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Cheesefood

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I just got into home-brewing after about 7 years of thinking about it (and, well, I never had a good enough place to do it until recently).

My first beer is an IPA from the Brewer's Best kit. It's still priming in my closet, but I'm really looking forward to the day I crack the first cold one. This afternoon I made my second batch. I got a bit experimental, so let me know your thoughts on this recipe:

6 lbs Northern Wheat extract
1 lb SueBee Orange Blossom honey
3 tsp vanilla extract
1.5 oz Mt Hood boiling hops
.5 oz Saaz finishing hops
1 oz Coriander
.5 oz Sweet Orange peel
Wyeast brand Witbeer yeast
Some yeast from a Blue Moon I had just drank.

OK, this is probably going to be weird. My Wyeast yeast pack didn't really "fluff up" so I sanitized a jar and poured the contents to see what was going on. It looked like it was all there, so I poured the bottom of a Blue Moon into there (with all the yeast) and closed the top while I made everything else.

I boiled the malt, vanilla, honey and Mt Hood for about 55 minutes in 2 gals of water, then the Saaz, coriander and orange for the last 15 minutes. I was going to throw in some Irish Moss, but forgot. Tried to siphon, but all the orange and coriander was jamming it up so I ended up just pouring it all through a sanitized sieve.

I made a HUGE mess. My floor is sticky from the leftover wort in the siphon tube spraying all over.

O.G. is about 1.045 @ 78 F. I cooled the wort by taking my pot outside and spraying it down with the hose for a few minutes, then a cold water bath in the sink.

I'm sure there's all types of contamination, but I'm hoping it's not too bad.
 

brewhead

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first WELCOME to a most satisfying hobby and obscession.

here's a tip even the most salted expert here has to always remind themselves:

patience

the wyeast can be 'smacked' and left out over night. i'll either do that or get up around 5:00 on the weekend and smack - but overnight always works for me. you can always make a starter - but that's some more reading on your part.

i'm not familiar with a blue moon but i am assuming it's a bottle conditioned beer?

personally i wouldn't have mixed the two yeast strains - shrug

i wouldn't have seived. i would have xferd to all to a primary to cool..pitched...then in about a week xferd to a secondary minus the trub.

HOWEVER....heck give if a week or so - xfer to a secondary - bottle it in about another 2 weeks and see what it tastes like in another 3 weeks.

we can talk about it all day here and this and a few other forum are great for advice and guidence from experts more well versed than i - BUT at the end of the day - you'll never know what it would have been like if you don't let it be and let the wort and the yeast do it's thing. and it's a recipe - it's open to experimentation just by it's existance.

RDWHAHB and watch the magic and if you end up making skunk water - you'll know how not to make skunk water next time
 
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Cheesefood

Cheesefood

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Thanks!

I'm expecting to make a few duds here and there, and a couple of amazing beers now and again. It's not that expensive of a hobby where I can't toss my mistakes when I make them, right?

I sieved to get rid of the orange and coriander, but if you think that's a bad call I'll try it next time without sieving. Who knows? It could turn out fantastic and I might recommend you try it.

Blue Moon is a fantastic Belgian White made by (I think) Coors. It's an unfiltered Belgian wheat type beer that's bottle conditioned. If you've ever had Sam's White, this is much better. I like some of the sweeter beers sometimes so Blue Moon is one of my favorite "candy beers". I'm sure plenty of people will shoot down BM and tell me of a better version, but this is pretty much the popular Belg White in my area.

I'd stick with the kits, but I'm just a bit experimental by nature. I'll probably buy another kit at some point just for the instruction page and to try it their way, then my own. I figure that the best part of brewing my own beer is that I can do it however I want and make my own unique blend. I've also read plenty about concerns of contamination. I try to keep it clean, but I figure any contamination is just adding some locality to by brew.

I'll be here now and again. I've read plenty of these threads and I'm getting tons of ideas on how to improve my brewing. Eventually I'll go AG, but I'm going to play with extracts first.
 

SwAMi75

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You're right....someone will chime in. :D You should give Hoegaarden or Celis wit a try. So nice! But honestly, I was pretty impressed with Blue Moon....it was much better than I expected. A little sweet, though.

The only recommendation I have is to not sweat the irish moss. I know you're not doing a wit 100% to style, but they are supposed to be cloudy.

Best of luck with it....sounds tasty!
 
