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Hooraybeer!

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All right total n00b here, looking for help... I think I may have ruined my first batch from an error of omission; I think I may have left out a key ingredient when making my wort. Please tell me if everything below looks okay:

1) boiled my water (3 gallons) in a 5 gallon sanatized pot
2) added my malt extract (liguid Coopers Stout), which has the hops in it
3) boiled for 70F minutes
4) rehydrated/proofed the dry yeast - it seemed fine
5) cooled the wort to 85F degrees in 40 mins, aggresively mixed with the yeast in 5 gallon glass carboy
6) its been sitting for a week now, airlock bubbling has subsided, but at the most it only ever really bubbled a few bubbles per minute... pretty slow
7) constant carboy temp of ~70F
8) now playing the waiting game until bottled next week

So heres my question... back at the point when I was making the wort, was I supposed to add some sort of SUGAR to the wort at that time, or not? (I didnt) The instructions on the can of Coopers said to add sugar.. but after reading up on all of this I noticed that most powers that be said DO NOT FOLLOW INSTRUCTIONS ON THOSE CANS UNLESS YOU WANT TO BREW SLIGHTLY ALCOHOLIC POND WATER... John Palmers book said this. In the instructions he had, he did NOT include adding any sugar into the wort until priming. So, I didnt add any sugar.

So am I an idiot, or does anybody else have experience with a ton of confliction instructions on how to do what should otherwise be a pretty simple task...?

Did I screw up, and if I did is it salvagable? I want to know so if I did, I can dump the crap out and get a new batch rockin and rollin!

Thanks!
 

Professor Frink

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It looks like your beer will be just fine. If it said to add sugar and you didn't, you'll just get a lower ABV beer (but it might just taste better). Welcome to the HBT!
 
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Hooraybeer!

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Thanks for the welcome guys... I appreciate the help.

The extract was in the kit (can) was 2.75 lbs. How much lower ABV are we talkin here? Oh and of course like any good n00b worth his weight in crap, I forgot to take an OG reading. Whoops.

(I think from now on I'm not going to use those "Beer in a Can" things and just use dry extracts, hops, and yeasts.)
 

c.n.budz

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Well, if you did a 3 gallon batch the ABV won't be horribly low but without any gravity readings it's impossible to give an exact figure. Don't worry though, if it's too weak just knock back a shot of whiskey with the beer:drunk:
 

aekdbbop

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FWIW.. you dont need to sanitize the pot if you are going to be boiling in it.. I think the heat should take care of that for you...
 
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Hooraybeer!

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rickylr said:
Did you add more water when you put it in the carboy or is it still just the three gallons?


Rick
Yes, I topped it off at 5 gallons exactly, I used cool water to help cool the wort.

Thats a good point about not having to sanatize the pot... just a by-product of when I used it and my bottling fermentor to sanatize my other stuff.

BTW I'm using 1TBSPN of bleach per gallon of water to sanatize everything... do so for about 30 minutes. Is that enough to sanatize, and do I need to rinse after just that concentration of bleach? If so, can I rinse with hot tap water or does that rinsing water also have to be pre-boiled or bottled?
 

aekdbbop

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yes I would always rinse after using bleach... thats a tough question about the water being preboiled already.. I would think you would be ok though.

Look into getting some iodophor or starsan, both are no rinse, and will last forever.
 

Neomich

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Chalk it up to lessons learned. I'm not really sure what the outcome will be with only 2.75 # of LME in a 5 gallon batch but just treat it like a normal batch and see what happens.

If nothing else, you can call it a 'light' *gasp* beer and pass it off as an intentional decision. Trade people full bottles for empty six packs and build up your collection or something. Nobody will know but you.
 

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can I rinse with hot tap water or does that rinsing water also have to be pre-boiled or bottled?
Per John Palmer's book, you should boil it first:
Palmer on Bleach

I'd consider getting a sanitizer such as Star San (or other) to make that portion easier. This thread has some info on cleaners and sanitizers:

Sanitizers and Cleaners

With a five gallon batch and just (guessing) 3.3lbs of LME (edit: see it was 2.75 - same answer, but slightly more so), the beer may seem a bit watery, but it will still probably be better than had you added the sugar. The idea in not adding sugar is not so much to leave out those fermentables but to replace them with malt extract.

In any case, don't worry; you'll have drinkable beer and you'll make even better as you go along.

Rick
 
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Hooraybeer!

