All my AG brews are pants...

Discussion in 'General Beer Brewing Discussion' started by _jon_, Dec 13, 2017.

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  1. Dec 13, 2017 #1

    _jon_

    _jon_

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    Hey Guys,

    As I'm sure you'll know from some previous posts, some of my brews have gotten a little buggered up because I'm new to AG Brewing and it's a lot to remember to do, and get all the measurements and readings on target.

    As such, all my AG Brews have been rubbish. I just threw away about 17L of my PIPA Clone, since it didn't taste great and I forced down about 9 pints of it at the weekend and felt that I could perform open heart surgery after... so I'm guessing the ABV is poor to say the least.

    Then I kegged the Wheat beer I've made.. carbed it, and I have just tasted it and to say it's foul is an understatement.

    My 2 questions relating to this are:

    1.) Does anyone have a nice and simple, straight forward IPA Recipe using standard grains and hops? Something for me to brew which is easy to get right.

    2.) How long should I really condition a beer? (I'm sure it's going to depend on which type of beer), but for example... the wheat beer was in the FV for about 16 days, then I put 30psi in it for 2 days, then took the pressure down to 10psi and poured a half. I didn't even taste it because it doesn't even smell very pleasant.. doesn't smell off and rank, just kinda smells a little like dirty washing up water. Should I be conditioning for longer?
     
  2. Dec 13, 2017 #2

    Thumper

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    If I've understood this right, you had it in the FV for 16 days, then transferred to a pressure barrel for 2 days at 30 psi, then dropped to 10 psi and drank it.

    So you conditioned it for 2 days before drinking. I don't brew AG or use a pressure barrel, but that doesn't seem anywhere near long enough to me. I bottle, but I let them carb for two weeks and then condition for another two before cracking one open.

    If it's genuinely foul then I'm not sure how much difference conditioning will make, but it seems like leaving it a few more weeks to see is a much better option than chucking it.
     
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  3. Dec 13, 2017 #3

    henteaser

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    Stay positive, they'll get better with experience!

    I'd suggest a pre-made AG kit for now, which has instructions and all the right ingredients, pre-measured. Nothing to cock up!

    Something like this: https://www.brewuk.co.uk/mosaic-ag-recipe.html

    I'd also suggest joining a homebrew club, where you can either brew with someone else or at least have someone taste your beer for real, it's really hard to guess over a forum but the "foul" taste might be obvious to someone else who's more experienced in all grain.
     
  4. Dec 13, 2017 #4

    Chippy_Tea

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  5. Dec 13, 2017 #5

    Cwrw666

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    You seem to be rushing things somewhat. Most people on here would use the 2+2+2 timing - that's 2 weeks in the FV. If you're priming and using a pressure barrel or bottling, that's another 2 weeks to pressure up. Then it's another 2 weeks of conditioning. Minimum. Some beers take weeks longer to be at their best.
     
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  6. Dec 13, 2017 #6

    GerritT

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    You're looking for a SMaSH: Single Malt Single Hop.

    I made something like this: very drinkable, so sad I only had a gallon of it :sad:

    Search here: https://www.brewersfriend.com/search/
     
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  7. Dec 13, 2017 #7

    BarnBrian

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    I agree with Henteaser. Get a kit and follow the instructions. Three days conditioning is out of the question, four to six weeks is much more realistic.
     
  8. Dec 13, 2017 #8

    Ajhutch

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    How many batches have you done? My 15th AG is in the FV, of the previous 14 I’d class two as “good” of which one was a NEIPA with so many hops a lot of flaws would have been covered up. A couple of my batches have been trash, and the rest are on a spectrum from ok to reasonable. It takes time to learn your system and efficiency etc.

    If beer really is tasting fouls then you may have a sanitation issue so make sure you’re on top of everything there.
     
  9. Dec 13, 2017 #9

    Gunge

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    I'd say something a little more is amiss than dodgy recipes or lack of time... I can't ever recall a brew being 'bad' ( and I've done many hundreds) despite literally making recipes up on-the-fly and supping GOOD beer within a few days of packaging. Either that or you're a perfectionist whose standards are so high that you'll be forever chasing the rainbow.
     
  10. Dec 13, 2017 #10

    _jon_

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    I have ordered an AG kit, should arrive soon. Got it from geterbrewed but didn't know about the 5% so I'll remember that for next time.

    It sounds like my biggest problem is time. I totally mis understood the whole force carb thing... I was under the impression that I could force carb and cut out those 2 weeks of carbing time. Then WRT conditioning, I know the kegs normally taste better towards the end, but they're drinkable at the beginning.

    I've brewed extract many times, and this is what I tend to do. FV for a couple of weeks, force carb wait a couple of days and drink it. If it's not perfect I leave it in the kegerator for a week and try it again, and so on... but the AG Brews seem to taste completely different.

    I think it's just down to experience.

    I only have 3 Cornie's at the moment, so maybe I'll bottle the wheat beer into PET's and stick it in a cupboard for a few weeks... if it's still rubbish I can throw it away and wash the bottles.

