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Homer2728

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Hoping you can advise me. I am a new member today. I have just made my first batch of homebrew from scratch using Munich malt as a base, added some crystal malt, roasted Barley, pale choc malt and some Fuggle hops. I mashed this at 64-67degrees and transferred into stainless steel pot to boil adding hops beginning and end. Pitched yeast at 23c. The whole batch does not seem to have hardly any alcohol in it. Just wandered if anyone know what I might have done wrong. Many thanks.
 

VikeMan

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What was your batch size? How much malt did you use? What yeast strain? Did you measure gravity at any point?
 

Alex4mula

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Did you crushed the grains? I assume it is done fermenting and bottled and you are tasting it? Or your comment is from measurement?
 

FromZwolle

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Hoping you can advise me. I am a new member today. I have just made my first batch of homebrew from scratch using Munich malt as a base, added some crystal malt, roasted Barley, pale choc malt and some Fuggle hops. I mashed this at 64-67degrees and transferred into stainless steel pot to boil adding hops beginning and end. Pitched yeast at 23c. The whole batch does not seem to have hardly any alcohol in it. Just wandered if anyone know what I might have done wrong. Many thanks.
did you taste it before you added yeast? was it very sweet? is it sweet still?

just because it doesn't taste boozy doesn't mean that it doesn't have a fair bit of alcohol.

how carbonated is it? i find that the flavors are quite 'flat' when beer has not fully carbonated yet.
 
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Homer2728

Homer2728

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What was your batch size? How much malt did you use? What yeast strain? Did you measure gravity at any point?
Hi mashed it with 14 litres and I think in total 8 lb malt. I used crossmyloof ale yeast 10g. Only measure gravity when I noticed that air lock had not bubbled. Gravity was at 1.008 in 2 days. Have googled yeast and says it is fast acting. I’m wandering if I have added to much water when I was boiling it as I topped it up to 23 litres
 
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Homer2728

Homer2728

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Did you crushed the grains? I assume it is done fermenting and bottled and you are tasting it? Or your comment is from measurement?
I used munic malt. Fermentation did not appear in airlock but when lifting the lid I could hear it bubbling away, used fast acting crossmyloof ale yeast. Nig bottled as yet. OG was 1.008. Sorry all new to this, hope this makes sense. Many thanks
 
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Homer2728

Homer2728

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did you taste it before you added yeast? was it very sweet? is it sweet still?

just because it doesn't taste boozy doesn't mean that it doesn't have a fair bit of alcohol.

how carbonated is it? i find that the flavors are quite 'flat' when beer has not fully carbonated yet.
No sorry didn’t taste it and yes it tastes sweet now. It was bubbling in fermentation bucket but not coming up through airlock and only lasted 2 days.
 

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Without a starting gravity measurement, it’s hard to say, but 1.008 would be a normal final gravity depending on the style. You could have a normal beer or you could have a very weak one. Impossible to say without a starting gravity, but based on the current gravity, it sounds like you’ve fermented just about all you can.

I wouldn’t worry that it only bubbled for a couple of days. I just brewed a porter and had a very aggressive fermentation with blow-off activity at its peak less than 24 hours after pitching. It looked almost as if my glass of sanitizer was boiling. Within 48 hours, bubbles had pretty much stopped. I checked the gravity after a week, and it’s a couple of points high, so I’m slowly raising the temp to see if I can get a couple more points out of it. Point being it’s nearly complete and the visible activity had wrapped up in less than 48 hours.
 
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Homer2728

Homer2728

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Without a starting gravity measurement, it’s hard to say, but 1.008 would be a normal final gravity depending on the style. You could have a normal beer or you could have a very weak one. Impossible to say without a starting gravity, but based on the current gravity, it sounds like you’ve fermented just about all you can.

I wouldn’t worry that it only bubbled for a couple of days. I just brewed a porter and had a very aggressive fermentation with blow-off activity at its peak less than 24 hours after pitching. It looked almost as if my glass of sanitizer was boiling. Within 48 hours, bubbles had pretty much stopped. I checked the gravity after a week, and it’s a couple of points high, so I’m slowly raising the temp to see if I can get a couple more points out of it. Point being it’s nearly complete and the visible activity had wrapped up in less than 48 hours.
many thanks for your reply. Only thing I didn't have was any bubbles in my airlock at all. Will try making another batch. I still wander wether I put to much water in.
 

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Don't worry about not having any bubbles in the airlock. If a seal leaks, you may not see any bubbles. 1.008 in 2 days is pretty quick. Pity you didn't take an OG sample (Original Gravity). Leave at least 2 weeks before bottling; not only does it allow fermentation to finish, but it also allows the yeast to clean up some off flavors.

Lets talk process. You had 8 lbs of grain in 6 US gallons. 8 lbs can get you roughly 240 gravity points with ~ 80% mash efficiency, or as little as ~ 145 with a 50% mash efficiency. Lots of things affect efficiency, since you are new to this, you should expect to be somewhere in the middle of this, and not at the higher end. Assuming you are somewhere between these, your OG would be between 1.024 and 1.040. With a 1.008 FG, your alcohol content is somewhere between 2% and 4.2%. ...... Yes, it will be low alcohol. I think you can assume about 3%.

