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enginerd

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And I wish I was talking about the temperature.

I just racked a stout to secondary and the taste of the hydrometer sample brings me here. I mashed too low and fermented too high in temp, so I know what I did wrong and I was expecting what I got. My question is, is there any hope? I must be tasting fusal alcohols. For only one week old (and being incredibly dry), the beer didn't really taste that bad. I understand how green it is. What I'm not sure about is that it left that same warmth you get after a shot of taquilla. In my college days, I probably would have aimed for that on purpose, but not this time. I was planning on conditioning the bejeezus of it - three weeks or so in secondary and then a couple of months in the bottle - before I get too critical of the taste. Except for the burn of course.

Is there any knowledge or reassurance out there for me?
Thanks!
 

Yooper

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Well, there is always reassurance- conditioned beer is better beer. But, give us some specifics-
temperature of the mash
recipe
fermentation temp.
og
fg
And we'll be able to either offer more reassurances or to tell you you're screwed!
 

woosterhoot

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Im a beginner also but what was your starting and ending gravity readings. That should give you an idea of your alcohol percentage and whether its just green or out of control wild yeast which has fermented everything into alcohol. One thing is that this is a problem that my brother wishes he had. His highest alcohol % to date has been in the three % range. I have become a believer in conditioning though. I have been tasting my brews every week starting at week one to see the differences and they are truely phenomenal. Have hope. As Papizian says brewing is alot about attitude, stay positive.
 
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enginerd

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Here are the details:

Recipe:
9lb Maris Otter (I know it's a lot, but I'm new to AG and my efficiency has been ~60%)
.5lb Roasted Barley
.5lb Chocolate Malt
.5lb Special Roast
.5lb Flaked Oats
2oz fuggles for the full hour boil
Nottingham yeast

Mash temp:
Mash went 30 minutes at 135*F. My thermometer sucks and it took me that long to figure out. Then I brought it up to 152*F for another 30 minutes. But remember, my theremometer is junk, so I don't know if I can trust any of those temps. I've never checked my sparge temps, but the water that went in was around 180*F.

I must have sparged correctly, because I figure my eff. was between 75 and 80 because I got to 1.065 ish for my OG. Again with the crappy thermometer, I'm not sure how accurate that is though.

It fermented between 75 and 80. Temps outside are getting into the 100's now, so my closet isn't as cool as it used to be.

FG was about 1.012 (grain of salt on accuracy, please)

I don't think I tasted any infection. Smell was fair. Taste was acceptable, all things considered.

Like I said, mash was low, ferment was high.
On the lighter side, I should have prefaced all of this with the fact that my wife has learned to only ask me a question unless she REEEEAAAALLY!! wants to know the answer. I hope I haven't rambled on too long.
 

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The only thing that sticks out to me(besides you mashed low, which you already know) is the sparge water seems too hot. You might have extracted some tannins by using water over 170 degrees.

If it's tannins, it's more of a puckering dry flavor, though, not the burn you describe. If it's fusels, not too much you can do about it. Still, it's green and it might be much better in two to three weeks (or even longer). After it's carbonated, cold conditioning can really help that.
 
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enginerd

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Good call on the tannins, I hadn't thought of that. And, thanks for the insight. Sounds like a little bit of time and a whole lot of understanding that my beer can only get better from here will make this one turn out fine (plus maybe a new thermometer). Thanks you.
 

magnus

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on a side note. you mentioned not having alot of faith in your thermometer. try this.
fill a small cup or glass with crushed or small cubed ice. top it off with clean water. wait a few seconds then take a temp reading with the thermometer in question. it should read exactly 32 deg. if not, toss that sucker and buy a new one. hope this helps a bit.
 
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