Help from the beer Gods

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Caveanimal
Posts: 4
Joined: |23 Nov 2014|, 20:43
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Help from the beer Gods

Post by Caveanimal »

First off I would like to say Hi to all.

I am new to brewing and have done 2 batches. The last one was a Coopers Canadian blond. I boiled 2 gallons of water and put it into my sanitized carboy. than I proceeded to make a yeast starter and covered it, I than added 3 gallons of water to my brew pot and brought it to a full boil, removed it from the heat and added the can of syrup and stirred it to completely mix it. Than I returned the pot to the stove and brought it to a full boil, and hot break. than I let it boil for about 15 min. After that I brought down the temperature down to about 100F and added it to my carboy. Than waited till the temp was down to about 85F than I added my yeast and poured it back and forth to get more oxygen in it. after this I stored the carboy in about a 66F room. It started to ferment the next day. after it was almost done fermenting completely I realized that I forgot my corn sugar, so I did a little more reading and read that it was possible to add the sugar and stir the bottom of the carboy to stir up the yeast in the bottom and let it start fermenting more. I did that and after about 2 weeks and no sign of any more co2 coming off of it I took a reading, and it was about 2 percent alcohol and tastes really bitter. is there any thing that I can do to save my beer or should I start over....

Oh and just to let you know I used starsan on everything to keep it all sanitized no matter what I did and boiled everything.

Just don't know what to do

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Reignman
Posts: 1841
Joined: |24 Mar 2011|, 10:28
Favourite Beer: Pilsners
Location: Cavan, Ont.

Re: Help from the beer Gods

Post by Reignman »

First thing is the wort was too high of a temp when you pitched your yeast. 68F is a good temp. Aren't these kits no boil? Did you take a gravity reading before you added the yeast? Corn sugar will raise the gravity in these kits. Not sure why it was so bitter though. Canadian Blonde kits usually aren't that bitter. What is the current gravity? If you really don't like it, you can dump it and try again. If it is any where near drinkable, prime it and bottle it just for the experience I guess. There is a guy on You Tube who makes these kits all the time and has great videos using Coopers Kits.

www.youtube.com/user/CraigTube

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SmokeyMcB
Posts: 357
Joined: |25 Feb 2014|, 16:49
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Location: Somewhere between Toronto & Haliburton

Re: Help from the beer Gods

Post by SmokeyMcB »

when you took your reading (I assume with an hydrometer?) how did you calculate the alcohol percent? If you just read the 2% right off the hydrometer then that's not the correct measurement. The scale from the hydrometer that you should be using starts at 1.000 and goes up from there. That's the specific gravity scale, when you started the number would have been somewhere around 1.050. As the gravity dropped towards 1.000, the alcohol content would have gone up. Can you take a measurement and let us know what the number is (from the scale I described). Depending on what that number is, we might be able to conclude whether your brew is finished or maybe stuck.

Also I think the bitterness could be a result of the boiling. The coopers kits are no boil kits, you just boil some water and mix it with the can of syrup then add cold water to top up to the proper volume and temperature. Beer bitterness comes from the hops, the longer they are boiled the more bitter they make the beer. The coopers kit had already been boiled long enough to make the hops bitter the beer to a proper ratio. When you boiled the kit, you continued to cook the hop compounds and they continued to bitter the beer (wort). Not really a lot you can do to rectify that one.

Oh, and I second the "Craigtube" recommendation.
If you blame life, you blame who give it. So don't blame life, blame the way how you live it!

kombat
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Joined: |14 Sep 2012|, 13:49
Favourite Beer: Broadhead Wildcard

Re: Help from the beer Gods

Post by kombat »

Welcome to the best hobby in the world, glad to have a new member join the forum.

You've given a wonderfully detailed description of your process, and I have a few suggestions to make it even better.

As others have mentioned, disregard the "Alcohol %" scale on your hydrometer. Just read the specific gravity scale, then consult a chart or do the calculation to determine your ABV based on the difference between your original reading (right after the boil) and your final reading (once fermentation has completed).

Also, again as already noted, you're not supposed to boil those pre-hopped extract kits. Just get some water nice and warm (to make it easier to dissolve the extract), say around 160° F, then stir in the extract until it's completely dissolved.

Now, you said you made a "yeast starter," but I'm assuming (hoping) you meant you just rehydrated the yeast. But even then, the kits don't say anything about rehydrating the yeast (don't get me wrong, it's the correct practice), so I'm curious where you got the idea to do that, and what you actually mean by it. How exactly did you prepare your yeast?

You also mentioned that you boiled 2 gallons of water and added it to your carboy. I hope you let the water cool down first - carboys are not designed to handle that kind of heat stress. Do not put boiling hot liquids into a carboy. You don't actually need to boil your water anyway. I just use straight tap water for things like rehydrating my yeast or dissolving priming sugar.

