So my first 2 brews did not work out....

Discussion in 'General Brewing Discussions' started by Jahlovebrew, Jan 7, 2013.

  1. Jahlovebrew

    Jahlovebrew New Member

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    The first was an NW IPA that was a kit... the problem with this one is that it took 3 hours to get my water boiling on an electric stove! then I dont even think it really broke and I got impatient. Result: Was wonderfully hoppy... with a metallic like taste... YUK!

    My second batch... a stout. I thought I resolved all my problems buying a 60,000 btU burner. The beer was drinkable, but unbalanced. The problem I think was I chose and/or measured out the ingredients wrong. I really do not know.

    I have not attempted another batch as my confidence is pretty much down when it comes to my brewing skills. Anyone else go through this?

    BTW... I know I sanitized correctly using starsan and brand new bottles to boot.
     
  2. Nosybear

    Nosybear Well-Known Member

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    First, a bad batch once in a while is inevitable. That appears to be an immutable law of the universe - I'm thinking of a honey wheat that came out tasting like nail polish remover and stinking like the gates of hell, not to mention the strawberry version shooting the entire beer out of the bottle when opened in my wife's kitchen. Not a pretty situation, to be sure. Doing the math, let's say the odds of producing a bad batch as an absolute beginner are 10% (p=0.1). The odds of a second bad batch are exactly, you guessed it, 10% unless you changed your process (which it seems you did). In short, you just ran into dumb bad luck. Try again, very methodically, with a proven recipe and a standardized process (most of brewing is having a standardized process - imagine a Trappist making great quality beer with wooden vessels, no thermometer or hydrometer and no knowledge of yeast - process is everything). Most of your beers will be good. A few will be exceptional and a few will be bad. And often you won't know exactly why. But do try again.
     
  3. LarryBrewer

    LarryBrewer Active Member

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    One of my batches last year that I was really looking forward to went south with an infection. I used bad yeast and/or I wasn't being strict enough with cleaning/sanitization. Back when I started, my second batch ever had a bleach flavor. That was when I thought bleach was okay, now I use star san religiously. I also burned my hand badly that day :(

    These are all learning experiences and make us better brewers.

    I recommend this recipe:
    http://www.brewersfriend.com/homebrew/r ... den-blonde

    You'll have a nice golden ale in 3-4 weeks!
     
  4. sbaclimber

    sbaclimber Well-Known Member

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    Definitely do not get discouraged! I am currently drinking my way through an experiment that didn't quite turn out the way I had hoped (read: barely drinkable), see: viewtopic.php?f=3&t=95
    ...and my very first all-grain brew a year ago was even worse... :lol:

    As the others have said, it is actually fairly hard to screw-up your brews consistently, but the odd one or two disasters are all part of the "fun". :mrgreen:
     
  5. Conservidave

    Conservidave New Member

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    i know that after my first couple of batches i had to stop and rethink about what it was that i was doing and what part of the process i could do better. Home brewing is like most hobbies, if you dont give up after failing you will get sucked in to the point where you are always thinking, reading, surfing and looking for information and process improvements. Do your homework and get back to the basics, once you have the process down then you can really start to experiment and dont forget to have some fun doing it!
     
  6. Jahlovebrew

    Jahlovebrew New Member

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    Thanks all for the encouragement and advice. I think I will take on your recipe, Larry... the golden ale... or find a kit that is similar that is a pre-measured and has minimal ingredients.

    Cheers!
     
  7. Jahlovebrew

    Jahlovebrew New Member

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    .... on a side note...

    I went to a local brew store the other day and told the owner I dumped out a bunch of my stout cause it did not taste that good... he looked at me like I was crazy and said "I never throw out beer.. if it does not taste good, mix it with something the does!"

    Anyway, struck me funny
     
  8. Nosybear

    Nosybear Well-Known Member

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    Pre-measured is a good way to start unless you're comfortable with the measuring. Learn the process first, then start working your way up to "harder" brews.
     
  9. The Brew Mentor

    The Brew Mentor Well-Known Member

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    As a new brewer, I brewed with a friend of mine. It was pretty great hanging out around a boiling pot of wort, having a few with great expectations of making my own.
    Then started to read everything I could get my hands on!
    Now I own a store.
    Start off slow, get someone to help you (A Mentor), have fun with it and there is no reason that with good process, you will make good beer.
    Start with good water with no chlorine, a simple recipe ( Brewers Best Red Ale is a nice one), good sanitation practices and control your fermentation temperatures. Pitch the correct amount of yeast in the proper temperature range and leave your fermentor alone for at least 2 weeks.
    Then bottle being careful not to splash your beer when transferring.
    2 week later you'll have good beer.
    Have fun and if you have any questions, feel free to call me at the store.
    Brian
     
  10. Head First

    Head First Well-Known Member

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    My first 2 batches were Cooper"s kits. They were very simple and don"t even require boiling according to directions. I boiled a little anyway just for sanitation but these make good beer by anyone's standards and are very simple no fuss no muss kits.
     
  11. TheZel66

    TheZel66 Member

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    If you are new to brewing, I would suggest you start with pre-made/assembled kits (from Northern Brewer, for example). My bros created some incredible beers from kits at a local liquor store using dry yeast packs. very easy, very drinkable. Using these, you can focus on your sanitation. StarSan is definitely the way to go with sanitation. just use the starsan to the instructions on the label and you should be fine.
     

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