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rickylr said:
With a five gallon batch and just (guessing) 3.3lbs of LME, the beer may seem a bit watery, but it will still probably be better than had you added the sugar. The idea in not adding sugar is not so much to leave out those fermentables but to replace them with malt extract.
It was only 2.75 lbs of LME for a 5 gallon batch, sans sugar. So I just made a "light" beer then? :) Next time I should add sugar?

Damn it I just need a FULL recipe with ingredients AND measurments for everything... I seem to have had a hard time finding something like that either was incomplete in some way or didnt contradict itself... anybody have any links to something like that?
 

5 Is Not Enough

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You could rack(siphon) off a gallon of the current 'light' brew, boil a gallon of water with another can of the extract(cool) and pour it into the fermenter.
It would add color, flavor and alcohol.
You could also get an ounce of "aroma" hops and add it to the boil in the last 5 minutes for even more flavor.
 

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There are tons of recipes for extract, extract with stepping, or partial mash. Find one you like the look of and brew from there. You would have wanted to add more extract not just sugar. Sugar would give it a very dry taste that if over done does not make very good brew.
 

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I would use one of the major online retailers that sell complete kits, it will take the guess work out of the recipes. www.austinhomebrew.com has excellent kits and I've made some good beers using them. They provide full detailed instructions and measurements with everything you'll need. I don't know have any personal experience with the other sites like NB or midwest but I'm sure they'll produce good results as well.

Check out the online stores and pick a beer you want to drink.
 

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The amount of bleach you used is fine as a no rinse sanitizer. Don't listen to he anti-bleach crowed.. it works fine.

It's also not to late to add more fermentables. Do a second can in a 1/2 gal of water.. 15 min boil should be fine and dump it in.
 
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Hooraybeer!

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5 Is Not Enough said:
You could rack(siphon) off a gallon of the current 'light' brew, boil a gallon of water with another can of the extract(cool) and pour it into the fermenter.
It would add color, flavor and alcohol.
You could also get an ounce of "aroma" hops and add it to the boil in the last 5 minutes for even more flavor.
I could do that? Even though its been fermenting for a week now?
 
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Hooraybeer!

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JimC said:
The amount of bleach you used is fine as a no rinse sanitizer. Don't listen to he anti-bleach crowed.. it works fine.

It's also not to late to add more fermentables. Do a second can in a 1/2 gal of water.. 15 min boil should be fine and dump it in.
Thats great news, thanks.

So in the future though... Im going to want to use sugar with one of those cans?
 

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chalk it up to experience. It'll be no different than drinking something like BMC.... 2.5-3% ABV and super light.
 

5 Is Not Enough

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There are reasons to avoid trying this (mainly contamination), but at this point, what have you to lose?
 

Neomich

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Hooraybeer! said:
Thats great news, thanks.

So in the future though... Im going to want to use sugar with one of those cans?
I think a lot of people on here would suggest you do NOT do this. Use two cans next time or do what JimC said and boil up another can and add that in there.
 

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Neomich said:
I think a lot of people on here would suggest you do NOT do this. Use two cans next time or do what JimC said and boil up another can and add that in there.
Unless you're doing a belgian of some sort (in the interest of completely confusing the poor fella).
 

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For future recipes, I'd agree with someone else's suggestion on using some of the store "kits." They are much less "kit-like" than the Cooper you used; really, they are less a kit than an ingredient list. Basically, the shop has put together a list of ingredients for a decent tried & tested beer, and when you order the kit they assemble those ingredients and ship it out.

A couple of other places to look, along with austinhomebrew.com, are morebeer.com and hoptech.com. At hoptech.com you can download the instructions for almost all of their kits (click "download area" under "Useful Information" on the left side of the page).

Rick
 

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Hooraybeer! said:
Thats great news, thanks.

So in the future though... Im going to want to use sugar with one of those cans?

If you are making a 5 gallon batch with one 2.75lbs can and adding sugar, you aren't going to get a lot of flavor or body in your beer. Adding sugar to the fermentation increases ABV and lightens the body/mouthfeel of the beer. You will get a much better brew by using more DME/LME and forgetting about the sugar until bottling time. Check out Palmer's "How to Brew" or Charlie Papazian's "The Complete Joy of Homebrewing." Both books have recipes for all extract brews. If you are just starting out, buy a few kits and brew them to get the hang of the brewing process. Brewers Best kits are fine, or you can get good kits from Austin Homebrew Supply, Midwest Supply, Northern Brewer, Williams Brewing, etc. They all will make very drinkable beer that will be much better than the "can and a kilo" kit you appear to be using. You can also check out the extract recipes here for more options, but I would suggest that you get a good kit or two under you belt to get the process down before experimenting too much.
 

