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Langerz

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New Forum member although been around reading for a while. My intro is in the intro thread but after my first brew day I have some questions and thought I'd post a summary of the day and get a bit of advice. Overall things went well but a couple things I'm not sure about.

First the recipe. I bought a More Beer all grain Two Hearted Ale clone - I Heart IPA. Grain - 10 lbs 2-row pale, 2 lbs Vienna Malt, 8 oz Crystal and 8 ox Carapilis. Centennial hops 1 oz at 60min, 30min, 5 min, 1 min and will have one to dry hop. Yeast - dry yeast - LalBrew Amercian West Coast Ale Yeast - BRY-97. I milled the grains myself and ran through the mill twice. I had a bit of trouble with the mill feeding but worked through it. Basically I put a hand in the grain and kind of stirred around the top of the rollers or things got hung up and the rollers would just spin and not pull grain through. I ran through the first time at 0.065 and second at 0.035.

Second the set up - I did a BIAB in a 15 gallon vessel with a 5 gallon carboy for fermenting (I learned after I ordered that I probably should have gone bigger but as you'll read later it was big enough for this time).

Process - target mash temp was 148. I heated 5.6 gallons water to 155 and added the grain and wrapped in sleeping bags. It stayed at 148 for almost all of the 60min period I left it. I did an iodine test and looked good. I let the bag drain a bit. Splarged with 1.9 gallons of water between 160-170 F by pouring over the bag. I "moderately" squeezed the bag and also put it in a bucket to drain and added that water a bit into the boil. Boiled what I thought was a moderate level of boil and then chilled with a copper coil which took about 30 minutes.

Questions -

First a question around yield/efficiency. I ended up with about 4.5 gallons in my fermenter and that was with leaving nothing in the vessel. I used Brewfather to help me with volumes of water. I ended up at a OG of 1.064. The recipe gave a range of 1.056-1.061 which I know from a discussion in my intro thread that if I had ended up with 5 gallons I would have been right in the middle of that at 1.058. My efficiency was 65%. My main question is on future batches how do I understand this a bit better and improve? I wish I had a little more information like the volume pre boil. How do people generally measure that? Marks on vessel? A probe with marks to measure depth? The what are the adjustments to look for next time? Let bag drain more? Less vigorous boil? Or just start with more water? I'm sure there are plenty of discussions about this on the forum already so feel free to point me to other places to look.

Second and my bigger question is I have a couple inches of lighter colored "gunk" for lack of a better word in the bottom of my fermenter. See attached picture. I read some places with similar pictures this is yeast but I noticed it immediately (I think before I added yeast but if not with in a minute or two of adding - memory is a bit fuzzy of exact time). I mentioned earlier that I didn't leave anything in the vessel due to the lower volumes but I did run things through a strainer at least for the bottom inch or so of the vessel. I haven't been able to find anything exactly like this in my searches so curious. I did notice with cooling there were some cloudy areas in the wort that looked a bit like this. Thinking back I wonder if they were by the hop bags which I left in until after it had cooled.

Anyway thanks for any feedback people have for me and I'm looking forward to being an active member of the forums.
 

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#1, This will require multiple brews with good notes to help dial in your software. Two places I’d look first if you’re short on your final volume are grain absorption and boil off volume. This is where taking notes helps. For grain absorption, note the difference in volume before and after you mash then divide by the amount of grain. For boil off, note the pre and post boil volume and divide by the time it boiled.

#2, Those are proteins and other organic material called trub (pronounced troob) from the cold break. As with most things homebrewing, opinion is split regarding how much of that to allow into your fermenter. I don’t get worked up over trub. Well over half normally makes it into my fermenter.
 
When I boil the wort, I let it come to a fast rolling boil, then turn down the heat until it is just barely boiling. There is little advantage to boiling any more than that. If you do end up short on you wort into the fermenter and high on the OG, you can add plain water (not chlorinated tap water, bottled or water that you have treated with part of a Campden tablet to remove the chlorine to get the proper amount/OG.

I don't leave anything in the boiling pot, dump everything in and let the yeast sort it out. Carefull siphoning to the bottling bucket leaves most of the trub behind. Giving the beer a few minutes to settle allows much of what you did transfer to settle out.
 
