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Gutterbunnie

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About Gutterbunnie

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    Brewer

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    Female
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    USA
  • Interests
    bicycling & beer (city biking mostly, not mountain biking, hence the "gutterbunnie"

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  1. Gutterbunnie

    First partial mash attempt & newbie mistakes

    Thanks for advice. As Pappazian says, you have to work really hard to screw up making homebrew! Best advice, just RDWHAHB! Which I am able to do now that I have my pipeline going, some ready, some waiting to condition longer like the Kolsch & 1776 Ale. Kolsch after 3 wks conditioning is not bad but is young & needs to carbonate more. I ran out of fiz drops & used boiled DME. that was new! Which I heard can take a bit longer to carbonate. Live & learn:) Will consider not doing ice bath next time. But it's a good way to get temps down fast if using slightly more water with the partial mashes. I started with about 2 quarts of water to steep but most boiled off after DME/hop boil. So I took Scouterbill's advice & had a Voodoo. Yum!
  2. Just wondering if anyone else has experienced any of these rookie mistakes & still had their beer turn out OK? on Saturday afternoon, for my 9th batch, I attempted a 2 gallon batch of Black Beer'd Porter for my first partial mash. Dry pitched 11g Nottingham yeast at 60F. First mistake, while steeping, I tried to keep temps between 155-165 - when I moved pot the dial on thermometer moved up to 170 but I think that was just briefly. I hope. Don't want any astringency. Steeped for 30 minutes. 2nd mistake, when I was cooling wort in ice bath in sink, lid off, I accidentally dropped an ice cube into my cooling wort. Wasn't thinking & plucked it out with fingers after I dunked them in sanitizer. I realized my mistake immediately after but it was like a reflex. Probably would have been better off just leaving the ice cube in there. Placed LBK into cooler with several frozen water bottles because we're having a heat wave temps soared to over 80 in the house. No AC. So After 30 hrs of no activity, I checked the temps of cooler at the base & it was at about 47F! I was worried I put the yeast to sleep early on in the fermentation since I pitched at 60. I took out the frozen bottles & replaced with some bottles filled with hot water to wake things up a bit. I checked back in a few hours & fermentation seemed to take off - along with a slightly musty smell. Took out water bottles, then replaced with 2 frozen water bottles this morning. Today 52 hrs post-pitching, fermentation is strong & Krausen is almost reaching the lid of fermenter. Ambient temps in cooler are 61. Just wondering what all the crazy spikes in temps are going to do to my beer in the end. Will have to wait & see. I'll drink it anyway, and then do better next time
  3. Gutterbunnie

    Kolsch recipe using Czech Pilsner?

    ugg can't type or do math tonight .....when I looked back at notes for Kolsch, I had jotted down 1.006 for FG hydrometer reading. at room temp. so add .001 & then deduct my hydrometer's .003 adjustment. So about 1.004, I guess. it's all approximation anyway. At least I can be relatively sure my beer was finished fermenting before I bottled, right?
  4. Gutterbunnie

    Kolsch recipe using Czech Pilsner?

    double checked my hydrometer & it's 0.003 over so I have to deduct that from all my FG readings. But i now have better thermometer to check my liquid temps, should be able to get more accurate readings. It's probably the temperature adjustment. FG was probably closer to 1.004 for the Kolsch. Will never know for sure at this point, but when all is said & done, if it tastes great, who cares! And the beer is clearing up nicely. And it's not green Can't wait to try one in a week or two. Probably lager for a bit once I get my used mini-fridge $24 yard sale special
  5. Gutterbunnie

