- Oct 25, 2021
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...Until you were good at making beer? How many batches did you wreck before you made something drinkable. Or worth showing friends? How many brews until a person gets good at it?
Welcome to Homebrew Talk! If you are new to brewing or just thinking about getting started, just jump in and brew beer. You will learn and improve. I have been doing this for over 25 years and I learn a few things with every batch....Until you were good at making beer? How many batches did you wreck before you made something drinkable. Or worth showing friends? How many brews until a person gets good at it?
Maybe the problem may be that I am a beer snob. IDK. I work so hard on these brews, I am consistent and meticulous. I have been crushed every time. I have dumped all except one. They are terrible after conditioning. I suppose I was expecting that I would be in full stride by now.Loaded question dude. So many variables. Depends on how much effort you put into it, how consistent you are w/your process, how much help you have/don't have getting started, having immediate peers to lean on.
How beer snobbish friends are, what you consider wrecked/drinkable and so on...and so forth.
I've only been brewing for about a year, and I've gotten mixed results. I've shared with a couple family members, friends, etc., and I've gotten very positive feedback and I'm assuming it wasn't just lip service based on repeat pours, requests and so forth. I still have SOOOO much room to grow, and I know that there are others on this forum that haven't been brewing as long that seem like they're knocking it out of the park. What are they doing right, what am I doing wrong..? I don't know..keep on learning I guess...
I've got a pale ale that I just is mature enough to drink as of about a week ago....and it isn't great. If a friend happens to come over, I'll invite them to take a pour. My wife really likes it, but I think she is heavily biased. I doubt I'll end up asking my old boss that has been brewing for 40+years because I already have my own fair share of criticisms and thoughts on what I'd change about it. I've got about 20 breweries in a 10 mile radius that will blow it out of the water. But it hasn't stopped me from drinking it...and I think I'm on about pour #4 tonite. Because at the end of the night...I'm enjoying it...because it is something that I made...and dammit, that is more than good enough for me!
So, do you believe kegging makes it easier/better?A friend said we should brew beer but use kegs and not bottle. We got a 10 gal Blickman Brew Kettle, a CO2 and Keg Setup and an English Bitter in a Can kit (small extract kit). We brewed on a turkey fryer and cooled the Wort by submeging the Kettle in a horse trough full of ice water (how's that for sanitation?) We kegged and carbonated. WOW! I was hooked. We did extracts for about a year, going from kits to buying extracts and hops to partial grain and finally tried an All Grain Kit. We never returned to extracts. The only issue we had is that we always wanted bigger equipment and more control as we progressed.
How many brews have you done, which one did you keep? Why was that one good enough?Maybe the problem may be that I am a beer snob. IDK. I work so hard on these brews, I am consistent and meticulous. I have been crushed every time. I have dumped all except one. They are terrible after conditioning. I suppose I was expecting that I would be in full stride by now.
Give some info on what you have brewed so far (equipment, kits/recipes, general process, etc.) and I am sure you will get plenty of recommendations.Maybe the problem may be that I am a beer snob. IDK. I work so hard on these brews, I am consistent and meticulous. I have been crushed every time. I have dumped all except one. They are terrible after conditioning. I suppose I was expecting that I would be in full stride by now.
Absolutely. Never cleaned a bottle or worried about priming sugar. You can force carb in a hurry and be drinking after kegging shortly. You better control the carbonation level. When I was much younger and had only bottled carbed beer as an option, we used to be very careful opeaning a bottle, Some were flat, some were gysers, and some just right. That being said, we perfer to slow force carbonate. We are moving to carbonating in the fermentor. Forced carb: Better Control, No Bottle Bombs, No Flat Beer after two weeks..........So, do you believe kegging makes it easier/better?
I use distilled water and then use software to tell me what i need to add based on the grains and hops. I add calcium, gypsum, Epsom salt, whatever is recommended.With that many batches you didn't like, two possible issues could be water and temp control (what water are you using? And what temp do you ferment?)
Most definitely. Super strict about opening up the fermenter. I take it very seriously. The lid and the immersion pro, along with the airlock are dependable.I assume with the fermzillas, you limited exposure to oxygen. How long did the beers condition?
This would be my thoughts as well. My advice would be to find one or two general styles you like, and figure out how to make that well. Jumping around between different recipes and learning to use different yeasts is prone to be frustrating. Once you know you can make a nice Pale Ale or Irish Stout, then grow from there.Do Less!
You have to walk before you can run.
From your equipment outlay (which is solid), it seems like you may have moved forward too quickly.
It looked like bottling process caused an infection and it had a faint rotten egg smell. And a bit too yeasty seeminglyWhat does that mean, it didn’t look like beer? Cloudy? Color off?
No a an empire Ale yeastAre you using lager yeast? Lager yeast produces a sulfury smell that will go down with aging. Lager beers need to be aged cold.
Ok sounds like good adviceStart with a basic recipe, nothing too fancy to begin with. Stout and brown ales are good first time brews. Get the basics down before trying flavorings and extra things.
I always keep a 5 gal bucket of Starsan solution. On bottling day I'd toss everything in that bucket for a while. Siphon hoses are a bit tricky, but I'd make sure to fill up the tubing with Starsan to sanitize the insides. The bottling bucket valve can be disassembled--I put the parts in a jar of Starsan to store until next time.What is your method for keeping the tubing sanitized and fresh? Which plastic components did you switch out?