First brew, bottling time not sure what to do?

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kosh

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Okay, I jumped into my first brew before I found these forums and edumacated myself. I bought a Muntons Connoisseurs Wheat extract and 3# of Muntons Amber Dry Malt (that's all the store had at the time).

I boiled the extract with 1 gallon of water for 30 minutes then added the dried malt and boiled another 30 minutes.

Funneled into my 6 gallon glass carboy and pitched the dry yeast that came with the extract on top of the wort, let it sit a few minutes then stirred it all up really good.
I didn't take an OG reading as I wasn't aware and didn't have the equipment.
The fermentation seemed to go well and after the first week it was still going strong so I let it sit another week and then it was still bubbling about every 2 1/2 minutes so I left it till 3 1/2 weeks in primary.

After 3 1/2 weeks of primary fermentation, I was going to bottle last night. I took a gravity reading and best I can tell it is around 1.016 (extract can says FG should be around 1.012 1.013 I think). The beer tasted kinda sweet and semi-syrupy and a little sour and after leaving the rest of my sample in a glass overnight, I can see a significant amount sediment still suspened in the brew and settled in the bottom of the glass.

I didn't bottle last night as I think maybe I need to do something else to this to make it come out "good"?? Maybe I need to buy a bucket and rack into it and do a secondary? Maybe let it sit another week? Maybe I should just bottle it? I have no clue...
 

Jorb

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Did you add hops during the boil?

I'd let it sit another week then take another gravity reading. If it matches the first one you're good to bottle.
 
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kosh

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No, I didn't add any hops, I kinda thought they were already in there because the extract said it had hop extract in it.

I did relieve all of the pressure in the air lock last night before I went to bed and it was floating again when I woke up for whatever that's worth. I read that pressure/activity is no guarantee that fermentation is still taking place.
 

flars

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I thought all Munton's Connoisseurs Range kits were no boil. Can't find a recipe on line that details boiling. The recipes I found were to add boiled water to the tin contents in the fermentor.

Adding the DME would require the use of Muntons Premium Gold Yeast to handle the extra complex sugars.

Muntons' Site Solutions: It might not always be possible to re-start a stuck fermentation but the following actions are often successful: Check that the temperature is 18-23°C then gently stir the brew to rouse the yeast, using a sterilised spoon. This action alone may restart the yeast. Add a new sachet of yeast and a sachet of good quality yeast nutrient to the brew, sprinkle onto the surface and stir with a sterilised spoon. Always use a good quality brewing yeast such as Muntons Premium Gold yeast designed for all malt recipe brews which is capable of fermenting out higher or complex sugars.

Hope this helps.
 

kombat

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At 3 1/2 weeks, your fermentation is most certainly done. Your final gravity is consistent with that, as extract brews typically finish a little higher. In fact, I'd say you got a pretty low final gravity considering the ingredients. The syrupy-sweet flavour is a trait of the boiled extract, or stale/old extract.

To answer your questions, you're fine to go ahead and bottle now. If you have the capability to fit your fermenter in a refrigerator, then doing so for a few days (3-4) should dramatically improve your beer's clarity and encourage more sediment to precipitate out. If not, don't worry about it, just move your fermenter to where you're going to be racking it from into your bottling bucket, and leave it there for a couple more days to settle out anything that got swirled up as you moved it.

Then, when racking to your bottling bucket, make sure you keep the siphon above the sediment at the bottom (this is easier with a glass carboy, but can be done with an opaque bucket). Be careful not to splash or otherwise aerate the beer during these steps. Oxygen is your beer's enemy!

One other comment, for next time, when you're doing these "pre-hopped" kits, you don't need to boil them. In fact, by boiling them, you're altering the hop profile of the beer. The extract was produced with hops added at various times to create the desired hop profile. Hops added earlier to the boil add bitterness, while hops added towards the end of the boil contribute aroma and flavour. By boiling the extract, you're turning those late-addition flavour and aroma hops into bittering hops, and losing precious hop character. The liquid extract is pasteurized in the can and does not need to be boiled for sanitization purposes. Just heat it up enough to dissolve into your water (180° F) and be careful it doesn't scorch onto the bottom of your pot.

Welcome to the addiction, let us know how it goes and good luck with your brewing!
 

bigken462

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Good to see a fellow Bama brewer on here. Welcome to the forum!

Ken
 
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kosh

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flars....I didn't know I wasn't supposed to boil :(
I got a small book recommended by the clerk at the shop that said to pretty much disregard the instructions on the can and do it this way so that's why I boiled. Oops.

