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Old 08-08-2011, 02:01 PM   #21
Join Date: Jun 2011
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Originally Posted by TwoSheaStl View Post
Thanks for all the responses. To answer some of your questions:

- I steeped the specialty grains for about 30 minutes at 150 degrees.

- I used hop pellets, but did use a steeping bag. I think next time I will just throw the hops right in.

- I added Irish Moss at the end of the boil for clarity.

- I left my first beer (amber ale) in the primary for 2 weeks, second (cream ale) in the primary for an entire month.

YEAST: This is where I think I might have messed up. On my first beer I used a Wyeast smack pack, but only let it sit for about 8 hours before I pitched it. For my second beer, I made a yeast starter the day before. I didn't really notice any extreme foaming on top. I pitched the starter, but DIDN'T shake it up before I did. There was a lot of yeast left on the bottom of my growler. However, my OG and FG were about right. 0.050 to start and finished at about 0.010.

- I let the beers sit in the bottles for 3 weeks. Once I opened them, the carbonation was fine, but that flavor that you get on the sides of your tongue w/ any beer is not there. I only taste it on the tip.

I use a hop bag. My OG sample blew my hair off from the hops last time.

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Old 08-08-2011, 04:37 PM   #22
Hang Glider
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Originally Posted by TwoSheaStl View Post
Carbonation has never been an issue, however, I cracked a few open this weekend (from my first batch) which was brewed about 3 months ago (amber Ale) and they tasted the best they ever have. So, unfortunately—looks like I'm going to have to wait 3 months to drink my beer rather than 1
aha....see?? Patience!

3-4 weeks in the fermenter, 3 weeks in the bottle at 70F to carbonate - 6-8 weeks total should get you a decent beer. Some better longer (like porters, stouts, )

Temp control, too, during the first several days at least - if you aren't doing that now -
Smack Packs don't HAVE to be smacked - that's just a little 'helper' to prove the yeast are viable. Starters rarely yield krausen, just more white layers of yeast at the bottom of the flask.

congrats on it tasting better now!
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Old 08-09-2011, 03:51 AM   #23
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You'll notice that the Liberty Cream Ale will be great too after you allow it to age. I tasted mine after being bottled for 3 weeks. It was still too green with an apple off-flavor. I didn't try it again until it was 6 weeks old and it tasted excellent! I've been happy with all the kits I've purchased from Midwest.
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