What did I do wrong with my beers?

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themack22

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Preface: I made two versions of the Dead Ringer IPA (Two Hearted Clone) a week apart. The one I did two weeks ago is in the secondary, and the one I did a week ago is in the primary.

Yesterday I stuck my beer thief (which was clean) into the fermenter without sanitizing it. Bonehead move. I just blanked. It's the secondary fermenter and the beer is dry hopping. Did I ruin it?

I ask because yesterday it tasted hoppy and delicious, but today it tastes bad.

Also, I have the same beer in the primary which is a week behind Three days ago it was hoppy and delicious, now it's sweet and tastes bad.

Frustrated.



How can these be the same?!?!
 

Cincy17

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I'm fairly new so I probably won't have an answer, but the guru's will probably want to see the recipe and more specifics about the fermentation.
 

tgmartin000

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You're fine. After 3 weeks it should have enough alcohol, and be at a a pH to help ward off an infection. Assuming your theif was at least clean.
 

Dan

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If you are talking about the appearance I'd make a guess the the glass on the left is the week old and other two weeks. The one on the right has had more time to clear, as it clears it actually darkens, is less cloudy.

As far as dunking an unsanitized thief into the fermenter.. They both have some alchol in them by now. If the thief was clean I think you'll be ok.

Taste wise? Give them some time. Both are still very young.
 
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themack22

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You're fine. After 3 weeks it should have enough alcohol, and be at a a pH to help ward off an infection. Assuming your theif was at least clean.
Always store it sparkling clean.

But that doesn't change that they don't taste good anymore.

The first one was brewed on 10/14, racked to the secondary on 10/21 where it read 1.018 after a 1.068 drop. Tasted good yesterday, today like crap.
 
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themack22

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If you are talking about the appearance I'd make a guess the the glass on the left is the week old and other two weeks. The one on the right has had more time to clear, as it clears it actually darkens, is less cloudy.

As far as dunking an unsanitized thief into the fermenter.. They both have some alchol in them by now. If the thief was clean I think you'll be ok.

Taste wise? Give them some time. Both are still very young.
I am afraid you have that backwards. The one on the left is the right color. I've had hundreds of pints of two hearted. The one on the right is so dark and tastes worse.
 

iambeer

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Unless you are experimenting, don't taste your beer until it's done fermenting and ready to rack. And again once it's properly carbonated. If your IPA is 1.060 or more, it might need to mellow.
 
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themack22

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:off: insanely jealous. save some for the rest of us that can't get it locally!
My bad! I live in NC, far away from K-ZOO and we have this beer on tap at every bar. I assumed it was like that everywhere.

Unless you are experimenting, don't taste your beer until it's done fermenting and ready to rack. And again once it's properly carbonated. If your IPA is 1.060 or more, it might need to mellow.
I wish I was experimenting. Been doing it for a year and only had a few that were some what drinkable.

Ahh. Okay. Never had it before was just judging the age by the clarity. The one on the right just look clearer.
I hear ya. The one on the left is a classic pale ale color, the right seems like an Octoberfest. IMO
 
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themack22

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Sorry for the freakout. I am just at my wits end with homebrewing. I feel like I know everything about the basics of the extract process. My fianceé and friends will vouch for how much I have read about homebrewing over the past year. I know I am not supposed to be a pro by now, and maybe I am just a snob, but how hard is it to make a decent beer?

My fianceé clearly saw I was depressed, asked me about it, kissed my cheek and left me here on the computer.

Dudes...why is this happening?!?
 

neosapien

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because you have high expectations. this is not a bad thing ;)

i felt that way after my first infection (after previous 2 were "meh" beers at best). take it down a notch, do a nice simple single infusion SMaSH brew?

that's what i did. the beer that came out of that one was decent enough to raise my spirits about things.
 

Effingbeer

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My guess is the dry hop. Most kits give generic instructions. Seems you have a classic case of hop aroma an flavor dropping out with the remaining yeast. Hop oils stick to yeasties and other bugs, thats what gives them their preservative qualities. I personally will rack it, wait for it to clear. Then the last 5-ish days just prior to bottling do the dry hop. I taste on day 5, if the profile is where I want it, bottle. After 5-7 days, in the carboy, hops start to fall off. Keep in mind that Bells sells a ton of this beer. Even in NC what you get is probably a month old at most. If you could keep a bottle for a few months, it will probly lack the pizzazz we all love.
 
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themack22

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because you have high expectations. this is not a bad thing ;)
I hope so. I'd for an accomplised homebrewer come in and say "that's not too bad for a year of practice" or tell me "Oh, that tastes like you did x, y and z wrong."
 
