Author Topic: Home Brew discussion  (Read 61020 times)

nereo

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Re: Home Brew discussion
« Reply #100 on: April 01, 2014, 03:28:41 PM »
Trying my question re: home brewing here first, before starting a new thread...

Can anyone give me a ball-park figure for what the ingredients would cost to brew a batch of amber?  My soon-to-be BIL is a home brewer, and I'd like to ask him to make a commemorative beer for my wedding.  I'm pretty sure he'd be happy to do it if I fronted the costs.  But he's too nice to ever give me a price, and I don't want him to pay for this himself.

He already has all the equipment, including a 6 gal carboy, and more bottles than he can shake a stick at.

Ballpark figure anyone?

skunkfunk

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Re: Home Brew discussion
« Reply #101 on: April 01, 2014, 03:42:58 PM »
Ballpark figure anyone?

Depends on his setup. $20-$45 for a 5 gallon batch. It would cost me probably $35, but I have to buy the water as my well water is horrible for brewing.

grantmeaname

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Re: Home Brew discussion
« Reply #102 on: April 01, 2014, 04:03:27 PM »
Does he do all-grain brewing from crushed barley, or does he use extracts that come in a big jug? All-grain will run towards the bottom of that range, extract towards the top.

libertarian4321

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Re: Home Brew discussion
« Reply #103 on: April 01, 2014, 04:10:11 PM »
Brewing your own oatmeal stout can be very cost effective. My oatmeal stout is every bit as good as a Sam Smith Oatmeal Stout, which costs about $2.50 a bottle. I brewed an entire fifty bottle batch for under $30. Some of the fancier English style ales don't really take all that much grain or hops, and can be made with the excellent nottingham dry yeast on the cheap.

For instance, doppelbocks, by comparison, cost about the same amount at the liquor store but are much more expensive to brew. The ingredients I would require to brew an ayinger celebrator clone would cost $70 from my homebrew shop. They require much more grain, a lot of yeast cells, as well as a means of accurate temperature control for both fermentation and lagering, which can take months for such a high gravity style.

For first time home brewers, something with strong flavor like an oatmeal stout might be a good idea, because if you make a mistake that throws the flavor off slightly, it's less likely to be noticed.

nereo

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Re: Home Brew discussion
« Reply #104 on: April 01, 2014, 06:01:26 PM »
Does he do all-grain brewing from crushed barley, or does he use extracts that come in a big jug? All-grain will run towards the bottom of that range, extract towards the top.
He uses crushed barley - is a member of a home-brew coop.  He definitely knows what he is doing and has made several dozen batches over the last few years.  But he's cut back because he can't justify the added beer in his fridge or added to his wasteline.  that's why i think he'd love the opportunity to make a batch (or three) if it was no cost to him.

Russ

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Re: Home Brew discussion
« Reply #105 on: April 01, 2014, 06:06:30 PM »
Opened the first of a batch of hefe grantmeaname helped me brew a few weeks a go. Flavor is bang on, but I ended up with more on the counter than in my glass upon opening. Here's hoping a night in the fridge will fix it!

grantmeaname

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Re: Home Brew discussion
« Reply #106 on: April 01, 2014, 07:04:36 PM »
Opened the first of a batch of hefe grantmeaname helped me brew a few weeks a go. Flavor is bang on, but I ended up with more on the counter than in my glass upon opening. Here's hoping a night in the fridge will fix it!
Sink=biggest glass in the house?

Keep track of whether they're all consistently overcarbonated or if bottle-to-bottle is inconsistent.

Russ

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Re: Home Brew discussion
« Reply #107 on: April 01, 2014, 07:08:19 PM »
Keep track of whether they're all consistently overcarbonated or if bottle-to-bottle is inconsistent.

why?

grantmeaname

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Re: Home Brew discussion
« Reply #108 on: April 01, 2014, 07:09:04 PM »
It'll let you know whether it's the intended amount of sugar being used or with the consistency between bottles.

