Have little experience and not sure if i over did it

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Red dog beer

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I steeped vienna golden pils and csramel 20l for 20 mins
The (2.5gallon) boiled 12 pounds (4cans) of maris otter light malt extract
Added galaxy and Pacific jade hops at 60 mins 1oz each
Calypso 2oz at 30 min
Then belgian candi syrup and .5oz mt hood hops at 10 mins
Dry hopping with german hallertau .75oz
Ive made 2 (one with a recipie kit one without )successful beers and did this to burn some extra ingredients but also make a powerful beer, however i dont actually know what im doing when it comes to the ingredients. I did some research on what malts prior to this but not enough on the hops i feel like. Does anyone have an idea on where they think this will end up? I k ow time will tell but wondering if anyone can at least criticize my recipe/process.
 
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When you topped off what was your og? After topping off it should have been able to read it
Well i didnt understand that until after and i had started my fermentation when i read to get the og from the diluted wort. So im weary of trying to disturb the fermentation now that ots really going and figured id do the reverse formula to get the og
 

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Well i didnt understand that until after and i had started my fermentation when i read to get the og from the diluted wort. So im weary of trying to disturb the fermentation now that ots really going and figured id do the reverse formula to get the og
I don’t think you can reverse the formula at all. Maybe I’m mistaken but it’s your og - fg x 131.25 = ABV. So if you don’t know the difference where would you get your abv or how to determine your og from that.

Anyway, yeah let it ride it’s gunna be a big beer so just let it go
 

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Yes, you get your OG reading after topping up with the water needed to get your full volume. BTW you have to stir it up very well to get an accurate reading, it doesn't mix all that easily.

You could try putting your ingredients into a recipe calculator like Brewer's Friend and see what the predicted OG is calculated to be. That would get you close.

From what I see I think you will have a decent beer to drink.

If you are worried about the dark brown that is because of the amount of beer the light is passing through, in a glass it will be much lighter. Even an extra pale ale looks dark in the fermenter.
 
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Yes, you get your OG reading after topping up with the water needed to get your full volume. BTW you have to stir it up very well to get an accurate reading, it doesn't mix all that easily.

You could try putting your ingredients into a recipe calculator like Brewer's Friend and see what the predicted OG is calculated to be. That would get you close.

From what I see I think you will have a decent beer to drink.

If you are worried about the dark brown that is because of the amount of beer the light is passing through, in a glass it will be much lighter. Even an extra pale ale looks dark in the fermenter.
I always have an issue with getting og properly never knew what my abv was in the end. And i did notice a drastic color change from fermentor to pint glass with my lager. It was very dark then became clear i just put ao much stuff in this one o thought it was going to be way too dark and heavy, but yeah i will work on getting og the right way, thanks
 
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I don’t think you can reverse the formula at all. Maybe I’m mistaken but it’s your og - fg x 131.25 = ABV. So if you don’t know the difference where would you get your abv or how to determine your og from that.

Anyway, yeah let it ride it’s gunna be a big beer so just let it go
Reverse was the wrong way to put it, i found a formula using fg and attenuation but the more i think of that process it can still only give an estimate so yeah i just have to do it the way im supposed to
 

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Reverse was the wrong way to put it, i found a formula using fg and attenuation but the more i think of that process it can still only give an estimate so yeah i just have to do it the way im supposed to
yeah it will only be a rough estimate since attention percentages aren’t guaranteed plus let’s say your fg is 1.018 There is no way to know if you got 80% or 60% attenuation unless you know your og. At least with using LME brewer’s friend or similar program can calculate a more precise og for you.
 

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I’ve always wondered, if you took refractometer AND hydrometer readings, could you not determine the rough OG by guess and check?
 

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Don't worry too much about the beer, it's fermenting now. If it isn't great at first, give it time. Big beers and Belgian beers sometimes need a little maturity.
I experimented a few times when I started out, it's a common desire. But I didn't know enough about the ingredients, so I stuck with proven recipes and worked on process.
Good luck, keep us posted.
 
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My wife called me this morning while im here at work saying that foam is blowing off everywhere somehow, but that the rubber stopper and airlock is still on, any quick ideas? Im thinking of using one of the tubes to run off i to santizd water
 

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My wife called me this morning while im here at work saying that foam is blowing off everywhere somehow, but that the rubber stopper and airlock is still on, any quick ideas? Im thinking of using one of the tubes to run off i to santizd water
Tell her to not let the airlock post hole clog or it will be forced out. You’re most likely safe til you get home if it’s fermentting and producing co2
 

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My wife called me this morning while im here at work saying that foam is blowing off everywhere somehow, but that the rubber stopper and airlock is still on, any quick ideas? Im thinking of using one of the tubes to run off i to santizd water

Yes, use a blow off tube into sanitizer. Blow off is not uncommon in big beers.
 
