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Old 10-20-2008, 06:49 PM   #1
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Default Giving this another shot...

My last attempt at brewing was almost a year ago... and it was a complete failure.

To be honest, I haven't even tried one of by beers since about February because the taste was so horrendous that I am suffering from the post traumatic stress disorder that I endured when I took that first gulp. I put one in the fridge this morning and will try it tonight to see if hell has frozen over and it tastes better.

I've identified (in my own mind) a few places where I may have gone wrong.

1. I bought the kit from a wine/beer making store in Jersey... the only one for miles... and in retrospect, I have no idea how long those boxes have been sitting there. Somethning tells me not too many people brew there own beer in northern jersey... but hey, I could be wrong.

2. The dry yeast packet may have been old or was not properly activated. I say this because I don't think the yeast did their job properly. After about 2 weeks I moved to a secondary glass carboy and had to install a blow off hose because for the next 3 days I had MAJOR foamage coming out.

3. The affirmentioned blow off hose let air and bacteria in? It didnt look like a super tight seal, but I could be wrong.

4. Something went wrong when bottling - although when I tasted the "beer" before I bottled it, the horrendous ass-like taste was already present.

Maybe the yeast wasnt done doing its thing - who knows - but I'll know more tonight when I take a VERY SMALL sip.


That being said, I'm going to try again. I just put an order in for an American Amber Ale from Northern Brewer. I know these kits are fresh so hopefully I won't have any issues.

My goal this time around is to keep it simple. Let it do its thing in primary for 3 weeks then bottle it. I am taking the Secondary out of the equation to minimize the risks (unless you guys/gals think thats a bad idea).

Finally - my main question:
I have a 6+ Gallon plastic bucket and a 5 gallon glass carboy. If I use the bucket with the airlock, I'll let it do it's thing for the 3 weeks, transfer it to a bottling bucket and bottle it. I obviously won't be able to visually monitor it. If I use the 5 gallon glass carboy, I'll have to use a blow-off hose (which I'm a little afraid of) and when the blowing is over, switch to the cap and airlock. Then transfer and bottle after 3 weeks, but I'll be able to see the whole process and at least have the piece of mind that everything is proceeding as planned.

Which should I do?


Pale Ale (First Brew Ever) - not drinkable.

On Deck:
Northern Brewer American Amber Ale

In My Fridge:
Harpoon IPA, Sierra Nevada, Sam Adams Boston Lager, Becks
IvanTheTerrible is offline
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Old 10-20-2008, 06:58 PM   #2
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Honestly I would just stick to the boil temps and times, be 100% on your sanitation and then forget about it. Don't stress it. I know myself I feel about 100 times better about the Bavarian Hefe recipe I just bottled last night because I ran out of bottles and stole a mug of wort lol. Tasted MUCH better than the coopers I did when I used a small bucket to ferment. I have high hopes for this one, now I shoved the bottles in the closet and im not going to think about it for another month.

I'll pass the time by starting my Dunkelwiezen.

Good luck!!!

Ohh and to answer your question...I have a 6 gal better bottle and didn't need a blow off. Mine was a wheat beer too so I don't know. If you decide to use the blow off tube just leave one end in a cup of sanitizer. No problem at all!! Also, be sure to keep the thing out of light and you should be good!

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Old 10-20-2008, 07:03 PM   #3
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Buy a 6 gallon better bottle . In your case, i'd go with the bucket. Follow the Northern Brewer recipe directions to a "T" and RDWHAHB.
Primary: Nothing
Secondary: DFH Punkin Ale
Bottled/Conditioning: Cigar City Jai Alai IPA Clone, Apple Jack 1.0, Apple Jack 2.0
Drinking: Yakima Blonde (Imperialized), Banana Wheat, Russian Imperial Stout, and anything i can get my hands on
On Deck: Watermelon Wheat, Red Panda Ale, Gluten Free Brown Ale, Mojito IPA, Smoked Pepper Stout
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Old 10-20-2008, 07:07 PM   #4
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I would say keeping it in Primary in the Bucket for 3 weeks is a great idea. I usually ferment for 2 solid weeks, letting the yeast clean up after themselves does wonders for the flavor.

