Brewing Issues

What went wrong? Was this supposed to happen? Should I throw it out? What do I do now?

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Brewing Issues

Postby TJRichards » Sat Jul 18, 2009 6:52 pm

Hey everyone, I am extremely new to brewing and I have made a few batches already and they ferment great very good alcohol content but they taste like crap. I sanitize everything thoroughly and vigorously so I know that isnt the problem. I will run over the steps I am doing and maybe someone could point out what exactly I am doing wrong.

1) Fill a sanitized pot with a volume of water (usually the specified in the recipe [the water is sterile and very clean too so thats not it])
2) Bring the water to a certain temperature eg. 160F or whatever the recipe calls for
3) Add ground grains in a nylon bag into the water and leave it for about 20-30 minutes (again depending on the recipe)
4) Remove bag and sparge to bring bag up to specified volume
5) Add extract (I vary from dry to liquid extract depending on what I have available to me at the time)
6) Thoroughly mix the extract being careful not to burn it on the bottom
7) Bring to a boil
8) Once boiling Add my first hops (I dont bag the hops I just put them directly in)
9) After specified time I add the next hops
10) After boil is over I cover it with a cloth and let it cool to about 70F (again depending on the yeast and recipe)
11) After cooled transfered to glass carboy and yeast is added then airlocked
12) After fermenting is finished kegged.

Any help you can give me would be greatly appreciated. As I said I am a very very new brewer and I want to learn it the right way.

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RE:Brewing Issues

Postby Legman » Sun Jul 19, 2009 6:02 am

TJ, there are many factors which can have an effect on flavor. You'll have to be more specific than "taste like crap". :P

Read through this page to see if it fits into one of these categories. Then we may be able to narrow down what's going on.

Also, what kind of water are you using? (City, well water, bottled)
How long after fermentation are you drinking your beer?
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Postby slothrob » Sun Jul 19, 2009 6:47 am

What recipes have you used, and what yeast did they come with?

Some specific coments:
1) There is no need to sanitize anything that comes in contact with the beer before the boil. Do you use tap water? If so, have you removed the chlorine/chloramine?

6) Extract beers can develop a speciific off taste that comes from over-"carmelization" of the extract. You can add 1/3-1/2 of the extract at the beginning of the boil and the rest 15' before the end of the boil to reduce this flavor.

10) You want to cool the beer quickly. Do you put the pot into an ice bath?
Most ales taste better fermented in the mid to low 60's instead of 70's. Cool the beer to about 60-64°F before adding the yeast, then keep it below 70°F during fermentation. I hope that cloth is very clean.

12) Beer can take longer to finish than just the time it takes to obviously ferment. At the very least, the beer should stay on the yeast for 2 days after it hits terminal gravity. I typically leave an average gravity ale on the yeast for 2 weeks. The yeast will clean up off-flavors after all the sugar runs out. Even then, most ales don't reach their peak flavor until about 8 weeks after brewing.

Try to describe the flavor. That will help a lot in diagnosing the problem.
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