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Old 12-05-2007, 08:00 PM   #1
drevilz4l
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Default Honey Brown Ale tastes very odd

I recently made a honey brown ale. I primary fermented for 2 weeks, and secondary for 2 more and bottled. It has been bottled for 2 months now. The beer does not taste good at all...the best way I can describe it would be like coffee. It seems that the yeast hasn't settled very well either, as ever in the bottom of my glass there is a pretty significant amount of yeast. The only thing I can think of was that the ingredients were stale. The LME and DME were about 2 years old (From an unused kit that was donated to me, figured I'd save some money)...I was told by my local brew shop that as long as they were still sealed, and the LME has no dents in it, that they should still be ok.

Here is the recipe from memory. I will repost it exactly when I get home from work.

5 Gallons of Spring Water
4 pounds of Muttons Dark DME
3 Pounds John Bull Amber LME
1/4 lb Black Patent Malt (Pre Boil)
1/2 lb Chocolate Malt (Pre Boil)
1.5 lbs of Honey
Hops I'm not sure of, but they were not excessive in any way. (will post them later)

I sparged specialty grains till boil. Then added DME and hops (bittering and aroma). I added honey in last 15 minutes of boil. I then cooled quickly and added to the primary fermenter and topped to 5 gallons. Fermented 2 weeks in primary, and 2 in secondary. Added 3/4 cup corn sugar, and bottled in 16 oz grolch containers. I tried the beer every week, and the flavor never improved. The beer ir also very overcarbonated. When I open one it will foam for like 30 seconds and overflow all over the place, even when chilled.

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Last edited by drevilz4l; 12-05-2007 at 08:11 PM.
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Old 12-05-2007, 10:30 PM   #2
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Given that you started with almost 60% dark DME and then added a 1/4 lb Black Patent Malt, I'm not surprised at the flavor.

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Old 12-05-2007, 11:29 PM   #3
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Yeah I guess I see your point. I actually originally had about 5.5 lbs of extract but someone I know told me to add more, so thats the last time I take advice from them.
Do you think that If I had cut the DME down by like a pound and a half that the flavor would have been significantly different?

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Old 12-06-2007, 11:40 PM   #4
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I probably would've replaced the amber and dark with light extract.

The black patent will give you a lot of roasty / coffee flavor too, you might want to consider dropping that and replacing it with some honey malt instead.

Awhile back I did a Honey Brown style too, but it had no honey flavor despite adding real honey to the recipe. The problem with honey is that it tends to ferment out completely and not leave behind a whole lot of flavor whereas if you use the malt, you'll get more of the honey flavor you're desiring.

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Old 12-07-2007, 11:22 AM   #5
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That should like a good idea, I may have to try that next time.

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Old 12-07-2007, 12:31 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by drevilz4l
It has been bottled for 2 months now. Fermented 2 weeks in primary, and 2 in secondary.
Well, after 3 months, I'd say your honey should just about be done fermenting now... It's time to bottle.
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Old 12-13-2007, 04:03 PM   #7
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Quote:
The black patent will give you a lot of roasty / coffee flavor too, you might want to consider dropping that and replacing it with some honey malt instead.
A Honey Wheat that I did using a pound of honey (added after boil) came out well, but didn't have much honey flavor. I was thinking about trying honey malt in my next batch. How much of this is needed for a slight honey taste?
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Old 12-13-2007, 04:27 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by drevilz4l

.....I sparged specialty grains till boil....
You didn't boil the grains did you? If so that temp was too high and may contribute to some tannins.
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Old 12-13-2007, 04:47 PM   #9
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Do you know what the storage conditions were like for the LME?
Even in a properly sealed container, it can continue to darken in color,
and change flavor, in temperatures far lower than you might think.
I came across a great article on this subject recently, I will see if I can
find it again, and post it if I do.

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