Made it Up as I Went with Green Tea Beer recipe - Is it any good?

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Oct 15, 2019
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I had the inspiration to concoct a tea beer recipe from scratch after watching a youtube video that suggested to avoid green tea due to it giving off too much bitterness (). My previous batch made from scratch with Vanilla beans, Honey, and butternut Squash had great results except for too high of a mineral aftertaste, I called it VHS beer at 5.5% ABV. Anyway I really enjoy bitter beers (the more bitter the better lol) and thought to myself a bitter beer with green tea flavor with a hint of lemon would be great, especially for the summer (also added lemon peels). I wanted to maximize the ABV and went with a high alcohol tolerant yeast (Wyeast Scottish Ale yeast). I also purchased whole green tea leaves from the Asian Market (Joy Luck Green Tea 100% natural). Also followed some steps to the best of my comprehension of "The Complete Joy of Home Brewing 3rd edition by Charlie Papazian" when steeping my selected grains with the hopes of giving the beer more fermentable sugars along with a red tint. Later on I realized a mixture of red and green creates an orange color. Also added more fermentable sugars which I will get into later. I also ran into issues of concern to me as time went by which I assume most would consider a cluster F of mistakes, especially with the grain to water ratio and tampering with the initial brewed wort. Anyway below I'll give my documented steps of what happened so far with exact measurements and would like any thoughts/tips/concerns anyone would like to give. Or maybe if anyone could calculate the AVB by weight since I was taking poor gravity readings on the fly (I would assume for this to be a real challenge).

:Steeping Grains
1. Sanitized everything
2. Poured 2.5 gallons of water into 5 gallon brew kettle.
3. Filled steeping bag with 8oz Weyermann CaraRed & 8oz Weyermann Vienna (milled).
4. Heated water from 113-122 degrees Fahrenheit.
5. Waited 30 minutes (Proteolytic enzymes break down proteins into amino acids for yeast).
6. Heated water from 122-126.
7. Waited 10 minutes (Improves foam potential and aids in clarity).
8. Heated water from 126-144.
9. Waited 10 minutes (Diastatic enzyme Beta breaks down long/very-long glucose chains)
10. Heated water from 144-149.
11. Waited 60 minutes (Beta enzyme deactivates after 60 minutes at 149 degrees)
12. Heated water from 149-153.
13. Waited 60 minutes (Diastatic enzyme Alpha breaks down very-long glucose chains - deactivates after 120 minutes at 153 degrees)
14. Heated water from 153-165.
15. Waited 20 minutes and removed steeping bag.

:Brought to Boil
1. Brought kettle to rolling boil.
2. Added 1kg of pure Dextrose (glucose).
3. Stirred well as water returned to rolling boil.
4. In a hops steeping bag - Added 1oz Centennial hops with lemon peel from 2 lemons.
5. Boiled for 20 minutes.
6. Added 1oz Citra hops.
7. Boiled for 20 minutes.
8. Added 1oz CTZ hops.
9. Boiled for 15 minutes.
10. Added 4 cups of green tea leaves.
11. Boiled for 5 minutes. (green tea is made in 5 minutes and with the caution of the youtube video with bitterness)
12. Cooled wort to 70 degrees F.
13. Siphoned wort into bottling bucket.
14. Poured water from elevated height to assist aeration and brought to 5 gallons.
15. Siphoned wort into 5 gallon carboy.
16. Took OG level "1.026"

1. It was getting very late in the evening, needed to get to bed, and OG was a lot lower then expected.
2. Yeast packet had already been smacked for 3 hours.
3. Yeast packet did not inflate - brew shop said they did have a frig go out that was keeping the yeast cool and weren't sure if those packets were still good but bought it anyway.

17. Decided to pitch yeast anyways (Wyeast Scottish Ale) and shook carboy vigorously.
18. Took 72 hours for 1inch blow-off tube to start bubbling.
19. Sediment and materials appearing like yeast blew through the tube as it was bubbling vigorously.
Note: Was worried about the low OG level and the questionable yeast quality.
20. After an additional 24 hours bubbling slowed to every 2-3 seconds.
21. After an additional 12 days of bubbling slowing to every 16 seconds decided to take action to my concerns of low OG level and yeast quality/population.

1. Sanitized everything, even the pot.
2. Boiled 1 gallon of water in pot.
3. Added 1 lb. of Muntons DME Light, stirred until dissolved.
4. Added 1 kg of pure dextrose, stirred until dissolved.
5. Cooled pot to 70 degrees F.
6. Poured 1 kg of Pure Honey into 6.5 gallon carboy.
7. Poured pot into the 6.5 gallon carboy and shook well.
8. Siphoned 5 gallon carboy batch to 6.5 gallon carboy and avoided yeast cake at the bottom of the 5 gallon carboy.
9. Used the last bit of liquid to take a gravity reading.

1. It was at "1.000" but it was still bubbling every 16 seconds before Siphoning????
2. Decided to drink the sample which had a strong lemon sourness and could definitely notice the alcohol.
3. Had already siphoned the beer into the new 6.5 gallon carboy so decided to see what would happen to it.

10. Pitched cheap dried yeast packet straight into the carboy without hydrating it.
11. Swirled the liquid in the 6.5 carboy slightly and reattached the 1inch blow-off tube.

1. After 24 hours blow-off tube started bubbling again every second.
2. Sediment/material started blowing through the tube again as it was bubbling vigorously.
3. Gave it additional time to see when the bubbling would slow down.
4. After an additional 2 weeks with the bubbling slowing to every 8 seconds.
5. Inspection of the carboy shows no signs of infection and liquid is still hazy with plenty of rising bubbles.
6. Thinking of bottling once the bubbling slows to every 30 seconds or longer.

Additional Note: I'm not a mathematician and not sure if my research in calculating my ABV by weight was close to being accurate at all but this is what I came up with.
OG = 1.026
SG = 1.000

Added DME and dextrose and Honey with 1 gallon of water:
1lb of DME's PPG = 44 (1.044)
1lb of Dextrose's PPG = 45 (1.045) (added 1kg = 2.2lbs)
1lb of Honey's PPG = 35 (1.035) (added 1kg = 2.2lbs)

DME = 44 / 6 gallons = 7.33 (1.00733)
Dextrose = 45 / 6 gallons = 7.5 (1.0075) X 2.2 = 16.5 (1.0165)
Honey = 35 / 6 gallons = 5.8333 (1.005833) X 2.2 = 12.833 (1.012833)
OG = 1.026

Note: at this point I really doubt I'm calculating this at all close to how its done.
1.026 + 0.00733 + 0.0165 + 0.012833 = 1.062663
Assuming the FG is going to be 1.004.....(1.062 - 1.004) X 131.25 = 7.6% ABV

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