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Old 12-30-2012, 06:28 AM   #21
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If you bottled on December 5th, I wouldn't even be putting it in the fridge until now. Then I'd leave it in for a week at least. Time is your friend. I remember what it was like before I had a solid pipeline going. The waiting is a killer. Always brew your next batch at around the same time as you are bottling. It makes it easier to be patient and not rush opening them.

I haven't seen a kit (though I've only done two kits myself) that recommended too little priming sugar. I'm sure the sugar amount is fine. DON'T put too much. Too little carbonation is fine, too much can be dangerous.

Once again. Time is your friend.

Your beers will only get better, I promise you that.

 
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Old 12-30-2012, 06:43 AM   #22
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I felt the same way about a year ago. Just try to focus on improving one thing every batch. Start with tempuratures then move to your water then look into yeast starters, etc.... If there is one thing I've figured out it's that brewing is more of a marathon than a sprint. It takes a while to get there, but once you get there it's worth it.
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Old 12-30-2012, 12:42 PM   #23
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Quote:
Originally Posted by b-boy
I felt the same way about a year ago. Just try to focus on improving one thing every batch. Start with tempuratures then move to your water then look into yeast starters, etc.... If there is one thing I've figured out it's that brewing is more of a marathon than a sprint. It takes a while to get there, but once you get there it's worth it.
Great advice.
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Old 12-30-2012, 02:31 PM   #24
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You still have not actually answered any of the questions that people are asking you - you keep saying "I followed the directions." Well...... we don't know what those directions are. Sometimes, unfortunately, the directions that come with the kits are not the greatest in the world. Often, new brewers are in a hurry and operate around the fringes of the ranges they are given. For instance, fermenting at the highest or lowest ends of the ranges. Or, Fermenting for the shortest amount of time described, etc. I think a likely culprit to your carbonation issue could be your timeline, but unless you tell us the actual details of what you are doing, we cannot really do anything other than guess.
Temperature of wort after using chiller? ( I get it down to low 60's)
How long are you fermenting? (I do a 3 week primary, no secondary)
What temp? (I go with low to mid 60's if it is a regular ale of some sort)
Bottling? (I transfer to bottling bucket carefully and mix with 2/3 to 3/4 cup priming sugar that has been boiled in water) Mix thoroughly without splashing beer)
Bottle.
Store at temp in mid 60's to mid 70's for a minimum of 2-3 weeks.
Then check beer (This will be 5-6 weeks after the day you brewed it).
Give us some details or it is all random guess work.

 
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Old 12-30-2012, 03:27 PM   #25
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You need to make solid extract kits before moving to PM or AG. If you can not then you need to know why.

Get a Brewer's Best or Austin Homebrew Supply extract kit for a stout. Use distilled or RO water and follow the "cooking" directions. Then find a spot that is dark and stays at 60F that is not directly on concrete/brick. Put the fermentation bucket there. Use a sanitized wire whisk and aerate the wort then pitch the yeast. (Note: do not bang the whisk into the sides/bottom of the bucket.) Cover it up and install the airlock. Walk away from the fermenter for 3-4 weeks.

Take the priming sugar and dissolve it in a small amount of boiling water preferably bottled spring water. (You do not need much) Let that cool then dump it into the bottom of the bottling bucket, rack the beer to the bottling bucket. Clean and sanitize the bottles + caps and bottle the beer. Once the beer is bottled move the bottles to a place that is 70-75F for 2 weeks. After 2 weeks place one in the fridge and see if it is carbed up. If it is then you can store or drink the beer if it is not give it another week at 70-75F.