    Lower than expected Final Gravity twice now

    Update - good news is that after 3 weeks bottle conditioning, Brew de Ale Ze Bub turned out pretty good in my opinion! I opened one last night & really enjoyed that hoppy bitterness which has tamed considerably, but still very hoppy. I used a few 12oz recycled bottles & tried one a week too soon & it had this very faint cabbagy aroma (not taste). Not sure how else to describe but it seems to not be as evident with the 22oz bottle at 3 weeks. It's likely my process. Read some potential issues could be DMS (although, with Mr Beer basic recipes, I don't think we need to do 60 min boil, right?) I don't put the lid on my wort at any time during my process, so anyhoo. Or perhaps a tiny bit of infection? Who knows - maybe it's just my sniffer & Safale 05 with the particular hops in this recipe. But I'm enjoying my beer & will drink quickly & give some away, since we're having a heat wave & I have no where to really cellar my beer. Waiting on a used mini-fridge which will help during summer months:)
  6. Gutterbunnie

    Kolsch recipe using Czech Pilsner?

    LOL. Thanks, I hope so. The FG was 1.002 (after adjustment)- and FG should be around 1.011. Hop pellets in muslin sack, but I suppose a lot could still drop out of sack & settle down into the trub. In the end, if it tastes OK, it's all good, no worries. I'm thinking I may have over-pitched the yeast since it was liquid for a 5 gallon batch, no starter. But anyway. either that or I should have bottled at 2 weeks instead of 3........first time trying a Kolsch & with a liquid yeast. Next time will use dry Safale K97 & maybe check things at 2 weeks, see what the hydro reading is. Hard to know for sure what I'm doing wrong since I'm still pretty new at this. I'll just keep trying to improve on my process.
  7. Gutterbunnie

    Lower than expected Final Gravity twice now

    I tried a Plato test but then got confused on how to correct the calibration after doing the sugar water test. Graphing? Not at 9pm on a sunday! But I dissolved 3 tsp of table sugar into 3oz of pure water & my hydrometer reading was 1.052. The reading was supposed to be 1.048. I just had to check & see if the darn thing worked at all, and it did give a different reading. Just confirms that my FGs have been very low on my last 3 batches. We're talking 1.002-1.004. Almost water, like the yeast ate almost 100% of the sugar. From what I've been reading that's not really normal or desired.
  8. Gutterbunnie

    Lower than expected Final Gravity twice now

    You're right! I'm totally mixed up with the hydrometer. Yes in distilled water, hydrometer read 1.004/1.005. So I would need to subtract 0.004 from my final reading, which would bring my FG to 1.002. Does that sound normal? I'm thinking there's a flaw in my process - for this one, maybe overpitching to yeast (never used liquid before). Or, leaving it ferment too long - maybe I should have bottled at 2 weeks? Or a wild yeast or bacterial infection? Is it possible to over-aerate the wort? I didn't think so because I'm not using any forced air (like an air-stone), just good old plastic whisk action. hmm. Well I've gotten 3 very low readings, different LBKs, different recipes & yeast for each one. Seems odd...........any suggestions on how I can correct this? Voodoo was a good beer, no weird off flavors or over carbonation. Not sure about the other 2 yet - Brew de Ale ze Bub & the Kolsch will need to bottle condition for a time before I know if any issues. Any help is appreciate.
  9. Gutterbunnie

    Kolsch recipe using Czech Pilsner?

    I bottled my Kolsch yesterday & FG was about 1.010-1.011 (my hydrometer is not very accurate). When I went to clean out LBK, scooping out the trub, I noticed trub had a green tint. Yes, I had added tettnang hops for short hop boil (no dry hopping), so I'm thinking because it was a lighter beer, pilsner base, that's why? Or the yeast ran out of sugar & ate the hops & pooped out green hop-poop? Just curious if anyone else has experienced green trub. It smelled like normal beer, & beer had nice golden color. tasted sample - a little spice to it, I think it will be good after conditioning & then lagering for a bit. Since I made for hubby, he's got a lot more patience than me:) Will let you know in about 6-8 wks how final product turns out.
  10. Gutterbunnie

