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Old 08-19-2013, 05:53 PM   #11
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Originally Posted by tinman717 View Post
Cool, will do man. I definitely want to get the carbonation true to the style.

I took a gravity reading today and I'm a little concerned about the results. The OG was 1044, and today it was 1015. That only comes out to 3.9% abv. I would think fermentation is about over now, after 5 days. I was expecting something at least 5%. Anyone know why it's so low? 6 lbs of LME went into it.
Beersmith has WLP-004 at 71.5% attenuation. At OG 1.044 that should put you at 1.0125 FG. not too far to go from where you are. That should give you about 4.2 - 4.3% if I'm not mistaken. Unfortunately, you recipe didn't have a high enough OG to give you the 5% you were shooting for with that particular yeast.



 
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Old 08-19-2013, 05:55 PM   #12
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If you have a spare space(mine is the second bathroom) you can get a big tupperware container and us it as a swamp cooler. Works great at keeping temps low. Throw some frozen water bottles and you are golden.

As for your question it is not as important but it STILL IS IMPORTANT to keep your temps low until bottling. In general you don't want to get above 72ish, unless you are making a beer that requires it.


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Old 08-20-2013, 05:43 PM   #13
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So basically next time I need to add more sugar! Cool, I'm learning every step of the way. Well, she shall sit for another week and then I'll transfer to secondary. I guess 4% might not be too bad. All that means is you can enjoy more of it without getting too messed up!

 
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Old 08-20-2013, 05:55 PM   #14
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Originally Posted by tinman717 View Post
So basically next time I need to add more sugar! Cool, I'm learning every step of the way. Well, she shall sit for another week and then I'll transfer to secondary. I guess 4% might not be too bad. All that means is you can enjoy more of it without getting too messed up!
In a word, yes, but if it were me, I'd use more malt. Since you're doing extract, that means just using more base extract in either liquid or dried form. Since you're having some fun making your own recipes, have you considered recipe building software like beersmith? That way, you can tweak the ingredients to your heart's content, and it does all the number crunching in real-time. You'd know in advance what your numbers should be.

To your comment about 4% - I agree. There's nothing wrong with low alcohol beers, I'm starting to prefer them in my age. But everyone's different, and you'll brew the way you want. That's the fun part, right?

 
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Old 08-26-2013, 08:54 PM   #15
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Right on! Is Beersmith something really that valuable? I feel like a lot of the math involved here can be very easily done manually with the proper Excel spreadsheet setup. Isn't Beersmith basically a calculator, just pre-programmed with equations commonly used in brewing?

Took another gravity reading last night and, surprise! She's up to about 4.3%. Did a little taste test and the beer is good. Sweet potato flavor is definitely buried in there but I'm hoping with age and bottle conditioning it will come through. I'm hoping using brown sugar upon bottling will complement the flavor. The cinnamon flavor is undetectable, so I'll throw a couple more sticks in there this week when I transfer to the secondary.

On a side note, it's finally starting to cool off a little and feel like fall! This brew is making me all the more excited for Halloween time.

 
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Old 08-26-2013, 09:04 PM   #16
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Agreed, your timing will be very good on this one, per the style. For beersmith, yes it's true, there's nothing that it does that can't be done in other ways. But there are many things it keeps track of and updates automatically if needed. Like if you need to convert from extract to AG if the time comes, working out volumes, temps, and losses, bitterness and gravity changes that come with tweaking recipes, recipe sharing and cloud, etc. etc. Also, it is preprogrammed with all of the ingredients with descriptions, and has a nice inventory feature including costs if you use that. I use it to keep track of how much each brew is costing me. It's got a free trial so maybe give it a shot and see if you like it. It's intimidating at first but there's quite a bit to play with.

 
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Old 08-26-2013, 09:17 PM   #17
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Interesting, I suppose I'll give it a shot. Can't hurt to try it for free! I'm planning a cranberry ale next, I'll try it out then.

One thing I was going to mention is that I'm planning on mashing up some sweet potatoes with brown sugar and throwing that in the secondary to hopefully bring more up front flavors. We'll see how it goes!

 
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Old 08-26-2013, 09:24 PM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tinman717 View Post
Interesting, I suppose I'll give it a shot. Can't hurt to try it for free! I'm planning a cranberry ale next, I'll try it out then.

One thing I was going to mention is that I'm planning on mashing up some sweet potatoes with brown sugar and throwing that in the secondary to hopefully bring more up front flavors. We'll see how it goes!
I'd be careful with unsanitized additions after primary.. The brown sugar you will boil and cool first, but the potatoes? Just use caution. It'd be a shame to spoil a batch.

 
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Old 08-26-2013, 10:20 PM   #19
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Hmm, I was thinking that baking the potatoes first then mashing them up with some boiled brown sugar would be a safe route. I know fruits in the secondary are common, I figured the same concepts could apply here.

 
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Old 08-26-2013, 10:29 PM   #20
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Yes true. I truly doubt you'd mess it up, but something to keep in mind.



 
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