As you already mentioned, you would have reached your target OG with the correct volume of water. You can top off the volume with the missing 1/2 gallon of brew water. (distilled or boiled/cooled water.) Your 4.5 gallons at 1.064 would land at your recipe target when 'watered down' by another half gallon.

4.5 gallons @ 64 = 4.5 * 128 * 64 = 36864
36864 / 5 gallons = 36864/640 = 57.6 (OG 1.057 -- 1.058)

But no problem leaving at the stronger OG, either.
 
#1, This will require multiple brews with good notes to help dial in your software. Two places I’d look first if you’re short on your final volume are grain absorption and boil off volume. This is where taking notes helps. For grain absorption, note the difference in volume before and after you mash then divide by the amount of grain. For boil off, note the pre and post boil volume and divide by the time it boiled.
Definitely this. Gather data for brews with varying grain bill sizes and understand absorption and boil-off for your system. I think you could simplify the process and calculations by doing a full volume no-sparge mash. A 15-gallon kettle has more than enough room for 5-gallon batches.

Regarding milling, I'm not sure a first pass with a 0.065 gap is doing much. For BIAB, I do a single pass with a 2-roller mill with the gap set at 0.030 which works well for me.
 
Related to volumes this seems like a dumb question but haven’t really seen it mentioned anywhere. It’s easy to measure my inputs but like post boil do you just use marks on he vessel or like a stainless steel yard stick and calculate the volume?

Related to the turb I assume it’s not easy to strain out since it made its way through the brew bag and I strained at least the bottom third of the pot when I transferred to the fermenter. So I assume the key is to get as little of it as possible when I siphon to the bottling bucket and then let that settle below the spigot on the bucket.

One other question thinking ahead do people think it’s smarter to stick with a single recipe for the first couple brew to learn or does that matter a lot?
 
Related to volumes this seems like a dumb question but haven’t really seen it mentioned anywhere. It’s easy to measure my inputs but like post boil do you just use marks on he vessel or like a stainless steel yard stick and calculate the volume?
I measure with a stainless steel measuring stick, and then reference that measurement against a calibrated chart I keep in the front of my brewing notebook.
Related to the turb I assume it’s not easy to strain out since it made its way through the brew bag and I strained at least the bottom third of the pot when I transferred to the fermenter. So I assume the key is to get as little of it as possible when I siphon to the bottling bucket and then let that settle below the spigot on the bucket.
It should settle out pretty firmly after fermentation. Just keep the siphon well off the bottom of the fermenter and accept that you'll lose some beer on the transfer in the name of avoiding solids.
 
I have volume markings in one kettle and a sight glass on another. I have seen DIY marked or notched mash paddles with gallon markings on them that work well too.

Regarding trub, yes try not to get any in the bottling bucket by keeping the siphon above the trub. Use a clamp of some kind to maintain the siphon height if necessary. I use fermenters with spigots and generally the trub line is below the spigot.

On recipes, I would personally do something different for 5-gallon batches, since I like variety. You can find something with a similar sized grain bill and hop amounts if you want to make water loss adjustments proportional to the prior batch.
 
When you have a higher OG than the recipe you can dilute with water to give you the proper OG for the recipe. There are calculators online that can help you figure it out. Brewer's Friend up in the Brewing Software tab at the top of the page has one and I'm sure BrewFather has one too as you might already have found out.

As for the stuff on the bottom of your FV, then that will be different each time as you brew until you start to get better at controlling how much you leave behind in the boil kettle better. To a certain extent your recipe might impact what you see on the bottom. There'll be hop matter and other proteins from your malts and stuff that hopefully will all become trub on the bottom of the FV if you give it enough time.

The cloudy areas in your wort as you cooled it is probably what we know as cold break. If it's compact enough to leave in the kettle, then you are doing good. I haven't noticed any difference for taste or clarity of the final product I pour into my glass whether it was a batch with everything from the kettle into the FV or when I get a real good cold break and can leave a lot behind.

I weigh everything and figure out my volumes from that. I use gallon bottles of water, I weigh each before I start, and write the weight in grams on it and then weigh each after using and subtract out the tare.
 
As far as trying to brew the same recipe a few times, I can understand trying to get it down. I think brewing any new style kit or recipe as your next offers a lot in knowledge on the brewing process. Being new you are learning how to use your equipment and gain brewing knowledge. So I would try another style you like and go from there. I never brew the same recipe back to back as I want some variety in the beers I'm drinking.