How to improve? Be candid and let us know exactly what you are doing so we can help with improving mash efficiency (this could save you a lot of money). Add more grain. Supplement your mash with some malt extract (called partial mash).
 

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I think I would agree. 23L is roughly 6Gallons. I use 6 to 7lbs of malt in my 3Gallon 5%ish abv brews. You definitely have beer since it seem like you observed fermentation, but its probably very low (2 to 2.5%) abv.
 
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Homer2728

Homer2728

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Don't worry about not having any bubbles in the airlock. If a seal leaks, you may not see any bubbles. 1.008 in 2 days is pretty quick. Pity you didn't take an OG sample (Original Gravity). Leave at least 2 weeks before bottling; not only does it allow fermentation to finish, but it also allows the yeast to clean up some off flavors.

Lets talk process. You had 8 lbs of grain in 6 US gallons. 8 lbs can get you roughly 240 gravity points with ~ 80% mash efficiency, or as little as ~ 145 with a 50% mash efficiency. Lots of things affect efficiency, since you are new to this, you should expect to be somewhere in the middle of this, and not at the higher end. Assuming you are somewhere between these, your OG would be between 1.024 and 1.040. With a 1.008 FG, your alcohol content is somewhere between 2% and 4.2%. ...... Yes, it will be low alcohol. I think you can assume about 3%.

How to improve? Be candid and let us know exactly what you are doing so we can help with improving mash efficiency (this could save you a lot of money). Add more grain. Supplement your mash with some malt extract (called partial mash).
Hi many thanks for your advise. Will be back in touch when I try another batch. Many thanks again. Nige
 

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Don't worry about not having any bubbles in the airlock. If a seal leaks, you may not see any bubbles. 1.008 in 2 days is pretty quick. Pity you didn't take an OG sample (Original Gravity). Leave at least 2 weeks before bottling; not only does it allow fermentation to finish, but it also allows the yeast to clean up some off flavors.

Lets talk process. You had 8 lbs of grain in 6 US gallons. 8 lbs can get you roughly 240 gravity points with ~ 80% mash efficiency, or as little as ~ 145 with a 50% mash efficiency. Lots of things affect efficiency, since you are new to this, you should expect to be somewhere in the middle of this, and not at the higher end. Assuming you are somewhere between these, your OG would be between 1.024 and 1.040. With a 1.008 FG, your alcohol content is somewhere between 2% and 4.2%. ...... Yes, it will be low alcohol. I think you can assume about 3%.

How to improve? Be candid and let us know exactly what you are doing so we can help with improving mash efficiency (this could save you a lot of money). Add more grain. Supplement your mash with some malt extract (called partial mash).
Don't leave it for two weeks within a leaky bucket or acedobacter might join the party and destroy the taste. Also, the oxygen might oxidise your beer.

I am all for letting the beer inside primary for a week longer than necessary, but the primary vessel needs to be air tight for this.
 

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I have just made my first batch of homebrew from scratch using Munich malt as a base,
There are two types of Munich malt, a light that has enough enzymes for conversion and a dark that may not. Which one you used could affect the conversion, especially if the malt was not crushed well. That would get you poor conversion and a weak beer.

Don't leave it for two weeks within a leaky bucket or acedobacter might join the party and destroy the taste. Also, the oxygen might oxidise your beer.
Bacteria are not very mobile. They float in the air and your bucket would have to be very leaky (like a hole in the lid) for bacteria to get into it. Same with oxygen. After the fermentation is complete there is CO2 coming out of suspension the gives the bucket positive pressure so air isn't going to rush in. A bucket that leaks just enough to keep the airlock from bubbling will still be fine for holding your beer for several weeks.
 

Miraculix

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There are two types of Munich malt, a light that has enough enzymes for conversion and a dark that may not. Which one you used could affect the conversion, especially if the malt was not crushed well. That would get you poor conversion and a weak beer.



Bacteria are not very mobile. They float in the air and your bucket would have to be very leaky (like a hole in the lid) for bacteria to get into it. Same with oxygen. After the fermentation is complete there is CO2 coming out of suspension the gives the bucket positive pressure so air isn't going to rush in. A bucket that leaks just enough to keep the airlock from bubbling will still be fine for holding your beer for several weeks.
Bacteria are already in your beer, the big question is, do they have an environment to multiply in. If oxygen is present, they have. Otherwise, no problem.

The positive pressure is not there, since the airlock does not bubble. Co2 blanket is a myth and oxidation is real.

It does not mean that it has to go downhill, but chances are that it would, so I wouldn't risk it. I certainly had bad experiences with leaky buckets and keeping the beer inside them for prolonged time. As long as fermentation is active, not a big deal but as soon as it stops, stuff gets risky.
 
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