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DonC

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I have just cracked my latest brew - No 23. Out of all these, I would only call one better than drinkable!
The latest was a Blue Mountain Lager,using the kit yeast,and 650 G Dex (I am trying for a mid strength) Pitched the yeast at 22C, SG 1028 then 10 days at 25C FG 1006. Racked to keg, chilled to 2C then carbonated at 10 psi for two weeks - a bloody disaster!

Very hazy, smells hoppy, doesn't retain head. Been particular about sterilizing, filtered water, temp control.

Just about ready to quit! Any help please!
 

jbowers

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Where abouts do you live?
 

Hippy

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Are you using any finings? If not it's best to let it sit in the keg for a week or 2 at a low temp to let the yeast settle out. Is it haze or cloudiness. Chill Haze is caused by proteins in the beer solution, which at lower temperatures will begin to precipitate and can be reduced by using a chill haze reducing product such as polyclar or isinglass. It's usually more of a problem for all grain brewing however, which leads me to think your beer may be experiencing cloudiness from suspended yeast matter. Finings such as gelatin can be added if this is the case to pull the suspended yeast to the bottom with the help of gravity.
To aid with head retention try adding a little maltodextrin(corn syrup) with your dextrose. Dried wheat malt can also be used to aid head retention and mouth feel.
The yeast that comes with the kit may also be a bit iffy so try a better quality dried yeast. The use of a lager yeast is a bit more complicated,in that you need to ferment at lower temperatures (11-15 degrees) and then lager at 0 to -2 for 3 or 4 weeks, so try a nice clean fermenting ale yeast like US-05 and you'll hardly be able to tell the difference.
The hoppiness will fade in time so my advise is to just let the keg sit for a couple of weeks and it should start to taste better.
Hope this is a help and don't give up. Go see the people at your LHBS and they should be able to point you in the right direction.
Good Luck :icon_cheers:
 

Yob

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I have just cracked my latest brew - No 23. Out of all these, I would only call one better than drinkable!
The latest was a Blue Mountain Lager,using the kit yeast,and 650 G Dex (I am trying for a mid strength) Pitched the yeast at 22C, SG 1028 then 10 days at 25C FG 1006. Racked to keg, chilled to 2C then carbonated at 10 psi for two weeks - a bloody disaster!

Very hazy, smells hoppy, doesn't retain head. Been particular about sterilizing, filtered water, temp control.

Just about ready to quit! Any help please!

Dont give up mate, I assure you Kits, with a bit of attention can make a very good beer indeed,

one of the best things I did for my kit brews was ditch the dex (at least minimise it to max 300g), it's bloody evil shit in kit brews, replace it with Dry Malt Extract (as freash as you can get)... this alone will make a VERY noticible difference. Then there are many other things that can be done, like adding Hops into a mini boil, will freshen up the flavours and aroma no end.

Adding a bit of grain like carapils (200g) and wheat malt extract (also 200g) will fix up that bothersome head... Ive recieved many comments on the nice lacing head my Kit beers produce.

I never really worried about haze but somehow I seem to make VERY clear beers form kit and extract. Dunno why or how but I do, perhaps due to Cold Conditioning on top of the two week fermenting cycle I use, dunno

There's more but the timeclock just went off and I gotta get back to the grind.

Yob
 

alcoadam

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I have just cracked my latest brew - No 23. Out of all these, I would only call one better than drinkable!
The latest was a Blue Mountain Lager,using the kit yeast,and 650 G Dex (I am trying for a mid strength) Pitched the yeast at 22C, SG 1028 then 10 days at 25C FG 1006. Racked to keg, chilled to 2C then carbonated at 10 psi for two weeks - a bloody disaster!

Very hazy, smells hoppy, doesn't retain head. Been particular about sterilizing, filtered water, temp control.

Just about ready to quit! Any help please!

So what sort of equipment do u have?? ....just in case you do quit. :lol:



I'd also consider grabbing a fresh wort kit with a decent yeast, may help narrow down what's going wrong.
 

manticle

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Getting the temp closer to 20 would be my first approach
 

petesbrew

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Record recipes.
Replace the Dex with malt (either liquid or dry).
Try brewing different styles. Some styles are easier to make a good beer than others.
Have a go with a hop teabag, better yeast, some grain additions (coffee steep method is easy).
Have fun.
 

yum beer

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then 10 days at 25C FG 1006.

Just about ready to quit! Any help please!

your never gonna get a decent beer at those temps, 'cept maybe a saison,
you need to get your temps down, 18-20c or lower for lagers.



definetely swap dex for malt, big difference.

thses two things will make a big difference.....grains and hops even better....

even with these it can be hard to avoid that twang that kits get.
 

ianh

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Given your location two things could be problems before you start, water and heat.

If you live in one of the inland pilbara towns, hard water could be a problem especially if trying to brew something like a lager.

The second one is heat, hope your place is air conditioned even so beer is best fermented at 18-20C so you will probably need a fridge and temperature controller. 25C is way to high to ferment beer.