Russ

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Re: Home Brew discussion
« Reply #109 on: April 01, 2014, 07:12:07 PM »
oh gotcha. intended amount of sugar should be fine since I used the same amount I use for everything else. I think most likely is that I got impatient and didn't let it ferment out fully before bottling.

tomq04

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Re: Home Brew discussion
« Reply #110 on: April 01, 2014, 10:34:03 PM »
Why would you dry hop a kolsch?

I might ask you, why not?

grantmeaname

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Re: Home Brew discussion
« Reply #111 on: April 02, 2014, 06:14:13 AM »
It just doesn't seem like something in the style of a kolsch. It might make a good beer, but if you've already hopped it during the boil and you dry hop it now you'll end up with something more like a weak IPA and not much like a kolsch IMO.

EDIT: looks like dry-hopping doesn't contribute as much bitterness as I thought. Nevermind, it's probably not a terrible idea.
« Last Edit: April 02, 2014, 06:16:37 AM by grantmeaname »

skunkfunk

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Re: Home Brew discussion
« Reply #112 on: April 02, 2014, 08:15:04 AM »
Does he do all-grain brewing from crushed barley, or does he use extracts that come in a big jug? All-grain will run towards the bottom of that range, extract towards the top.
He uses crushed barley - is a member of a home-brew coop.  He definitely knows what he is doing and has made several dozen batches over the last few years.  But he's cut back because he can't justify the added beer in his fridge or added to his wasteline.  that's why i think he'd love the opportunity to make a batch (or three) if it was no cost to him.

It'll be closer to $20 then. If he uses tap water, has his own yeast stockpile, and buys bulk grain, it will be even less.

tomq04

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Re: Home Brew discussion
« Reply #113 on: April 02, 2014, 02:28:30 PM »

EDIT: looks like dry-hopping doesn't contribute as much bitterness as I thought. Nevermind, it's probably not a terrible idea.
Bingo,  I'm not trying to bitter just add some more aroma.  I did it this morning, with nothing go compare to, I'll let you know if it tastes good.

jdoolin

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Re: Home Brew discussion
« Reply #114 on: April 03, 2014, 05:49:22 AM »
I itemized the cost for brewing the Dark English Mild.  Which, by the way, turned out very well as a good drinkable beer, but not quite where I want it for the style.  It's a bit too dark, too roasty/chocolate (that chocolate malt is powerful stuff), needs more sweetness and I'd like some more of the fruity English ale esters.  So I'm reformulating and brewing again in a few weeks.

Anyway, the cost of the mild is somewhere around $17 for the 5 gallon batch, which works out to somewhere around $0.33 per bottle.  That's one reason I'm hoping to make milds my "flagship" beers.

skunkfunk

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Re: Home Brew discussion
« Reply #115 on: April 03, 2014, 10:00:58 AM »
I itemized the cost for brewing the Dark English Mild.  Which, by the way, turned out very well as a good drinkable beer, but not quite where I want it for the style.  It's a bit too dark, too roasty/chocolate (that chocolate malt is powerful stuff), needs more sweetness and I'd like some more of the fruity English ale esters.  So I'm reformulating and brewing again in a few weeks.

Anyway, the cost of the mild is somewhere around $17 for the 5 gallon batch, which works out to somewhere around $0.33 per bottle.  That's one reason I'm hoping to make milds my "flagship" beers.

Do you like hefeweizen? They are similarly inexpensive.

nereo

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Re: Home Brew discussion
« Reply #116 on: April 03, 2014, 11:03:26 AM »
It'll be closer to $20 then. If he uses tap water, has his own yeast stockpile, and buys bulk grain, it will be even less.
Ok, that's awesome. I'm beginning to understand the appeal of brewing one's own beer :-)
So (excuse the noob question) in a 6gal glass carboy a batch of beer might cost $20 and yield about the same as a half-keg (168 bottles?)  I know that there is some header space in the carboy, but how much beer would it ultimately yield?  $0.33/bottle (jdoolin's estimate) sounds so much better than the ~$1/beer from a half-keg.

skunkfunk

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Re: Home Brew discussion
« Reply #117 on: April 03, 2014, 11:11:40 AM »
It'll be closer to $20 then. If he uses tap water, has his own yeast stockpile, and buys bulk grain, it will be even less.
Ok, that's awesome. I'm beginning to understand the appeal of brewing one's own beer :-)
So (excuse the noob question) in a 6gal glass carboy a batch of beer might cost $20 and yield about the same as a half-keg (168 bottles?)  I know that there is some header space in the carboy, but how much beer would it ultimately yield?  $0.33/bottle (jdoolin's estimate) sounds so much better than the ~$1/beer from a half-keg.