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Should be good now, she said it was foaming from the airlock hole and rubber stopper so it must have clogged , will i need to put airlock on oce it settles or can i keep blow off tube on it?
 

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Should be good now, she said it was foaming from the airlock hole and rubber stopper so it must have clogged , will i need to put airlock on oce it settles or can i keep blow off tube on it?

Unless your fermenter has a lot of headspace, start every fermentation with a blow off tube. Switch to an airlock after the peak of fermentation has occurred, if even then.
 
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We're at a week so far into primary still strong activity i just put the airlock on and had to switch back to the blowoff tube because it was pushing all the sanitizer out of the airlock. Its dry hopped and ready to sit some more. I planned on a 2 week primary, but since ita a big beer should i just let it ferment for extra time? I want the most out of the yeast i used but i dont know if it will cause any flavor issues sitting for another couple of weeks.
 

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There used to be a lot of talk about autolysis if you left the beer on the yeast too long. People used to think 2 weeks was that point, so they did secondaries. That has proven to be false. You can leave the beer on the yeast for months. I know this personally because I have neglected my fermenters several times over the years. Those beers ended up fine.
 

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What temperature did you steep at? Vienna is a base malt, so it actually needs mashing - steeping at higher than mash temperatures will get unconverted starch that leads to haze and stability issues for the finished beer (and is a possible food source for contaminants). If you steeped in the 140 to 160F range, you actually performed a 'partial mash' - the starches were converted to sugars.
 
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What temperature did you steep at? Vienna is a base malt, so it actually needs mashing - steeping at higher than mash temperatures will get unconverted starch that leads to haze and stability issues for the finished beer (and is a possible food source for contaminants). If you steeped in the 140 to 160F range, you actually performed a 'partial mash' - the starches were converted to sugars.
All i did for steeping was put the grains in the bag then turn the heat on and set a timer for 20 minutes so i dont think i went above the 160 range and if i did it wasnt for an extended amount of time. To put it in perspective it still took about 25 minutes to bring it to a boil after the steeping timer went off, but my thermometer broke last brew so i didnt have a temp reading
 

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I may have missed it but is this a 2.5 gallon batch or did you top up to 5? I ask because that’s a lot of fermentable sugar in a 2.5 gallon batch. Hopefully you were on your A-game with yeast management ie. pitching rate, vitality, O2.

Edit, using brewersfriend recipe builder:
2.5 gal = OG OF 1.196
5 gal = 1.098

So, depending on your batch size, you have a huge beer or an unobtainable monster. Regardless, your FG will likely be very high if you didn’t give your yeast a top notch head start. I’m definitely curious to see how it finishes. Keep us posted!
 
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I may have missed it but is this a 2.5 gallon batch or did you top up to 5? I ask because that’s a lot of fermentable sugar in a 2.5 gallon batch. Hopefully you were on your A-game with yeast management ie. pitching rate, vitality, O2.

Edit, using brewersfriend recipe builder:
2.5 gal = OG OF 1.196
5 gal = 1.098

So, depending on your batch size, you have a huge beer or an unobtainable monster. Regardless, your FG will likely be very high if you didn’t give your yeast a top notch head start. I’m definitely curious to see how it finishes. Keep us posted!
I topped off to 5 gallons. I didn't do a starter culture or anything but the wort was cooled down properly, it definitely took off, if you read above i had a minor explosion and it looks and sounds like its going strong still. One mistake i think i made but not sure if it matters... is after i added the top off water and yeast i put a rubber stopper (sanitized) and then shook it vigorously to get every mixed together. Then later on read that i could have oxygenated it.
Not sure on yeast putch rate, will have to find the vial to verify but the yeast strain is definitely a powerful one
 
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Gnomebrewer

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Oxygenation is good before fermentation starts - it helps the yeast build healthy cells.
For a beer of this size, you really need a big pitch of healthy yeast. Just because yeast starts off strongly doesn't mean it'll have the capacity to go the distance. For a really big beer, a good pitch of healthy yeast and oxygenation of wort* are important. In fact, if you're not using pure O2, you might benefit from aerating twice - once at yeast pitching time and again 6 hours or so later.

*There's a bit of a trend at the moment towards really big pitches of already active, healthy yeast which MAY reduce the need for oxygenation of the wort. For new brewers, it's still probably best to play it safe and fully oxygenate your wort/pre-ferment beer.
 
