I've got to get obsessive here

What went wrong? Was this supposed to happen? Should I throw it out? What do I do now?

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Yeast taste should not be foul

Postby jayhawk » Wed Sep 03, 2003 2:04 pm

A foul taste should not develop from yeast being in the beer. Beer that is not contaminated/soured should have a palatable flavour from post boil to fermenting, and then it should evolve to great tasting after a few weeks. I have never tasted an incomplete uninfected batch that tasted foul. Fruity, off flavours yes, but never foul. When beer is sour, you will know.

Also, since idophor is simply iodine, I do not think a few residual droplets diluted in five gallons of wort would spoil a whole batch.
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Heroes and Mistakes

Postby BillyBock » Wed Sep 03, 2003 11:09 pm

Jayhawk: Since I've made the "homebrewers drink their mistakes" line before, I guess that qualifies me as a "homebrew hero"? :)) Wow, I should start working on my theme song to be played anytime I enter a building.

Of course I jest....so don't look at the rest of this as a rant, view it as my "public service announcement" to shed some light on this for the collective so they understand what I'm NOT advocating :-)

When I say "mistake" I'm referring to beers that didn't turn out right due to my recipe or process (excluding sanitiation), ie. the stout that has way too much roasted grain, the super-bitter IPA, or the cidery tasting beer with too much sugar in the recipe. These are at least drinkable without giving you the sqirts or making you yak. And if the friends don't like it, just tell them you're making an experimental batch to test the limits of the style :)) After all, experience is the best teacher and you're not going to know what you like or don't like until you've tasted it. Besides, you can always blend the beer with another to tame it into tolerability, ala black-and-tan.

I don't drink the "mistakes" that are gonna give me the squirts or make me yak (or both) because of a sanitation problem--and I don't advocate that others do. Yes, I've pitched a batch or two down the drain--I cried the whole time it glugged down the drain. It was visually infected and smelled worse. If I can't get it past the nose, I don't drink it.

So, kids, remember, when Mr. Beer smells like a sewer rat, he's not your friend...

v/r
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Just Say "No" to Tap Water

Postby BillyBock » Wed Sep 03, 2003 11:23 pm

Joe: If I were a betting man, I'd say your water is the problem.

Check out product number FIL90 at http://morebeer.com/

It's a sanitary filter that filters buggers down to .023 micron. One of its stated uses is as a sanitary water filter if you need to add top-up water. Costs $5, might be the thing you're looking for.

Also, I'd recommended running all your tap water through a carbon block filter to remove chlorine. Just do this step before sanitary filtration.

v/r
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thanks

Postby joemez » Thu Sep 04, 2003 5:16 am

thanks alot for all the info. a few slightly different opinions but it everyone agrees that my unsanitized tap water is baaaaad.
I found a burner I'm gonna use and am looking to get a large pot to do a full boil(the burner came with a 30quart aluminum pot, but i want a stainless one). How big of a pot do you think I will need? Any good places to get one?
If i do a full boil is it agreed that I can use tap water? Or should I use bottled water just to be safe?
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My thoughts

Postby broon » Thu Sep 04, 2003 5:43 am

For a 5 gallon batch a 30 quart (7.5 gallon) pot is large enough.

I use tap water for my 5 gallon batches and hose water for 10 gallon. I have not had a batch go bad because of this. The safest thing would probably be to go buy 7 gallons of purified drinking water and use that. That will be less risky than using tap water. Or you could do a 2.5 gallon batch with tap water so you don't have as much money invested if it does turn out bad.

Now that you are ready to do a full boil, is it time to go to all grain?
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Do you own or rent?

Postby fitz » Thu Sep 04, 2003 5:44 am

If you own your own home, you may want to check into a reverse osmossis system for your house. I am not a paranoid man, but when any municipality says the toxins are at "safe levels" in our water I have to wonder what "safe" is. For a few hundred bucks you can get a filter sytem that will take out all the impurities in your water, and then the bottled water is a mute point. You can sell your wife on it because it isn't just for the beer, it is for safe drinking water for you, her, and any kids you may have now or in the future.
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Hilarious

Postby jayhawk » Thu Sep 04, 2003 5:46 am

Yakking and squirting eh. Man, what a post. I'm with you on that topic BillyBock. Recipe screw ups are definately drinkable, but impromptu "lambics" are just plain rude.
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How does the water taste

Postby jayhawk » Thu Sep 04, 2003 5:50 am

The tap water is decent where I live, so I just use that for brewing. If you don't have a problem with the taste of your tap water, then go ahead and use it.
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From one newb to another

Postby zeno » Thu Sep 04, 2003 6:53 am

Get a 10 gallon kettle. I know there's a price difference, but after the 3rd boilover you'll wish you never bought the 7.5.