More like 50-60 bottles.

Still much less than $1/bottle. Neglecting the cost of the bottles, which is not insignificant. Don't throw away the bottles.

grantmeaname

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Re: Home Brew discussion
« Reply #118 on: April 03, 2014, 12:53:08 PM »
It'll be closer to $20 then. If he uses tap water, has his own yeast stockpile, and buys bulk grain, it will be even less.
Ok, that's awesome. I'm beginning to understand the appeal of brewing one's own beer :-)
So (excuse the noob question) in a 6gal glass carboy a batch of beer might cost $20 and yield about the same as a half-keg (168 bottles?)  I know that there is some header space in the carboy, but how much beer would it ultimately yield?  $0.33/bottle (jdoolin's estimate) sounds so much better than the ~$1/beer from a half-keg.
6 gallons of glass is like 5 gallons of usable beer, a little headspace, and a little sediment that gets tossed. 5*128=640 ounces, which is 53 12-ounce regular bottles or 25 25.6-ounce bomber bottles.

tomq04

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Re: Home Brew discussion
« Reply #119 on: April 03, 2014, 01:03:05 PM »
I sell bottles on Craigslist for $.125/bottle or $15 for 48

grantmeaname

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Re: Home Brew discussion
« Reply #120 on: April 03, 2014, 01:05:24 PM »
You could also try knowing college students. That's worked well for us in the past.

Russ

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Re: Home Brew discussion
« Reply #121 on: April 03, 2014, 01:09:33 PM »
or old people who like beer. I got like 40 bottles from the last old person party I went to.

grantmeaname

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Re: Home Brew discussion
« Reply #122 on: April 03, 2014, 03:02:17 PM »
Old people have parties?

jdoolin

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Re: Home Brew discussion
« Reply #123 on: April 03, 2014, 06:31:55 PM »
Or you make an arrangement with a local restaurant like I did.  I have a steady supply of bottles forever now.  Between the restaurant (which I do patronize on occasion), a co-worker and myself, I'll never lack bottles and they are effectively free.

lithy

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Re: Home Brew discussion
« Reply #124 on: April 03, 2014, 06:34:35 PM »
If anyone is near Pittsburgh, I've got a pallet of bad glass up for grabs.

We've got a total of just over seven layers of bulk glass...sooo 450 bottles per layer would mean a total of just over 3150 bottles.

Russ

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Re: Home Brew discussion
« Reply #125 on: April 03, 2014, 10:36:45 PM »
Old people have parties?

crazy right? just picked up another 15 at one tonight!

Spork

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Re: Home Brew discussion
« Reply #126 on: April 04, 2014, 08:01:21 AM »
Old people have parties?

yes.  They just end before the news comes on.

grantmeaname

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Re: Home Brew discussion
« Reply #127 on: April 04, 2014, 11:26:15 AM »
The 5 o'clock news or the 8 o'clock news?

nereo

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Re: Home Brew discussion
« Reply #128 on: April 04, 2014, 03:08:26 PM »
More like 50-60 bottles.

Still much less than $1/bottle. Neglecting the cost of the bottles, which is not insignificant. Don't throw away the bottles.
ok - good to know.  Maybe we'll try two different batches. I'm looking foward to it - he's letting me "help" - basically he'll do the brewing but I get to learn.
Bottles are not a problem.  His DW nags him occasionally of having too many empties, but he always wants to have enough in case he wants to do multiple batches (like now).  Last time I was over there I did a quick visual count and he's got well over 200 all washed and stacked in crates, plus dozens of larger bottles (maybe 22oz and some wine-bottle sized ones). He basically has his own brew-room in his basement with industrial shelves on all sides, a huge sink and a central drain in the floor.

skunkfunk

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Re: Home Brew discussion
« Reply #129 on: April 04, 2014, 03:10:06 PM »
More like 50-60 bottles.

