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theb00f

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So, I am up to my 6th AG brew - have done many a kit brew in the last 4 years and a few micro brewery bashes before that. The main driver being cheaper beer without compromising quality. So far, pretty much everything I have brewed is way better than a TED or other similar corporate bollocks.

that said, I am still looking to make a decent if not awesome beer at a reasonable price. that said...????

So I have been reading articles here and there, and without blowing smoke up your arse, I have found this forum to be of good value.

to the punch.

I purchased a dodgy mill (the sausage screw type) as the HBS didn't have a roller in stock, 25kg of Jow White Trad Ale (wouldv'e prefered Pale Malt - again not in stock locally) and some wheat malt and for some reason some Carapils - had for some reason thought it would be a good inclusion but seem to have realised I should have got some Caramalt.

I butchered and old 20L esky of the wifes and put a bung in it and made a copper manifold and made myself a mash tun (albeit a small mashtun) bought a cheap ass 20L urn off ebay, made a dodgy copper tube chiller thingy with 1/2 inch water pipe (which I run tap water through not the beer for approx 10-15 mins with a bit or wort stirring towards the end) and get the beer to a reasonable 28ish deg C before pouring into the fermentor and cooling to a pitch temp of 20-24 deg C and henceforth set out on my great beer making adventure.

Bloody marvelous!

I have stuffed around a bit with the sparge and worked out a slower sparge does help to get a better SG and that a higher temp = a sweeter finished product as the books/webpages descript.

I was/am/are looking to make an APA in the light of LCPA (my favourite - although it was better 5 years back than the current incarnation) and/or and IPA of similar but hoppier and stronger content - whatever that means < Something flipping awesome! ( a long journey I know)

Using 3.6kg of the trad malt and 200g each of the wheat and Carapils I made my first 4 beers with varoius amounts of Galaxy and Amarillo with an SG approx 1060 down to 1012 - ended up with 12L (13 preboil) for the first brew and managed somewhere between 14-16L for the others as I have stuffed around with the mash and the milling (or should I say grind of the grain). For the last two I have used Nelson and Amarillo.

So far the main issue I have had after bottling (bottle conditioning) is what initially seemed like the formation of diacetyl (butterscotch) in my beers - which in doing kit brews hasn't been a problem - however, after reading a few bits lately it could well be a factor of oxidation. Said taste wasn't there before the bottle using normal sugar and/or raw sugar. In fact, the first brew tasted awesome flat but somewhat dissipated after a week or two with a buttersctotch flavour once bottled.

Beer doesn't last long at my place... I have actually found that many a beer have tasted much better greener for some reason.

So I thought after some info on diacetyl I decided that I needed to up the temp at the end of the ferment as suggested (3-4 out of the 10-20 days depending on time available to bottle and brew etc) - ferment is generally around 18-20 deg C. It seems that my latest brew, now nearly 3 weeks in the bottle at 20-22 deg C is tasting less sweet and more metalic/blah/I will drink it anyway because it took a fair while to make and it still is better by far than a TED!!!!!!!

When I sparge, as I have small mash tun, I up the temp to 75 C (from 65-67) with boiling water and then drain slowly into the urn. The PVC tube is not always full of liquid (i.e. air is in there) when I am draining into the urn and add more 70ish deg C water to reach approx 17-18L in the urn for a 60-90 minute boil. Min hops is 45 minutes.

I have also in the last 2 brews upped the grain bill to 4.5kg of ale and 300grams of Wheat and 250grams of Carapils to try to get 18L of final brew (with 3-5lL water after cooling to reach a 1060-64 OG. I have noticed a slightly better head retention with the 300grams of wheat.

Is my problem oxidation caused at mashout with air in the tube, or is it actually Diacetyl. To be honest, I havent bothered with mash PH, water bollocks or other factors yet. As said, I have had no issues with kit brews and the 1st AG I did tasted awesome before bottling. I have also had no probs with infections - except for the occasional bottle (10 out of 1000 or so, if that! - ok, not totally sure but I am sure I have bought more than 2000 crown seals).

