so you need to wisk the heat away from the ferementer. I fill my bathtub full of cold water and place the fermenter in it. I also cover my fermenter with a wet towel. Also, don't pitch the yeast until you are below 70 degrees in your wort.

 
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Old 10-09-2009, 02:51 AM   #4
remilard
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Nov 2008
Kansas City
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$225 for a small freezer and a ranco is the best way to spend that money for brewing.

If you can build stuff, get stuff used or like to swap out ice bottles more power to you. One way or another, controlling that fermentation temperature is one of the four most important things (sanitation, low oxygen pickup and pitching rate being the other three).

 
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Old 10-09-2009, 03:02 AM   #5
dunnright00
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Aug 2009
San Diego
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After I started this last batch I started using my fridge in the garage for fermentation. Turned all the way down, it keeps a 5gal carboy at about 60-65 degrees, but I'm going to build a temperature controller.

This of course was after spending over a week at 75-80 degree days, so it sounds like that has a lot to do with it.

I also need to make a wort chiller. I get too impatient and probably pitch a little too early.


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Caspean Ales and Cider

“There is an ancient Celtic axiom that says, ‘Good People Drink Good Beer.’ Which is true, then as it is now. Just look around you in a public barroom and you will quickly see: Bad People Drink Bad Beer. Think about it.”
-- Hunter S. Thompson,

 
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