Getting pretty discouraged

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Tonypr24

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I am on my 4th beer and I am getting pretty discourage. I don’t know if this hobby is for me. I don’t know what I am doing wrong but so far every beer has pretty much smell the same (yeasty smell) my first beer was the best one so far is was a Coors light clone and it was ok but it smelled pretty yeasty. My second beer was Cream Ale and it tasted kind of watery and same smell…my third beer was a Bass ale clone and was the same smell….I am on my fourth beer Iris ale and I am hoping to get a better result if I don’t I am going to feel like this is not for me. I am going to try this one with a liquid yeast and don’t know if that will help but so far I have every beer on 7 days primary and 14 days secondary. What am I doing wrong or what should I be doing different?
 

Laughing_Gnome_Invisible

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Firstly, your choices of beer are difficult for a first time brewer. They are very much on the light side, and any off flavours you get will be more noticeable. That is not to say you can't do them, just that you will be tasting all your first timer mistakes much more.

If your predominant problem is a yeasty taste, then I would look at how long you are leaving your beer in the fermenter and bottles. I suspect you might be rushing the process.
 

Revvy

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Well, are you taking a hydrometer reading on the 7th day, or are you just racking it whether or not the beer is done fermenting or not?

Racking too soon could easily result in all those symptoms. Especially yeasty tastes...but also any off flavor.

Sometimes it takes 72 hours for fermentation to even start, so if you are racking on the 7th day, that means you are rushing the beer off all those productive yeasts before they have a chance to finish their job.

Many of us don't even secondary, we leave our beer in primary for 3-4 weeks (most of mine a month) this give the yeast plenty of time to do their jobs, then clean up the mess they make, and even eat some of the chemicals that cause off flavors.

How bout this...slow down..

Don't even do anything to your beer for 2 weeks, then take a hydrometer reading. If you are near your target final grav, then you can secondary, or do what a lot of us do, and walk away for two more weeks, then bottle..

Then don't touch your bottles for a minimum of 3 weeks (if you are storing them at 70 degrees) or a little longer. I bet you that you will find a vast improvement in your beers by doing those simple steps..

Allowing 8 weeks from grain to glass for a normal beer will result in a highly tasty beer.

:mug:
 

Grinder12000

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Gnome says it.

1. hard beers
2. how long are you aging? 2? 3 months? or a few weeks?
3. lighter brews REALLY need water chemistry work (5.2 buffer can be used)
4. how about fermentation temps closer to 64 or 70?
5. can you post your technique? maybe there is some simple thing you are missing or doing slightly crooked
6. again - ANYTHING a little cock-eyed in those brews will show up.
 
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Tonypr24

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Thank you guys...I have been taking a reading on my 7th day and all of them have been done or close to it but you guys are right I am trying light beer and maybe not waiting it out. I am kegging so after the 1 week in primary and 2 weeks in secondary I have been kegging the beer and drinking it 2 days after that. I will take my time on this one...

Thanks guys
 

HOOTER

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Give us a full rundown on your procedures. Granted, that will take a while, but if you want useful suggestions we need to see exactly what you are doing. That way we can point out flaws and pinpoint potential issues.

One thing I can suggest right away is to try a simple, dark ale like a stout with rehydrated dry yeast. Darker, more flavorful beers can be more forgiving and the robust flavors can help mask flaws, plus rehydrating dry yeast is much easier than making a yeast starter with liquid. This will help you practice and if you succeed at making a quality batch of beer you'll get your confidence back and drop the silly idea of quiting.

This is just a start, but more info will help in determining what you are doing right and wrong.

Edit: I really need to learn to type faster. Sorry for any redundancy.
 

malkore

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yeah, full details on how you brew (extracts? PM? AG?) and all that jazz. 2 days in a keg isn't much aging time, and 1 week primary 2 weeks secondary is a fairly loose rule/guideline (helpful, but you'll learn over time when the right time is to move/keg/etc)
 

conpewter

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Thank you guys...I have been taking a reading on my 7th day and all of them have been done or close to it but you guys are right I am trying light beer and maybe not waiting it out. I am kegging so after the 1 week in primary and 2 weeks in secondary I have been kegging the beer and drinking it 2 days after that. I will take my time on this one...

Thanks guys
That's probably the issue. With unfiltered beer (which is almost all homebrew) you need to let it age, if you wait for it to bottle condition you've given it some time (usually not enough even then) but with kegging you still need to give it 3 weeks to a month in the keg for it to really start to be good.
 
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Tonypr24

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Ok for example my cream ale was an extrac receipe with a OG of 1.50 and a final 1.20. I had it in my primary for a week. i took the reading and I exacly 1.20. I did have a hard time keeping warm so I bought a heating belt and according to the term I had on the bottle it read 70 but not sure how accurate that was. I moved it to my secondary and left it for 2 weeks, then I kegged it. After 2 days of 30psi I poured my first beer...

I've follow the same process for my other beers...

