Too much fermentation? from 1054 to 1004 - first brew. Urgent help!!!

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beerlol

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Hi
just attempted my first ever home brew as I miss the heavily hopped AIPAs I was used to drinking in pubs before covid lockdown. In a rush for self sufficiency I bought a mangrove jack single hop (Simcoe) extract kit.

All went well but at the last minute I decided to but a corny keg kit, but it took an additional 5 days to arrive, during which my SG has dropped to around 1004.

The kit instructed me to add the simcoe pellets at 1020 which I did, within a few days it smelt fantastic and I couldn't wait to drink it, I was drinking the liquor from the hydrometer readings and that tasted wonderfully hoppy and fruity.

I am now in the middle of my first "bottling" experience with my first brew, I checked the SG and it is now 1004. This is lower than the kit suggests, it says it is ready at 1008.

The problem is that it doesnt taste anywhere as good as I remember it and the SG is very low. Did the extra 5 days brewing kill the hop aromas?

FYI - whilst my first brew was in the fermenter I got excited and bought a 25kg sack of pale ale malt, some crystal malts and about 600g of various hops (chinook, simcoe, matuaka, amarillo, cascade) as I have decided to go the whole way and my next brew will be an all grain one.

I am writing this with a sanitised fermenter and bucket full of dry, slightly flavourless beer by my side, THE QUESTION IS, it it wise to add some of my hops to the corny in attempt to try salvage the AIPA, if so which hop is best, how much, any other advice. I have a small mesh back I can use in the corny.

Urgent help required,,,,

Thanks in advance

L
 

myndflyte

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I mean 4 points lower than expected isn't something to worry about. But heavily late addition hopped beers are usually best early because they can lose their hop aroma pretty quickly. Things may be different once it's carbed and cold. But that being said you could add hops to your keg. If anything, I'd just do 1 or 2 oz of Simcoe to kick it back up. And the mesh bag might help prevent clogged poppits so it's not a bad idea. But I'm sure others just throw in commando as well.
 

brownni5

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Relax. Don't worry. Have a Home Brew.

So many factors determine FG that expected FG is meaningless. Chances are you won't taste 4 points difference. Not hoppy enough? Add more hops. The above is correct - time, temperature and carbonation make things very different.
 
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beerlol

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thanks top you both for your advice, the beer is flat and warm (22c / 72f) which is never good, I am going to sterilise the bag and put an ounce of simcoe in as you suggest unless I hear any other suggestions in the next 30 minutes (baby to feed first)...
 

mongoose33

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IMO, slow down. There's all this stuff that new brewers have to learn, arcane language (mash, tun, hydrometer, sparge, etc. etc. etc.) and a process that while not overly complicated, is not simplistic either.

You will be better served in the long run, IMO, if you take your time here. The more variables you have going on at one time, the more likely one will goof you up--and then how do you decide what went wrong?

Assuming you're reading the hydrometer correctly, it's not the end of the world. You'll still get beer.

I don't understand the corny keg thing. Are you bottling or are you putting this in a corny keg?

And that's one of the things I mean about going too fast. Are you getting the corny keg properly sanitized? What will you do to get the beer out? What if you clog a poppet?

And you say you have grain now. Is it crushed? If it is, you'll lose some flavor to oxidation, though it'll still be workable. And if it's not crushed, how will you crush it?

*********

I'm all for people enjoying this however they want, and if you get enjoyment from just barreling full speed ahead, more power to you.

But if you want to get to the point where you're producing not just drinkable but excellent beer, there's a path you should probably follow that will get you there with more certainty, and in the long run, more quickly.

Anyway, good luck either way.
 

Transamguy77

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Sounds like your going to just dry hop in the keg, that is what I do, I rarely add hops to the fermenter after fermentation and usually just keg hop, and I leave it in there until the keg kicks, even after a few months (they usually don’t last that long but it happens)

As far as jumping all in Mongoose makes some good points, but since you already left the diving board just read up in all your spare time. This is such a great and fun hobby which is why we are all here, and will answer all your questions.
 
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beerlol

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yes mongoose, i think you are correct. i have dived in the deep end at a rate of knots. I am about to hop with 1oz of Simcoe as per myndflyte's suggestion so I will at least keep the hop consistent and reduce a variable. Everything is properly sanitised with Starsan (as far as I can tell) and I am going to attempt to purge the corny with Co2 before I fill it and then again after its filled half a dozen times to the top air space.

Mongoose, if you can suggest a path I would be interested in learning. Also suggestions for a fairly full proof, simple recipe for a citrusy, hoppy AIPA would be good if anyone can suggest one I will be grateful. I am comfortable with a final alcohol content of 5% to 6% .
 
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beerlol

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just finished and cleaned up. I can swear that the first taste today from the top of the fermenter tasted as I described earlier, i.e bland and little hoppiness, as I was almost siphoning the last liquid of the trub I filled a small glass for a 2nd taste, it tasted much hoppier, i was much happier!

Can it beer that the flavours stratify in the fermenting vessel? my guess is they could as the different chemicals are bound to have different densities.

IF it wasnt my imagination and with the extra 1oz Simcoe I am heading towards a very hoppy first brew.
 

myndflyte

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Well the flavor may not stratify but by the end of fermentation, a lot of hop particles have settled out. By siphoning, some of those particles will get stirred up so I'm not surprised the the stuff near the bottom was hoppier. Once it's all cold and in the keg though, it'll be more ubiquitous.
 
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