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Old 10-22-2012, 02:28 PM   #1
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Yesterday, I finally brewed that big Irish red ale (partial mash) that I've been planning for a solid six months. I've obviously been looking forward to this for some time.

Today, I'm pretty pessimistic about how this batch will go. I'll do a full blog entry on this one, but here are the high(low?)lights:

Cleaned, but forgot to sanitize the starter container first. How the heck do you forget to sanitize? Aaargh! On the bright side it *was* extremely active yeast, and I did thoroughly clean the container... hopefully, the yeast will choke out any potential nasties.

Ran into mash issues. I don't have a proper mashtun yet; I do what amounts to a BIAB for the mash, by wrapping my brewpot in towels and blankets.

Last time, I only lost four degrees over the entire hour. Yesterday, my three year old apparently took exception to me using his blanket, and he removed it from the pot - along with most of my other wrappings. I didn't realize this for close to fifteen minutes, at which point my mash was down to 140 degrees (target was 152) at only a half hour in.

In desperation, I added three quarts of 170 degree water, but the water temp was still a poor 144 at the end of the mash. I know that the extract will help, but I'm figuring that this beer is going to seriously lack body.

Temperature control. I already had a krausen and bubbling last night after three hours, so yay for that. I checked it this morning on my way out the door, and yes, it was throwing gunk out via blowoff tube... but my sticky thermometer reported almost 77 degrees temp, even with the carboy sitting in my cool basement directly on the concrete floor. This sucker is a beast!

Sadly, this is WLP004 - recommended upper temp range is no more than 68-70 degrees. Extra esters, I can live with; I don't mind if this beer isn't perfectly to style, and I really enjoy fruity esters in my beers. Fusels, on the other hand, I will not be happy with.

I'll try giving it a bath tonight, but that will have it running nearly a full day at too hot of a temp. Bleh.

Bottom line... sure, I will have made beer. Will it be any good? That is looking more doubtful than I would have thought.


Edit: here's that blog post, if you care to read it.
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Old 10-22-2012, 02:56 PM   #2
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Well hang in there. You're just a bit rusty after that time off! Cross your fingers and let's hope it turns out.

 
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Old 10-22-2012, 03:00 PM   #3
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I think it'll be good. Just gotta hope for the best and correct on the next batch!

 
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Old 10-22-2012, 03:04 PM   #4
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I

 
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Old 10-22-2012, 04:29 PM   #5
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The item that concerns me the most is the temperture.

I have done some reading, and I see some mention of strong fruity esters (that mellow over time). I have also seen at least one report of serious fusels.

I guess I'll just have to see what develops.
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Old 10-22-2012, 04:57 PM   #6
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Yeah, you need to invest in a swamp cooler at least. Ever since I dedicated my basement fridge and a temperature controller to our fermentation, we've been getting some pretty exceptional beers.

 
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Old 10-22-2012, 04:59 PM   #7
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The goal is definitely a (mini?) fridge and temperature controller, but that's on down the road a bit.
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Old 10-22-2012, 05:14 PM   #8
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HBD,that sounds like my situation. My 1st partial mash I brewed 2 weeks ago tomorrow. Got the re-hydrate water too cool (not the 90-105F recommended). forgot to make note of the wort/top off temp after aerating/mixing like a mad machine. Blow off rig was wasted effort with whatever happend to my re-hydrated US-05. Might try 04 next time,as I here it's a faster yeast than 05.
So 2 days later,no visible action,so I go out for another packet of 05. Got back to dump it in,& see the yeast floaters have sunk & 1" krausen formed. I have the WTF? moment. So I sprinkle it in,since I've already cut it open.
Now heres the freakin stupid "I know I knew better moment". I was gently stirring to get the yeast through the foam & into the liquid part of the beer. I scraped a lot of the crud ring back in! HEY,HEY,HEY,HEY! HEY STOOPID...WATCHA TRYIN TA DO? I still can't believe I did that. Even the lil horse head on my Killians no knick is mumbling "ashole!". But the krausen & fermentation took off pretty decent,switched to an airlock at that point.
Mad at myself for the it's gunna be astringent from that bitter crud moment,I thought that since it was at the begining of fermentation...T eh swirling & krausen action might re-deposit it back where it was. A real homer moment DOOOOOOHHH%^$%!@@@$(*%$@#!...so you're not alone man...
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Old 10-22-2012, 05:31 PM   #9
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uniondr, i wouldn't worry about the crud ring falling back in. I swirrel mine often and haven't had a problem with off flavors when that goes back into the brew. Seems to me like it probably just sinks to the bottom.

 
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Old 10-22-2012, 06:51 PM   #10
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I agree that the crud ring is a nonfactor.

I don't filter out hot break material, I don't filter out hop junk, and I've never had astringincy issues. All that settles down with the rest of the trub, and I leave it behind when I siphon.
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