Not sure if i like brewing

Discussion in 'Beginners Brewing Forum' started by MFTIC, Feb 12, 2018.

  1. MFTIC

    MFTIC Active Member

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    Skip past my drivel to the bold at the bottom.

    My first batch and something went horrible awry. Well pretty much everything. If you could do it wrong i did.
    1 Spilling the grains all over the counter top,
    2 not warming the extract prior to using,
    3 not turning off the stove when adding said extract,
    4 coating the entire kitchen ceiling with vapor/mist/water droplets,
    5 not realizing i need more than a couple trays of ice to cool the wort
    6 not realizing my temp prob is NOT water proof
    7 and the process continued dismally but i can't count past seven without losing interest.
    Beer was bland and tasted effervescent(?). Waste not want not...I gave some of it away to people i didn't like (j/k, i like them a little. Think i gave an entire 6 pack to my sis and brother-in-law, hahaha) and drank the rest.

    Batch number 2!!!
    Well i f#$#@ nailed the brew process this time...up till a point.
    This time i brewed outside/in the garage. I sat down to watch and enjoy the boil with a beer. WAIT the beer is inside the house. If i leave it will boil over. Went beerless for a long time. Now entertaining the idea of joining a local brew club. Someone will bring me a beer if i can't leave a boil right????
    Problem number one started when i wanted to finish everything inside. I didn't adjust the burner so the bottom of the pot was coated with soot.
    Have you tried cleaning that stuff off of
    1.the kitchen sink
    2.the counter tops
    3.two towels
    4.floor
    5.sponge
    6.shirt
    7.window curtains...window curtains?? wtf??
    8.where was i

    Now that we are in the kitchen i got this REALLY cool thing called a wort chiller i think? Lets hook it up to the sink and get this bad boy chillen. Wait, what? Connections are wrong and need a garden hose? But i was just out there now inside...cries. Bring super hot and heavy black cauldron of death out back. Chill with super duper wort chiller snake thing and bring back into kitchen.
    Asks son to find you-tube video on how to re-assemble auto syphon. Hard to find when you can't spell syphon correctly.
    Everything clean and put away. Time passes, about 11 days. Racking to secondary i take a little taste of the stuff left in the first. Yum. If i could bottle RIGHT NOW i would. Now back to waiting, about 2 weeks.
    Bottling time has arrived!
    Seems to be a lot of flocculation(?) in the secondary carboy. Forgot about the gallon of sanstar mix that ended up on the kitchen floor before the operation.
    Anyway. I started typing just to ask this one question. Not sure how my fingers got away from me.
    Pretty sure all the stuff floating on top was from the Cascade hops i used to dry hop. As i was auto siphoning and getting down to the bottom, the stuff was falling through the beer. Ended up messing up the siphoning process and i had to stop. Wasted a good gallon of beer!!! Was it the hops? Didn't happen on the first batch of beer i made, but that was with centennial hops. How do i stop this? Also i had my corn sugar mix made up for 5 gallons and only got 4.
    Thanks guys. Can't WAIT to start the 3rd batch!! IPA's all day.
     
  2. BOB357

    BOB357 Well-Known Member

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    Hehe! That's half the fun :) Read a lot more than you brew in the beginning. It helps! The more you are presented with challenges, the more you need to rise to them. Once you do that, it's cake.
     
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  3. MaceBrewer

    MaceBrewer New Member

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    I can definitely feel your pain and frustration! Mine was all powered extract which I found when you try to dump it into steaming hot liquid will cause it to clump in the bag and turn into a charcoal hard brick. When I went to chill it with my fancy wart chiller hooked to the garden hose I found out the hose clamp was loose and was spraying into my freshly boiled wart which did a great job of cooling it down BTW. So I boiled it again, overboiled and like you ended up with about 4 gallons. I also failed to realize that the instructions called for .5 oz of hops and I went ahead and threw the whole bag (1 oz) in thinking it was surely measured out for me, it wasn't. And my yeast didn't settle to the bottom so it looks like water I could get from a mud puddle. And my final gravity is way high so my yeast left a lot of sugar behind. Smells and tastes hoppier than it should, but it's drinkable. At least I'm going to drink it. Probably.

    I'm on my second batch now, and it looks to be going much smoother.

    Things I learned:
    Check equipment before you have to use it.
    Re-read directions several times.
    Compare ingredients in the instructions to what they sent you in the kit.
    Make a yeast starter if you're using liquid yeast. I don't know about dry yet, but I'm tempted to do it.
    Use a hop bag so you don't have that junk left in the fermenter.
    Don't squeeze the grain bag (if your kit has one) that mushy stuff WILL squeeze right through it.

    Oh, and to answer your question from my very poor knowledge base, I bought a couple of hop bags which seems to greatly reduce the hop gunk. I would assume you can use them for dry hopping too?

    I'm not giving up yet, I hope you don't either! Good luck!
     
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  4. thunderwagn

    thunderwagn Well-Known Member

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    Haha. I'm guessing just about everyone here has had one of those "why in the hell do I do this" type of days. It does get better once you get a system down and learn your equipment.
     
  5. Nosybear

    Nosybear Well-Known Member

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    It happens to all of us from time to time: A boilover, then the propane tank runs out. The hop bag comes untied, you end up with a kettle full of gunk you can't siphon.... Brewing is a hobby you either love or hate. I know of no ambivalent brewers. Your problems aren't unusual and are likely due to a bit of over-ambitious second brew. I'd advise extract blondes until you really get the hang of it, they're easy and you can practice a lot of the skills a brewer needs without a lot of distractions. Or pale ales, they're easy, too. And once you get the hang of it, it's like skiing. There are no hard runs, some are just harder than others.
     
