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Old 07-17-2011, 10:04 PM   #1
Grundalizer
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Jul 2011
Gloucester, MA
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Hello everyone, this is my first post about my first beer brewing attempt. I'd like to thank this forum and its patrons for providing me with some help over the past month, especially in easing my fears that I had ruined my beer and wasted my time.

I used a true brew Wheat Beer kit and a sanitized 5 gallon bucket from a friend who provided the bubble trap for me as well.

I just followed the directions and was quite amazed at how simple it really was.

Mind you, my kit was 2 years old (I had high hopes of getting into the hobby but that was cut short by college)--the yeast packet was dated 2009.

Anyway, I fermented for 2 weeks in a HOT environment, on the 2nd floor of a garage 50 minutes drive from me, where it was literally a stifling 80-90+ degrees F during the day, and I cannot say how hot at night.

I was scared I had fermented for too long in too hot a place, and it would all turn to sour crap.

I bottled into 10 growlers (9 and 1/2 really) and left to cool in my basement at home (probably around 55 degrees F) for 1 week.

Today is Sunday, that marks 8 days in the bottle, +exactly 14 days in fermentation, so 22 days since I boiled everything together.

I tasted the mash/wort(I think it's called that?) right before bottling, and it was a horrid bitter sour rancid taste.

I added my priming sugar and one week later, I have one of the best beers I've ever tasted!!

Here are some pictures and videos I made to maybe liven up the experience of reading a boring long trail of text.

I was nervous about the yeast content--as the first test 1/2 bottle I drank from had a lot of yeast sedimentation, and I even took a microscope video that I will link where you can see all the yeast as compared to the new bottle.

QUESTIONS---

-Since the half filled test growler was good, I placed one from the basement into the fridge and am drinking it as we speak. It's great, so....

If it tastes good now, should I bring them all out of the basement and put them in the fridge? Can I "preserve" this taste?

Will letting them sit longer change the taste--for the better..for the worse?

Can I use a saved yeast sample for my next batch?

Some links---

Here I am estimating my specific gravity using a density ratio because I do not have a hydrometer


PICTURES

My first test bottle (half filled growler)--this had the LAST bits of liquid from the bottling bucket, so that's why it was filled with more yeast and gunk

http://imageshack.us/photo/my-images/813/img0058yh.jpg/

My first drinkable full bottle--this was an earlier filled bottle so it was much more clean, with almost no sedimentation

http://imageshack.us/photo/my-images/215/img0064ck.jpg/

And here is the 1st bottle (the bottom of the barrel) under a microscope at 400x


ON A FINAL NOTE--my 2nd bottle that WAS NOT bottom of the barrel, there is almost NO yeast under the microscope, so that's taken care of and no longer a worry.
O

Ok, thanks for reading and watching. I'm not a pro yet so sorry for poor images and no editing of videos. Was a fun experience.

I hope to try and add more flavors next time to my beer, and treat it more like a science experiment.

 
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Old 07-19-2011, 04:20 PM   #2
GodsStepBrother
 
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Apr 2009
, Texas
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Congratulations on your first brew!

I am having trouble following your time line, but I am guessing the beer was about 4 week in the fermenter?

If that is the case to try and answer your first question, you can put your beer in the fridge if you wish now. The beer will age a tad bit slower than at room temp, if that is what you want. Though the beer will most likely get better with time (if you had good sanitation procedures). What style of beer is this? For most styles of Ales, it is sufficient to leave them in primary for 3 to 4 weeks. Then at least another 3 weeks in bottles after that. Is your beer carbonated yet? I would leave the beer in the basement for another 2 to 3 weeks, if it has only been bottled for a week.

You also stated you bottled in growlers. There are a lot of people that do this, there are those that do not do it, and then there are some that have done it with mixed results. This is fine I have done this, but just make sure they are not those clear growlers they have blown up on me in the past and are not meant to hold the pressure of bottle conditioning. Well in all actually most of them aren’t meant to but some get away with it. Also realize that there is a lot of sediment in the bottom of those growlers so if you pour off a cup of beer from it, then come back and poor another one. By the second or third glass you would have roused up a lot of yeast and the beer will have a very yeasty flavor due to the suspended yeast. I usually pour my homebrew growlers in one swoop into a pitcher and share with friends, to avoid this problem.

Yes you can used yeast from your batch for another one. Research “yeast washing,” and look at how that is done. I would not do it with this yeast though, being that it fermented at such a high temperature, and was your first batch. If you like how the beer turned out try and keep your temps lower, you can do this many way search that as well on the search function.

Hope that answered some of your questions if I wasn’t clear on something please let me know and I will try to expand on it. This will also bump your post so others can chime in.

 
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Old 07-19-2011, 05:23 PM   #3
unionrdr
Heavyweight homebrewing author & air gun shooter
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Don't ferment in a hot garage. 80-90F+ is not a good thing. You can get all kinds of off flavors,fusel alcohols,etc. That looks pretty dark for a wheat. That micrograph looked like the beer had Amoeba's in it. Keep the fermenting beer in a cooler environment where you can keep the ferment temps within the yeast's optimal range.
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