Ken, yeah I live right up the road from you in Huntsville.
 

flars

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flars....I didn't know I wasn't supposed to boil :(
I got a small book recommended by the clerk at the shop that said to pretty much disregard the instructions on the can and do it this way so that's why I boiled. Oops.

Ken, yeah I live right up the road from you in Huntsville.
Uniformed LHBS strikes again. I am sorry this had to happen to you. Take another SG sample. Could dry hopping with something like East Kent Goldings be a consideration or will it be okay?
 

krackin

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At least you have a good solid story of how you started. In a few hundred gallons you will have it to tell.
 

bigken462

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Hey buddy, I think it might have been you that was texting me the other night from Craigs list about needing bottles? If not, well, that's all good too. lol

Sorry to hear about your frustration with your first batch. It'll get better. I promise! To give you a few pointers on bottling procedures, I'll post a link that I put a few pictures in the other night on a similar thread. I don't have many batches under my belt either. Only 6 so far, so I'm still very much a new brewer myself, but each time the process is getting a little more streamlined.

Listen to the mentors here on this group. They have been invaluable in helping me along the way. If I'm ever in Huntsville, I'll try to hook up with for lunch and compare notes.

Happy brewing to ya buddy.
 
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kosh

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Okay, so I read a couple of responses saying I should go ahead and bottle and some saying ferment longer with the possibility of adding more yeast for a stuck fermentation. I don't really know if the fermentation is stuck because it did bubble for a few weeks and my FG is close to what the kit says it should be (3 to 4 points higher), unless it needs to ferment further and more vigorously than just leaving it in there for another week.

I am still not sure of what to do. It sounds like since I boiled a no-boil kit that I may have ruined the stuff anyway. As it stands now if I bottle and it tastes the same only carbonated, I am not sure I would want to drink more than one bottle because it tasted sour and syrupy (not a hoppy IPA type of bitter, like a mashy sour type of bitter). If I can somehow get this tasting better and less syrupy then I am all for doing what I have to do to salvage this brew.

What about this scenario:
Buy another brew bucket and lid, rack into the bucket and add some of that Muntons Premium Gold Yeast if I can find some local and let it ferment longer then bottle? Or possibly somehow re-kickstart full on fermentation inside the carboy where it is now.

Or I could just bottle it this weekend and hope it cleans up in a month in the bottles?

Or, I could pour it all out and start over and try to do it closer to correctly this time? I have already bought another muntons connoisseurs wheat and some wheat DME this time and could just try another brew without boiling and actually take a SG reading and all that this time.

I hate to trash this brew and would love to salvage something decent and totally drinkable from what I have already invested almost a month in.

Ken, no that wasn't me on Craigslist. I have tons of bottles because I have been contemplating homebrewing for several years now and saved up cases and cases of nice dark thick glass Hoegaarden bottles. Now I just need to get the labels off and the outside of the bottles cleaned up.
 

tmacinc

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First, to throw out this batch would be rediculous. It may not be perfect but it's likely drinkable and will most definately get you drunk.

Second, you will learn fairly quickly that you have asked an unanswerable question in terms of internet forums. Everybody does things a bit differently and will have a different opinion. As a new brewer this can be overwhelming and make you question what is right. The truth is, neither approach will be wrong, bottle, or wait a bit and bottle.

The main concern with bottling before fermentation finishes is that you well have too much fermentable sugars in the bottles which can cause bottle bombs. If your gravity hasn't changed for a few days this is unlikely. Your gravity is only a few points a way from the target so it's probably just stopped a bit early (possibly from boiling, possibly from fermentation temp, possibly from old yeast, the list goes on forever).

My advice would be to check the gravity a few days after you last did, if it is the same then bottle away, or of course you could always wait a week and bottle then ;) If your beer has already finished you shouldn't be able to detect any difference in the final product if you bottled half now and half in a week.

I think the only correct answer to this is do not dump it.
 

flars

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Bring the wort to about 65° and add a pack of SA-05. Might get rid of the syrupy feel. If the 05 ferments it down the change in flavor may indicate whether or not dry hoppping would be a consideration for aroma.

Rehydrate the yeast before pitching.
 
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kosh

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FYI
This is the book I bought and used as a guide.
The True Brew Handbook-A Beginners Guide To Home Brewing

Flars - yeah the LHBS is run by complete and total hippies and I swear the woman was effed up when she was talking to me, she could hardly formulate coherent speech without thinking really hard before everything she said. Even my brother who went with me commented on her apparent state of being.

BTW, I have nothing against most hippies as long as they shower regularly.
 