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Cheesefood

Cheesefood

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For my birthday this year (big #30!) my wife bought me a plane ticket so that me and my best-friend could go to Amsterdam for a couple days. While I was there, I had a beer called Wieckse Wit. It was fantastic. Anyone who's ever had a beer in Europe knows how much better it is. The Heinecken in Amsterdam is SO much better than it is here.

Anyway, the Wieckse Wit was just incredible. It restored my interest in Wit beers. When I got back home and realized I couldn't get beer that good here, I decided I must make my own until I can replicate it.

BTW, Celis is good, but that's a lot sweeter in my opinion. The Grand Cru would be perfect to pour on pancakes.
 

Sir Sudster

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Hey, just think of it this way. You could end up with a unique local Lambic.
 

homebrewer_99

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Actually you'll get closer to a Weizen, but more of a Wit with the 2 wheat yeast strains, coriander and orange (I use sweet peel).

Don't sweat the Irish Moss for the wheats. For the most part is could be a wasted ingredient. I use it with my Hefe Weizens because many people don't like their beer cloudy. Me, I just pour it all in. Some people will do a "one pour" then swirl in just a bit of the yeast from the bottom of the bottle.

It sounds like a good solid brew.

Good luck and keep us informed.
 
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Cheesefood

Cheesefood

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homebrewer_99 said:
Actually you'll get closer to a Weizen, but more of a Wit with the 2 wheat yeast strains, coriander and orange (I use sweet peel).

Don't sweat the Irish Moss for the wheats. For the most part is could be a wasted ingredient. I use it with my Hefe Weizens because many people don't like their beer cloudy. Me, I just pour it all in. Some people will do a "one pour" then swirl in just a bit of the yeast from the bottom of the bottle.

It sounds like a good solid brew.

Good luck and keep us informed.
It's bubbling away today. I put it in the fermenter on Monday and now it's starting to slow down, but still bubbling enough. I don't have a secondary at this point (other than my bottling tub), so I think I'm just going to let it sit for a little while longer in the tub and consider getting a glass carboy so I can start up another batch soon.
 
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Cheesefood

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OK, help me out, please.

I put it in the fermenter last Monday. It's now been about 9 solid days in the primary (I still don't have a secondary). I figured it would be a good day to bottle and start on another White, right on top of the yeast from this white.

SO here I am, all excited. I bought some DME, honey, and new bottles. I got home and started sanitizing everything and cleaned out my brew pot. Brought the fermenter upstairs, opened it up and there was a huge head of krauesen on it. Pretty thick and dense.

A bit upset, I skimmed off the krauesen and took a gravity reading. O.G. was 1.045 at 78 F. It's now only about 1.020 at 70 deg. I put the lid back on, and now it's bubbling pretty fast again.

How much longer should i give it? Another week? I really don't want to open it up again and risk further contamination.

BTW, it tasted FANTASTIC. The honey really gave it a good flavor.
 

Dude

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Cheesefood said:
How much longer should i give it? Another week? I really don't want to open it up again and risk further contamination.

BTW, it tasted FANTASTIC. The honey really gave it a good flavor.

I'd let it go another week. Judging by the fact that its bubbling again--you stirred up some yeast and woke them up. Let it go (better yet rack it to a secondary for a week or 2, THEN bottle it).

Any particular reason why you are priming with DME AND honey? Just curious....Watch closely how much you put in that--potential bottle bombs.
 
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Cheesefood

Cheesefood

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ORRELSE said:
I'd let it go another week. Judging by the fact that its bubbling again--you stirred up some yeast and woke them up. Let it go (better yet rack it to a secondary for a week or 2, THEN bottle it).

Any particular reason why you are priming with DME AND honey? Just curious....Watch closely how much you put in that--potential bottle bombs.

Sorry..bought the DME and Honey for my next batch. I'm just going with DME to prime this batch. I thought about using honey, but popular opinion seems to be that DME is the way. Looks like it's going to be another week before I make batch 3. Damn...I was hoping to get this one in the bottle and in my belly ASAP. Especially now that I've tasted it. I might need one more reading before I put it back in the basement.
 

Dude

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Cheesefood said:
Sorry..bought the DME and Honey for my next batch. I'm just going with DME to prime this batch. I thought about using honey, but popular opinion seems to be that DME is the way. Looks like it's going to be another week before I make batch 3. Damn...I was hoping to get this one in the bottle and in my belly ASAP. Especially now that I've tasted it. I might need one more reading before I put it back in the basement.
Sounds like you are in a hurry to taste it!
More food for thought--priming with DME will take a while longer than priming with just corn sugar. I don't think there is much difference in the 2 other than time.
 

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