Maybe I am not waiting long enough like you guys are saying, I will give my next one a couple of months...
 

Laughing_Gnome_Invisible

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Ok for example my cream ale was an extrac receipe with a OG of 1.50 and a final 1.20. I had it in my primary for a week. i took the reading and I exacly 1.20. I did have a hard time keeping warm so I bought a heating belt and according to the term I had on the bottle it read 70 but not sure how accurate that was. I moved it to my secondary and left it for 2 weeks, then I kegged it. After 2 days of 30psi I poured my first beer...

I've follow the same process for my other beers...

Maybe I am not waiting long enough like you guys are saying, I will give my next one a couple of months...
It sounds like you are fine and paying due diligence.....Therm on the fermenter, heat belt.....Yeah, just give it more time for those lighter styles........In the mean time, maybe try some more forgiving styles as mentioned above. That will build your confidence, and you might enjoy them more than you suspect! ;)
 

GreenwoodRover

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If you need a quickie beer try a hefe, it's supposed to be a little "yeasty" and I drink mine at week 6.
Otherwise let your brews wait in primary for 3 weeks, then into keg/secondary for another 3 weeks. "samples" from time to time over the next 3 weeks will give you some insight into the flavor development. Whatever you don't even bother passing judgement on a batch until at least week nine since the brew day. Longer in some instances.

Patience is helpful so is a nice pipeline to keep you busy and stocked up.
 

RedIrocZ-28

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Fermentation temps. 70* is too high. Anything I have fermented at or above 70* tastes yeasty and had an off flavor that just does not go away, ever. I recently cracked my last beer from my first batch I made in October which was in bottles for just shy of 5 months and it still tasted yeasty. That one fermented at 72* if I remember correctly.

Bottom line is this, if all your beers have an off taste thats like "yeasty", you need to start taking more steps to control your fermentation temps. i.e. water bath for your fermenter, and get those temps in the mid 60's at the highest. When the packet says the yeast work best between 65-75*, they don't mean the outside of the fermenter's temp. Everyone brewing for a while knows the temp in the fermenter can be as high as 10* over the outside thermometer, meaning that beer could be fermenting at over 80*!

Go get a rubbermaid tub and ferment in there, preferrably with the tub on a cement floor in the basement to sap some heat out of it and keep your temps down. :)
 

Ramsbottom_Brewer

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Although I am a newbie I feel for you. It took a good 3/4 weeks aging in the keg before I was happy with my brew.
 

pompeiisneaks

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I've had a few go yeasty due to too high ferm temps, that's my next step is a fermentation chamber of some kind. I've got an area that's been 70-74 sadly. The yeast off flavor does mellow on mine after time. Also, it could just need another week or two of aging... to let the yeast flavor mellow. Lots of good advice already, just agreeing w/ them.
 

homebrewer_99

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While we can only offer our experience in words what I see that you are in DIRE need of is an EXPERIENCED brewing buddy.

You're perpetrating one of my peeves...you don't say where you are located...:mad:

If you're located in/around a larger city chances are there is someone local that can come over and "hold your hand" so to speak and guide you through YOUR process and correct you as you go along. (I had my son-in-law by my side...within a few months he was asking me for advice...;)).

With just a little guidance, a better understanding of your techniques and a LOT of PATIENCE I'm sure you'll be brewing great tasting beer in no time. :mug:

Once you start brewing good beers you'll need to fill your pipeline. I have 2 kegs on tap, 8 in the keezer and 8 more lagering waiting to go into the keezer...then there are about 6 more cases and 3-4 batches fermenting...and 100 bottles of apfelweins and meads...
 

hoppheadIPA

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Everyone brewing for a while knows the temp in the fermenter can be as high as 10* over the outside thermometer, meaning that beer could be fermenting at over 80*!
This little piece of info is pretty much dead WRONG. Yes, fermentation does raise the temps about 5 degrees. But the fermometer on the side of your fermentor that sticks to the side, is a pretty damn accurate temp reading. When mine reads 68, the beer temp is guess what, 68. It's the people that don't have stick on fermometors that think their beer is the same temp as the ambient air, that have problems. Your water bath trick works though. I ALWAYS stick my fermentor in a water bath even if my house temp is 68.
 

The Pol

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I have a couple thoughts.

#1. Keep the ferment. temp down...

#2. Keep the beer in the fermentor longer. 7 days in the primary is NOT long enough. Yah yah, it may be at its FG, but the yeast need time to clean up thier mess from having orgies and pooping in your beer. You are not allowing that cleanup by racking the beer off the yeast cake so early.

#3. That 1.020 FG on a 1.050 OG beer is only 60% attenuation... that does not sound right to me. That is a very high FG in my experience. Heck, I can barely get an FG of 1.020 on a 1.070 OG beer!