I have a wood stick, oak of course, with the length longer than the depth of my brew kettle. I have it marked with lines to indicate gallons. I brew ten gallon batches so it starts out at the five gallon mark. I use that to determine the kettle volume but also to confirm my other calculations I get with BeerSmith.
 
Definitely this. Gather data for brews with varying grain bill sizes and understand absorption and boil-off for your system. I think you could simplify the process and calculations by doing a full volume no-sparge mash. A 15-gallon kettle has more than enough room for 5-gallon batches.

Regarding milling, I'm not sure a first pass with a 0.065 gap is doing much. For BIAB, I do a single pass with a 2-roller mill with the gap set at 0.030 which works well for me.
The 0.065 pass was more because I was having issues getting it to feed and thought maybe a wider pass followed by finer would help that. It didn’t really but I think I ended up getting things figured out milling wise by the time everything was finished
 
Thanks for all the comments. Since it's my first brew I thought I'd update and ask a few questions.

Fermentation seemed to go well. Was going strong by 24 hours and went strong for about 4 days. I used a blow off tube mainly because I wasn't sure what to expect. I did have a bit burp out of the lid at one point. I have a big mouth bubbler and the lid didn't fit very well which let that happen. I since found a solution to that on the forms (flipped the seal over). After the four days I switched to an airlock.

I took a refractometer readying on the 22nd and it read 1.031 at that point all bubbling had stopped. I did my OG reading with a hydrometer and learning more I think maybe that wasn't a good idea. I didn't get the refractometer until later when I decided it might be a bit easier to use that during fermenting. I did a reading again today and got 1.031. Since it was the same I tried the hydrometer and got 1.006. I'm assuming either the refractometer wasn't calibrated correctly or I did see something about needing to correct based on OG. I'll have to check into that more. Since the refractometer reading hadn't changed in two days and the hydrometer was low I assumed fermentation was done and dry hopped.

I also took a taste and I'm in the camp of I think this was pretty good but I'm not sure. It was at least drinkable which I'll take as a victory for the first time.

Now questions...

First on the FG. The recipe estimated an OG of 1.056-1.061. Brew Father predicted an OG of 1.069 and FG of 1.014. Measured was 1.064 OG and 1.006 FG. I think I have thoughts on the OG from earlier in the thread. FG I'm not sure and not sure how much it matters. I was actually worried I'd have the opposite problem. Things I read after I did this brew told be I probably should have used more yeast than I did so I was more worried about fermentation stalling or taking to long than a lower FG. From what I read lower FG means higher ABV and a crisper beer. I don't either is bad in this case, but more curious if 1) I should be concerned and 2) what should I do about it? I assume temperature control plays into it. I don't have really any control at this point (I've spent enough for now on equipment but I'm sure I'll get there). I did ferment in a basement store room that stays pretty good and consistent. I did put a smart home sensor in the room to track. The first ~5 days temps stayed between 66-68 (ambient temp not beer temp). The last few days temps did seem to shift up a couple degreed (not really sure why there tbh).

Second on flavor - I tasted a bit today from the hydrometer reading before dry hopping. Things were a bit sweeter then I expected. Decent bitterness but not a ton of hop flavor (dry hopping should help that). Flavor seemed at least ok overall. Drinkable but something not quite right that I couldn't put my finger on in the small amount I tried. I assume dry hopping and conditioning will effect that. The biggest thing I noticed was an aroma I would describe as "old beer" like if you have a few and leave the bottles out on the counter without rinsing and then go out into the kitchen the next morning. I'm a novice around green beer so curious if that is a normal thing at this point.

Long post - thanks again for the input.
 
I'll chime in with a few pieces of advice.
When you are first starting off on all grain brewing on new equipment, you should aim for correct volume or correct gravity but not both. It's too difficult to get both correct on your first brews with so many unknown variables. But aiming for gravity only (for example) will hone your skills on how to problem solve for that issue. Meanwhile take notes on how volumes were affected throughout the brew. Více versa if you choose to focus on volume.

Before I had a sight glass on my kettle I used a tape measure to measure volume pre and post boil. I just used a Kettle volume calculator to convert my measurements into volume.

