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My first batch

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JoeShmo

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So im doing my best to enjoy my first brew, a pale ale kit from my lhbs. It has some off flavor that I can't really describe. Bitter is all that really comes to mind (maybe metallic?). I know I pitched while it was still warmer than it should have been, around 80°f Also, it was fermenting in a room at about 68°f. I know thats also kinda warm. I've since built a stc1000 controlled fermentation chamber to take care of that end of it, but here's the problem with my early pitching. We've got a 15 month old, and when the wife is stuck watching him solo for that long on brew day, she lets it be known that I'd better help with the lil man pretty soon, so I've had to rush the pitch. Would I be better off just sticking it in my chamber and coming back in a few hours, when I can sneak back down to the basement for a few minutes to pitch when I'm in that situation?
 
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JoeShmo

JoeShmo

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Thanks, its kinda disheartening so far. So much time, effort, and money into beer that makes a pretty good marinade, and thats about it.
 

TroyMorgan

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I know it's more money, but an immersion chiller may be your next upgrade (or you could always make one yourself for less). My girl gets after me on brew day every time and the immersion chiller knocks off a good amount of time from your brew day.
 
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JoeShmo

JoeShmo

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I actually have one now, and it worked great on my third brew. between that, and trying to plan brew day around when I've got the actual time to do it, I should be better off from here on.
 
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JoeShmo

JoeShmo

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Just thought of something funny. My first beer is like my first wife: looks and smells great and gives great head, but when it's over you ask yourself "why did I work do hard on that relationship?". :D
 

RM-MN

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How long are you spending on your brew day? Have you thought of ways to shorten it? That little one needs you and will be grown up before you know it. I know, my little girl turned 30 not so long ago. My brew days last about 3 1/2 hours now and I can shorten them even more. I did a test run and can have the wort in the fermenter in not much over 2 hours but I won't be doing it that way on a regular basis.
 

kombat

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My brew days last about 3 1/2 hours now and I can shorten them even more.
Didn't I call "shenanigans" on you over this already a few months ago? Didn't we eventually find out that you were only counting the time from mash-in to yeast pitch? Weren't you conveniently omitting to count the time spent weighing/milling grains, heating strike water, and of course cleanup? I still don't agree that an all-grain brewing day can be achieved in anything less than 4 hours from soup-to-nuts (and even that would be extremely rushed and cutting corners).

Anyway, to answer the original poster, the obvious answer is "get a plate chiller." It'll get your 5 gallons of wort down to 65° F in about 2 and a half minutes and get you back to your wife and little one faster.

With respect to your current batch, I doubt the initial pitch temperature was a factor. By the time the yeast finished their "lag time" and began their main fermentation phase (where the off-flavours would be produced), the wort would have cooled to the proper range, if it had been in a proper fermentation chamber. What you're tasting is probably fusel alcohols, the result of fermenting too hot. Would you describe the flavour as "hot", like you would imagine nail polish remover to taste like? That was my experience with my first few batches (when I actually wrapped a heating belt around my fermenting bucket!)

Summary: Get a plate chiller, or at least an immersion chiller, to reduce chilling time. Ferment in a chamber set to 60-65° F to eliminate off-flavours due to a too-high fermentation temperature.

Good luck with the next batch.
 

RM-MN

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Didn't I call "shenanigans" on you over this already a few months ago? Didn't we eventually find out that you were only counting the time from mash-in to yeast pitch? Weren't you conveniently omitting to count the time spent weighing/milling grains, heating strike water, and of course cleanup? I still don't agree that an all-grain brewing day can be achieved in anything less than 4 hours from soup-to-nuts (and even that would be extremely rushed and cutting corners).

Anyway, to answer the original poster, the obvious answer is "get a plate chiller." It'll get your 5 gallons of wort down to 65° F in about 2 and a half minutes and get you back to your wife and little one faster.

With respect to your current batch, I doubt the initial pitch temperature was a factor. By the time the yeast finished their "lag time" and began their main fermentation phase (where the off-flavours would be produced), the wort would have cooled to the proper range, if it had been in a proper fermentation chamber. What you're tasting is probably fusel alcohols, the result of fermenting too hot. Would you describe the flavour as "hot", like you would imagine nail polish remover to taste like? That was my experience with my first few batches (when I actually wrapped a heating belt around my fermenting bucket!)

Summary: Get a plate chiller, or at least an immersion chiller, to reduce chilling time. Ferment in a chamber set to 60-65° F to eliminate off-flavours due to a too-high fermentation temperature.

Good luck with the next batch.
You can call shenanigans if you want but from the time I print the recipe to the time I have equipment cleaned and put away is 3 1/2 hours. That includes bringing the equipment up from my basement, weighing and milling the grains, mashing, chilling, pitching, cleanup and putting equipment away again. I'm just more efficient than you.:rockin:
 

kombat

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Super-fast version:

0:15 - Bring equipment upstairs to garage, setting up mash tun, etc.
0:10 - Weighing & milling grains (I mill by hand, don't have a drill)
0:05 - Fill HLT with measured amount of strike water, bring upstairs
0:20 - Light burner, heat strike water to 170-ish ° F
0:10 - Pour strike water into mash tun, dump in grains, stir until mixed and temperature stabilizes.
1:00 - Mash. Measure/heat sparge water.
0:05 - Vorlauf, drain first runnings, dump in sparge water
0:10 - Allow grains to settle
0:05 - Vorlauf, drain second runnings into boil kettle, move kettle onto burner
0:20 - Heat wort to boiling
1:00 - Boil. Rehydrate yeast.
0:20 - Chill to 65° F
0:10 - Transfer into fermenter, collect gravity sample
0:10 - Move fermenter into basement, pitch yeast, affix airlock
0:45 - Cleanup, pack up gear

That's almost 4 and a half hours, and I must be missing a lot, because mine have never taken less than 5. And that's if I really, really rush. You claimed 3.5 hours, and casually said you could "shorten it more." Again, I say "shenanigans!"
 

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Keep the arguments out of this, please. It's off topic and unproductive. It has nothing to do with the OP's questions.
You can start a new thread on how long a brewday takes, and see how others do it, if you want.
Thanks.
 
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JoeShmo

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Thanks for the replies everyone, and I didn't mean to get people arguing. As idiotic as I feel from my experience, I'll share the ending of the story..... gave the pale ale another week in the fridge and they taste better every day. I think the hops just had a little more bite and lingering effect than I was anticipating, which is slowly fading. Of course, had I looked up what ibu meant, I wouldn't have been so surprised. After telling the guy at the lhbs that I am a commercial beer drinker, (Grain Belt Premium for the most part) I just trusted him to recommend something fairly similar to not shock me on my first brew, haha. At least I now know a little more when selecting what I want to brew. I'm not a hop head, (at least not yet) so an ibu of 48 it's a little much for my taste. I had a couple buddies try it and actually like it.

Again, thanks to everyone for their input, and I'll try to know what I'm talking about before I freak out next time!
 
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