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Oxygenation is good before fermentation starts - it helps the yeast build healthy cells.
For a beer of this size, you really need a big pitch of healthy yeast. Just because yeast starts off strongly doesn't mean it'll have the capacity to go the distance. For a really big beer, a good pitch of healthy yeast and oxygenation of wort* are important. In fact, if you're not using pure O2, you might benefit from aerating twice - once at yeast pitching time and again 6 hours or so later.

*There's a bit of a trend at the moment towards really big pitches of already active, healthy yeast which MAY reduce the need for oxygenation of the wort. For new brewers, it's still probably best to play it safe and fully oxygenate your wort/pre-ferment beer.
Ill take note, a lot of these things are left out of the little beer kit recipe/directions and ive been asing my process off of those. The vial of yeast said to warm to temp then shake to resuspend. I had to get some extra water in there to get everything out. I have a bottle neck fermenter so i couldnt really stir it, but i ahook the crap out of it to mix top off water woth wort and then again with yeast in it. It took off in the time it saod it would and is still fermenting well at least from what i can actually see so ill let everyone know where im at in about 3 more weeks of primary.
 

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Ill take note, a lot of these things are left out of the little beer kit recipe/directions and ive been asing my process off of those.

That’s understandable. For big OG beers in the future consider the fact that yeast are often the limiting factor in getting a beer to finish. Theres a lot of work for them to do and their environment becomes more toxic as alcohol increases. Here are a few things to aid them along the way:

1. Select a yeast with a higher alcohol tolerance
2. Pitch a large enough amount (multiple packets or grown through a starter)
3. Build a vitality starter (satisfies item 2)
4. Oxygenate your wort

It seems like a lot but with minimal reading you’ll be where you need to be. More importantly, you’ll get a big beer that finishes with slight less hot boozy aroma and flavor. And if all else fails and you like the way this one turns out, replicated the process to duplicate the results!

Cheers
 
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Red dog beer

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That’s understandable. For big OG beers in the future consider the fact that yeast are often the limiting factor in getting a beer to finish. Theres a lot of work for them to do and their environment becomes more toxic as alcohol increases. Here are a few things to aid them along the way:

1. Select a yeast with a higher alcohol tolerance
2. Pitch a large enough amount (multiple packets or grown through a starter)
3. Build a vitality starter (satisfies item 2)
4. Oxygenate your wort

It seems like a lot but with minimal reading you’ll be where you need to be. More importantly, you’ll get a big beer that finishes with slight less hot boozy aroma and flavor. And if all else fails and you like the way this one turns out, replicated the process to duplicate the results!

Cheers
So when should i take an fg reading at my desired fermentation time and then if it seems way to high do you think it would be okay to use a little dry champagne yeast to kick things back into gear?
Or once its done its done?
 
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I’d wait for krausen (the foam and particulate up top) to drop then wait a week to take a reading. That should give you an idea of where you’re at. Big beers can continue chugging along very slowly for a few weeks/months past peak fermentation but a week past krausen drop will at least let you know if you’re in the ballpark

I can’t really speak to what if the beer doesn’t finish where you want it, I haven’t fussed too much high FG beers. I usually just package and drink as is.
 

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I recommend buying kits until you understand the whole process better. At least you won't have to worry about recipe formulation.
 

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That’s understandable. For big OG beers in the future consider the fact that yeast are often the limiting factor in getting a beer to finish. Theres a lot of work for them to do and their environment becomes more toxic as alcohol increases. Here are a few things to aid them along the way:

1. Select a yeast with a higher alcohol tolerance
2. Pitch a large enough amount (multiple packets or grown through a starter)
3. Build a vitality starter (satisfies item 2)
4. Oxygenate your wort

It seems like a lot but with minimal reading you’ll be where you need to be. More importantly, you’ll get a big beer that finishes with slight less hot boozy aroma and flavor. And if all else fails and you like the way this one turns out, replicated the process to duplicate the results!

Cheers
That! ^

Let me add this one:
5. Control your fermentation temps

Yeast binging, especially on super sweet wort, can create lots of off flavors and higher (fusel) alcohols that don't taste good.
Brewing is a learning process, so read up on various ways of doing things, apply and improve with each batch.
 

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I recommend buying kits until you understand the whole process better. At least you won't have to worry about recipe formulation.
I disagree, there's no need to stick with kits, many are mediocre, and their instructions are generally outdated, or sheer wrong.

