First Batch Horror stories

Have a question or want to show off your project? Post it! No Registration Necessary.  Now with pictures!

Threaded View


Don't make me feel alone here.  Surely someone else has had a horrible
first batch?
Jeff N. Cantwell
Downtown Little Rock

NRA, ARPA, Libertarian
'86, '91 300zx 2+2

Re: First Batch Horror stories


my first was over a decade ago, and it was good enough to pour on salad as
dressing!  oh so vinegarry!

i think its because of stale malt, or at least that's what i've been told.

what's wrong with your beer?  it may just need aging.


Quoted text here. Click to load it



Re: First Batch Horror stories



Quoted text here. Click to load it

watery and very malty tasting.  

It fermented to 1.014, slightly higher than the 1.009 advertised, from
1.033, slightly lower than 1.039  =/- .003 expected.   But I know I
put too much water in, and the kit was old.  

The dried malt was a brick, and the canned malt was from a bulged can,
which can't be a good sign.  

But I figured I'd make this the milk run, and learn my mistakes on
this batch.  I guess I have.  

I'll stack it under the house where its cool for a month or so, and
we'll see how it looks then.

Meanwhile, I'm ready to tackle an Irish Red.  
Jeff N. Cantwell
Downtown Little Rock

NRA, ARPA, Libertarian
'86, '91 300zx 2+2

Re: First Batch Horror stories


Quoted text here. Click to load it

Same here. Got a freebie Goldrush pale ale from brew store that was only 4
weeks off it's expiry date. Had been doing fruit wines up til then. As I had
a 30l wine primary and I notices the enticing message on the label saying to
use malt  instead of sugar if 'maximising your bucket capacity', I added
1.5kg of blond malt (instead of 1kg) and topped to 20l.

As I write, it has been bottled about 3 weeks and still tastes malty and
watery. It is definitely not pale with a draught beer colour instead of
golden. I read somewhere that malt goes dark with age so I expect that's the
cause. It has no head but is drinkable if there's nothing else.

2nd kit was a fresh Coopers Lager. I only filled to 23l this time. This baby
has come out really well. It actually tasted quite nice straight out of the
primary and has been bottled about a week now.

3rd beer is a ginger beer usingthe trub from the 2nd kit and a little cider
yeast. Used about 1kg of ginger root minced in the food processor. It's been
bubbling about 3 days. Taste tested it last night and it got the thumbs up
from SWMBO. :-)

Next will be a Coopers Dark Ale. Then will use the trub for another ginger
beer to see how it differs from the 1st.

Mike



Re: First Batch Horror stories


your bucket capacity', I added
Quoted text here. Click to load it

oops, was 30l, not 20...



Re: First Batch Horror stories


My first batch was a bit of a nightmare.

Since I didn't know what I was really doing, after 4 days I moved from
primary to secondary. Unfortunately the fermenting hadn't completed!

Sat in my keg for a couple of days, I noticed it was starting to leak. First
thing I did was tighten the tap (this is where the leak was coming from!)
This seemed to fix it.

About a week later, the leaking began again. This time, when I tried to fix
the tap the leak got worse and started to spray every where! The result was
for me to rush out and buy a new keg which I transferred everything over to.

The end result was great tasting beer, but it was weak tasting!

From here, I started my next batch. Being rather stupid, after leaving the
beer to complete fermenting in primary, I moved it over to my original keg
for secondary. I thought it would be okay... Nope! After only a day the leak
was noticed again so I had to rush out. This time I bought bottles (can't go
wrong here!)

Third time... Well I threw away the original keg! Now, I am just worried
that the fermenting was a little quick but some replies here have made me
worry a little less :D

Quoted text here. Click to load it



Re: First Batch Horror stories


I know a guy whose first 3 batches were all mysteriously horrible.
But he had been able to made decent kit wines.
At one point I asked him how he got his siphon started.
He did it by sucking directly on the tube.
I told him to stop doing that and then he had his first successful
batch.
Wine has enough alcahol to handle such abuse, but not most beers.

You didn't suck your siphon hose, did you?

Jeff
Sechelt, B.C.


Re: First Batch Horror stories


No, filled it with beer after sanitizing and rinsing.