Also, the two most important things to preventing off-flavors (aside from just using good ingredients, but you have that covered this time) are proper Sanitation and Temperature Control. Make sure all equipment in clean and sanitized, and then ferment at the proper temperature for your yeast selection (60-65* F, in your case)
Kegged: Berlinerweisse, Dubbel, Galaxy Wheat
Bottled: Golden Strong, Mild, IIPA, Rauch
Fermenting: Saison, Imperial Wheat Stout, Brett Saison, APA, Brett Roggenbier
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Old 10-20-2008, 07:09 PM   #5
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Honeslty it sound like a sanitation issue. sanitize every thing, use a charcoal filter for chlorine. Watch some you tube vids, watch good eats brewing episiode.
Get a bewers best kit or something like that. Then start brewing. make sure you have a whole day office
here is a list of brew clubs they might be of help

Basking Ridge Brewers Assn ID #: 000148019
c/o Doug Jones
Basking Ridge, NJ 7920 USA

South Jersey Fermenters ID #: 000152965
34 E Church St
Bordentown, NJ 08505 USA

Woodbridge Homebrewers Ale & Lager Enthusiasts Soc ID #: 000152133
8 Timberline Dr.
Bridgewater, NJ 08807 USA

Woodbridge Homebrewers Ale & Lager Enthusiast Society
Cellar Dwellers ID #: 000152837
30 Long Acre Drive
Cream Ridge, NJ 08514 USA

Brunswick Brew Club ID #: 000148070
206 2nd St
Dunellen, NJ 08812-1313 USA

Atlantic County Mashers ID #: 000184943
2086 Ocean Heights Avenue
Egg Harbor Township, NJ 08234 USA

Hackettstown Homebrewers Club ID #: 000160306

Hackettstown, NJ 07840 USA

Hoboken Homebrewers Club ID #: 000157089
801 Willow Ave #2LR
Hoboken, NJ 07030 USA
real estate apartment for rent at hobokenhomebrewers.com
Jersey Shore Homebrewers ID #: 000148185
15 Stonehedge Ct
Jackson, NJ 8527 USA

Patrons of the Union of Briggitt and Bartholomew ID #: 000155051
51 Tenby Lane
Marlton, NJ 08053 USA
856 985-0882

Blackwater Brewers ID #: 000148040
320 F St
Millville, NJ 8332 USA
609 327 3758

Draught Board 15 ID #: 000152550
15 South Orange Av
South Orange, NJ 07079 USA
973 376-0973

Gaslight Brewery -- Coming Soon
Gloucester County Homebrewers ID #: 000160416
110A Greentree Rd
Turnersville, NJ 08012 USA
856 227-3948
Cumberland Brews Homebrew Club ID #: 000148119
3155 Swan Drive
Vineland, NJ 08361 USA
856 575 0576
Jersey Assoc of Homebrewers ID #: 000148184
BB Brewery
Wayne, NJ 07470 USA

J.A.H. - Jersey Association of HomeBrewers
Jason Danaher
Drinking a non alcoholic beer is like going down on your cousin...sure it taste the same but it just ain't right!
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Old 10-21-2008, 01:49 PM   #6
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Default Tasted the beer again...

So the beer definately was not as disgusting as it was 6 months ago, but it's still not drinkable. I honestly can't describe the taste, but I'm going to try.

First of all it doesnt really taste like beer. To me it tastes like the wort smelled when it was boiling, if that makes any sense. It's got a VERY fruity taste, but a very bitter after taste.

When poured into the glass it looks great. Color is nice, and its got a nice head - which it didnt have the last time I poured one.


Pale Ale (First Brew Ever) - not drinkable.

On Deck:
Northern Brewer American Amber Ale

In My Fridge:
Harpoon IPA, Sierra Nevada, Sam Adams Boston Lager, Becks
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Old 10-21-2008, 02:16 PM   #7
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Posts: 124

OMG! I think I found the problem!

The post right above mine "IPA tastes like cider? " might explain it. He is having the same problems I am having, and come to think of it, the temps in the closet where I fermented stay around 73 degrees, which means the temps of the actual fermenter (and subsequent fermentables) must have been much higher. If higher temps release "esters", which are fruity off-flavors, then that may have been the problem all along! It was too hot! Damn!


Pale Ale (First Brew Ever) - not drinkable.

On Deck:
Northern Brewer American Amber Ale

In My Fridge:
Harpoon IPA, Sierra Nevada, Sam Adams Boston Lager, Becks
IvanTheTerrible is offline
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