A low fg could mean low mash temperatures. Is your thermometer calibrated? I used an electric meat thermometer for a few years and my brews as always finished with low fgs (though they still tasted great). I switched to a inkbird instant read thermometer and then my beers started to finish in the 1.010-1.016 range. Several points higher than usual.

A refractometer is designed to read the amount of sugar in a liquid. The presence of alcohol (after fermentation has startes/ended) will skew the results. There are plenty of refractometer correction tools online though that you can use to get the correct gravity reading.
 
I'll chime in with a few pieces of advice.
When you are first starting off on all grain brewing on new equipment, you should aim for correct volume or correct gravity but not both. It's too difficult to get both correct on your first brews with so many unknown variables. But aiming for gravity only (for example) will hone your skills on how to problem solve for that issue. Meanwhile take notes on how volumes were affected throughout the brew. Více versa if you choose to focus on volume.

Before I had a sight glass on my kettle I used a tape measure to measure volume pre and post boil. I just used a Kettle volume calculator to convert my measurements into volume.

A low fg could mean low mash temperatures. Is your thermometer calibrated? I used an electric meat thermometer for a few years and my brews as always finished with low fgs (though they still tasted great). I switched to a inkbird instant read thermometer and then my beers started to finish in the 1.010-1.016 range. Several points higher than usual.

A refractometer is designed to read the amount of sugar in a liquid. The presence of alcohol (after fermentation has startes/ended) will skew the results. There are plenty of refractometer correction tools online though that you can use to get the correct gravity reading.
Maybe explain a bit on only focus on gravity or volume. They are related so changing one effects the other. Maybe that’s what you are saying. Don’t make adjustments to both volume and sugars or you’ll “chase your tail”. I’ll definitely pay more attention to volume through the process next time now that I’m prepared. Related to gravity I am not sure much more would make sense to measure. Maybe a pre boil reading (I see that in the software) but multiple points during mash/boil doesn’t seem to make much sense to me. I could see more points during fermentation but also mostly want to leave it alone and closed up at that point.

I think my thermometer is solid. I’m a bbq guy and an engineer so I have a really good thermometer. I suppose it could have just recently went out of cal but it did match the dial thermometer on the vessel. I know not to trust those but when it matches the good one it adds confidence.

The recipe did say a mash temp of 149 which is lower so maybe contributed.
 
It sounds like a very successful brew day, for jumping in to all grain on your first try! Hitting the gravity mark pretty much on the money is great. As you keep going, it may be helpful to separate gravity and volume in your mind. Gravity is basically the amount of sugar you are able to pull from a given grain bill, and your final volume is a function of how much water you start with and how much you lose to grain absorption & boil off. So with this brew, you got the right amount of sugar out of the grain, and you lost more water than expected, either to grain or the boil. I think it's much better to have the right amount of sugar and not enough water because you can easily add a bit of distilled water in and your wort is perfect. I have been brewing for 10 years, and I top off my wort with water pretty much every time because I brew small batches on my stove and using all the water I'd need is just a bit too much for my equipment. As long as I get the right amount of sugar out of the grain, that's all I care about. So I'd say, feel free to try and improve your volumes, but there's no need to obsess over it. There are plenty of other parts of the process that are more crucial to the final product.
 
When I had fermenters I could carry (like the big mouth bubbler), I weighed them (tared to the empty weight, of course) to calculate my fermenter volume. (Weight in pounds) / 8.3454 (weight of a gallon of water) / OG (density of the wort compared to the water).

5.5 gallons of 1.060 wort should weigh about 48.65 pounds. Trub will throw this off though.

I found it to be quite accurate. Though now I have volume markings on my boil kettle and fermenters and so I don't have to mess around doing that. This was also before I realized that I don't need to stress out about being super accurate to that level of detail :).
 
I just put a bag of corn sugar on the top. Did you flip the seal over? That made a giant difference. I'm not sure I still need the weight and I'm also not sure it actually seals well with the weight if you don't flip it
No, I didn't flip the seals and it does seal up.

Lon
 
When I had fermenters I could carry (like the big mouth bubbler), I weighed them (tared to the empty weight, of course) to calculate my fermenter volume. (Weight in pounds) / 8.3454 (weight of a gallon of water) / OG (density of the wort compared to the water).

5.5 gallons of 1.060 wort should weigh about 48.65 pounds. Trub will throw this off though.