Finally, the most important thing: Temperature. Temperature is one of the two most important factors in producing good beer (sanitation is the other). Do not pitch your yeast until your wort is at the desired temperature (for ales, this is almost always 62 - 65° F), and hold the temperature there during fermentation. As fermentation gets going, it will produce its own heat, so the temperature of your beer could be as much as 10° F warmer than the surrounding ambient air. You need to keep the beer temperature between 62-65° F, not the air temperature. You can cool your beer down by getting one of those big plastic laundry tubs (with the rope handles) from Wal-Mart (they're $8 I think) and adding water and a splash of bleach. Set the carboy in it and cover it with a wet t-shirt, draped into the water. Measure the temperature of the water bath and keep it at 62 - 65° F, adding frozen water bottles as needed to get it into that range.

Aerating the wort before fermentation starts is important. But after fermentation has started, you should take great care not to add any additional oxygen to the beer, including stirring the yeast up off the bottom.

I think this beer is what it is. I don't think there's anything you can do to "correct" it. If it's drinkable, then drink it. If you don't like it, then dump it. I would probably abstain from offering it to guests as an example of "Look, I made beer!". Hold off on that until you produce a much better example. If you want to do another kit, here's how I would brew it to get the best possible result:
  • Throw out the kit yeast and buy a packet of Fermentis Safeale US-05.
  • Heat 1 gallon of water up to 160° F.
  • Dump in the can of pre-hopped extract and stir until dissolved.
  • Cool the whole thing down to room temperature.
  • Pour it into a carboy, top up with another 4.5 gallons of water straight from the tap, or bottled spring water.
  • Place the carboy in the laundry tub water bath ("Swamp cooler") and cover it with a wet t-shirt. Add frozen water bottles to the water bath as needed to get the temperature between 62 - 65° F.
  • Rehydrate the yeast according to the instructions on the Fermentis website.
  • Aerate the wort using a Fizz-X stir rod on a drill for 2 minutes. Alternatively, cover the carboy's mouth with a piece of sanitized aluminum foil and shake the carboy to aerate it.
  • Pour in the creamy yeast and affix an airlock of blowoff tube.
  • Monitor the temperature of the water bath over the next 3-5 days, keeping it in the range of 62 - 65° F.
  • After a week, take the carboy out of the water bath and remove the wet t-shirt. Let it warm up to room temperature. Wait 2 more weeks.
  • Prepare the priming sugar solution, rack the beer to your bottling bucket with the priming solution in it, bottle your beer, store them somewhere warm for at least 3 weeks to carb up, move them into the fridge, and enjoy.

Caveanimal
Posts: 4
Joined: |23 Nov 2014|, 20:43
Favourite Beer: all

Re: Help from the beer Gods

Post by Caveanimal »

Hi guys thanks for the quick reply. I took a reading and it was at 1.010 and the temperature was around 60 F.
As far as the yeast goes I boiled water than put the water into a sanitized measuring cup than covered and waited till it came down in temperature about 85F than I added the yeast stirred and recovered and let stand for 45 min or so. And the yeast I used was
Safale US-05 Hope this info helps. Thanks again.

Goulaigan
Posts: 456
Joined: |14 Jan 2014|, 23:05
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Location: Goulais River, ON

Re: Help from the beer Gods

Post by Goulaigan »

1.01 means you probably have around a 5% abv beer, as long as you added all the ingredients you were supposed to. Next time try and take a reading before and after fermentation, and then you will know the exact percentage. Should be ready to package and carbonate, and I'm sure it will turn out just fine.

Caveanimal
Posts: 4
Joined: |23 Nov 2014|, 20:43
Favourite Beer: all

Re: Help from the beer Gods

Post by Caveanimal »

Thanks for the help. I had taken a reading before pitching the yeast but, someone accidently misplaced it.

Caveanimal
Posts: 4
Joined: |23 Nov 2014|, 20:43
Favourite Beer: all

Re: Help from the beer Gods

Post by Caveanimal »

Well guys I took the readings a few days apart and they were the same so I bottled. Hopefully it will end up tasting good or drinkable and not too bad and not just bottle bombs.

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SmokeyMcB
Posts: 357
Joined: |25 Feb 2014|, 16:49
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Location: Somewhere between Toronto & Haliburton

Re: Help from the beer Gods

Post by SmokeyMcB »

Shouldn't be bottle bombs from 1.010, unless you used too much priming sugar or you picked up an wild yeast that is able to eat the sugars that your selected yeast couldn't.

Oh, and congratulations on making beer!
If you blame life, you blame who give it. So don't blame life, blame the way how you live it!

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