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AJF

Having issues with my brewing

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I just got a kit for Christmas from my wife and I'm really excited about making my own beer.

So I'm going to get to it real quick.

First timer here.

I did everything according to the instructions, even placing my LBK in a cooler to control the temp and let it have complete darkness.

Saturday was the 2 week mark and when I opened it I saw what looks like oregano floating at the top.

Today I checked it and it has not changed. I've sampled it and it has a sour taste to it, but not to much of a "sour apple or vinegar" taste, but it is on the sour side. 

There's the white solid stuff at the bottom of the LBK and it kind looks like it's also accumulated at the top on the sides.

I've read that it's possible the yeast is, "cleaning up after the party". But I'm not sure what is going on??

So as a first timer in the home brewing world, I'm asking for some guidance and help!

Heres a picture of what I'm talking about.

 

image.jpeg

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First off, you want to avoid opening your fermenter!!! If you don't have an infection, you can possibly introduce one. What you are seeing on top of the beer are probably yeast rafts. Little clumps of yeast colonies that have not fallen out. That's normal. Let your beer ferment for a full 3 weeks (1 week to go). Then bottle and allow the bottles to condition at 70f for 4 weeks. Then try your beer and tell us how it is. 

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Most importantly: relax, pop open a cold one and realize that in less than 2 months the cold one you open will be your own creation!

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Like @scouterbill said looks like yeast rafts. This is normal and shouldn't be feared. Yeast are fickle little creatures with a mind of their own. Sometimes there are a few that like to stick around for the after party like rock stars. As long as your sanitization process was meticulous you should be fine. 

 

Also as mentioned don't open your LBK unless you are going to dry hop or you may end up with an infection. Bacteria and native yeast are like paparazzi, always present, looking to crash the party and muck things up. As long as there is foam on top, gunk on the bottom and the wort is clearing up after three weeks you are making beer. 

 

Now relax and read a book, watch a movie or play video games and stop perving your beer. 

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Go ahead perv your beer although some won't admit to it we all do. leave the lid on and look through the LBK with a flashlight it works for me. I perv at least twice a day when I have one in the chamber(it's the way I roll).

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Thank you for the advice, I'll give it another week or so and hope for the stuff to settle down.

I know this is my first attempt and I have to be patient, just like when I'm fishing. But I'm looking forward to making my own beer later on down the road, and I'm happy that I found a homebrew shop not to far from me!

Cheers!

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Checked on it today, with a flashlight, and it doesn't seem the floaters are settling down at all. In fact it still looks and still taste the same.

 

A couple questions:

 

- Does this mean it's infected?

 

- Should I just go ahead and bottle it ?

 

Suggestions are always welcome.

 

Thanks for your reply's

 

 

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1 hour ago, RickBeer said:

Stop looking.  Wait 21 days and bottle.  

 

It's been 24 days. (3-1/2 weeks).  I started on Saturday, December 26, 2015

 

I read it shouldn't go past 4 weeks in the LBK.

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There's nothing to be gained by waiting longer. Bottle it. Sometimes you could wait for hell to freeze over and the floaters will still be there. 

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bottle it, gophers6 is right nothing to be gained. however there is a limit on how long it can sit on the yeast cake. lol besides mine usually looks way worse. big rafts floating.

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Tonight I just finished bottling.  2 weeks seems far away now, ha.

 

 Thank you for all the advice, cheers !

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Let it go a full four weeks. After two it may be carbed but the flavors are still looking for a happy medium. 

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If you must, try this schedule. At 2 weeks put one in the fridge for 3 days and try it, put one in the fridge at 3 weeks for 3 days and try it, then 4 weeks, and 5 weeks, etc. Make notes of how it looked, tasted, smelled, head formation, lacing (if any), hop presence, and so on for each week. After a number of weeks you will have your own written journal of how the beer developed. Do this with some of the major types of beer: IPA, Wheat, Porter, Stout, Pale Ale, etc. After doing this you will have your own written notes of how the different beers developed over time. Were some beers better earlier, some better later, etc. This will expand your knowledge much more than just reading about beer conditioning on a blog. Not that there's anything wrong with reading blogs!

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I got a co worker started brewing an American ale, he's a first timer, two days after brew day, and in the LBK, he told me he started drinking it!! I told NO NO! LOL! give it at least 3 weeks, then bottle 4 weeks, refrigerate 3 days.

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I am new myself, two weeks in, one more to go before bottling. How bad did that taste? I myself am anxious to get to the end and finally taste it, but two days? Wow!!! Lol lol

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9 minutes ago, nozzlenut said:

I can't imagine it tasted too good at two days, or have much if any alcohol yet.

