I've just opened a bottle of The Plinian Legacy (1 gallon batch) - my first ever attempt at home brewing.
Bit disappointed with the result though. The taste is good (fruity / IPA style) and so is the alcohol content. But the beer itself is flat and still very cloudy.
I followed the instructions during the boil to the letter, but after that I must be going wrong somewhere...
* Cooling the wort seemed to take a very long time, even with the kettle in ice water . It must have been at least half an hour and I've read it should be cooled as quickly as possible?
Although you want the wort to get to pitching temps as soon as possible your 1/2 is nothing to worry about.
* When siphoning into the fermenting jug it seemed very cloudy at that point and I probably got some of the trub too - should it be left to settle for quite a while before siphoning? Should the wort still be cloudy when siphoning?
before racking into the bottling bucket/bright/bottle I would move the fermenter a day ahead. This will allow for any sediment that got roused time to settle. Another tip is to use something under on side of the fermenter so it angles and you get more beer out of the fermenter. If you get into cold crashing you can move the fermenter a couple hours before as the cold beer will promote the sediment to resettle.
* After 24 hours in the fermenting jug the rate of CO2 bubbles through the airlock was around 1 every 8 seconds, but this slowed significantly by the third day.
with only 1gal and the amount of yeast that you likely used (1 package is enough for 5gals) it doesn’t surprise me that fermentation was quick. Higher temps play a role in quick fermentation as well. Best advice I can give you is to look into fermentation temp control.
* I left the brew in the fermenting jug for 3 weeks before bottling. I'm guessing this was too long and bottling should be done as soon as fermentation has finished? I've been told this is so there's still some life in the yeast when bottled?
3 weeks is not an issue. The longer you can wait, within reason, the more clear your beer will be.
* The fizz drops I added to the bottles were quite small, so maybe I should have doubled up on those too?
I have routinely heard negative things about these drops. Look into flars’s bottle conditioning ideas on this forum. Or look into bulk priming.
* Someone recommended throwing a whirlfloc tablet into the boil around 10 minutes before then end, to help with clarification. Anyone confirm this makes a difference?
this will absolutely make a difference in clarity. It promotes proteins and beta glucans to settle out. 1 tab is good for 10gals of wort so you only need 1/4 tab at most.
Despite the result, I really enjoyed brewing for the first time and I'm sure I'll get it right in future. I'm going to order another batch of Plinian Legacy ingredients and try again as I know this will be a great beer when done properly.
welcome to the forum and the treaty hobby of brewing. Lot of good info with good people here. Please feel free to ask any questions.
Any comments or advice are most welcome...