I found it to be quite accurate. Though now I have volume markings on my boil kettle and fermenters and so I don't have to mess around doing that. This was also before I realized that I don't need to stress out about being super accurate to that level of detail :).
That's a great idea.
 
Ok I reached bottle day and back for a couple questions. Overall things went well. During bottling I really wish I had done a better job with trub when I transferred to the fermenter because it was a bit of a pain to avoid. Here's my questions from this point.

I siphoned to a bottling bucket and have a couple questions about that portion of the day....

1) I feel like I drew a lot of air into my siphon which I assume isn't great. Some was just experience (need to better contain the bucket end of the hose because it kept popping above the surface of the beer. The one I'm not sure about is the siphon seemed too short. It reached about 2/3 of the way into the fermenter when it hung over the side. That was kind of nice because I was able to siphon most of the beer with out worrying about getting into the turb, but once I had to start holding myself things seemed to get bubbly and that's also when I lost track of the other end of the hose and it kept popping out above the surface. I assume the simple answer is buy a longer siphon that fits my fermenter better. Are their other solutions?

2) Next question was during bottle filling. I attached a spring loaded bottle filler to my bottling bucket. That seemed to work pretty well other than when I pulled the bottle off the filler, the volume of the filler made a significant difference in the volume in the bottle. I was shooting for 3/4"-1" from the top but even if I filled the bottle to the top I ended up with over 2" from the top filled. I was afraid that would end up being too much air in the bottle so my quick solution was I grabbed a stainless steel chopstick I have, sanitized it and used it to press the spring loaded portion and open the vale to fill a bit more. I'm guessing this portion was a bit aerated though so not the best solution. What do people normally do there?

Finally a couple clean up questions. Not the funnest part of the day, but wasn't bad.

3) My wife is a dietitian and has worked in food service and is always harping on me about getting thing dry. Getting the inside of tubes dry is impossible though. I assume the solution is just let them drain the best possible and then sanitize the next time they are used to get anything the moisture attracts. I wanted to check to be sure though.

4) I remember reading somewhere discoloration is bad, but there are a couple areas discolored that I couldn't get get back no matter how hard I scrubbed and soaked in PBW. The areas were those that were stained by krausen - fermenter lid seal, the plug for the air lock and a bit of the blow off tube. They aren't bad, just a bit of discoloration. Am I good there or do I need more elbow grease as my dad would say?
 
1. My local big box store has vinyl tubing in rolls of 25'. Check to see what size (diameter) you need and get a roll so you can cut off the length you need. Keep the rest because you will need to replace the tubing at some point. If your siphon doesn't reach the bottom of the fermenter you need to replace one or the other and the siphon is probably the cheaper. My siphon would sit on the bottom and have 6" of siphon above the rim. Consider replacing a simple siphon with an autosiphon.

2. Your bottle filler should be made such that when you fill the bottles all the way to the top and then remove the filler there should be about an inch of air space above the beer. For most beers it won't matter much if you have more space above the beer. The exception is beers that are intended to have hop aroma which will react with the oxygen and destroy that aroma. I have filled bottles half way and capped them (trying to get that last little bit of beer into a bottle). The extra space means there is a lot more CO2 that will escape when you open them.

3. I have never been able to dry the insides of the tubing. I just put it into storage with that little bit of clean water inside and let it evaporate. The key is to rinse well after forcing a cleaning solution through so there is nothing but clean water for the mold to try to grow on. When I inevitably get some mold inside, I simply replace the cheap tubing and move on.

4. If you use enough elbow grease to completely remove the discoloration in the plastic fermenter you will inevitably scratch the plastic, providing a neat hiding space for bacteria which can then infect your next beer. Wash the areas with soapy water to remove any crud, then rinse well (very well) and forget the discoloration. You aren't likely to use the fermenter for anything but beer so the discoloration is no problem.
 
Thanks that helped a lot. Not sure why I didn’t consider the length of the first auto siphon I got but I have a longer one on the way.

The only one I’m still confused about is the bottle filler. It seems like it’s the same size as every other bottle filler I see out there. 3/8” diameter with the end with the spring loaded mechanism being closer to 1/2”. So the displaced volume of the filler seems standard. The bottles are 12 oz. The only other thing I can think of is the neck of these bottles is narrower so the displaced volume of the filler makes a bigger difference in the change in height. That seems unlikely since they have a standard diameter opening.
 