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themack22

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My guess is the dry hop. Most kits give generic instructions. Seems you have a classic case of hop aroma an flavor dropping out with the remaining yeast. Hop oils stick to yeasties and other bugs, thats what gives them their preservative qualities. I personally will rack it, wait for it to clear. Then the last 5-ish days just prior to bottling do the dry hop. I taste on day 5, if the profile is where I want it, bottle. After 5-7 days, in the carboy, hops start to fall off. Keep in mind that Bells sells a ton of this beer. Even in NC what you get is probably a month old at most. If you could keep a bottle for a few months, it will probly lack the pizzazz we all love.
Word.

So what's the deal with the color? Clearly the darker one is way off.
 

jonmohno

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So what temp? What yeast? Do you note everything? You really need more to tell, thats what may be lacking to help you. I mean your drinking them before they are even carbed? conditioned too? Serious lack of information here. Do you hydrate,aerate,refrigerate,contemplate?Maybe just your water.
 
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themack22

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Let's talk about the first one.

OG: 1.068
FG: 1.018

10/14 - brew day
10/20 - rack to secondary, dry hop
10/21 - 1.018
10/30 - beer tastes good
10/31 - beer has taken a less hop flavor and is more sweet

It's been at a good temp. High 60's, but closer to 70. There have been a few nights where it may have gotten down to the low 60's, but that was after the first few days of violent fermentation.

Definitely tasting them before they are carbed. They were flat, but damn delicious. Something has gone awry in the past 2 days.
 

Effingbeer

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Color is heavily tied to the boil and evaporation. Your boil does not need to be ridiculous. Just good movement from the bottom to the top. A lot of folks, including myself will try to move some of the extract toward the end of boil, if possible. With kits, I usually add LME at the beginning and DME at the end. All you gotta do is get the DME dissolved at those temps for a few minutes to sanitize it. This should help lower the "carmelization" effect and give you lighter color.
Like one post said, your pics may be the same color, when the light colored yeast falls out, it looks darker.
 

bd2xu

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themack22 said:
Word.

So what's the deal with the color? Clearly the darker one is way off.
Hard to say on the color, was there any scorching in your pot? I've started brewing fairly recently (July) but the hobby has already become a sickness. I've got 9 batches under my belt and the last two all grain. A few things to consider to really improve your beer.

1. Full wort boil

2. Ferm temp. This is critical. Measure the temp of the wort by the tape strip thermo. I use a deep freeze with a controller and tape the thermostat to the bucket and type a towel over it to insulate. This works great, I can keep the temp of the bucket in the mid 60s while the air in the freezer could be 8 degrees lower. Really shows the exothermic process of fermentation. If no freezer or fridge use a swamp cooler, plenty of info on this site on them. My first two batches were IPA and rye pale ale, and I fermented in the basement at 72. But now I realize the temp in the primary was prob closer to 80 during the main fermentation... Too hot!!

3. Excellent sanitation. I switched to star San and I think it is so much better because you don't have to rinse or dry and only takes 39 secs. I keep a spray bottle of it handy.

4. Wort chiller to chill down quickly after the boil.
5. Good aeration. I just shake the bucket but will prob upgrade to o2 soon.
6. Yeast starter if using liquid. Follow calcs on yeastcalc.com.

These have all made HUGE diff from my first two batches where I just bought the kit and followed the instructions.

Last one is patience. Follow you procedures and have faith. I rarely even taste my beer until bottle time and usually don't test gravity until about three weeks in the fermenter. I also have started skipping the secondary stage for most beers and even dry hopping in the primary. My next big step is kegging and from what I've read dry hopping in the keg is an awesome way to get that aroma and taste for us hopheads!
 

jonmohno

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I dont get it your not going to know **** till they carb up and are condtioned and really ready to be consumed. Am I missing something here?. I apologize if I did. You cant judge your beer until then,pretty much period.
 

Effingbeer

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Also, 1.018 doesn't seem quite dry enough. I think you are missing out on the last 10% or so of attenuation due to your temp fluctuation. You don't want to let the temp drop after the first few days. If anything, it should start cool and gradually rise. Going from 68 to 63 can be a signal to your little friends to go nighty night. I usually try to slosh around the carboy a bit to push out excess CO2 and rouse the yeast a bit a couple times after high krausen. If you could use a tank of O2 to oxygenate prior to pitching, that would help too.
 

chumpsteak

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Why are you judging beers that aren't carbed? Most of the IPA's I make taste like crap until they are on the gas for 2-3 weeks and even then don't fully stabilize for 4-5 weeks in the keg. I have had IPAs that were good one week after carbed and then bad the next and then great the next. Some people are more sensitive to bitterness and with IPAs I really think they change a lot in the first few weeks of being carbed.