I've been very cautious about keep everything clean.


Quoted text here. Click to load it

Jeff N. Cantwell
Downtown Little Rock

NRA, ARPA, Libertarian
'86, '91 300zx 2+2

Re: First Batch Horror stories


Jeff Cantwell wrote:
Quoted text here. Click to load it

Damn right, it was a kit!

To be honest, my first brews were quite good (considering) as they were
very simple - a couple of tins of LME and some hops.

By and by, me and my brewing pal, got more adventurous (and drunk). We
made the error of sampling our last batch and planning the next at the
same time. This led to a committee-designed beer. I had it in mind to
try for something like Deuchars IPA. The wheat set my friend off all
continental and he decided that my pot of Schwartz coriander seed would
work well. He also happened to have a handful of black cardamom seed
about his person. From my brew-cupboard we came up with this:

3kg Pale LME
240g Crystal
300g Malted Wheat
900g honey

Boil:
3oz Fuggles

Late:
2oz Kent Goldings
0.5 oz coriander seeds
1oz sha ren
1 tsp irish moss

Steep:
1oz Kent Goldings

Wyeast British Ale yeast.

Recipator puts OG at 1.055 and I measured FG at 1.012

I won't attempt to justify any of that at all.

Anyway several days later, it started to smell. It didn't smell exactly
bad, just not like beer. It smelled like nothing else so much as Vicks
Vaporub, which I think is eucalyptus and wintergreen. I gave it a taste
while checking its gravity and it was dreadful. Very perfumy.

Only two things kept me from pouring it away. Firstly, I wanted my
co-conspirator to see what he had done and secondly, I was I'll that
week and I thought the fever might be affecting my sense of smell.

My friend was in Thailand for a couple of weeks, so it was in the keg
for a fortnight before he tasted it. He was surprised at my misgivings
and pronounced it to be a pleasant - if rather over-hopped - beery beer.
My wife turned up her nose, saying it tasted too medicinal.

I still wasn't sure, but over the next couple of weeks, it began to grow
on me. It never really tasted like beer, being not only challengingly
bitter, but also contriving to be too sweet. It reminded me strongly of
a pint of bitter topped off with lime cordial. Or a shandy.

By the time I finished it, I had quite grown to like it, though I don't
believe I shall be trying to replicate it!

I also think that our rehmannia Imperial Stout was an adjunct too far,
but that's a tale for another day.


--
___________________________________________
Sam Wigand

"Quaggy River Brewery"

Re: First Batch Horror stories


My first batch was a Brewer's Best red ale kit. End result was very
cidery....stale extract. It was a John Bull extract BTW so be warned.
It was also slightly thin from what I recall. Also I made the mistake
of dipping my racking cane too far into the fermentor bucket (only did
a single fermentation) and siphoned quite a bit of trub into the
bottling bucket. This proceeded to make it way into many bottles of
beer. Also forgot to attach the racking cane tip that would have
filtered a lot of this.

I've since learned my lesson and went with Listermann as they seem to
have extremely fresh extract, reasonable prices, and they're only an
hour away.....plus free shipping on orders $35 and above. So far my
porter kit tastes great, and it's on it's third day of fermenting.


Re: First Batch Horror stories


My first batch wasn't that great.  It was too sweet when it was
supposed to be finished, and did not carbonate properly in the bottles.
  I put this down to a lack of aeration (cos I didn't aerate at all!)
and a lack of sugar in the bottles when conditioning.  I used a 3/4 cup
bag of sugar and then measured it out into a cup.  It seemed that I had
too much sugar and so I didn't use it all.   I found out afterwards
that sugar can compact quite a lot and so I should have just used it
all.

With the next batch I was obsessive about aeration and used the whole
bag of sugar.  Came out a million times better!

Recently I just brewed an extract Kolsch.  Came out cidery, which I put
down to old Wheat extract.  I cold conditioned and dumped some hops in
the keg.  Now it tastes fine.  :)

It looks like your ingredients were old.  You were brewing a very low
gravity beer and so I find it hard to imagine that it could come out
THAT BAD even if it were too young.  When others talk of having to
seriously age beers, I tend to see that they're going higher gravity or
more complex beers.  I would think that a low gravity beer should be
relatively drinkable a few weeks after pitching the yeast.