Still much less than $1/bottle. Neglecting the cost of the bottles, which is not insignificant. Don't throw away the bottles.
ok - good to know.  Maybe we'll try two different batches. I'm looking foward to it - he's letting me "help" - basically he'll do the brewing but I get to learn.
Bottles are not a problem.  His DW nags him occasionally of having too many empties, but he always wants to have enough in case he wants to do multiple batches (like now).  Last time I was over there I did a quick visual count and he's got well over 200 all washed and stacked in crates, plus dozens of larger bottles (maybe 22oz and some wine-bottle sized ones). He basically has his own brew-room in his basement with industrial shelves on all sides, a huge sink and a central drain in the floor.

Make sure they aren't twist offs. If they are and you use them you are in for a bad time.

ohyonghao

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Re: Home Brew discussion
« Reply #130 on: April 11, 2014, 01:45:31 AM »
Got to try my hard cider tonight, absolutely delicious.  My 94 year old grandmother tried some when I transferred to secondary and told me to not leave the bottle out near her.  I have two more batches which I have been starting 2 weeks apart (all 1gal jugs) and trying to collect enough bottles to store everything.  I've been collecting bottles as I come by them, anybody use wine bottles for sparkling cider?

Today I had a neighbor on our neighborhood facebook mention that she does wine demos and has the leftover demo bottles from the day before, I got hooked up with two bottles of chardonnay which were both over half full.  I was thinking of saving these as the backup for me running out of 12 ounce and pints.  With cider I don't mind it going flat as long as it doesn't turn to apple vinegar and I have those plastic caps which come with those sparkling cider bottles that I use to recap them.

grantmeaname

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Re: Home Brew discussion
« Reply #131 on: April 11, 2014, 07:27:48 AM »
I've been collecting bottles as I come by them, anybody use wine bottles for sparkling cider?
I haven't because champagne bottles use bigger caps than beer bottles and I would mind flatness. For mead (and cider back when we used to bottle it), I like the 12oz clear bottles that Newcastle and Strongbow come in, but the color doesn't matter. Are you having trouble getting enough bottles period or enough that are clear?

tomq04

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Re: Home Brew discussion
« Reply #132 on: April 11, 2014, 09:38:11 PM »
Kegging my kolsch, brewing an extract dusseldorf Altbier. 
http://www.bjcp.org/2008styles/style07.php
http://www.brewersfriend.com/homebrew/recipe/view/123634/extract-alt-bier

So far smells great, excited for kolsch!

ohyonghao

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Re: Home Brew discussion
« Reply #133 on: April 15, 2014, 01:37:20 AM »
Haven't really tried hard to collect bottles, and I may be coming up on a shortage with my next batch coming out and another in two weeks.  Might have to start drinking faster or brewing slower.  The trick is to match consumption, brewing, and the number of bottles.  I might try a shout out on Facebook on our neighborhood group to see if I could scrounge up some bottles.  It can be hard in Oregon sometimes because of the 0.05 deposit, but my neighborhood seems to be fairly affluent and not so mustachian so I may get some good finds.

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Re: Home Brew discussion
« Reply #134 on: April 15, 2014, 11:33:14 AM »
if you are planning to brew long-term, it may be worth the money to buy some 1L swing-top style bottles.  These are nice because there is less sanitizing and no capping.  Personally, went I drink, I don't drink just one 12oz bottle anyway so these work out nice.