I am interested in any suggestions - if you wish to bash me as some seem to like then go ahead. If I can learn from your bashing then maybe I will become a better brewer. If you wish to enlighten me of the errors of my ways then I shall take heed and deffinitely brew a better beeer but can't garuantee I wll be a beter spelar is I might well be shlightly pished....

cheers.

the b00f! (not my name, it's just short for boofhead!)
 

gavinl

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Hi Boof,

Bookmark this page:

http://morebeer.com/content/homebrew-off-flavors

Diacetyl

Tastes/Smells Like:
Butter, Rancid Butter, Butterscotch, Slickness in the mouth and tongue
Possible Causes:
Diacetyl is naturally produced by all yeast during fermentation and is then reabsorbed by yeast cells. Increased diacetyl or diacetyl that is not reabsorbed may be a result of high flocculating yeast, weak or mutated yeast, over or under oxygenating, low fermentation temperatures and weak or short boils. It is generally regarded as a flaw when detected in lagers. Some brewers, and drinkers alike, desire small amounts in ales.

How to Avoid:
Taking the following steps will help yeast to properly reabsorb diacetyl in wort: Yeast that is highly flocculant may fall out of suspension before it gets a chance to absorb the diacetyl, using medium flocculation yeast should give the yeast a good chance to absorb diacetyl. Always use high quality yeast and avoid weak or possibly mutated strands that may be incapable of handling diacetyl properly. Allow yeast to begin initial growth with the use of a yeast starter. Supply sufficient oxygen for yeast growth, but avoid over oxygenating especially after pitching yeast. Allow enough time for yeast to fully ferment at appropriate temperatures.
 

theb00f

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thanks for that Gavin. I had read about said causes of Diacetyl and would have thought it would appear before bottling? I have warmed up my latest brew to 24 deg C and am yet to bottle - it tasted good 3 days ago.

My issues could be from what I understand to stem from either a dodgy boil - although I do boil for approx 90 minutes - but it may not be vigorous enough?

The yeast I have used (many times) is Safale US-05 and recently tried a smack pack of Wyeast American II. I have pitched using 750ml of slurry from the remainder of the brew before - again I have done this many times before with kit brew with no issues. Fermentation goes off like a rocket with the large yeast pitch.

Another thing that could be an issue is that I tend to pour the 30deg wort out of the urn into the fermentor (and have also cooled it in the fridge overnight to get down to 20deg (covered with glad wrap) - I haven't bothered to let the trub settle and drain slowly through the tap and have poured the lot in! One article I have read mentioned that sitting on the trub for too long can be problematic.

So for my next brew I will be trying to reduce air contact to the wort when sparging, get a better boil from my dodgy urn (do a smaller brew) and also leave the slop in the bottom of the urn.

BTW, I have also worked out (as others have posted) that you need to clean the element between boils or the urn cuts out just as it starts to boil. however, almost no boil to what seems a decent boil hasnt made much of a difference to the end product.

So if anyone has had a similar experience I am all ears...

Currently enjoying a slightly sweetish ale but wishing it was better (bitter as my wife would say - she is from NZ)!
 

manticle

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What yeast are you using? Some people have noticed diacetyl when they use US05 (I haven't but not sure where my sensitivity levels lie - I need to find a definite diacetyl laden beer and have it pointed out to me so I will remember it forever).

If it is diacetyl and it's not infection related and you are bottle conditioning, it should dissipate with some time and contact with the yeast.

Just because you've been infection free till now doesn't rule it out.
 

theb00f

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I haven't had an infection yet...? I did have a porter go bad due to crap kit yeast on my 3rd kit brew a few years back!

My brew fridge grows a bit of mold due to the high humidity - going to drill a hole in it for the fermentor to vent out. I get mold on the outside but doesn't get inside of the fermentor. No mould in the airlock either, which I think is a good thing. The bottles are squeaky clean on the inside with no green bits after a quick rinse. I have had a couple of not quite clean bottles grow little boogers which help to over carbonate the beer - easy to work out it has gone bad when it goes nuts!

I have used the US-05 with no problems doing kits. The butterscotchy taste appears a few days after the sugary taste dissappears (from bottle conditioning) - although it seems as if it is slowly going away after 4 weeks in the bottle, I think it got worse before it started to get better?
 

manticle

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I use US05 all the time with no dramas too but people have mentioned it (diacetly). Might be threshold sensitivity, might be batch related.
 

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