Back to Shopping at NorthernBrewer.com

7 and 1/3 Beers?

I just finished bottling my first batch. While there were a couple of hairy moments (trying not to trub my fermenter), it all went pretty smoothly. My only concern is that I ended up with 7 and a third bottles of beer. I just read in another post that I could have added water just prior to fermenting (which I did not see in the video, nor instructions). So, is this still an okay batch? Will it just be really strong flavor? Figuring I had nothing to loose, I went ahead and put a sugar charge in and capped the partial beer though I somehow doubt it will be a drinker.

It was the White House Honey Porter if it makes any difference.

I take it this was a 1G batch, and not up to full volume?
If that’s the case, then yes you will have a stronger beer than the recipe calls for. Bad? eh, who knows, it’s beer!
For the future, pick up a hydrometer and learn to use it. Better yet, get 2, they break easily.
By the way, congratulations to your start on your next obsession…
Now get started on your 2nd batch!

So, if stronger in flavor might it also be more em… heh… powerful?
Thanks for the suggestion on the hydrometer. I was on the site trying to decide where to go next. I will probably pick up a couple so I am ready once the next batch is done.

When brewing with extract you can top off the fermentor to meet the recipe volume. As long as you have used all the extract this is the right thing to do. Your porter will have a little more punch to it with the concentrated flavors and higher ABV. You may enjoy it so much you will do every one here after the same way.

The partial bottle won’t carbonate to well because of the greater head space. Might even get some oxidation you won’t even notice with the concentrated flavors. Try this one first after a few weeks of warm conditioning…

1 Like

I only got 9 and change from my first 1gal kit, and that was topped up properly (to the 1gal line). In general, I feel like 1gal isn’t worth it unless you’re just using it to experiment.

1 Like

I’m not concerned about brew house efficiency when I make one gallon batches. I anticipate 9 or 10 bottles when I ferment in the 5 qt “bubblers”, but 8 is OK.

I typically pour my wort from kettle into the 5 qt bubbler, top off to one gallon, then add rehydrated yeast (8 oz of water). If I use a filtered siphon when when bottling, I’ll get 10 bottles every time.

If a larger batch size works for you, that’s great. Tell us about it. This forum has always been “at it’s best” when people talking positively about what they are doing when making beer.

1 Like

Like I said, this was my first batch, and it was a boxed batch, so nothing experimental going on here. I am about a third of the way through the How To Brew book which has been very interesting. I am curious if the instructions to boil an extra bit of water and have it at the wort temp was left out to keep things simple for the first time brewer. As long as it turns out well, I am not too unhappy about the number. This has been a curiosity for a while now, and I would call any tasty beer progress, right?

I have cooked my whole life. I love tinkering with the flavors. What I came face to face with, was the reality that there is no immediate feedback here. You can’t just go and tinker and see what happens with flavor, you have a whole month and so many variables which can throw the whole thing off. Trying to wrap my head around it.
It’s also interesting that if you want one flavor, in many cases you add something completely different that presents that flavor after the fermentation. So you have to know the beginnings and endings of how things turn. Trippy stuff.

2 Likes

The biggest thing I learned what how big a deal yeast is. As a drinker, I thought there were 3 kinds of yeast… ale, lager, and Belgian. Boy, howdy, did I have a lot to learn.

3 Likes

With regard to not being able to get immediate feedback - I agree and disagree. You hint at many interesting questions so I’ll hint at some answers - and hope that you will ask the forum some of the questions. There are a lot of people here with great opinions!

There are techniques to experience malt flavors (for example: chew on some grains) and hop flavors (for example: dry hop bud light) that are pretty close to “immediate” feedback. Yeast flavors require a little more time (and maybe some half gallon mason jars :slight_smile: ).

How to Brew is an excellent first book. The books Mastering Homebrew (Mosher), Brewing Better Beer (Strong), and Experimental Homebrewing (Beechum & Conn) could be excellent additional books. Each approaches homebrewing from a different perceptive (at the risk of over-simplificaiton: chef, scientist, explorer). Lots of interesting ideas / shortcuts to learning malt, hop, and yeast flavors in each of the books. Finally, there are a number of style specific books that are exceptional - not only in the discussion on the style, but in the general knowledge that they can provide.

Agreed!

:anguished:
BerF! What? Are you being serious?
I don’t drink that unless… Well, I don’t drink it. :wink:
I am a late bloomer for beer. I always hated it growing up. What I learned a couple years ago was that I didn’t hate beer, I just didn’t like commercialized American yellow beer. I like something with… flavor?