In no particular order...

3) To dry my tubing I'll hang it up and let it drain. Later after I've gotten everything else cleaned and the mess taken care of, I place small fan on the counter top. Then I'll get the tubing and place one end in front of the fan and the other end of the fan behind it. It'll dry fairly quick. Short pieces of tubing and rigid tube just goes in front of the fan.

I also will put most of the other stuff that takes long to dry in front of the fan too. Amazing what a little airflow will do. If you ever need to thaw out a couple big New York Strips from the freezer quick, then just set them on a aluminum sheet pan and place that same fan where it can blow on them.

I use that fan a lot for things in the kitchen. I consider it a must have just like I consider my kitchen scale a must have.

4) What's discolored? Your plastic fermenter? If you used iodophor to sanitize it as I do, then the iodine in it will stain it. It's not a surface deposit, so it won't easily be removed. If it's that, then it's harmless other than being aesthetically unpleasing. I've not had any issues removing anything left from the fermentation from any of my fermenters, plastic or glass, it just wipes off if you don't let it dry on them after draining the beer.

2) Sometimes I leave that headspace created by the filler. You'll get a very satisfying phfft sound when you open the bottle. And it seems to leave close to 12 fl oz of beer in the bottle.

However depending on what I feel like that day, I might fill them all the way to the top and just leave a 1/16 inch or so of headspace. When you open those for the first time you'll have a sudden fear go through you that your beer is flat. No phfft sound what so ever. But your beer will show it's carbonated when you pour it.

With my filler I can press the tip of it near the rim of the bottle and a trickle will come out to fill the remaining headspace.

1) Don't forget your beer already has some dissolved CO2 in it. So the turbulence as it goes through your tubing and fittings will cause some to bubble out of solution. I use to wonder where all that air in my lines was coming from until that epiphany dawned on me.

I also use electricians tape to cover any joints or connections that might leak air into the tube as it's siphoning beer. And a hard plastic or stainless steel racking tube on the end going into the FV can be attached securely to the side of the FV or bottling bucket so you don't have to worry with it while racking beer out of the FV or filling bottles.
 
Easy way to clean the FV (assuming a similar described FV) - after rinsing, add 1/2 ~ 1 gal warm H20, add appropriate cleaner (PBW, One step, etc), add a small wash cloth (or microfiber) & a stopper. Invert the FV holding the stopper to "restrain the release", and swirl the contents. The wash cloth is soft enough not to scratch, but has enough texture to remove mtls. Of course, ymmv... ;-) - oh, get a good grip if glass...
 
I should clarify the FV wasn't an issue at all to clean. Just misc stuff had some discoloration - the seal for the lid, the first couple inches of the blow off hose, and the plug in the lid when I switched to an air lock.
 
If it is just discoloration or staining, I don't worry about it. Some staining such as the iodophor staining will go away over time. Or for times I've soaked my beer bottles and other things in a chlorine bleach solution for a time the stains on my plastic bucket and tubing will lighten up quite a bit.

The silicone seals I use with SS sanitary fittings on the bottom of my FV will darken from the beer that that is in the FV.

Vinyl, silicone, plastic, rubber and other such will get some staining.
 
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One other question just popped into my head. When siphoning from the fermenter to bucket how do I balance getting as much beer as possible which cutting things off when the siphon starts drawing some air and I see bubbles. I don't want to waste anything but also know aeration is important. I think this was made more difficult by the amount of trub I had and the short siphon mentioned above. Is it typical to siphon until you start drawing some air?
 
I don't want to waste anything but also know aeration is important. I think this was made more difficult by the amount of trub I had and the short siphon mentioned above. Is it typical to siphon until you start drawing some air?
Before I got a conical, I would put something under the edge of my carboy from the very start so the trub would be more to one side leaving an area where the final dregs of beer would pool so I could move the end of the racking tube into it as the level got lower.

It'll be different each time though depending on how well the trub and yeast packed. If you get a bit of beer with trub and yeast mixed in it's not a big deal. Nor do I think that little bit of air that you might suck up at the end of the process is a big deal.... unless yours is a extremely hoppy beer.

Don't take the first paragraph as an endorsement for conical FV's. They come with their own issues and expense to do them correctly. You can make good beer in a carboy and I presume a bucket too since many do.
 