    Lower than expected Final Gravity twice now

    Good to know! I think my sanitation process is pretty good. I've been using Star San & very good about sanitizing everything that comes in contact with wort/beer. Is there ever a possibility that hop pellets could introduce an infection, even after a 10 min hop boil? Plus, I had googled "is my beer infected" & tons of posts/pics came back from various forums (too much really), and so, I'm dialing it back.......... Got some distilled water (finally) & test my hydrometer today just out of curiosity. Yes, it is off by .004 or .005 because instead of reading 1.00, it's at 1.004/1.005. So my FGs sound spot on after adding the difference to them. but good to know it's not uncommon to reach 1.006 FG. Read that the final product can be a bit drier with more attenuation.
  11. Gutterbunnie

    Lower than expected Final Gravity twice now

    Yeah I don't know how accurate my hydrometer is. I've tested it with spring water but was told I must test it with distilled for accuracy & haven't done so. Where's all the distilled water gone when you really need it? Most importantly, I need to stop watching & reading about other homebrewers' infection horror-stories. Just making me paranoid about infections. BTW, I just cracked open a Voodoo that You Do after almost 5 wks conditioning & it was awesome, and yes, I'm bragging. My best batch to date. And no issues & ferment temps were probably 64F ambient most of the time. I checked my notes using the S-05 in Brew de Ale ze Bub - temps were between 61-64 ambient. I thought from what I read should have been fine even during high Krausen. I was worried about going too low & having it stall out. But I could get temps lower than that very easily, in the low 50s. Currently, I have another batch chugging along using S-05, 1776 Ale, & it started around 64 & I'm keeping it a little under that. So, we'll see. I'll have to experiment & see if I can go lower next time without stalling & if that clears up the acetaldehyde notes. I could smell it, not taste it. Weird. As for the sample, I've pulled samples from other batches from LBK the same way & didn't ever have this bitterness. I think it's just the style - it was Diablo HME, plus the hop boil at the end. Have to wait & see how things turn out, nothing much I can do about it at this point - it's bottled! Now it's the waiting......not my strong suit haha, scratches, well, it's possible the LBKs could get beat up quite a bit with enough use! (no I never use metal, I use silicone). No, but honestly, I just needed an excuse to buy more LBKs while they're only $10! Doesn't hurt to have a spare or 2, or gift to another to take into the fold of homebrewing. Just wanting to share my passion, right? Right. Time to get some shut-eye. Thanks for all the feedback & for the reality check - definitely need that. like others have said many times before - R, DW, HAHB! Which I did tonight & thoroughly enjoyed. Can't wait to make more beer:)
  12. Questioning my FGs. Still somewhat newer to using hydrometer. Why am I getting such low FGs? Is that good or not so good? last Sunday before bottling, i took a sample of Brew de Ale Ze Bub after 3 wks in fermenter. Didn't have room to cold crash but I did cool it down as much as possible in cooler to under 57F. OK so my sample reading consistently came back as 1.006, which i read several times, swirled the hydrometer. FG was supposed to be like 1.014. 1.006 just seems too much under the expected FG. No bubbles or high sediment. Sample was room temp about 64/65F. I used Safale 05 & temp controlled & fermented around 64-68F (<64 for High Krausen). But my other batch Voodoo that You Do, the FG also came out lower than recipe indicated (and I used Mr Beer yeast with that one). Should I be concerned about my FGs? What if there's some type of bacterial or wild yeast infection that's eating up sugar in my beer & dropping FG too low? I only go 3 weeks, no more no less. I sniffed my sample when it was cold, unfortunately, quite a bit of green apple notes. also tasted a little, it was very very bitter. Not gross like sewage or fecal matter. I have hopes it's not an infection and that with enough conditioning, the bitterness with fade a bit as will the acetaldehyde. anyhoo, I read that Safale 05 can be quite estery & fruity so I'll just have to be patient & wait for final product:) But just in case, I did watch the twitched video about infections & off flavors, and so I ordered a few replacement LBKs as was Josh's recommendation to replace those in 6 months because the plastic scratches. Thanks for any input!
  13. Gutterbunnie

    Kolsch recipe using Czech Pilsner?