Good idea. When I was working on this batch, I spent a lot of time really smelling each ingredient and trying to get a sense of it’s place. When I was visiting Ireland I went to Guinness. They had so many ways to experience the beer. One of the coolest was their room of smells. It was a white room with no apparent source of illumination where they isolated each element and what I could only describe as vaporized it so you could walk through these clouds of beer smell and smell each flavor. I loved it as it really pointed out the character. I liked it before then, but I liked it so much more after that as I got the picture as a whole.

Even this batch, smelling each item as it was being added. When I bottled the beer I was really excited as I could smell it coming together. The patience thing will be hard.

I decided on the Caribou Slobber and Dead Ringer IPA in my coming order.

Light lagers take a weird turn when you start brewing. They are nearly impossible for homebrewers to make, and crazy consistent all over the world. If you do off flavor testing, the dosing is usually added to light lagers. And hell, when it’s a humid 90 degree brew day, I have no shame in cracking a Pabst while standing over a kettle.

I think of brewing more like baking. Flour, water, yeast, and salt alone don’t tell you what a loaf will taste like, but experience and research will. It seems intimidating, but you’ll learn. I’d bet you would enjoy Bernstein’s “Complete Beer Course.” It’s a tasting guide that goes through style by style, and gives you commercial examples of standards of the style. You can learn a lot by developing your palate, and when drinking a beer, having some idea what processes bring which flavors to the party. At which point, you will wonder how new microbrewers get away with obvious flaws so often.

3 Likes

The details on “dry hopping” Bud Light can be found here:

Hop flavor wheels (and malt flavor wheels) are another way to quickly “get up to speed” on flavors.

1 Like

I brewed both “as is” and enjoyed them. Numerous people here have customized these two kits and talked about what they’ve done.

Heh. Wow. You are serious.
I mean… I suppose sitting on this side of the fence (as most folks in the world don’t brew their own beer) it makes perfect sense. When I cook red sauce from a jar, I usually tweak for flavor. We hack our food all the time, I guess beer is a naturally hackable target. It just seemed funny.

Do you think Bud Light was chosen because it doesn’t have a lot of taste to begin with so the flavor of each hop is clear, or… well I should go read it as it probably states that.

1 Like

Ha ha…
“The Bud Light doesn’t provide much in the way of flavor, so the hops really stand out.”
So he used it as a semi neutral base to start from.

"Chinook was my least favorite, pine with a big dose of cat piss. "
Baaahaahaaahaa… I couldn’t agree more.

I like the part about trying each, then start mixing.
I think it’s probably also important to make sure you have nothing important to do for the rest of the day as one is going to be buzzed pretty quickly. Sure, you could do the taste and spit, but some of that is going to get through.

Looking at other parts of his site, it looks like he already had a pretty good arsenal of hops there. I will check out the store to see what several small bags of hops would cost. @smallbatchbrewer Thanks for the tip. As silly as it initially sounded, I think this is a worthy experiment.

1 Like

@uberculture It seems that I just got a rather long reading list through this one thread. It’s a lot to take in.
Also until I get this batch complete, I really don’t know what I am dealing with. So it will be interesting to see how all the smells n such translated into the finished beer.

As to pallet, right now, I know I tend to like IPAs which tend to have a carmel sweetness vibe. I know most people want their IPAs to slap them in the face… not so much for me. I like the intensity, but not too intense. I know I like my Guinness, so stouts. I will shamefully admit while I love the Souther Tier 2X Milk Stout, I really like their Choklat Orang. I know it’s candy, but it so delicious. I am not a coffee drinker, so I don’t do stouts which get too burnt in their roasts. Hints of coffee are okay, but when it becomes a pint of expresso with alcohol mixed in, I don’t like it. I like some lighter stuff too. Fat Tire is pretty tasty. Kinda bready which I think I am finding I like.

Hadn’t considered that. My day job is editing video, graphics animation, compositing n so forth. I pick apart movies the same way. I can’t believe that they left xyz like that. It frustrates the wife, but it’s what I do. To her dismay, my son now does it as well.
So… I suppose I am about to go and ruin beer for the family too. Heh.

2 Likes

The hops will taste different after boiling and fermenting so the BL test may tell you a bit about the dry hop flavor you still need to taste the whole package. I taste my wort all the time and I can get some hints from it. Of course by then it’s to late. That’s the thing about designing a beer recipe it’s not like cooking soup. Just keep notes so you can replicate

I picked up a copy of this book - this book was a great suggestion (thanks @uberculture !). There a section on cellering beers that is worth the price of the book - it will save you the time/effort of digging the information out of “Mr Google” :slight_smile: .

1 Like

For any others who might be looking… I’ll make it easy for ya.
Click This!!! Complete Beer Course

Back to Shopping at NorthernBrewer.com