Using loose bought ingredients is fine.
But key is to use good and proven recipes. There are tons of them in our Recipe Database and elsewhere. You may tweak them as you see fit, e.g., make them stronger, use different yeasts, different malts, etc. But don't deviate too far until you understand what each ingredient does.
 

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So when should i take an fg reading at my desired fermentation time and then if it seems way to high do you think it would be okay to use a little dry champagne yeast to kick things back into gear?
Or once its done its done?
There's no use in taking readings until the fermentation is done. And then, especially with bigger (stronger) beers there's not much you can do to change it.

==> Which yeast did you use and how much?
I hope it's a Belgian yeast and one that can ferment strong beers.

Pitching Champagne yeast won't do anything, it can't ferment the more complex sugars (e.g., maltotriose), that are typically left over and keep your beer (too) sweet.

Now you could pitch an active starter before alcohol levels build up too high and the current yeast craps out prematurely.
 
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jjw5015

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I disagree, there's no need to stick with kits, many are mediocre, and their instructions are generally outdated, or sheer wrong.

Using loose bought ingredients is fine.
But key is to use good and proven recipes. There are tons of them in our Recipe Database and elsewhere. You may tweak them as you see fit, e.g., make them stronger, use different yeasts, different malts, etc. But don't deviate too far until you understand what each ingredient does.

That's sort of what I was getting at. That recipe in the first post is a mess.
 
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Red dog beer

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There's no use in taking readings until the fermentation is done. And then, especially with bigger (stronger) beers there's not much you can do to change it.

==> Which yeast did you use and how much?
I hope it's a Belgian yeast and one that can ferment strong beers.

Pitching Champagne yeast won't do anything, it can't ferment the more complex sugars (e.g., maltotriose), that are typically left over and keep your beer (too) sweet.

Now you could pitch an active starter before alcohol levels build up too high and the current yeast craps out prematurely.
Dry Belgian ale yeast from yeast bay.
 
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Red dog beer

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There's no use in taking readings until the fermentation is done. And then, especially with bigger (stronger) beers there's not much you can do to change it.

==> Which yeast did you use and how much?
I hope it's a Belgian yeast and one that can ferment strong beers.

Pitching Champagne yeast won't do anything, it can't ferment the more complex sugars (e.g., maltotriose), that are typically left over and keep your beer (too) sweet.

Now you could pitch an active starter before alcohol levels build up too high and the current yeast craps out prematurely.
I used dry Belgian ale yeast which is 85%-100% attenuation. I picked it specifically because of that and the fact it can handle alcohol at 16%. I used one vial of it. I would have to find the vial to give an ezact measurement but also I have fast pitch wort 4 pk can that i bought for my wife to use for her kit after i did this whole process, is that along the lines of what you mean?
 
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Red dog beer

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I recommend buying kits until you understand the whole process better. At least you won't have to worry about recipe formulation.
The kits procedures are what got me here in the first place. The ingredients i researched/ winged it but the way i did this was based off of the ipa recipe kit i already had, but yeah i do agree and had intended on gaining experience through kits and reading with the occasional experiments.
 
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The kits procedures are what got me here in the first place. The ingredients i researched/ winged it but the way i did this was based off of the ipa recipe kit i already had, but yeah i do agree and had intended on gaining experience through kits and reading with the occasional experiments.

Kits get us started, discussion moves us forward.

Don't be afraid to ask the forum for its opinion on kit instructions - you may find that the specific kit instructions you are using are either 1) really good or 2) really easy to fix. Some kit instructions have a lot of "deep" knowledge built into them.
 

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I used dry Belgian ale yeast which is 85%-100% attenuation. I picked it specifically because of that and the fact it can handle alcohol at 16%. I used one vial of it. I would have to find the vial to give an ezact measurement but also I have fast pitch wort 4 pk can that i bought for my wife to use for her kit after i did this whole process, is that along the lines of what you mean?
This appears to be your yeast, I had to look it up:
The Yeast Bay - WLP4025 - DRY BELGIAN ALE
https://www.theyeastbay.com/brewers-yeast-products/dry-belgian-ale

HOMEBREW VIAL PRODUCT INFORMATION
Cell Counts. Saccharomyces single strains and blends will contain ~80 billion cells per vial.

So, that's a really small pitch for such a big beer. A good size starter would certainly have been beneficial, keep that in mind for next time. Punch some numbers into this and you'll see:
BrewUnited's Yeast Calculator

To make 14% and higher beers typically takes a special process requiring some dexterity and know-how, more difficult to attain each additional point. This is not beginners territory.

But who knows, maybe all the coins flip in your favor.

Oh, don't rack to a "secondary" after xx days because some instructions tell you.
 
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