I've been pouring over this awesome website and need some help. My first two batches of beer have been horrible. I'm planning on attempting my third batch today and am looking for advice on how to avoid a dumper.
My first batch was an all extract Irish Stout (Coopers). I know a few things I did wrong: I boiled with the lid on, my husband in a vain attempt to help me start a siphon when racking to secondary blew backwards through the hose (cringe). I used diluted bleach for my first sterilization process, and then switched to iodophor for sanitization during my transfer to secondary and bottling.
My OG started out 1.053, dropped to 1.016 at secondary and then increased to 1.028 when racking to bottles. (I'm guessing EXTREME infection).
Friends reported a 'wine' like taste, saying it was very fruity.
My second batch was a milk stout kit with a grain steep. I overshot my OG and F.G. was over as well, with my ABV sitting almost a full 1% low. I took extra care with sanitation, and replaced my husband as a siphoner with an auto-siphon
Unfortunately, it came out horrible again (worse, if it is possible). It smelled like the first one when bottling, but it tasted ok (not great, but drinkable). After bottling though it was rancid. I replaced my hoses and my bucket prior to the second batch out of fear it was a lacto infection.
Through this site, I realized that I needed to put water/vodka in my airlock, which I was not aware of during the first two batches. I have a mini fridge that I use for temperature controlled fermentation (68F).Could the airlock be the cause of my awful beer?
Any suggestions would be great. I just want to make good beer