I've dumped IPAs that I thought were bad only to have the second 5 gallons of the same beer come out excellent after 2 more weeks on CO2.

I'm just saying, quit tasting your beers until they are carbed for a while. Give it a chance to do it's thing before you give up on it.
 
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themack22

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Hard to say on the color, was there any scorching in your pot? I've started brewing fairly recently (July) but the hobby has already become a sickness. I've got 9 batches under my belt and the last two all grain. A few things to consider to really improve your beer.

1. Full wort boil

2. Ferm temp. This is critical. Measure the temp of the wort by the tape strip thermo. I use a deep freeze with a controller and tape the thermostat to the bucket and type a towel over it to insulate. This works great, I can keep the temp of the bucket in the mid 60s while the air in the freezer could be 8 degrees lower. Really shows the exothermic process of fermentation. If no freezer or fridge use a swamp cooler, plenty of info on this site on them. My first two batches were IPA and rye pale ale, and I fermented in the basement at 72. But now I realize the temp in the primary was prob closer to 80 during the main fermentation... Too hot!!

3. Excellent sanitation. I switched to star San and I think it is so much better because you don't have to rinse or dry and only takes 39 secs. I keep a spray bottle of it handy.

4. Wort chiller to chill down quickly after the boil.
5. Good aeration. I just shake the bucket but will prob upgrade to o2 soon.
6. Yeast starter if using liquid. Follow calcs on yeastcalc.com.

These have all made HUGE diff from my first two batches where I just bought the kit and followed the instructions.

Last one is patience. Follow you procedures and have faith. I rarely even taste my beer until bottle time and usually don't test gravity until about three weeks in the fermenter. I also have started skipping the secondary stage for most beers and even dry hopping in the primary. My next big step is kegging and from what I've read dry hopping in the keg is an awesome way to get that aroma and taste for us hopheads!

I am overwhelmed now.

I do all of the above, minus the full wort boil. My buddy at work keeps harping on that.

Also, 1.018 doesn't seem quite dry enough. I think you are missing out on the last 10% or so of attenuation due to your temp fluctuation. You don't want to let the temp drop after the first few days. If anything, it should start cool and gradually rise. Going from 68 to 63 can be a signal to your little friends to go nighty night. I usually try to slosh around the carboy a bit to push out excess CO2 and rouse the yeast a bit a couple times after high krausen. If you could use a tank of O2 to oxygenate prior to pitching, that would help too.

Wow, the yeast is so finnicky. I have made beers that were under-attenuated because of too high temps, and now it seems the same has happened by too low of a temp.
 

Ogri

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Let's talk about the first one.

OG: 1.068
FG: 1.018

10/14 - brew day
10/20 - rack to secondary, dry hop
10/21 - 1.018
10/30 - beer tastes good
10/31 - beer has taken a less hop flavor and is more sweet

It's been at a good temp. High 60's, but closer to 70. There have been a few nights where it may have gotten down to the low 60's, but that was after the first few days of violent fermentation.

Definitely tasting them before they are carbed. They were flat, but damn delicious. Something has gone awry in the past 2 days.
Have you ever tried just leaving your brew in the primary for the entire three weeks, rather than racking to secondary??? You can dry hop in your primary with no worries.

Effingbeer said:
Also, 1.018 doesn't seem quite dry enough. I think you are missing out on the last 10% or so of attenuation due to your temp fluctuation. You don't want to let the temp drop after the first few days. If anything, it should start cool and gradually rise. Going from 68 to 63 can be a signal to your little friends to go nighty night. I usually try to slosh around the carboy a bit to push out excess CO2 and rouse the yeast a bit a couple times after high krausen.
/\ /\ /\ /\ /\
This.

I get the feeling that if you allow a bit more time to let your brews sort themselves out you'll be drinking much better tasting beer.
 

bovineblitz

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The one on the right looks more like Two-Hearted to me.

Both those beers are still green. They're not ready to be judged yet.

Also, 6 days in primary is a very short time, what's the reasoning behind that?

Lastly, whatever you ate during the day could easily affect your impression of the beers.
 

jsguitar

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To the op: When you say it tasted like crap the next day, can you describe how it tasted different?

The only thing in the process that I've experienced do anything similar is when I accidentally pumped a bunch of air through my beer while transferring to secondary with my auto siphon. The oxidation didn't show up until weeks later after the bottles had carbed and it was still really good for a couple of weeks before that. So, I doubt it's that.

Also, even if you did infect it (very unlikely) it would take quite a while to change the flavor.

I agree with the others that it will most likely be delicious after all is said and done.
 
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