Probably should have mixed it with some vodka

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21 hours ago, scouterbill said:

If you must, try this schedule. At 2 weeks put one in the fridge for 3 days and try it, put one in the fridge at 3 weeks for 3 days and try it, then 4 weeks, and 5 weeks, etc. Make notes of how it looked, tasted, smelled, head formation, lacing (if any), hop presence, and so on for each week. After a number of weeks you will have your own written journal of how the beer developed. Do this with some of the major types of beer: IPA, Wheat, Porter, Stout, Pale Ale, etc. After doing this you will have your own written notes of how the different beers developed over time. Were some beers better earlier, some better later, etc. This will expand your knowledge much more than just reading about beer conditioning on a blog. Not that there's anything wrong with reading blogs!

 

Thank you for this idea, I'm definitely going to do that!

As I progress with this, I'm taking notes on my experiences to help me better understand the brewing process. This has been enjoyable and I'm already planning on my next batch that hopefully, I'll be starting by next week. I can't let my LBK sit empty.

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I'm a fan of cold conditioning once you start building up a pipeline. I know that conventional wisdom is that the benefits of conditioning are all from the yeast when the yeast are active, but there are other things that happen at lower temperatures and I encourage everybody to try to give a few beers a week or more in the fridge.

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On ‎1‎/‎20‎/‎2016 at 0:50 PM, brybry said:

Probably should have mixed it with some vodka

he probably did!!

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On 1/21/2016 at 9:27 PM, AJF said:

 

Thank you for this idea, I'm definitely going to do that!

As I progress with this, I'm taking notes on my experiences to help me better understand the brewing process. This has been enjoyable and I'm already planning on my next batch that hopefully, I'll be starting by next week. I can't let my LBK sit empty.

Yes,TAKE NOTES!

 

I have a notebook that includes every batch I've made (that would be 68 brews now). Especially early in your brewing career, it is important to write down as many tasting notes as possible. Anything remotely relevant, WRITE IT DOWN! With experience you will figure out what notes are important to make. For example if you are bit rushed and you pitched your Munich yeast at 72 degrees, you will be able to go back and understand why your wheat beer tastes like Bazooka Joe (happened to me, true story).

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On January 22, 2016 at 10:02 PM, jsherman said:

Yes,TAKE NOTES!

 

I have a notebook that includes every batch I've made (that would be 68 brews now). Especially early in your brewing career, it is important to write down as many tasting notes as possible. Anything remotely relevant, WRITE IT DOWN! With experience you will figure out what notes are important to make. For example if you are bit rushed and you pitched your Munich yeast at 72 degrees, you will be able to go back and understand why your wheat beer tastes like Bazooka Joe (happened to me, true story).

 

Taking notes is good idea and I placed my notebook next to LBK. I just recently added notes in it from my first experience to help me better understand my future brews. So tonight, while listening to the Conway jr Show, I'm going to make my second batch and take notes.

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I finally got to crack one of my beers open to give it a taste today..... Terrible was the first word to come outing my mouth. The beer was bad. It started with a sour apple taste, not a even a good sour apple. Then as it goes down, I got a strong vinegar taste. The after taste was of a apple cider vinegar that over stayed it welcome. My wife tried a sip and spit it out immediately.

 

I'm not discourage and I chauk this one up as a leaning experience. 

Now I'm ready to make another batch, hopefully I can get to making it this weekend.

I been reading up on sterilizing and everything else, plus what you guys have taught me, I think I'll have a drinkable beer on this next run. 

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21 minutes ago, AJF said:

I finally got to crack one of my beers open to give it a taste today..... Terrible was the first word to come outing my mouth. The beer was bad. It started with a sour apple taste, not a even a good sour apple. Then as it goes down, I got a strong vinegar taste. The after taste was of a apple cider vinegar that over stayed it welcome. My wife tried a sip and spit it out immediately.

 

I'm not discourage and I chauk this one up as a leaning experience. 

Now I'm ready to make another batch, hopefully I can get to making it this weekend.

I been reading up on sterilizing and everything else, plus what you guys have taught me, I think I'll have a drinkable beer on this next run. 

 

Sour apple taste is from acetaldehyde. That's a sign that it's too young. Give it another two weeks at room temperature, then stick one in the fridge for a week. 

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If it has a vinegar taste it's infected and will never condition out. I've been there.

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I still advocate giving it two more weeks. If it's infected, it won't get any better, but many people can't properly describe of flavors, and may come up with vinegar when it's really cider. 

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5 minutes ago, bpgreen said:

I still advocate giving it two more weeks. If it's infected, it won't get any better, but many people can't properly describe of flavors, and may come up with vinegar when it's really cider. 

First sip of my first brew (2 weeks fermenting and 2 weeks conditioning) all I could think of was apple cider vinegar. It wasn't infected just rushed. 

 

When you brew this weekend, be clean, pitch your yeast at the right temp and maintain stable fermentation temps. Those three things equal good beer, patience is assumed. 

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