As others have said replace the dextrose with dried or liquid malt (wheat malt is good for head retention). What I did was make two batches of the same beer one with dextrose and one with dried malt, only used dextrose for bulk priming after that experiment.

Use a premium dried yeast rather than the one that came with the kit.

Use Gelatin to help suspend the yeast and polyclar to remove the chill haze.

I also feel it is harder to brew a good mid strength beer as opposed to a good full strength beer.

cheers

Ian
 

DonC

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Thanks everyone for your replies. I think I have tried most of your suggestions with no success, including beer enhancer, yeast food, rice malt, cluster hops, whirlfloc,

saflager w34/70 yeast, etc. Only one brew out of 23 was quite drinkable, and that was a simple Coopers Lager with 1kg Enhancer, so I thought I would go back to basics with
the Blue Mtn Lager and dex, but it was not to be.

Thanks, Don
 

manticle

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So why are you brewing at 25 degrees?

I'm pretty confident that the suggestions above (including the document I linked) should give reasonable kit or extract beer unless you have a persistent infection.

Can you give us a rundown on the exact, step by step process you are using, including sanitation and equipment?
 

Yob

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Thanks everyone for your replies. I think I have tried most of your suggestions with no success, including beer enhancer, yeast food, rice malt, cluster hops, whirlfloc,

saflager w34/70 yeast, etc. Only one brew out of 23 was quite drinkable, and that was a simple Coopers Lager with 1kg Enhancer, so I thought I would go back to basics with
the Blue Mtn Lager and dex, but it was not to be.

Thanks, Don

Most "enhancer's" that Ive used have done VERY little by way of 'enhancing' the brews and I noticed a significant change when I started to steep grains, and eliminating Dex... Dex is the evil here mate, thins the shit out af a brew and stresses the yeast if too much is used...

Replacing the enhancers with all malt is the go... combined with a specialty Yeast, US-05 is one ive had extensive dealings with and is a reliable yeast ot use. (IMO)

Ditch (or use as nutrient) the Kit Yeast (if using), as suggested though if you dont have the temps under control NO specialty yeast will work for you, you havnt stated what your average temps are for a ferment but this is also another Key issue and something that improved my Kit Beers no end.
You state you have used W34/70, presumably you can control well down to 10'c then?

:icon_cheers:
 

DonC

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So why are you brewing at 25 degrees?

I'm pretty confident that the suggestions above (including the document I linked) should give reasonable kit or extract beer unless you have a persistent infection.

Can you give us a rundown on the exact, step by step process you are using, including sanitation and equipment?

I have tried various methods but generally : Sterilize and rinse everything,chill 20lt filtered water in fermenter,( it comes out of my tap at 30C),boil 2 lt water, add fermentables,

remove from heat, add can, stir like shit, add to chilled water, stir like shit, when temp right pitch yeast,attach air lock,ferment - at least 10 days, rack into purged keg,

chill to 2degC, carbonate at 10 psi. I fermented at 25degC this time because the ******* can said so!

Thanks, Don
 

manticle

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Chill mate. Don't listen to the can. It's trying to make things easier rather than good.

Ferment at 18-20 since you have the ability to do so. Get your wort to a couple of degrees below that before you pitch, use malt extract rather than dex (or a blend of both) and keep ferment at 18 degrees throughout.

Leave the beer until it's completely fermented, leave a couple more days, drop the temp to 2 degrees for 3-5 more days, then keg it. See if it's any different. If it's better (but still not perfect) there are other things you can do but they are the simplest.

Someone also mentioned perth water which in my understanding is quite hard and may be contributing nasties but get temp and everything else working first, then get back to that (although you did mention filtered - anyway an issue for later).

It can be done - be persistent and read as much as you can.
 

DonC

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Most "enhancer's" that Ive used have done VERY little by way of 'enhancing' the brews and I noticed a significant change when I started to steep grains, and eliminating Dex... Dex is the evil here mate, thins the shit out af a brew and stresses the yeast if too much is used...

Replacing the enhancers with all malt is the go... combined with a specialty Yeast, US-05 is one ive had extensive dealings with and is a reliable yeast ot use. (IMO)

Ditch (or use as nutrient) the Kit Yeast (if using), as suggested though if you dont have the temps under control NO specialty yeast will work for you, you havnt stated what your average temps are for a ferment but this is also another Key issue and something that improved my Kit Beers no end.
You state you have used W34/70, presumably you can control well down to 10'c then?

:icon_cheers:
Yes, I started off using a lager yeast at 12degC - took forever - diacytel rest etc, and I was using all malt - trouble is I am trying to make a mid strength beer, and it turned out

dark and heavy, and bitter. In this climate I need to drink at least a keg a week, and there is no way I can brew that with 3 fermenters and kegs.

Thanks, Don
 

bum

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As far as I can tell these are the catastrophic issues as you describe them: hazy, smells like hops, no head retention.

I have a question - do you actually like beer? None of your issues are described as flavour problems. Try another one fermenting at better temps (as mentioned already) and see how you go.
 

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