Beer is easy, we as brewers mess it up sometimes.
 

humann_brewing

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Yah yah, it may be at its FG, but the yeast need time to clean up thier mess from having orgies and pooping in your beer. You are not allowing that cleanup by racking the beer off the yeast cake so early.
I feel so violated now, drinking beer with all those dirty whores in it.
 

michaelm

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Stop being a beer pedophile!!!!!!!! let the poor thing grow up before you have your way with it :)
 

The Pol

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Stop being a beer pedophile!!!!!!!! let the poor thing grow up before you have your way with it :)
Really! I mean... 7 days? That might fly in the DEEP south, but not in the bible belt brother!
 

hoppheadIPA

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Interesting. Every one of the long time brewer's posts I read say the same thing I did. :confused:
If your thermostat for your house is at 68, your beer is probably fermenting around 73. If the stick on fermometor says 68, it's a pretty good indication that your beer is in fact, 68 degrees. If you need to add 10 degrees to the temp, don't you think they would be calibrated that way from the manufacturer? Why even put on on them. It's just like a stick on themometor for a fish tank. I had a tank and when the water temp was 74 degrees on the outside thermometor, I measured it inside and it was the same. So I speak from experience.
 

Grinder12000

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10 degree difference between is a lot outside and inside of the carboy is a LOT - more like 5ish if you want my opinion. I've never heard anybody say 10 until now.
 

HOOTER

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If your thermostat for your house is at 68, your beer is probably fermenting around 73. If the stick on fermometor says 68, it's a pretty good indication that your beer is in fact, 68 degrees.
Stop fighting you two. :D

I think y'all are arguing about two different things. What RedIroc is saying (I think) is that the temp of the beer during fermentation can be up to 10 degrees warmer than the ambient air temp (probably more like 5 degrees). Correct me if I'm wrong, but I don't recall him specifically saying the temp of the beer during fermentation is 10 degrees warmer than what the fermometer stuck to the side of the fermenter indicates. Your both right so kiss and make up. :tank:
 

RedIrocZ-28

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^^Right, on my RIS, the outside thermometer (ambient air temp) was 69*. The thermometer on the bucket approached 80* (78* to be exact). I have one of those indoor outdoor thermometers that has a probe and a base unit where you can place the probe outside of a window or whatever and the base unit reads the temperature around it, digital readout for probe and base unit.

From MY experience, the beers fermenting temp, in a violent blowoff-needed ferment can be at least 8* over ambient. Because I saw it happen with my own eyes. I would duplicate to prove it but that beer was not the best I have ever made and I don't want to make 5 more gallons of yeasty fusel imperial stout.

hopphead, :mug:
 

hoppheadIPA

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My bad I read wrong. When you said the outside thermometer, I thought you meant the one on the side of the fermentor, not the thermostat for the house/ambient temp.
 

WBC

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Well, I am glad you all got that straightened out. I love it when all ends well.
If anyone has beer that tastes bad there is no excuse when you brew your next batch because it was covered well in this thread. :mug:
 

Southpaw

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This is an interesting topic. I am new at this amazing art of brewing and try to be as observant as possible. I am confident that the temp. reading of a fermometer stuck directly to the side of a fermentation bucket will accuratly display the temp. of the beer within. Any heat produced by the fermentation process will convect through the liquid quickly enough to present an accurate reading. If there is suposedly a "higher temp "inside in the core of the bucket somewhere it cannot be much. I believe that fermentation occurs equally in all parts of the bucket and the center should be the same as the side where the fermometer is. My fermometer usually reads 4 to 8 degrees lower than the ambient air because I use a water bath with ice additions. My first homebrew was a brown ale with coopers yeast fermented at 72 - 76F. Even at those temps it turned out great after 3 weeks in primary and 3 weeks in bottles. I did not have a problem with yeast flavors.

In reference to the inside temp. discussion I will have to prove my theory to myself by inserting a foot-long dial thermometer into my next brew during fermentation to check if the fermometer is reading the same as the inside of the bucket.
 

jds

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Thank you guys...I have been taking a reading on my 7th day and all of them have been done or close to it but you guys are right I am trying light beer and maybe not waiting it out. I am kegging so after the 1 week in primary and 2 weeks in secondary I have been kegging the beer and drinking it 2 days after that. I will take my time on this one...

Thanks guys
I think this would be the FIRST thing to attack. You're getting a lot of good advice, but I'd recommend only one major change at a time. The first thing I'd suggest is to stuff some of those first 4 batches away where you won't think about them for a month or two.

Second, the next time you brew, once you pitch the yeast, ignore your fermenter. Forget it's there. Just leave it in a dark place for three weeks, and then carefully siphon to your keg. Let it age in the keg another two to three weeks before you even think about drinking it. I bet you see an improvement, just with a little patience.

Remember, yeast has its own schedule, and doesn't give a rip about when you want to drink the beer. Let the yeast do its thing on its own time, and you will be rewarded. Yes, it's possible ,with good technique , to go from grain to glass in two or three weeks, but I wouldn't recommend it for a beginner. You need to understand your process and give the beer a fighting chance if you're going to drink it that green.
 
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