Need a Fresh start

Discussion in 'Beginners Brewing Forum' started by MFTIC, Feb 25, 2018.

  1. soccerdad

    soccerdad Well-Known Member

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    Odd (to me) that a beer made with the Dead Ringer kit would come out lacking hop flavor. It always gets high reviews. The ones I've tasted were dee-lish.
     
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  2. Mase

    Mase Well-Known Member

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    I suggest you contact Northern Brewer and speak to one of their “Brewmasters” and provide all the detail of your brewing process. They know their kits and if you aren’t satisfied, they’ll replace it for free. I’ve never had a bad kit from them.
     
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  3. Ozarks Mountain Brew

    Staff Member

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  4. MFTIC

    MFTIC Active Member

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    Yes Ozarks i followed most everything

    I have a plan of attack. I ordered a happy little brew kit. (10 points to the first that guesses which). Just need one question answered first. Since this is a 5 gallon extract kit, should i follow instructions to only brew 3 gallons (or whatever it says) and add water after, OR can i boil 6 gallons so i get 5 gallons or so to bottle?
    First batch i boiled 3 and second batch i boiled 6.5. Both turned out bad so don't think this is a variable, but will listen to you guys.
     
  5. J A

    J A Well-Known Member

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    Just follow the directions to a "T", especially with regards to hop additions. If it doesn't turn out to be what you expect, find some local experienced homebrewers if you can or even take a bottle to a local brewery/taproom and prevail upon the brewers to give you an opinion. There's got to be a way to get to the beer you want.
     
  6. thunderwagn

    thunderwagn Well-Known Member

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    I've brewed the all grain version of Dead Ringer a number of times and it has always been excellent. Supposedly, it's a Bell's Two Hearted clone and I actually think it turns out better than Two Hearted.
    Unfortunate yours didn't pan out. It really is a tasty brew and I know NB sells a ton of that kit.
     
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  7. Mase

    Mase Well-Known Member

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    We brewed their all-grain version as one of our first brews and it turned out fantastic. As we don’t have a grain mill (add that to the list of “need to have this”), we ordered the grains from them crushed and their yeast is always fresh.
     
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  8. Hawkbox

    Hawkbox Well-Known Member

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    A Corona mill and a 5 gallon pail will be your best friend mate.
     
  9. MFTIC

    MFTIC Active Member

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    Alright so i have a plan that starts next week. I did contact NB for advise and am waiting.
    Going to do a full boil and ferment for 2 weeks. Clean all equipment 2 different ways. Then bottling bucket and straight to bottles with those carbonating tablets.
    Honestly i can only see 2 things that could have happened.
    1.I somehow over carbonated
    2.An infection occured either through the bottling bucket or auto siphon
    3.Oxygenation happened from auto siphon when racking to secondary.
    Hoping i can figure this out through process of elimination.
     
  10. Nosybear

    Nosybear Well-Known Member

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    If you'd over-carbonated your beers would have gushed and you would have been unable to pour them easily.
    If you'd got an infection, you'd have known it. It would have had any number of off-flavors and they would be getting worse. Google "infection flavors in beer" for possibilities, the biggies are diacetyl (rancid butter), butyric acid (vomit) and acetic acid (vinegar).
    If you'd got a bit of oxygen in the beer when racking or at any other time on the cold side, it would have taken a while to show itself either as a wet paper like flavor or after even longer, reminiscent of cooking sherry.
    And that was three things rather than two - I'll have to charge you half again the normal price... ;-)

    One thing I advise frequently is to know what the effect will be of what you're doing. You mention full boil: It will yield a slightly lighter colored, slightly less melanoidin-flavored, slightly less hoppy beer if you don't adjust for the boil density, that is. None of those effects will ruin a beer. Might make a Hefeweizen too dark for competition or a reddish brown Pilsner but it won't ruin the beer. To be honest, I'd advise you to curl up with a good book, starting with "How to Brew" by John Palmer. If you know how to cause a thing, you have an idea as to how to prevent it.

    Oh, one more thing before I end this rather lengthy post: You mention process of elimination. That's good, but to really do it you have to change only one thing at a time. My advice, get to a "good" beer, one that's drinkable, with as few variables as possible, meaning a simple Blonde, Pale Ale or something similar, then start your process of elimination by changing one factor at a time. You'll learn faster that way than by trying to cook a double imperial grapefruit IPA with twenty different hops. By brewing the latter, you'll never taste the effects of the change. Which makes me wonder if the reason they became so popular is that you don't have to be an outstanding brewer to make them.
     
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  11. MFTIC

    MFTIC Active Member

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    Agree with almost everything you said. Thank you for that. My next batch is a pale ale. This last batch is a Hail Marry. Even with the setbacks i'm having fun. The problem is i can't afford this.
    Went down to my local home brew shop and the owner/operator was in. The dude was Soooo helpful! Took the time to listen. Even asked where exactly i lived. Came to the conclusion that most of my problem is the water. I's just too soft for IPA's or even pale ale's for that matter. I'm back to being excited to try this again! (also dry hoping too long)
    So I ended up buying gypsum, carbonating tablets, and a hop bad.

    Drinking my beer now and the last 2 bottles i had to open over the sink. Think i'm going to save a few bottles and try again in a few months.
    I've read How to Brew as it's free on line ;) Even he say's if the water tastes good it is probably fine.
    NB did contact me back. Said to call and they would send another kit if I pay shipping as they stand by their stuff. Otherwise the advise was don't follow the directions....Don't rack to a secondary and only dry hop for 3-5 days (which i think a couple said in this thread, lol)
     
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  12. Trialben

    Trialben Well-Known Member

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    Brew on MFTIC I've been there a few time it sux when all that time money and hard work disappoints you! Use this set back learn from your mistakes move on and brew it better next time.
     
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  13. thunderwagn

    thunderwagn Well-Known Member

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    Your ipa isn't going to improve if you let it sit a couple months. If you say the hops are missing already, it will only continue to fade.

    Have you had your water tested? Do you know what you're adding? Why? And how much?
     
  14. Hawkbox

    Hawkbox Well-Known Member

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    My city water is great for brewing so I get to cheat a lot, but this is a good point. It doesn't sound like you're doing anything wrong.
     
  15. Nosybear

    Nosybear Well-Known Member

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    Agree with the above: Brew on. To quote John P., brew strong. You can go as deep or as shallow as you'd like in this hobby. Water's an advanced subject for a beginner, soft water should have helped but hey, I often feel like Click and Clack (RIP, Tom), trying to diagnose a car from the owner's vague sounds and descriptions of problems. I hope I help, that's all.
     
  16. okoncentrerad

    okoncentrerad Active Member

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    Speaking of water, since I've had some problems with my brews using my well water, I used city water for my last two brews, still conditioning and fermenting and don't know the outcome yet. I did some treatment on the water but just some days ago I was in contact with a guy that runs a local micro brewery in my city asking what water he was using. Turns out he used city water and did absolutely no treatments, not even for pH.
     
  17. jeffpn

    jeffpn Well-Known Member

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    I’d love to know what percentage of all grain homebrewers make water adjustments. I never have. Even a sample here might not be accurate. I believe forums of any type mostly attract those who are avid about the forum subject.
     
  18. Hawkbox

    Hawkbox Well-Known Member

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    I've started making water adjustments but I do it based on the local homebrew groups education instructor.
     
  19. Mase

    Mase Well-Known Member

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    I for one have not made water adjustments... so that makes at least two of us. :D
     
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  20. Nosybear

    Nosybear Well-Known Member

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    For centuries, if not millennia, people adjusted recipes to water, not the other way around. Don't know why that wouldn't still work....
     
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