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harding70

harding70

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I'm toying with a last minute addition to the recipe using 2 oz. millennium dry hop plugs in the secondary for the next month. This urge came after listening to a podcast about high AA% hops being misunderstood for their aromatic and taste capabilities in very late addition and dry hopping. The adventurous side of me says "go for it" but it is contrast to my scientific side of messing with this recipe. Thoughts?
 

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Stick with your experiment... you can mess with hops later... I even know a guy that can get you fresh whole cone hops in mid Aug. Stick with your original plan!
 

CoalBrew

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Yeah.. I think beer is pretty resilient, and (for the most part) you'd have to be pretty negligent to infect it, and even then it's pretty rare. On the other hand, there are meticulous sanitation nazis that get infections. The human mouth is loaded with bacteria, so I figure better safe than sorry.

Secondary is for noobs that don't have a pipeline and NEED to touch their beer. :) We all take unnecessary steps on occasion just for the fun of it. I know sometimes I do.

I am a noob.. I know this because I do not even know what a pipeline is... but I am darn sure I would love to not move my beer to secondary if I didn't have to... and... furthering this logic I sould be able to dry hop in the primary...??? Do I wait until fermintation is all but done before I dry hop??? Thanks!
 

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CoalBrew,

Haven't dry hopped in a while (sacrilege?), but yeah, wait until after fermentation. The CO2 from fermentation will carry some of the hop aroma away. It would probably be best to wait until about a week before bottling.
 

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Yes, what he said, dry hop after the fermentation settles down a little. You can dry hop in primary, no problem. If you plan to reuse the yeast cake, it might be better to use a secondary for dry hopping, or use a mesh bag, or stainless tea ball or something. I wouldn't worry about it personally, but some people claim to get a grassy taste when leaving beer on hops for too long. *shrug*

By "pipeline" I just mean you have a lot of beer in various stages of production, so you've always got something that needs to be done. Before that, making beer is an exciting new process and you're looking for excuses to do something to your beer.
 
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harding70

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Stick with your experiment... you can mess with hops later... I even know a guy that can get you fresh whole cone hops in mid Aug. Stick with your original plan!
Alright! sticking with the plan. I guess I'll have to use the millennium for another batch, soon!
 

CoalBrew

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Yha... stick with the plan harding, and just get some more in your pipeline... dugh.

Actually masonsjax, I was completely overthinking the term in your context... I thought you were refering to some kind of transfering tube / filter or whatever. I see what you mean now, and it ROCKS! I love how my brewing has just gotten so much more efficient!
 

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I'm new to home brewing and only have a couple batches under my belt, all kits. I have friends over and they all think my home brew is as good or better then the beer they get at the store. One of them is a Sam Adams and Dog Fish IPA fan. Maybe they are just being polite and telling me what I want to hear but I think my beer taste better then any thing I get in the store.
 

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I just spent the last hour reading this entire thread. Harding70, I would say that you probably have a MUCH better understanding now then you did when this thread was started. You've been given a lot of good information and a little bit of "mislead" info. I will give you my opinion; do with it what you will:

1. Extract brewing is not your problem, and going AG will not solve it. If you can't brew a good extract beer, you will not be able to brew a good AG.

2. I had some similar problems when I first started and found that fermenting at the proper temp. was one of the biggest problems I had. I like the lower end of the scale no matter what yeast you are using.

3. Iodophor is not you problem. It's just not.

4. Pithcing temp. and proper yeast count WILL make your beer better. You've been give lots of advice on that.

5. With a 1.072 you MUST make a proper starter. Dry yeast is fine but not on a beer that big.

6. I would agree that some of the "off" flavors you describe can be attributed to over carmelization of you LME/DME. Use the late addition methond.

7. Pitch at 70 or below. Do NOT allow the fermentation to get above that.

8. Leaving your wort in primary for 2 weeks+ is not only fine, but I've found that it can be better. And don't drink green beer. Its never good.

9. Sanitation doesn't sound like its your problem so focus on all the other good info you've been given.

10. Finally, as you know by now, HBT is an endless wealth of information. My beer would be [email protected] without it. A wise man once told me "HBT is kind of like Wal-Mart when it comes to finding good information, if they don't have it, you don't need it." Good luck, and keep us posted. I think that you'll be making excellent beer very soon.