Russ

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Re: Home Brew discussion
« Reply #135 on: April 15, 2014, 11:44:54 AM »
if you are planning to brew long-term, it may be worth the money to buy some 1L swing-top style bottles.  These are nice because there is less sanitizing and no capping.  Personally, went I drink, I don't drink just one 12oz bottle anyway so these work out nice.

ha I like my swingtops for the exact opposite reason... I don't usually drink a full 12oz all at once, so I like being able to easily reseal them

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Re: Home Brew discussion
« Reply #136 on: April 17, 2014, 10:57:09 AM »
if you are planning to brew long-term, it may be worth the money to buy some 1L swing-top style bottles.  These are nice because there is less sanitizing and no capping.  Personally, went I drink, I don't drink just one 12oz bottle anyway so these work out nice.

If you are planning to brew alot and drink alot, I would go CO2.  I haven't been brewing a whole lot lately, but back in the day when I would regularly do 10gal per weekend, having CO2 for that amount would have been awesome.  It would have saved me so much time.

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Re: Home Brew discussion
« Reply #137 on: April 17, 2014, 11:03:09 AM »
Perfect option for those who want to recap beers. Google DIY carbonator caps. Reusing 1L or 2L soda bottles and installs a tire stem valve in the cap. I have an output from my co2 tank fitted with an automotive air chuck. Fill the bottles off the kegs, top off with co2 and they will stay carbed for weeks. Also, if you don't finish you can top it off again and put the partial bottle back in the fridge.

I started making them after breaking 2 growlers hitting a bump on my bicycle. But main driver was to reduce the weight during biking to parks and camping.

Truckman

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Re: Home Brew discussion
« Reply #138 on: April 22, 2014, 07:24:47 PM »
Did my first solo brew the other day. My 2nd brew altogether.  It's a Left Hand Milk Stout clone, extract.  Well, the recipe was an extract conversion of the Left Hand Milk Stout clone, and then I flubbed the recipe some...LOL. So who the hell knows what I'll end up with.  But I took really good notes just in case I like it!

skunkfunk

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Re: Home Brew discussion
« Reply #139 on: April 22, 2014, 07:40:17 PM »
So who the hell knows what I'll end up with.

I know! It will be beer. Probably.

Truckman

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Re: Home Brew discussion
« Reply #140 on: April 22, 2014, 07:46:31 PM »
So who the hell knows what I'll end up with.

I know! It will be beer. Probably.

Haha, good one. I hope so!

grantmeaname

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Re: Home Brew discussion
« Reply #141 on: April 23, 2014, 05:32:32 AM »
We just bottled a Barolo yesterday. It's sad to think that I won't get to see it for four months.

tomq04

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Re: Home Brew discussion
« Reply #142 on: April 23, 2014, 07:53:55 AM »
We just bottled a Barolo yesterday. It's sad to think that I won't get to see it for four months.

The real question is which side do you stand in the Barolo wars?

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Barolo

Sounds like a nice wine.

grantmeaname

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Re: Home Brew discussion
« Reply #143 on: April 23, 2014, 09:32:11 AM »
I made it from a kit so I'm gonna go with "modern".

horsepoor

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Re: Home Brew discussion
« Reply #144 on: April 24, 2014, 11:34:21 PM »
Rain the the forecast for this weekend, and now this thread has me itching to brew.  But what?

Anyone have a good red ale extract recipe (Imperial red, ideally)?  Would love to make something similar to Bridgeport Kingpin...

skunkfunk

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Re: Home Brew discussion
« Reply #145 on: April 25, 2014, 07:54:29 AM »
My wife complained today that most of our beers (except the IPA) taste a little "funky" and she misses the commercial brews. Anyone have any idea what she could be talking about? I'm apparently not sensitive enough to this off flavor as I can't tell what she means.

Maybe she doesn't like the yeast in the bottles?

lithy

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Re: Home Brew discussion
« Reply #146 on: April 25, 2014, 09:08:01 AM »
Funky to me, would usually indicate a contamination with wild yeast or bacteria.  But this would be apparent in strong sourness, or some barnyard-y funky Brettanomyces character, or a whole host of other indicators, including the likely formation of a pellicle on top of your fermenting beer.

If you otherwise taste clean beer it is possible that she is talking about the yeast bite from unfiltered beer.  You could take a bottle that has been in the fridge and settled clear for at least a week.  Carefully decant the first half into one glass.  Then, swirl the remaining liquid to rouse the yeast and pour that into another glass.  Ask her if one or both samples taste 'funky'.