If your beer still turns out badly join a local homebrew club and get some help from people in your area that know what they are doing. I have never met a HBC that is not willing to help each other improve the beer they make.
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Old 12-30-2012, 04:14 PM   #26
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Braufessor
You still have not actually answered any of the questions that people are asking you - you keep saying "I followed the directions." Well...... we don't know what those directions are. Sometimes, unfortunately, the directions that come with the kits are not the greatest in the world. Often, new brewers are in a hurry and operate around the fringes of the ranges they are given. For instance, fermenting at the highest or lowest ends of the ranges. Or, Fermenting for the shortest amount of time described, etc. I think a likely culprit to your carbonation issue could be your timeline, but unless you tell us the actual details of what you are doing, we cannot really do anything other than guess.
Temperature of wort after using chiller? ( I get it down to low 60's)
How long are you fermenting? (I do a 3 week primary, no secondary)
What temp? (I go with low to mid 60's if it is a regular ale of some sort)
Bottling? (I transfer to bottling bucket carefully and mix with 2/3 to 3/4 cup priming sugar that has been boiled in water) Mix thoroughly without splashing beer)
Bottle.
Store at temp in mid 60's to mid 70's for a minimum of 2-3 weeks.
Then check beer (This will be 5-6 weeks after the day you brewed it).
Give us some details or it is all random guess work.
I appreciate the reprimand. I just needed a good pep talk to keep me going(thanks Atonk and B-Bomb!). I was hesitant to give details because I was speaking in general for the five kits I've done(1 stout and 4 ales). I will give the specifics for the Houblonmonstre that I recently did.as the various(and unfortunately "varied") responses come in, I will be able to glean a clearer picture of my failings. What tremendous tools these forums! Thanks for the help guys. Here goes:

I brewed on 10/21. The recipe called for 5 oz of Magnum, Saaz, and Cascade hops, but I added an additional oz of Argentine Cascade(early and mid) and an additional oz of Centennial (late). I adore hops. It took 3 hrs to get the temp down to 78 (as directed) to pitch the yeast(a wildly active Wyeast 3522 Belgian Ardennes). Fermented in primary until 11/5 at 68 degrees and gently transferred to carboy for secondary(a move that more and more sounds unnecessary, again, depending on who you listen to). Temp stayed at 68. On 12/9 I boiled up 2/3 cup of "priming sugar"(that is all the infornation on the label) put it in the bottling tub and gently transferred then bottled the brew(into growlers). Stored at 68(two six packs are in the cellar at 60. Earlier in the thread I said that I bottled on 12/5, but I was going off of memory. My notes are now in front of me.

 
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Old 12-30-2012, 11:16 PM   #27
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Being as it has now been 3 weeks in bottles, if you lift one up and attempt to view through it is it clear? If not I would give it another week or so. If it is clear, the cloudiness is most likely in how you are pouring. With standard 12 oz bottles you pour it all into the glass in one smooth go and stop just beofr any of the sediment pours out.

Since you said you have been bottling in growlers, you most likely are mixing the sediment back into suspension. I highly reccomend giving it at least the 2 days in the fridge before pouring as it helps the sediment layer to compact and stick together better.

An other process related suggestion is to cool after the boil more quickly than 3 hours. Placing the pot in an ice bath and whirlpooling will encourage break to form and separate out of the beer which will assist in clarity as well. I suggest suspending the pot a little so you can get some ice water below the pot as well to speed this up. The faster you can cool it the better usually.

 
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Old 12-31-2012, 12:15 AM   #28
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Bottling in growlers is definitely not recommended - they are not designed to hold liquid under pressure. They are designed to hold already pressurized beer and keep it carbonated for a short while. I suspect conditioning in growlers would have one of two possible outcomes - 1) exploding growlers if the glass gives out before the cap seal or 2) flat beer if the cap seal gives out before the glass. It is possible you are experiencing outcome #2.
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Old 12-31-2012, 02:56 PM   #29
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+1 one on the growlers. To be honest, most everything in your process looks ok . . . . at least to the effect that the beer should be carbonated. I would chill lower than 78 - that is very high, but it should not effect carbonation.. The only thing that really jumps out to me is that you are using growlers..... I guess I would start with that, as they are not designed to do what you are doing. At the very least, try a dozen 22 ounce bottles and cap them when you do your next batch. Maybe up priming sugar a tad - between 2/3 and 3/4. Otherwise, nothing else is jumping out at me - could try only going primary, and make sure you get "some" sediment when you transfer to bottling bucket to ensure adequate yeast for conditioning. Not a lot, but a little bit.

 
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Old 12-31-2012, 03:17 PM   #30
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The one thing in your process that stood out to me was the growlers. I've pitched yeast too hot or cooled too slowly and done all the rookie mistakes that people make and still wound up with drinkable, carbonated, clear beer (with the appropriate ammount of patience). The growlers, however... I've never heard them good for keeping beer carbonated for long.

If you're set on the growler idea, maybe next batch try a dozen standard bottles along side the growlers and do a comparison there.

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