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Another "what did I do wrong" thread

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Sheridan13

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Hey all, Noob brewer in San Diego here.

So I made a very simple pale ale for my first attempt, which surprised me with its success. I hit the OG and FG within .002, and the taste was as good as anything I would expect off the shelf. Thinking I had this stuff mastered I attempted something a little heavier, as well as attempting to correct the things I did wrong the first time.

I decided on an IPA and used Beercalculus.com to tweak a few different IPA recipes I’d seen. With my first brew, the grain bill was 5 pounds of pale extract and 1 pound of caramel malt. The directions had me bring the boil water to 160 degrees, then turn the heat off and steep the caramel malt for 10 minutes. Remove the malt, and bring it to a boil. Add extract etc…

So the IPA called for 5 pounds of extract 1 pound of Belgium candy sugar, and 4 pounds of grain. 2 pounds of American Two row pale, 1 pound of Munich Malt, and 1 pound of Crystal 20L. So I repeated the process of bringing water to 160 degrees and making tea, just with 4 bags this time.

I finished the boil, cooled the wort, poured it in the carboy, and shook it up for about 5 minutes. Before I pitched the yeast, I took a specific gravity read and got 1.045 instead of the 1.066 I was expecting. So, where did I screw up? I’m guessing it’s in the steeping, as even I can’t mess up pouring 5 pounds of extract into a pot. More importantly, is this going to create a really off balance beer? I realize my “IPA” will only have an ABV of around 3%, but I’m more concerned with how it will taste. I made this Sunday, and other then the extremely low OG, everything else is going smooth with plenty of fermentation going on within 24 hours. Thanks for any thoughts.
 

TexLaw

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The IPA recipe you found is a partial mash recipe, so you had to mash those grains (at least, the 2-row and Munich). Without mashing, you extracted virtually no sugars from the 2-row and Munich, especially if you only steeped for ten minutes.

On that, ten minutes is a short time for steeping. I usually steep for thirty minutes, and I often see instructions to steep for twenty, but I don't know if I've ever seen just ten.

And, yes, you should expect your beer to be out of balance. You missed your OG by 21 points, or roughly 30% in this case. Whenever you do any sort of mash, you need to check the gravity of your runnings to see where you are. I realize that I may be talking terms that you do not understand yet, so I refer you Here.

Keep at it! It's fun, dammit! :)


TL
 

chione

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Hello fellow SD inhabitant

I really like the following page for a good how to on brewing, also I would suggest you go talk to a local homebrew shop such as American Homebrew Supply Vance (the owner) is a really nice guy and will help you
http://cruisenews.net/brewing/index.php
 

malkore

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TexLaw nailed it. You bought a partial mash recipe, which is a step up from Extract + steeping grain.

You needed to properly mash that 2 row with the other grains for up to 1 hour, which is where those 21 points would've come from.

with extract + steeping, you're not getting any fermentables, just colors, aromas and flavors.

partial mash is intended for those that would like to brew all grain, but can't afford the equipment, the space, or find a way to boil 6-7 gallons all at once. So they do a partial grain brew, and top it off with some extract.
 
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Sheridan13

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Thanks for the replies. So should I cut my losses and see how it turns out, or try and fix it in the eleventh hour? It's still fermenting, but the airlock is definitely slowing down. Should I whip up a one gallon wort with a real high gravity and throw it in there? I'd hate to waste the hops if it's destined for failure as is.
 

NitrouStang96

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Sup man! We have a lot of San Diego brewers here now! This makes at least 5, now, that I know of.
 

chione

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Sheridan13 said:
Thanks for the replies. So should I cut my losses and see how it turns out, or try and fix it in the eleventh hour? It's still fermenting, but the airlock is definitely slowing down. Should I whip up a one gallon wort with a real high gravity and throw it in there? I'd hate to waste the hops if it's destined for failure as is.
I would just leave it alone and see what happens. No reason it shouldn't make good beer
 

San_Diego_Matt

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Since you live in San Diego, you might have a San Diego palate and will enjoy a hoppy 3-4% ABV Beer.

We like our hops more than most here :D
 
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