Re: First Batch Horror stories


I got a dandy.

My first AG batch.  Decided to jump in with an imperial stout.  

I guestimated the infusion water temp for the cooler.  I think that in
retrospect, it was OK, but I slapped the lid on for fear of heat loss.
In five minutes, my wife needed me to go pick her up.  I foolishly leave
the cooler for nearly an hour.  I get back and read the temp at 165.
The heat just centralized and made a dextrin mess.  Committed for the
haul, I pitched the yeast and it fermented for a little bit.  

Incredibly difficult to drink that batch.

But I did.


Re: First Batch Horror stories


I hate to rain on the parade, but I have been brewing for a little over
a year now, about 20 batches or so, and haven't had a bad one yet.  I
haven't used any "tinned" kits.  I have been using extract/grain "kits",
even did a few that I made with "recipes" that I've read from
newsgroups, books, and magazines, with a few changes.  About the only
"problems" I've had have been longer "conditioning" times for proper
carbonation.
I'm sure somewhere along the line I will have a "X" batch horror story,
but nothing so far. Just keep trying, for the most part it can only get
better.  :)

Michael Herrenbruck
DragonTail Ale
Drunken Bee Mead

Jeff Cantwell wrote:
Quoted text here. Click to load it

Re: First Batch Horror stories


Jeff Cantwell wrote:
Quoted text here. Click to load it

A friend left his brew in secondary for about six months, I think the
airlock dried out at least once, he was a bit vague about that - we
eventually tried to bottle it, but once the lid came off it smelled
STRONGLY of acetone, I kid you not.
Killed some plants that he poured it on too.

rb

Re: First Batch Horror stories


heh, my first batch was jumping head first into all-grain.  I tossed 2lbs of
2-row into about 2 gallons of water, turned the burner on high, tossed in
some hops when it was boiling waited an hour, tossed in more hops, strained
off what was left of the grain & hops (heh) into a primary bucket (1 gallon
batch) waited a week & put it into (dumped it into) a gallon jug & waited
another week.

It was god aweful...it smelled & tasted like skunks ass, or at least what
i'm fairly certain to be the smell & flavor of a skunks ass.  It looked
horrible too, bits of grain husk, hops, break, trub and whatever else was in
there (yikes), it was this aweful poo brownish-green color.

Although I will admit I have stuck with all-grain & only bought & made 2
kits because they were on sale & the shop owner (now one of my best friends)
gave me a great deal on them.

Aside from stuck wheat sparges (see my other posting), I've turned out some
pretty sweet batches since that first fateful batch.  I have come a long way
since then.

You guys have some great stories!!  The best thing is we've all been
there!!!

Kent

Quoted text here. Click to load it



Re: First Batch Horror stories


Parsnips mate
I read somewhere that you could replace hops with parsnips in beer making.
My god, it was murkey while liquid that became more foul as the beer aged.
Rather than adding bitterness, it was very sour.

Mind you, the beer was perfect for bludgers that would not take no for an
answer!

Cheers



Quoted text here. Click to load it



Re: First Batch Horror stories


I went to my (then) LHBS and picked up the goodies for a pale ale.  LME,
pellet hops, burton water salts in a little packet, dry yeast and sdium
metabisulphate in a little packet for mixing with water and sanitizing.

As it turns out, the little packet containing burton water salts and the
little packet containing the sanitizer looked very similar....

Poured the whole thing out before even pitching the yeast.


Quoted text here. Click to load it



Re: First Batch Horror stories


Doh!

On Wed, 08 Jun 2005 04:01:51 GMT, "phil"

Quoted text here. Click to load it

Jeff N. Cantwell
Downtown Little Rock

NRA, ARPA, Libertarian
'86, '91 300zx 2+2

Re: First Batch Horror stories


phil wrote:
Quoted text here. Click to load it

That's too bad... I'm assuming you added the metabisulfite to your
sparge water, or in the kettle before the boil? The boiling action
would have driven off the SO2 and there would have been no ill effects.
You could have pitched the yeast...

Scott


Re: First Batch Horror stories


Quoted text here. Click to load it

That'd be a "double doh!", then?

Mike



Site Timeline