Also, ending up with 5 gallons of wert left is nearly impossible with the 7.5. But if you do go that route (I did cause I'm poor), then here's my advice:

Have another stand beside the burner to move the kettle to when you add the extract.

Also move the kettle off the flame once it tries to boil over after adding the hops (believe me, it will). Stir it up good off the flame, then put it back on.

Watch it like a hawk! When it boils over, there's very little warning as there's simply not a lot of extra space.

Be prepared for the possibility of having to add half a gallon or so of water to make the 5 gal.

GET A WERT CHILLER! There is no other way to bring 5 gallons down to temp. I recomend buying a little fountain pump from walmart, and use it in a bucket of ice water for the chilling (so a few bags of ice).. Tap water is fine cause it'll never touch the beer. If you can get the wert to around 40, the sediment just drops. It's cool. But it'll take a day and a half to cool that wert to ambient if you have no chiller.

Make sure your flame is a blue to dull orange. If you have bright orange and yellow flapping flames everywere, it's gonna blacken your pot. Adjust the air with the round air dam on the burner to get the desired flame.

And most importantly, leave the kitchen out of it. Do it in the back yard, use a garden hose to fill the icewater bucket (or hook directly to the wert chiller), and wash the stuff outside before taking it in. If you get soot all over the pot (you'll never get a perfect flame.. expect some soot), that stuff will get EVERYWHERE if you take it inside. Believe me, NOTHING will get you in trouble with the wife like getting soot all over the place. And do it in a place where you wont have to clean up the boilover (in the grass, or dirt).

Oh, and have lots of matches to restart that flame when the boil off puts it out.
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water

Postby joemez » Thu Sep 04, 2003 8:34 am

my water tastes as good as any bottled water but I dont think I can handle another bad batch so I'm gonna use bottled for at least this next one.
My local supply house has 8 gollon heavy stainless for $125. Sounds pretty much inline for what i see out there. The 10 gallons are pushing $200. Should I hold out and wait to get a 10 gallon? I'm gonna get a wort chiller too. My tap water is pretty cold, how long about would a submersion chiller take to get 5 gal down to pitching temp?
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Skip the local guy

Postby zeno » Thu Sep 04, 2003 9:15 am

morebeer.com has 10 gallon 304 stainless steel for $139, and you get free shipping... Depending on where you live, tax would probably make that 8 gallon the same price. Some of these guys may know of other good places to look as well.

I bought their 7.5 gallon for $75, and apart from the fact it boils over every freakin brew, it's a great kettle. And you can't beat free shipping.

If you insist on getting the kettle local, then either of the 2 will work. The smaller the kettle, though, the more careful you need to be to avoid boilovers and having to add water to the wert. My advice is to get the 10 gal from morebeer.
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Try this

Postby jayhawk » Thu Sep 04, 2003 7:27 pm

Try and find a used 55-60L stainless beer keg. These are easily found behind bars (where you could be if you are caught stealing one...so don't get caught!) or in local classifieds and ebay. You could also order a keg filled with beer from a brewery or pub, have a big party and then just keep the keg. You will have to pay a deposit on the keg, but more than likely it will be under $150. Once you have obtained a keg, get a grinder or welder to cut off the top and, voila! you have a great brew kettle.
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Lambics

Postby BillyBock » Thu Sep 04, 2003 8:39 pm

Yep, I don't think I'll be drinking any Lambics in my lifetime :))
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Someone say kegger?!

Postby zeno » Fri Sep 05, 2003 8:42 am

I'm There! :0D
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keg

Postby joemez » Sat Sep 06, 2003 1:45 am

My friend has a quarter barrel that I can have. Gonna slice that top off and use it for now(about 7.5 gal capacity I think). But I'm gonna keep my eyes open on e-bay and such. I never looked before but I bet there is tons of equipment out there.
Thanks for the tremendous response and great advice from all
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