I don't want to waste anything but also know aeration is important. I think this was made more difficult by the amount of trub I had and the short siphon mentioned above. Is it typical to siphon until you start drawing some air?
I always siphon until the siphon starts drawing air or I start getting a bunch of trub in the tubing. A little air isn't going to ruin most beers. The beers that have dry hopping do lose their hop aroma quicker when there it oxygen introduced in the bottling process. By quicker I mean in 2 to 3 months most of the aroma is gone. Depending on your drinking habits, the beer might be gone before 2 to 3 months are up making the point moot.
 
Second on flavor - I tasted a bit today from the hydrometer reading before dry hopping. Things were a bit sweeter then I expected. Decent bitterness but not a ton of hop flavor (dry hopping should help that). Flavor seemed at least ok overall. Drinkable but something not quite right that I couldn't put my finger on in the small amount I tried. I assume dry hopping and conditioning will effect that. The biggest thing I noticed was an aroma I would describe as "old beer" like if you have a few and leave the bottles out on the counter without rinsing and then go out into the kitchen the next morning. I'm a novice around green beer so curious if that is a normal thing at this point.
Langerz, my first thought was oxidation. I use a little kmeta and ascorbic acid in the last 10 mins of the boil and then AA alone whenever I open the FV (including kegging) to help pick up any O2 that may get in. Just one thought. Good luck :mug:
 
Langerz, my first thought was oxidation. I use a little kmeta and ascorbic acid in the last 10 mins of the boil and then AA alone whenever I open the FV (including kegging) to help pick up any O2 that may get in. Just one thought. Good luck :mug:
Oxidation seems like the most likely cause but would it have that flavor right away? I don’t feel there was much opportunity to have oxidation issues until bottling day. Before that I took the lid off the fermenter twice for SG readings and to dry hop. It’s hard to keep it more closed than that.

I guess early on I did have the issue with the lid and Krausen burped out since if something came out air can come in. But I would think during high krausen it would mostly be gasses escaping and nothing coming in.

Like I said I think I had some issues during siphoning but mainly questioning would that affect flavor that quick. I probably drank the sample 2-3 hours after siphoning (bottling time plus time to let it cool in the fridge. Actually come to think of it I did just leave it in the fridge in an open glass and that’s another possible source.
 
Is this the Two Hearted Ale of your OP? For lighter colored beers like a pale ale, oxidation doesn't really have a flavor other than the hops get muted at first and later you might get a cardboard taste. Darker beers I've read might give something nasty in their taste.

When you taste your beer from the FV or any time before it's carbonated properly, it won't really give the same tastes. Carbonation will change some of your perceptions over what you are currently tasting. Carbonation isn't just bringing bubbles to the party.

Your beer in the FV in the first pic seems a little dark for that SRM of 5ish it's supposed to be. But until you put it in a glass, the color in the FV might be misleading.

You don't have to dry hop to get a really hoppy beer. Just stuff in a lot of hops at flameout or in the whirlpool. For me, I wasn't satisfied with the beers I dry hopped. One of my favorite beers was a Brewdog Punk recipe I made quite a few times. No dry hopping, but really hoppy.

When I was doing beers in a clear carboy, I seldom even sampled the SG. I just waited till they got very clean in the FV. So I never opened them at all till bottling day. Which for me back then was 3 to 6 weeks of time in the FV.
 
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Yes it's still the Two Hearted Clone Originally posted. The comment about oxidation not having a flavor is interesting after reading up a lot about NEIPA and closer transfer etc. Maybe they are an exception or actually more the comment you said about muting the hops and that being critical to that style.

Sounds like I just need to wait and get the carbonated version to see how it tastes.

Regarding the SRM the picture is misleading. It's somewhat terrible lighting but I think mostly FV color being misleading since it looked pretty dark in better lighting. Here's a picture in the glass. I poured it next to an actual two hearted and it was a bit lighter but in the ball park.

Even if carbonation doesn't improve the flavor I'll be happy with this one. My goal for batch 1 was drinkable and learn a lot from the process. Unless something goes way off in conditioning I think it will definitely be drinkable. Thanks to the experience and this forum I definitely learned a lot. Now that my FV is empty I'm ready to tackle batch two. Going to try a WC IPA that will step up the hops significantly but otherwise pretty similar to this time around. Depending on how the weekend goes I might brew that one on Sunday.

