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Old 12-26-2008, 11:17 PM   #1
micgray
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Default Is this an extract problem?

I've brewed about 6 extract brews now and the common theme seems to be that they don't have much body (a little watery) and the hops seems to make all the beers taste very similar. I've brewed blondes, reds and bocks kits from different vendors but with the same result. Now don't get me wrong I drank them and enjoyed them but I know I can do better!

Is this due to the extract kits I'm buying? I'm definitely going all grain in the spring but I still want to make a few more extracts before then. Any suggestions?

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Old 12-27-2008, 12:17 AM   #2
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It could be simply that not enough extract is being used. Try doing a not-kit recipe. Also, I received some feedback from an IPA I brewed a while back and was told the watery aspect might come from using water that is too soft. Take a look at your water report and adjust accordingly.

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Old 12-27-2008, 12:45 AM   #3
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Originally Posted by nukebrewer View Post
...the watery aspect might come from using water that is too soft. Take a look at your water report and adjust accordingly.
Could a brewer theoretically solve this by using bottled water from the grocery store? Just curious...

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Old 12-27-2008, 12:55 AM   #4
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Originally Posted by Tripod View Post
Could a brewer theoretically solve this by using bottled water from the grocery store? Just curious...

-Tripod
I'm a bit retentive and ALWAYS use bottled water. +1 on maybe adding more extract. About a pound per gallon should get a good start.

I don't know if it would solve the problem, but you would be able to subtract the water from the cause...process of elimination. Do you know how fresh the extract is?
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Old 12-27-2008, 03:15 AM   #5
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I never have this problem with extracts, either with kits or my own recipes. Can you post some recipes, boil times, boil amounts etc from the kits you have used?

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Old 12-27-2008, 04:11 AM   #6
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Here is a link to the last batch I brewed....
http://www.brew-winemaking.com/ProductPDF/3357.pdf

I hit the OG and FG and it turned out good but again not that much body and a similar taste to the others I have made.

I'm thinking its a water issue, the water I have been using is getting conditioned and softened. The next batch I'll use an extract recipe in place of a kit and bottled water and see if I can get around this. Thanks for all the great info.

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Old 12-28-2008, 03:11 AM   #7
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Originally Posted by micgray View Post
I've brewed about 6 extract brews now and the common theme seems to be that they don't have much body (a little watery) and the hops seems to make all the beers taste very similar. I've brewed blondes, reds and bocks kits from different vendors but with the same result. Now don't get me wrong I drank them and enjoyed them but I know I can do better!

Is this due to the extract kits I'm buying? I'm definitely going all grain in the spring but I still want to make a few more extracts before then. Any suggestions?
Try some Maltodextrin. It is a non fermentable sugar and it will add some mouth feel and cut down on that watery mouth feel. I used it in my last 5 or 6 extract batches before going all grain, with good success.
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Old 12-28-2008, 08:10 AM   #8
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I'm thinking its a water issue, the water I have been using is getting conditioned and softened. The next batch I'll use an extract recipe in place of a kit and bottled water and see if I can get around this. Thanks for all the great info.
Don't you have a tap in your house that isn't hooked up to soft water?? Most houses do. I see no reason to go and buy bottled water, esp when using extract. More often than not it's a waste of money.
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Old 01-01-2009, 08:33 PM   #9
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Don't you have a tap in your house that isn't hooked up to soft water?? Most houses do.
I'm a little confused by this post, Bernie Brewer.

I always thought that the hardness or softness of the water was an expression of its chemical composition local to the area. I always thought that the water was hard or soft before ever reaching your house. My understanding is that the water was either hard or soft at the source. Is that not the case?

I am not aware of taps from multiple sources in the average house unless you have city water and a well or some similar setup. Am I wrong about that?

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Old 01-01-2009, 09:12 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tripod View Post
I'm a little confused by this post, Bernie Brewer.

I always thought that the hardness or softness of the water was an expression of its chemical composition local to the area. I always thought that the water was hard or soft before ever reaching your house. My understanding is that the water was either hard or soft at the source. Is that not the case?

I am not aware of taps from multiple sources in the average house unless you have city water and a well or some similar setup. Am I wrong about that?

-Tripod
Those of us who have very hard water or lots of sulfur or iron in their water supply use a softener/filtration system of some kind. Typically, your outside water spigots and possibly utility spigots, say in a garage deep sink, are tapped before the conditioner.

I have a sodium ion replacement softener. This is just the most basic water softener system. I have had good success with my softened water using Five Star's 5.2 ph stabilizer.

I have been told that dry yeasts can affect a somewhat watery body but have not noticed any major issues with any of the dry yeasts that I have used.

+1 for trying the maltodextrin for a little extra mouth.
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