P.S. Don't let that BIL bust your balls too much. Show him how it's done!
 
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harding70

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Just dug out a couple old recipes that didn't quite live up to my hopes for them. After learning what I have on this forum and looking back, I'm a little embarrassed at my lack of research, following bad instructions, and foolish whimsy.

Misguided from the onset:
Our local brew shop puts together sample recipes with instructions, and clearly written in every old recipe and instruction sheet, it says "When at 90 degrees F (or less), aerate well and pitch yeast" which I foolishly followed to the detail.

I also found a couple of readings from an IPA (OG 1065, FG 1020) and a Hefeweizen (OG1068, FG1022) Seems like the Attenuation was OK, but I didn't use starters on either, and just pitched the White Labs vials straight in (at about 90F!!!) I'm sure the high pitch temp, small amount of viable yeast, and my former attention to detail and methodology did a large part to ruin these beers.

What say the members on my atrocious findings?
 
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harding70

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I just spent the last hour reading this entire thread.

P.S. Don't let that BIL bust your balls too much. Show him how it's done!
Thanks for combing through all the comments! There have been some great inputs that I will use from now on. You lost me on the "BIL busting my balls" though. Am I missing a commonly known HBT acronym?

In other news, I just picked up my 3 converted Keggles from the fabrication shop today (really nice welds [thanks Jerry]). So when I finally start making my favorite beer, I can make it in 10 gal batches.
I'll surely solicit further advice as I crawl into AG brewing with my fledgling 3 tier gravity flow setup, provided this latest batch turns out to be what I'd hoped.

I'll post some pictures soon.
 

Hang Glider

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as you've heard, fermentation temps is a biggie.

I, too, was less than impressed for the first 4 years - but I kept plugging away. I did try to pitch around 75 and set it in the spare bathtub, but without much temp control.

Now I'm careful to pitch at 65 and hold it there. I use a temp-controlled water bath, so the wort temp should be close to 65 as well.

Once I started doing that, (and practiced a little more patience) I found that whole extract-ness / homebrew-ness went away.
 
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harding70

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After much deliberation about violating my control measures, but mostly because I'm lazy, I let the batch primary for an extra week and one day. Total 22 days in the primary and it went from a 1072 to a 1012. That blew my mind! I gather the starter, and temperature control allowed for what I consider to be pretty damn good attenuation. The alcohol is more present than any of my previous batches. As for the issue, ...the taste and aroma are clearly unfinished, but headed in the right direction. The jury is still out as to whether the Homebrewish taste will be prevalent in the finished product. I plan to leave it in the secondary 3 weeks to a month depending on my schedule and level of ambition. I figure 3 primary and 3 secondary would satisfy the intent of the original recipe. I'll probably let it condition in the corny keg 2 weeks to a month before my first official sample.

Anybody with thoughts on length of conditioning being longer in the keg rather than in the bottle? I plan to use a reduced level of corn sugar to batch prime in the keg as I never seem to be able to dial in my technique and pressure for artificial carbonation.

Thanks for all the input.
 
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harding70

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Alright< nobody liked the off topic emoticon... I was just bored and posted it because of the banter between BIL and myself. How about this guy: :tank:

Look, I know this isn't great entertainment, waiting for a secondary to produce its yield, but I promise, I will be very entertaining in my description of how awesome or sucky it turns out to be. Maybe we can figure out something to talk about while time does its business to my beer...

How about 3 tiered gravity fed AG keggle systems. I am building mine and can't wait to get my false bottom so I can brew my first batch. How about a lessons learned session from all the bros that spoke up so early in this post...

HMMMMM?
 

Cliff897

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I thought it might be my aluminum brewpot,
Nope it won’t be the pot.

As a threshold question have you been reading about brewing? Maybe got your self a copy of Palmer’s book – it’s free online here:
http://www.howtobrew.com/intro.html

One of the first things that come to mind is the question of yeast.
If you are not making a starter, you may be pitching too few yeast cells.
That can lead to odd flavors. If you don't want to make starters buy Wyeast PROPAGATOR yeast packages. They are little starter kits in a bag.


Switch the sanitation to Star San it’s cheap, easy, and no rinse.
You could also use:
1 ounce of vinegar
5 gallons of water
1 ounce Clorox (any bleach)
It’s also no rinse and kills everything.

