First batch - lessons learned

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edb

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Northern Brewer kit, Belgium Wit.

Wyeast #3944 Belgian Witbier Yeast
6.3 lbs. Wheat Malt Syrup
1 oz. Saaz (60 min)
1 oz. Coriander Seed (11 min)
1 oz. Bitter Orange Peel (1 min)
1 oz. Freshly ground Ginger root (6min) * my tweak to the recipe

*Papazians book said that you could use 1/2 - 4 oz of fresh ginger for 10-15 min, I cut that back, didnt want to make it too extreme.


My mistakes:

1 - I used too much water, I thought I was at 5.5 gallons but clearly had just under 6 gallons in by bottling bucket. Know will mark off carboy at the exact point of 5 and 5.5 G.

2 - Might have scorched my LME because it came out dark amber in color. Could also be that the extract was old (1 year). I was sitting on the kit for a year before actually getting the brew supplies. I replaced my yeast and hops but didnt think about the extract.

3 - Didnt take an initial gravity reading


Lessons learned:

Mark my carboy properly

Buy a thief, siphoning hose is too messy for taking readings

The color is a bit darker (copper colored) than what I would like it to be but I'll mess around with the late extract methods when I make my Wheat or IPA later on.


End Results:
You have to love making beer its so forgiving.

I sampled a bottle from my first batch 2 nights ago, wasnt fully carbonated but the taste was good. It was just a slight bit watery (Dohh!), the ginger was a nice addition to the flavors, you can tell its there on the first sip but it doesnt linger. Definitely think adding some grains to it would make it better.

Should I avoid the sediment in the bottom of the bottles, this was in a secondary for a week or embrace them because its a wheat beer?
 

DeathBrewer

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i wouldn't worry about the gravity reading. it's pretty easy to calculate with an extract brew, especially if you have brewing software (i use promash)

making the markings is a fantastic idea. i mark all of mine the first time i sanitize them (as i add the water.)

try with or without the sediment for drinking them and see what you like. most of that is just yeast, so swirling the last part of it a bit may add some nice flavor.

good call on trying only a little ginger first...be subtle with things like that until you're very comfortable.

that LME was pretty old...i'd definitely use some fresher stuff if possible next time.

Sounds like it's going ok, tho. congrats on the first batch!

:mug:
 
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edb

edb

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Thanks I will try that with the yeast at the bottom of the bottle and compare the two.
 

mountainrev

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edb said:
2 - Might have scorched my LME because it came out dark amber in color. Could also be that the extract was old (1 year). I was sitting on the kit for a year before actually getting the brew supplies. I replaced my yeast and hops but didnt think about the extract.
You may have scorched the LME, and its age certainly wasn't in your favor. But be warned that using LME will often result in a darker product than you might have been expecting. That's because LME tends to caramelize, even if it doesn't scorch.

The darker color doesn't effect the taste at all, and with some styles (e.g., stouts), it doesn't make any difference at all. But if you're hoping for a lighter-colored beer, plan on being a bit disappointed with LME.
 
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