    Thanks for all the recommendations & will let you know how my Kolsch turns out. I will check out the Maryland Home Brew shop. I would love to get my hands on some yeast variations & I prefer the dry for my purposes right now. My local Home Brew shop carries mostly liquid yeast strains, WLP or WYEAST smack packs. Those really are meant for 5 gallon batches. But I'm not at the stage to make starters either, that's why I wasn't so sure about just pitching the WLP029 straight up (as per instructions, I let it sit out & warm to room temp). But anyway, for my Kolsch, 30 +hrs after pitching (no starter), there was definitely a very thick Krausen, just one large layer of foam head (like the head in a glass after pouring a Guinness). I don't know how else to describe, but the Krausen wasn't as light & fluffy as other yeasts- it just seemed much thicker/denser. I went ahead with my Kolsch using 1/2 lb of the light DME & about an oz of Tettnang hops. The aroma when brewing was wonderful, delicious, and light. It's been almost a week & did notice slight Sulfur smell from LBK, which I've read is common, and should go away with conditioning/lagering. The gal at my home brew shop told me to hide a few bottles from myself & try after several months - she said the taste will be quite different! I may start experimenting with partial mash recipes as I think I'll enjoy the added flavors. Right now I'm wanting to get the hang of brewing extracts with some additions & different yeasts/temps. And I want to try some wheat beers & maybe Saison this summer but need to wait for things to warm up. We're having a cooler spring where temps are hovering 60/70s during the day. From what I've read, Saison's love high heat, consistently over 80 degrees! That might have to be a garage brew:)
  14. Gutterbunnie

    Kolsch recipe using Czech Pilsner?

    I want to brew a Kolsch (one of hubby's fav) using extract recipe. Was going to make Shade Tree Kolsch - any recommendations for this one? Wondering if I can/should add any booster although I'm going to be using Pilsner (light) DME (have 1 lb but might only use 1/2). Also picked up some Tettnang hops for short hop boil near end. And going to try using WLP029 Kolsch yeast. Couldn't find the Safale K-97 anywhere & I don't want to pay $8 shipping for a $4 yeast. Kolsch will be my 5th batch and I think I'm getting better at this. Tried my second batch again last night, the Oktoberfest (basic/standard refill). After 5 weeks conditioning, it is much improved. Very drinkable. Might even give a few away to family to try. Brew de Ale ze Bub is currently fermenting using Safale 05 (first time using this yeast). I'm going to echo what someone else posted somewhere, but I almost enjoy brewing the beer more than drinking it! Has become new obsession. Cheers!
  15. Bottled Voodoo that You Do yesterday. Sampled, very tasty, and very strong! Don't get me wrong, I'm a big fan of bold, high ABV beers. I'm used to drinking microbrews, double IPAs, Lagunitas. So I didn't have my hydrometer when I brewed Voodoo, but I tried to take a reading from a sample after cold crashing & before bottling yesterday (let sample sit & warm to room temperature). Also, I read directions on mrB & various other websites, watched some YouTubes on how to use a hydrometer. Assuming that FG should be around 1.015 -1.018. My Voodoo reading was 1.010, or around there. Thinking maybe my hydrometer is not calibrated correctly, I tested spring water, which came out at 0.995 instead of 1.00. Am I correct in understanding that I would subtract .005 from my final reading of 1.010 which would give me an FG of 1.005? And if I go by the avg OG of 1.070 or 1.060, and subtract my FG 1.005, then multiply that by 131, on the high end I get 8.5% ABV, on the low end about 7.4% ABV (like the recipe says). but maybe I'm not using this hydrometer correctly, or my readings are inaccurate? Well anyway, I'm stoked because I think this is the first batch that perhaps I got right.....and then some. I followed recipe, adding LME and a cup of packed brown sugar., MrB yeast. Plus I used my spatula & always, always scrape out every bit of HME from the can, and I tried to do that with LME pouch but didn't work so well. Also I used a cooler to control fermentation temps. I can't wait to try a finished Voodoo in about 5-6 weeks, if I can wait that long. I know longer is better, at least 8 weeks conditioning. We'll see if my patience holds up!
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