Just made my first all-grain batch the other night and just had a few questions before I move onto the next. Based on the OG value (1.020) and a little sip I had before putting it in the fermenter, I’m expecting a fairly weak and bitter beer. Can anyone point out what I may have done wrong or what I could do better next time?
I tried to follow this recipe: http://www.howtobrew.com/section3/chapter18-2.html, replacing the Nugget with Chinook. I am fairly limited as to what I can make as I live in a country with an extremely homebrew community - all I can get are standard 2-row malts, biscuit, chocolate, black, wheat, and canadian pale ale malt.Only chinook and willamnette hops, and standard brewers yeast. I found it really hard to find any recipes with just these ingredients and don’t know what/how I can substitute.
Anyway I made an 8L batch but after mashing the wort didn’t taste sweet at all! I then sparged it over the course of a couple of hours with the same amount of water, hoping it would draw out some sugar, but I fear it only served to dilute the wort as it still wasn’t sweet and really didn’t have much flavour. Tried it again after the boil and of course it was extremely hoppy/bitter. I added some honey during the boil to try and give the yeast something to feed on. It’s now bubbling away ok so I’m confident I’m at least going to end up with beer in a few weeks.
My questions are:
- where can I find basic recipes with exact ingredients, times, and quantities?
- where can I find out suitable substitutes for ingredients?
- why wasn’t my wort sweet? Did I not use enough grain (I tried to work it out based on the recipe, converting the american units to english) or is my grain no good? (can’t get extract here) Maybe I didn’t grind it finely enough? Maybe I used too much water?
- Assuming it had been sweeter, am I right in thinking that the gravity would have been higher so it wouldn’t have taken on so much bitterness from the hops?