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Where are you located? Any homebrew shops in the area?
 
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Hooraybeer!

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Bromley said:
Unless you're doing a belgian of some sort (in the interest of completely confusing the poor fella).
:rolleyes: :D

So the consensus here is to get another can of that stuff, boil it in a gallon of water and replace some of the already fermenting carboy? Any need to add more yeast...? The thing only came with one small 7gram package of yeast to begin with.

GaryA said:
Where are you located? Any homebrew shops in the area?
I am in Boise, Idaho. Luckily there are a few local brewshops just full to the brim (was that a pun!?) with great stuff. I'll be stopping by one on my way home from work in a few hours.
 

Joker

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Hooraybeer! said:
So the consensus here is to get another can of that stuff, boil it in a gallon of water and replace some of the already fermenting carboy? Any need to add more yeast...? The thing only came with one small 7gram package of yeast to begin with.
To save the first brew yes. You shouldn't need more yeast, the original yeast is still there and ready to work. You will probably need to swirl the brew around some to get them back into suspension.

Hooraybeer! said:
I am in Boise, Idaho. Luckily there are a few local brewshops just full to the brim (was that a pun!?) with great stuff. I'll be stopping by one on my way home from work in a few hours.
Personally I never did a kit brew, so I am going to vote that you start with recipes online and go to the brew shop and get extract, steeping grains, and hops. They usually have recipes there as well.
 

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Hooraybeer! said:
:rolleyes: :D

So the consensus here is to get another can of that stuff, boil it in a gallon of water and replace some of the already fermenting carboy? Any need to add more yeast...? The thing only came with one small 7gram package of yeast to begin with.
Its ether that, or 2.5% abv beer. :) No extra yeast needed. that 7gram package hundreds of billion yeast now mostly sitting in a slurry at the bottom of the fermenter.. plenty enough to do the job. You might want to look into a blowoff tube, because that second can of stuff is going to ferment hard and fast on the existing yeast cake.

The beer you pull out you can toss in your fridge for tomorrow (green, flat table beer.. but still beerish).
 
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Hooraybeer!

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GaryA said:
To save the first brew yes. You shouldn't need more yeast, the original yeast is still there and ready to work. You will probably need to swirl the brew around some to get them back into suspension.
There is about an inch of stuff on the bottom so far... I want to swirl that around after I drain and re-add? Do I need to get a can of the exact same stuff I used initially to re-add? (It was Coopers Stout) Or can I get funky and use a can of their Ale or Porter...? Or would that just be stupid...?

(Thanks for all this help everyone. I post regularly at several other similar forums and people here are by far the most responsive and civil. There doesnt seem to be any of that "screw the n00b" crap here. Its refreshing.)
 

JimC

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Hooraybeer! said:
There is about an inch of stuff on the bottom so far... I want to swirl that around after I drain and re-add? Do I need to get a can of the exact same stuff I used initially to re-add? (It was Coopers Stout) Or can I get funky and use a can of their Ale or Porter...? Or would that just be stupid...?
Yes, swirl that around some. Try not to splash much, you don't need oxygen at this point since the yeast has finished its reproduction cycle. I would get a can of the same (or similar) stuff so you end up with a stout and not "some brown liquid that reminds me of beer". This is your first brew.. not time to experiment with style bending beer, IMHO.
 

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Not sure if you need the same or not since your current extract came with the hops added. You don't really need much hop content for a stout so you should be able to get by with just standard extract.
 

5 Is Not Enough

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definitely dont use another pre-hopped. if it was hopped enough for 5 gallons in the first place, you may have one bitter stout.

You can *get a little funky* and add a hop 'aroma'(with little bitterness) by adding a little bit at 5 minutes or right after you kill the heat.
 
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Hooraybeer!

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5 Is Not Enough said:
definitely dont use another pre-hopped. if it was hopped enough for 5 gallons in the first place, you may have one bitter stout.

You can *get a little funky* and add a hop 'aroma'(with little bitterness) by adding a little bit at 5 minutes or right after you kill the heat.
So should I just boil up some pure dry dark malt extract (that has no hops added) to add to my batch, rather than buy another pre-hopped LME?
 
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Hooraybeer!

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Just went into my LHBS... they told me it was too late to try adding any more ME because after 8 days the yeast has already done most of its work... damn. They said to expect a fine tasting beer, just very low ABV. Fine by me. Just didnt want to have to trash the whole 5 gallons.

But I picked up a nice wheat beer kit, which I will be adding 2lbs of honey to, so my mood has picked up!

Why didnt anybody warn me that home brewing was addictive?
 
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