As an aside there are only about 200 organisms (besides the yeast) that can live in beer and also cause bad flavors and they don't last very long anyway because the environment is so hostile to them.




To sum up, I can't seem to shake this "home brew" taste!

It would be well if you could characterize what you mean by home brew taste.
Read this for off flavors:
http://www.howtobrew.com/section4/chapter21-2.html
http://www.homebrewzone.com/off-flavors.htm


Potential problems: I think I may have been misguided in my attempts to chill and aerate simultaneously by frothing with my immersion chiller.
I can’t imagine that this would do anything at all. Maybe you are knocking crap from a stove top hood down into the brew while going through all that exercise?
Stove hood crap might make beer taste weird.


I also think I may have "over-carmelized" my extract by boiling for 60+ minutes. Perhaps my homebrew store has substandard liquid extract.
Nope. Most of my boils are 80+ it ain’t the boil.


You might benefit by going all grain. It only sounds complex when it’s described by people who make it so. And it can be as involved as you want it to be – or not.

Anyway you need to identify or better describe these flavors you are talking about.
Is it cidery, skunky sulphury etc? Go to those pages I linked to and read ‘em.
 
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harding70

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Racked from the Secondary into the Corny keg last night... 1011.5. I sampled it and I'm thinking it had better get significantly better after conditioning. It still has that homebrew taste, but is not carbonated and pretty green. I was drinking Torpedo Extra IPA prior to the sample, so perhaps my pallate was biased. It's been 3 weeks in the primary and 3 weeks in the secondary. After 2 weeks conditioning in the keg I'll give it a sample and report back. If not pleased, I'll wait a month and report back, and so on.
 

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I'm with the poster a while back... We really need to better identify this "homebrewish taste" thingy. Let's work on getting a better description of what's driving you crazy.

In other news, I too will be able to test the new found knowledge as my pale ale is in its second week in primary with a liter of yeast starter (with a sweet-ass-stirplate baby) pitched at 68, kept at 64. I did everything right so far and will dry hop in the primary as soon as the gravity tells me so. I will then dry hop for about 3 weeks and either keg or bottle. I'm going to track that damn 'ol yeasty/molassasy/sometimes tinny homebrewish taste down if it kills me. Although as you know harding... I think most of it is in our heads.
 

rocketman768

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I'm with the poster a while back... We really need to better identify this "homebrewish taste" thingy. Let's work on getting a better description of what's driving you crazy.
Yes. I don't really know what you mean by homebrewish taste. If your palate isn't refined enough to discern the problem, get help from an experienced brewer at a club or something. The best way is to enter your beer into a BJCP judged competition. That will give you some really good info since they're so specific in their comments, and offer suggestions to you.

If you don't identify the taste, it's kind of like trying to play darts in the dark...even if you do manage to hit the target, you'll never know why or how, and probably won't be able to repeat it or explain it to your friends.
 
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harding70

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It's official. The verdict is:

I still have the same homebrewish taste! The best words I can use to describe would be "green" and maybe ever so slightly "band-aidy". The aroma also is prelude to the flavor. I can smell how this beer will disappoint me before it even hits my palate. My wife likes it, but I will bring a growler to the local homebrew store for a truly unbiased opinion.

All of my process improvements, the tips I have followed from this forum, and all the kings men, couldn't make a beer that improved, in my opinion. I truly expected this batch to be different from most batches I have produced given the differences in my methodology. The starter, cooler fermentation, time in the primary, and secondary... all of this seems to have had no discernible effect on the outcome.

I have been impressed with what aging has done to some of my prior batches, so I plan to let this one sit for a few more months and sample again. It's a pretty big beer so maybe aging will be the key. Maybe I'll get the pipeline rolling so I delay gratification until it's truly gratification.

What next? I may try a smaller beer using an all dme recipe to see if this is a problem that lends itself to mass amounts of liquid extract. I'm also going to buy the Basic Brewing "Stepping into All-Grain" DVD since I have all the equipment I need to spend even more time and effort disappointing myself:)

I am very grateful for the recommendations from all who submitted on this lengthy thread, and even if I couldn't sense an improvement in the taste as of yet, I'm sure that following sage advice I have received will enforce good habits that will hopefully pay dividends in the future. I'm sure I'll have even more questions as I proceed.