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flars

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FYI
This is the book I bought and used as a guide.
The True Brew Handbook-A Beginners Guide To Home Brewing

Flars - yeah the LHBS is run by complete and total hippies and I swear the woman was effed up when she was talking to me, she could hardly formulate coherent speech without thinking really hard before everything she said. Even my brother who went with me commented on her apparent state of being.

BTW, I have nothing against most hippies as long as they shower regularly.
I have the same book. Have no idea where it is now.
 
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MindenMan

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You could tray adding sugar with the new addition of yeast. Adding sugar will help dry out the "syrupy-ness" you speak of. I realize adding sugar to ferment out some of the sugar that is already there, doesn't sound right, but it works, and may help you out this time.
 

petie

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Could it be that some of the sugars got caramalized during the boil making them unfermentable and that's where the sweet syrupy taste is coming from? Just a thought.


If it didn't matter,it wouldn't matter!
 
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kosh

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I was wondering that too petie.

I just took another gravity reading and it is still at 1.016 so it hasn't changed in several days. Honestly, I think it tastes a little better but still the same, just not as POW! as before but that could be my palate.

I did go buy a pack of SA-05 on the way home from work yesterday just in case. If I added sugar (not sure I need because it already tastes kinda sweet and syrupy), what would I add? Bottling sugar? I assume I wouldn't want to disturb the wort too much if at all when adding yeast and possibly sugar?

I just want to get the beer to smell and taste better to be drinkable so I don't wast the time and effort so far, I don't care about getting drunk this go round ;)
 
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kosh

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I rehydrated and pitched the SA-05 yeast in there at about 3AM this morning. It is bubbling at about the same rate it was after 2 weeks (approx. one bubble every 2 minutes). I hope this will get rid of some more of the sugars and clean it up a little in a couple of weeks.

I kind of expected more bubbling action but maybe since there is less sugars in there it is slower?
 
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kosh

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I checked the gravity today and it was right around 1.012 and it looked, smelled, and tasted more like beer instead of the syrupy bitter taste before. I primed and bottled today 25 - 12oz. bottles and the rest in 5 1/2 - 64oz. brown bottles. Hopefully I will get some decent drinkable beer in several weeks or more.

Incidentally I checked the gravity a couple of weeks ago and it was higher like around 1.020 but it was bubbling pretty good at that point.
 
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kosh

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The beer in the bottles came out drinkable, kind of tastes a little like some "green" beer but my cousin likes it so I might give it all to him....I can barely drink one beer and I have had enough. It seems carbonated enough and has a nice creamy head with really fine bubbles but the head doesn't stay for long.

I opened one of the 64oz bottles over the weekend and it is flat, seems like it didn't carbonate. I hope they aren't all that way.
 

flars

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The beer in the bottles came out drinkable, kind of tastes a little like some "green" beer but my cousin likes it so I might give it all to him....I can barely drink one beer and I have had enough. It seems carbonated enough and has a nice creamy head with really fine bubbles but the head doesn't stay for long.

I opened one of the 64oz bottles over the weekend and it is flat, seems like it didn't carbonate. I hope they aren't all that way.
The head not staying long is often due to soap residue in the glass. Make up a salt paste to scrub the glass with. Pickling salt or kosher salt is best. They are not iodized.
Put some bottles away to condition longer. Some bad beers can taste pretty good after a few months of aging. Try one a week just to check. Chill each one a couple of days before opening.
I hope they turn out for you. Experience can be great teacher. It is also sometimes a bummer.
 
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kosh

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I ended up drinking all of the (12 oz.) bottled stuff and left the non-carbonated (64 oz.) half gallon bottles in a container in the closet till about a week ago, so it aged over a year since bottling. It was carbonated and didn't taste too bad, although it still had a little bit of that "green" taste. My wife even thought it didn't taste bad for a home brew. Now, I just have to drink it all and then try to brew some more, hopefully the correct way this time (I boiled a no-boil mix).
 

aprichman

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I ended up drinking all of the (12 oz.) bottled stuff and left the non-carbonated (64 oz.) half gallon bottles in a container in the closet till about a week ago, so it aged over a year since bottling. It was carbonated and didn't taste too bad, although it still had a little bit of that "green" taste. My wife even thought it didn't taste bad for a home brew. Now, I just have to drink it all and then try to brew some more, hopefully the correct way this time (I boiled a no-boil mix).
Have you considered brewing with normal malt extract and hops? Those kits aren't great quality which means your beer is almost guaranteed to be subpar. Best of luck :mug:
 
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kosh

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Yeah I have considered that but I bought a few of the canned malt extracts so I want to use them up first. The local store I used to buy my supplies and kits from closed down so, I will have to find a new source. I might have to just do mail order...
 
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