2H.PNG
 
Oxidation seems like the most likely cause but would it have that flavor right away? I don’t feel there was much opportunity to have oxidation issues until bottling day. Before that I took the lid off the fermenter twice for SG readings and to dry hop. It’s hard to keep it more closed than that.

I guess early on I did have the issue with the lid and Krausen burped out since if something came out air can come in. But I would think during high krausen it would mostly be gasses escaping and nothing coming in.

Like I said I think I had some issues during siphoning but mainly questioning would that affect flavor that quick. I probably drank the sample 2-3 hours after siphoning (bottling time plus time to let it cool in the fridge. Actually come to think of it I did just leave it in the fridge in an open glass and that’s another possible source.
If you removed the lid completely for the SG sample and dry hopping, you probably lost a lot of the CO2 that was trapped above your beer. I try to just pry the lid of the bucket up enough to get a quick sample or add hops and get it closed as quick as I can.

It takes some time for oxidation to change the flavor of the beer and beer that is not agitated does not get oxygen dissolved in it very quickly. The off flavor was probably an immature beer flavor, perhaps some trub and hop debris that hadn't settled all the way yet.
 
Okay, that is probably close enough. I'd probably have left it in the FV longer. But if you can keep yourself and friends from consuming it right away, then some of that cloudy look will go to the bottom of the bottle. Though I'm trying to come to terms with the fact that many people like murky beer.

I'm still in the camp that says beer should be clean and transparent. Here is a pic of one of mine that I'm less proud of. I think this is Brewdog's Elvis Juice. It was a good beer too... by my tastes. Even it has too much haze for me...

IMG-20210522-WA0000.jpg


I kept it in the FV for 5 weeks. This is what it looked like in the FV a day or so before I finally decided to bottle it.
IMG-20211121-WA0000.jpg

I don't care to cold crash or do gelatin. So I just wait it out even though it likely reached FG over 4 weeks prior.
 
@hotbeer I've seen a lot of discussions on here about clarity. Maybe help enlighten me on the reason. It may be that my favorite style is NEIPAs so I'm just numb to clarity. Unless it impacts flavor at least for now pushing for clarity is low on my brewing priority list, but enlighten me.
 
@hotbeer I've seen a lot of discussions on here about clarity. Maybe help enlighten me on the reason. It may be that my favorite style is NEIPAs so I'm just numb to clarity. Unless it impacts flavor at least for now pushing for clarity is low on my brewing priority list, but enlighten me.
In many beer styles, cloudy beer meant there's still some yeast or other solids floating around that will impact flavor. Dropping them out of suspension with time, temperature, or a fining agent like gelatin would improve flavor (though at some point, the change is marginal and below your taste threshold). The haze in hazies is different because it's not the result of solid matter in suspension. I don't think we're 100% sure how it forms at this point, but it's basically a reaction between hop polyphenols and protein that's already in the beer. That kind of haze won't go away with time, temp, or fining agents. It also doesn't have a negative impact on flavor, though it can impact mouthfeel, I believe (positively). So whether you care about clarity is a matter of style. And the BJCP guidelines note which ones should be clear and which shouldn't.

When you're starting out, getting things reasonably free of suspended yeast and other particles is an important part of the process. That's different than achieving a beer so clear you can read through it, which is a more advanced goal. At that point, it's more about the cosmetics and how they reflect a proper brewing process than anything else.
 
@palmtrees , Thanks I don't think I could have said it as well as you put it.

Visually hazy beers just don't look right to me. It's just the way I'm wired. Even the pic of my beer is hazy to me. Although that beer tasted fine, I just didn't enjoy it as much as the beers I've made that were clearer. Even the one of the same recipe.
 
@palmtrees , Thanks I don't think I could have said it as well as you put it.

Visually hazy beers just don't look right to me. It's just the way I'm wired. Even the pic of my beer is hazy to me. Although that beer tasted fine, I just didn't enjoy it as much as the beers I've made that were clearer. Even the one of the same recipe.
You have the wrong serving container. You won't see any hazy beer in one of these.

https://www.discountmugs.com/produc...wQGoqO4_LwfTPVZ59ApU4xOC4AfIVCexoChREQAvD_BwE
 

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