Thanks to all. More advice and input is always welcome.

Koby
 

DD2000GT

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I have not experienced this off taste every since I went to all grain brewing.

I'm just sayin'

Dan
 

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I've got a couple of things to re-iterate and possibly add, I'm an extract/partial mash brewer and I make damn good beer if I do say so myself.

1. I don't use LME, I only use DME in my brews.

2. Do an extract batch with Specialty Grains or Partial Mash if possible, you'll get more control over the flavor of the beer.

3. I cool my wort to 65* before pitching and aerate using a venturi tube while chilling through my plate chiller and straight in to the fermenter.

4. I've never used a "kit" so to speak. All my batches from day 1 have been recipes, some from BYO, some from my LHBS guys, quite a few from the Recipe DB here at HBT.

5. Get a brewing program like BeerSmith, once you figure out how to use it you can start punching your recipes in to it and check out things like the IBU's you are getting in a recipe, and you can also guesstimate how much your yeast will attenuate.

This is just what I do, YMMV
You can go wrong with this advice.

I noticed a flavor change when I went from LME to DME and stay away from using LME. And I just started using beer smith which kicks ass.

check deathbrewer's stovetop partial mash or all grain and maybe adapt it to keggle use, i have done the last few of my batches on the stove and they are coming out just awesome.
 
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harding70

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I don't remember, did you switch sanitizers?
nope still using iodophor and letting it air dry. 1 tsp p/5gal solution.

thinking about getting a water report to ensure no chlorine or chloramine factors in.
 

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nope still using iodophor and letting it air dry. 1 tsp p/5gal solution.

thinking about getting a water report to ensure no chlorine or chloramine factors in.
Band-aidy = chlorine/chloramine, usually.

You can use potassium metabisulfite to eliminate that, usually 1/2 tablet per 5 gallons of water.
 

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Band-aidy = chlorine/chloramine, usually.

You can use potassium metabisulfite to eliminate that, usually 1/2 tablet per 5 gallons of water.
Agreed. The taste might even be worse when u go AG-- water is so important.
Get that water report, and use the pot met tab.
I also second (third? Fifth?) the commenters who suggested another person taste it-- who will give honest feedback-- like a competition.

Good luck !
 
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harding70

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I had my wife and her sister taste my brew against identically poured Sam Adams varietals. Mine won!!

After I pointed out the beer that was mine, they could taste the nuances of my beer that I dislike, but the fact that they preferred it to Sam Adams Lager, and Sam Adams Noble Pils without forewarning or ceremony to any test or evaluation gives me a little hope to switching to all-grain.

Perhaps the big beers need a little more time to mature, perhaps I was too hard on my own creation (heh heh, I said hard on), but the lessons I've learned in the past 6 months, thanks to the inputs on this forum have undoubtedly enabled my process to put out better beers.

I just got a 11" stainless false bottom and a rotating sparge arm, so I'm stoked to plunge into it.

Thanks to all,
 

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+1 on the campden tablets. Try it if you have not already and see if it makes a difference. When I first started brewing, I had this same issue. Someone recommended to me the campden tablets - cured the problem totally. I have since moved to another part of the country and a completely different water source, but I still use campden tabs on ALL my brew water - have never had that taste again.
 

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Perhaps the big beers need a little more time to mature, perhaps I was too hard on my own creation (heh heh, I said hard on),
I never really "understood" this until recently. I brewed an 8%-9% Tripel back in November, and it's literally just now starting to taste delicious. That's 4 months. It's like all the sudden the alcohol heat gave way to this yummy maltiness.
 
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harding70

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It's been about a year and a half now and approximately 8 AG batches and not one with the taste I complained about. It must have been the extracts because with AG, I haven't missed yet! Not nearly as cosmic as some people think it is. I recommend going AG if you really want to have some fun.
 

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It's been about a year and a half now and approximately 8 AG batches and not one with the taste I complained about. It must have been the extracts because with AG, I haven't missed yet! Not nearly as cosmic as some people think it is. I recommend going AG if you really want to have some fun.
I'm glad to hear that it's been resolved! And that you're brewing and making great beer. Thanks for reporting back with an update.
 

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I always claim it's hard to make a bad beer with all grain, as long as you stick to the rudiments.
 

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