    I plan to brew tomorrow and might have a go at a SMASH brew, as it does seem the most straight forward option for now.

    I'd like to get an AG brew to taste the same as an extract brew... under the same timings. Which should in theory be possible.
     
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  11. Dec 13, 2017 #11

    Ajhutch

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    Carbonating and conditioning aren’t the same thing, they just happen at the same time.

    I was in my local beer bar a few weeks ago and as it happened a guy who is a beer distributor was sat at the table next door. We each got a sample of a NEIPA from a well known craft brewery in the UK from a keg which had just arrived that day. The label on the keg said it had been brewed six weeks earlier. I thought it tasted nice but nothing special and the distributor guy said immediately that it was too young. Thats a NEIPA where the conventional wisdom is to drink them young to get maximum hop freshness.
     
  12. Dec 13, 2017 #12

    Clint

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    I'm a newish ag brewer and I've not made a bad one.....yet.
    I tend to research things to death before starting something new and pick equipment that suits me and what facilities I have.
    Have you any books? The Greg Hughes is a great starting point. ...
     
  13. Dec 13, 2017 #13

    Bigcol49

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    Hi!
    Fermentation buckets are cheaper than Cornies. If you have somewhere reasonably cool you could transfer out of the primary into a secondary vessel, flood the headspace with CO2, put the lid on and leave it to condition. Then you could carb it up as normal.
     
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  14. Dec 13, 2017 #14

    _jon_

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    I like this idea. I will pick up some fermentation buckets. I suppose for conditioning though you wouldn't want the airlock in? It would be sealed tight?

    Also, re carbing and conditioning.. should I carb and then condition, or the other way around?

    If I'm understanding this the correct way around...

    1.) Brew (obviously).
    2.) Ferment for 2 weeks.
    3.) Transfer to a fermentation bucket and leave for another 2 weeks (at least).
    4.) Transfer to cornie keg.
    5.) Force carb it for 2-3 days.
    6.) Sit back and get smashed.

    Am I in the right ball park?

    So instead of "grain to glass" in 2.5-3 weeks, it should be grain to glass in closer to 7 weeks?
     
  15. Dec 13, 2017 #15

    photek1000

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    Planning, preparation and patience.

    I'm only 5 AG brews in, some mistakes yes, but all drinkable, I always plan every step of the brew day and now have a good grasp on my water calculations for that brewday, all spreadsheets that can be manipulated for the next brewday.

    Have a look at the 2+2+2 thread, but it's all about being patient and having a good plan in mind.

    Slow the pace down, take your time and walk before running.
     
  16. Dec 13, 2017 #16

    Gunge

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    No, no, no! All that serves is to disrupt the settling that is already underway, and opens a window for infection and possibly oxidisation. Leave it undisturbed in the FV for the duration.
     
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  17. Dec 13, 2017 #17

    _jon_

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    From reading the 2+2+2 (almost all, got side tracked)... I didn't see that it's carb then condition.

    so we're saying:

    1.) FV for ~2 weeks
    2.) Into Cornie keg, carb, leave for 4 weeks
    3.) Tap it and drink

    Is that right?
     
  18. Dec 13, 2017 #18

    Duxuk

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    I think your determination to "carb for 2-3 days, then drink" is wrong. When you transfer a brew you're bound to disturb something, even if it appears clear. After carbing you need to still leave it for 2 weeks to settle and let the flavour clear up. It might be quicker to ferment for 2 weeks then transfer to keg or bottles with priming sugar (or force carb a keg). Leave 2 weeks then have a cheeky taste. Some beers, especially highly late hopped beers are good at this point. If it doesn't taste "clean" enough just leave it. There's nothing else that will help. With bottles you can often speed up the clearing up by leaving them at fridge temp for a few days. I think there may be a Brulosophy thread on quick brew to drinking which recommends perhaps 5 days in the fridge after the 2 weeks carbonation. You need to brew a good few batches and leave them, only drinking when mature. Patience is a virtue as well as a PITA!
     
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  19. Dec 13, 2017 #19

    yeastinfection

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    welcome to my world...
    all though ive not been as impatient as you,Most my ag beers have been ****e,
    fv min 2weeks, then 2 weeks warm 2 weeks cool.
    i have about 120 bottle of undrinkable beer :-(
    so ive just gone back to basics .. done a couple of Smash just to try and work out why its ****e,
    im none the wiser but im slogging on and praying i suss it out,
    be patient and as the others say 2+2+2 :grin:
     
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  20. Dec 13, 2017 #20

    IainM

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    I'm sorry to hear that Jon. If it makes you feel any better my first two AGs were awful, and it took a fair few more goes before I could nail them consistently. Once you've got on top of hitting the right volumes and mash temperatures then the rest should be the same as extract brewing. I know you've splashed out on a lot of kit recently. I suggest you reign that in and get familiar with what you've got.
     

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