Is she drinking the beer straight out of the bottle?  If so, after the first drink sip sediment will be stirred up from the bottom of the bottle.

If it turns out she doesn't like yeast in the beer, you can make sure she uses a glass and that she is not pouring the last 1-2oz out of the bottle, or you can use finings before your transfer to the bottling bucket to further clear the beer after fermentation.  There is some stuff called Biofine Clear that is vegan friendly and works incredibly well. 

Taste paneling is a very difficult thing to do.  Vocabulary is different, not to mention tolerance thresholds for different compounds.  So it is entirely possible that you have a brewing/fermentation issue, say with high levels of diacetyl or DMS, but if you aren't sensitive to it, you won't notice it.

 

skunkfunk

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Re: Home Brew discussion
« Reply #147 on: April 25, 2014, 09:11:52 AM »
Funky to me, would usually indicate a contamination with wild yeast or bacteria.  But this would be apparent in strong sourness, or some barnyard-y funky Brettanomyces character, or a whole host of other indicators, including the likely formation of a pellicle on top of your fermenting beer.

If you otherwise taste clean beer it is possible that she is talking about the yeast bite from unfiltered beer.  You could take a bottle that has been in the fridge and settled clear for at least a week.  Carefully decant the first half into one glass.  Then, swirl the remaining liquid to rouse the yeast and pour that into another glass.  Ask her if one or both samples taste 'funky'.

Is she drinking the beer straight out of the bottle?  If so, after the first drink sip sediment will be stirred up from the bottom of the bottle.

If it turns out she doesn't like yeast in the beer, you can make sure she uses a glass and that she is not pouring the last 1-2oz out of the bottle, or you can use finings before your transfer to the bottling bucket to further clear the beer after fermentation.  There is some stuff called Biofine Clear that is vegan friendly and works incredibly well. 

Taste paneling is a very difficult thing to do.  Vocabulary is different, not to mention tolerance thresholds for different compounds.  So it is entirely possible that you have a brewing/fermentation issue, say with high levels of diacetyl or DMS, but if you aren't sensitive to it, you won't notice it.

Hmmm. I doubt it's an infection as I haven't noticed any pellicles. And she likes to pour most of it in a glass, and then drink the yeasty beer left in the bottle first.

I think you may be right about the DMS. I brew on a stove top with 2x 5 gallon pots, and I leave the lids about halfway on. Is it possible that I need to leave the lids off, or that I'm not boiling hard enough? And what would cause diacetyl, is that a fermentation temperature thing? I use a chest freezer with a temp controller so I know I'm fermenting at the correct temperatures.

Ottawa

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Re: Home Brew discussion
« Reply #148 on: April 25, 2014, 09:27:51 AM »
My wife complained today that most of our beers (except the IPA) taste a little "funky" and she misses the commercial brews. Anyone have any idea what she could be talking about? I'm apparently not sensitive enough to this off flavor as I can't tell what she means.

Maybe she doesn't like the yeast in the bottles?

Give her a blind taste test (literally, blindfolded - ensuring temp, glasses etc the same for each brew) of commercial and homebrew.  See if the 'funk' is real or derived from some kind of bias :-)


TrMama

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Re: Home Brew discussion
« Reply #149 on: April 25, 2014, 12:04:00 PM »
I made beer that tastes good!

I brewed a very small batch of basic English brown ale back in early March. Tried a couple bottles 2 and 3 week after bottling and thought it was over carbonated and yeasty tasting. I cracked the third bottle last night after leaving it in the fridge for a couple days and it was delicious!

I brewed a couple more batches that are bottle conditioning now and can't wait to try them.  I've got a red Irish blackberry ale and an Edelweiss that just need to age a bit more.

For anyone wanting to get their feet wet with home brewing, I'm really enjoying the 1 gallon recipes in this book http://www.amazon.com/Brooklyn-Brew-Shops-Beer-Making/dp/0307889203/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1398448912&sr=1-1&keywords=brooklyn+brewing. My local library has a copy.