  6. Head First

    Head First Well-Known Member

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    Even if you just go to a couple of meetings or brew days it will enlighten you.
    Reading anything about basic brewing is a + too. Some people take this hobby very seriously but most do it because they like to, it's fun! Keep it fun, sounds like it's been exciting anyway.
    There are several things on this site which I think would be of help to you. Look it over close.
    https://www.brewersfriend.com/checklist-extract
    This check list may help you keep your ducks in a row and help you be prepared for the next steps as you go.
    This aint rocket science but if not prepared, things don't go to well with anything you try for the first time.
    +1 on this.Read. Brewing is an interesting topic. And Brew On!
     
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  7. J A

    J A Well-Known Member

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    Wait a minute...you brewed 2 batches, nearly got one right, got drinkable beer out of it and didn't burn the house down during the process?? What are you complaining about?! You're a brewer now. :cool:
    By far the shittiest, most incident-filled brewday I've had this year netted me a solid beer (minus the gallon on the garage floor), 1st place win in a people's choice judging and a collaboration brew with a great local brewery.
    Take the hits, figure it out, brew beer. :)
     
  8. philjohnwilliams

    philjohnwilliams Well-Known Member

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    I think this line deserves to be up there with RDWHAHB as something said to everybody new to the hobby.
     
  9. MFTIC

    MFTIC Active Member

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    Lol, I'll admit i'm a little discouraged at how much this is costing with all the good IPA's out there to choose from. Still having fun learning new stuff.
    Going out to the cabin in 2 weeks. Batch 2 should be ready to drink...
     
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  10. Hawkbox

    Hawkbox Well-Known Member

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    It happens to the best of us man. I'm still a total newb, I've been brewing a little over a year and on Friday ended up underboiling my Russian Imperial Stout because the propane tank was low and I didn't notice.
     
  11. Werwer2018

    Werwer2018 New Member

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    I'm a newb to and my first brew was a IPA from a kit and for the most part it went okay. Had to look at the instruction probably twenty times and my wife was helping me and got so peed off that she just shook her head and left the kitchen. LOL. The beer ended up being so bitter that I dumped out three bottles and was told that I could use the beer for cleaning the silverware. Now I'm ready to bottle a Coopers Lager and I'm hoping that it is going to taste a lot better. But it's a fun hobby and I'm learning as I go.
     
  12. Nosybear

    Nosybear Well-Known Member

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    My advice would be to avoid the strongly flavored beers to start. First, you can wind up with drain cleaner, as you did, and second, when you do, you won't know why. Lagers early on is a bit ambitious but a good way to learn - you'll taste all your mistakes! And keep brewing.
     
  13. MFTIC

    MFTIC Active Member

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    Ohhh man! Do i know this one. Last time i had her help i had to promise to be calm no matter what.
     
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  14. Werwer2018

    Werwer2018 New Member

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    Tell me about it MFTIC. Know I do it on my own.
     
  15. J A

    J A Well-Known Member

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    If bitterness was the only problem, you could easily mix it with a very low-hopped beer and enjoy it. Seriously, one can of basic American beer and one bottle of highly-hopped IPA would make a passable Blonde Ale. I brewed a Blonde with some home-grown hops that I hadn't dried properly and it was just way too bland. I zhuzhed it up in the keg with a little of my House Pale Ale which is fairly hoppy and it's a really wonderful beer now. ;)
     
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  16. Werwer2018

    Werwer2018 New Member

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    I'll remember that, thanks.
     
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  17. Radcp

    Radcp Member

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    On new year's eve 2018 I tried my first all grain batch using malt from a local Maine farm/processor and hops grown in my backyard. The idea was to make as local a beer as I could.

    1. Forgot to ask LHBS to crack the malt, took 10 batches in the smoothie blender to get the amount needed
    2. Set the kettle in an insulated sleeve for mash rest, son had a blowout & temperature dropped too low (stupid idea anyway)
    3. Liquor splashed off colander set on top of kettle and burned onto the stove
    4. Burned hand trying to sparge
    5. Burned hand again
    6. Frozen wet hops bag had broken open in freezer and aroma was almost gone
    7. hop bag fell into boil, leaves ended up in wort
    8. Got done with the boil, set kettle on the deck in a pile of snow, tripped kicked a bunch of snow into the kettle
    9. Said forget this, dry hopped some local vienna lager with my backyard hops in a french press and went back to do an extract batch.
    What a day that was. I asked myself why I was doing this 10 times throughout the day but making a final product that is drinkable and people like is an addiction all its own. When I feel like I have graduated from extract brewing, Ill probably try BIAB before going to the classic approach.
     
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  18. Hawkbox

    Hawkbox Well-Known Member

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    That's an impressively long list of mistakes. Bravo!
     
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  19. Radcp

    Radcp Member

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    Not knowing what your doing and improvising with the wrong equipment sucks....reminds me of my first tiling job (off topic)
     
  20. BOB357

    BOB357 Well-Known Member

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    Reminds me of some of my earlier brew days when I thought it only fitting to drink a bunch of beer while brewing. Actually woke at 3:00AM once in a panic. Last thing I remembered was taking a gravity sample. Ran out to the kitchen and found the carboy sitting on the counter, complete with air lock and krausen beginning to form.

    I thought for a minute that my wive had pitched the yeast and affixed the air lock. Well, maybe not a full minute :) That thought alone made me think I drank too much.
     
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