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Old 04-10-2012, 02:50 PM   #11
Psych
 
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Mar 2011
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Yep keep it simple and focus on the important things like temperature in all cases, and time.

My first batch was pretty blah, second batch was quite good, my third was lots of fancy ingredients and it was not very drinkable, fourth was really good. From there until now at batch..err...30 (maybe?) I've had only one (batch 5...) that had any significant troubles. The rest have been really good.

 
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Old 04-10-2012, 02:53 PM   #12
HawksBrewer
 
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Feb 2011
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It seems like your brewing partners might be adding in too many variables. Any chance you can brew one solo so you have complete control over every step??? Plan a brew day when you know they can't make it and go from there. Then if you still have problems with a simple recipe we can fine tune and nitpick your processes. Until then, keep your head up and your eyes on the prize! Cheers

 
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Old 04-10-2012, 02:57 PM   #13
Musky01
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Nov 2011
Roy, Utah
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My first two batches were terrible, kits with bad instructions and that led to under pitching and hot fermentation. I had given up, went two years without brewing.

When my brother got hurt on his motorcycle we started talking about making another beer, scoured the internet and found this site, built a cheap mash tun and chose to make ed's hefe. Even with all the info we had we still had a few problems but it was so much fun and the beer was absolutely delicious, every batch since then had been better and better.

All you need to do is find an easy recipes and pay close attention to detail, once you get a really good beer made it is impossible to stop.

 
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Old 04-10-2012, 03:04 PM   #14
Robms88
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Feb 2012
Brighton, London
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Coopers Canadian Blonde - 2 weeks
Coopers dark Ale - 6 weeks
Coopers English Bitter - 4 weeks
Coopers IPA - 4 Weeks

It is so true that the higher ABV and the darker the beer the longer it takes. I usually try to make sure I have a quick conditioning beer on the go all the time so the dark ones can mature.

 
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Old 04-10-2012, 03:13 PM   #15
themack22
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Dec 2011
Raleigh, North Carolina
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I want to quote everyone, but it's just too much. Thanks for all the kind words and encouragement.

As far as cheating on the group and doing one solo, I've been thinking about it a lot and I have no qualms with doing that. I have all the equipment, sans carboys. Might need to grab another one.

The hot temps thing is bothering me. Do I really want to spend a week keeping it in an ice bath? I guess if I want good beer I need to.

 
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Old 04-10-2012, 03:16 PM   #16
Musky01
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Nov 2011
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Quote:
Originally Posted by themack22
The hot temps thing is bothering me. Do I really want to spend a week keeping it in an ice bath? I guess if I want good beer I need to.
Yes, absolutely.. That and pitching enough yeast will do more then you could imagine for quality of beer.

 
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Old 04-10-2012, 03:20 PM   #17
Jayhem
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Dec 2011
Culpeper, VA
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I brewed 3 kits that were just "Ok" and then my very first partial mash recipe I created came out fabulous...so good that I drank those before I finished the rest of the bottles from the kits I had made 2 months before!
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Old 04-10-2012, 03:26 PM   #18
benko
 
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Jan 2008
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I agree with Yooper about the kit. I brewed a few crappy batches at first trying to make my "perfect" beer right from the beginning. Go to Northernbrewer, pick one of the beginner styles that you like, and make that exactly. That way, if the beer isn't good, you know it wasn't something with the recipe, yeast used, etc. It had to be something process involved, and you can start narrowing down any issues you might be having. And I can't say this enough, temperature control your fermentation. Keep those ales at least in the sixties. It can work at room temp in the seventies, but your results will be much better.

 
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Old 04-10-2012, 03:36 PM   #19
amandabab
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Mar 2012
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Quote:
Originally Posted by themack22 View Post
We've done several beers now over about 5 months and results are discouraging.

1 - Porter (infected, undrinkable)
2 - IPA (too sweet, too carbonated, somewhat drinkable)
3 - Oatmeal Stout (strange off-flavors, most drinkable thus far)
4 - Stout (underpitched, too sweet, somewhat drinkable)

No way am I going to give this up, but dammit, when am I going to have a beer that's good?

Been sanitizing and cleaning a lot. Using all glass on the last 2.

So how long did it take you folks to produce something good?
4 beers, all different, all bad. The oatmeal stout is complicated.
Stop jumping around from style to style and fix you're mistakes.
Make a simple pale/amber ale. Take notes on boil,pitching,fermenting. make the same exact recipe again concentrating on problems encountered with the previous batch.

 
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Old 04-10-2012, 03:40 PM   #20
Yooper
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Quote:
Originally Posted by themack22 View Post

The hot temps thing is bothering me. Do I really want to spend a week keeping it in an ice bath? I guess if I want good beer I need to.
You answered your own question. If you don't mind off-flavors in the beer, then temperature control wouldn't be an issue. But if you want a beer with commercial quality taste, you'll just have to keep it in the mid 60s. That can be in a water bath, a basement, a fridge with a temperature controller, etc, but without controlling the temperature you will not have "good beer".
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