My Smashing Pumpkin Ale Disaster

My second batch of homebrew turned out to be bad. Last week, I ended up dumping over a case of Smashing Pumpkin Ale. It just tasted bad. I have a number of theories on what may have gone wrong.

The recipe called for a secondary fermentation. At the time, I only had a primary fermentor. I had gone on the assumption that if I let it sit for another few weeks in the bottle to condition, it may be OK. I opened a bottle at the end of what I thought would be long enough. The beer had a sweet taste to it. I equated it to either a bubble gum or circus peanut flavor. I spoke to someone from Northern Brewer and he said I probably should have done the secondary fermentation, but it may turn out OK if I let it sit for a few another week or two. I did this and it just didn’t work out. Every beer I’ve tried from that batch was pretty bad.

I brewed this in August. I also didn’t have a fermometer at the time, so I had no idea what the fermenting temperature was. I pitched the yeast at an appropriate temperature. I wonder if the temperature in my basement was too hot for that yeast at that time of year. I wonder if I should have wrapped the fermentor in a wet towel to keep things cooler.

I guess it could have been something else entirely. Some sanitation issues. I thought i had cleaned and sanitized everything properly, but who knows.

Since this batch, I’ve bought a digital room thermometer, fermometer and a secondary fermentor. I hope this will help future batches turn out better.

I guess it doesn’t matter now, but I think I need to keep closer track of these things. I’m going to start a proper log of the brewing process as I go. I hope future batches don’t need to be dumped.