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Old 07-29-2009, 03:31 AM   #1
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Default Extract Twang & Aging

Ok I bottled a Blonde Ale, my first beer, on April 26th of this year. I took a lot of the advice on here and saved a six pack from each batch to age for a year. It was cloudy and had a lot of extract bite/twang. What I want to know is if the dreaded extract twang will go away with enough againg, or am I stuck with that flavor forever? I noticed that the Blonde Ale has cleared up a LOT in the 3 months since it was bottled.

I did notice that I did a late extract addition in my second brew and that definitely improved the extract twang in my second beer. I am slowly getting the itch to do AG in the future, after news that the first LHBS in my county is supposed to open in Sept!

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Old 07-29-2009, 03:43 AM   #2
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I aged an Oktoberfest ale that was extract. At first I hated it because of the twang that you mention but after a few months the flavor really mellowed and it became a great beer. I was very surprised by this and happy with the results. It was the type of thing where I threw one in the fridge because my pipe line was low and I had no other homebrew but it. I simply wanted a beer and wasn't happy with the fact that the beer I had left was my least favorite but it turned out to be a great drink. Give it some time and it should mellow.

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Old 07-29-2009, 07:41 AM   #3
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There's been a ton of discussion about the cause of extract twang and I'm still not sure. Most posters come down on the side of either stale extract, or concentrated boils causing too much melanoidin. I think late extract additions are the way to go for partial boils.

For dry yeasts, re-hydrated Safale-05 or Nottinghams fermented at the middle to low end of the temp range may help. It's hard to make a bad beer if the fermentation is healthy.

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Old 07-29-2009, 08:09 AM   #4
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I don't follow extract that closely as I went AG after 2 batches but when I was doing it I was doing small boils. I think I did 1.5 gallon boils if that's right. So maybe you are correct with the twang coming from a small boil.

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Old 07-29-2009, 11:20 AM   #5
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This is me doing 5 gallon boils and still getting the flavor. However the boil is never very vigorous and I want to get a new burner, so when the money comes available that is the next upgrade.

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Old 07-30-2009, 06:46 AM   #6
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LME and even DME to some extent, love to layer at the bottom of the brew pot. Even stirring with a spoon sometimes leaves the heavier stuff where it catches the most heat. I wonder if this could be one source of some off flavors in extract brew. Just a thought.

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Old 07-30-2009, 11:15 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by yeoldebrewer View Post
LME and even DME to some extent, love to layer at the bottom of the brew pot. Even stirring with a spoon sometimes leaves the heavier stuff where it catches the most heat. I wonder if this could be one source of some off flavors in extract brew. Just a thought.

Good call, I stir as much as I can with a huge whisk I got at a restaurant supply store. That seems to really blend in the extract well, but I am trying to keep stirring occasionally to avoid that problem...
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Old 07-30-2009, 11:29 AM   #8
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Most of the time what new brewers diagnose as "extract twang" is just another green beer issue, which then they re-visit the beer in a few weeks, when it's no longer green, they find that it dissappears.

Many believe that "extract twang" is another "beer bogeyman"/myth like HSA, and autolysis....it was just a tag that someone came up with to blame something "wrong" in their beer, when in reality they were simply drinking it too soon.

Most of the time these days all the things people claim are issues with the tang no longer really exist, since most of the time extract no longer sits for months/years on grocery store shelves like it did in the pre-prohibition days (before 1978 when it was legalized). Most kits ordered online are filled and shipped fresh, and except in the rarest instance, even LHBS's these days have higher turnover than when those can of premier malt extact sat gathering dust in Farmer Jacks and you added a pound of sugar to it, and had to hit that cake of yeast with a hammer to break it up.

That's why I saw it is really pointless to try to diagnose a or even worry about your beer until it's been in the bottle for 6-8 weeks...because the majority of those "issues" people have and misdiagnose, like "Twang" are usually gone by then.....

So of course "extract twang" would dissappear with aging...because the beer is no-longer green.

Remember just because someone, especially a new brewer, thinks their beer has extract twang, or any other off flavor the read about in a book, doesn't necessarily mean their beer really has it...especially if they are making this "pronouncment" simply based on something they read about it a book..especially if the beer is just young....and they really haven't had the experience to diagnose an off flavor.

You know, when someone is going through BJCP training they actually have a kit that they use to doctor a clean control beer, with different chemicals to create the various flaws found in beer(skunky, catty, aecetobactor, lactobasiccus, etc) then these judges have actually tasted it...not just reading about it in some book....

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Old 07-30-2009, 11:53 AM   #9
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+1 on everything Revvy said.

Also, you mentioned the beer was "cloudy", so perhaps the bite you are tasting is some yeast still in suspension.

Also, also, what was the final gravity of your beer? If it was higher than it should be, not uncommon for a first beer, then there could still be some residual sweetness which might be part of the twang you taste.

Let it condition for a while and then be amazed at how much better it tastes.

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Old 07-30-2009, 03:59 PM   #10
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+1 on everything Revvy said.

Also, you mentioned the beer was "cloudy", so perhaps the bite you are tasting is some yeast still in suspension.

Also, also, what was the final gravity of your beer? If it was higher than it should be, not uncommon for a first beer, then there could still be some residual sweetness which might be part of the twang you taste.

Let it condition for a while and then be amazed at how much better it tastes.

-Steve
+1 back to steve.

Cloudy beers and yeasty tastes are often a result of not enough time in primary or secondary...Which is again another impatience issue....Many folks rush their beer from primary to secondary as well as don't necessarilly leave their beer long enough in secondary if they do use one.


I'm not going to get into a discussion about long primary vs secondary, there is already enough information and opinions about doing either...the thing is many people rush their beer out of primary too soon to begin with.

In Mr Wizard's colum in BYO this month he made an interesting analogy about brewing and baking....He said that egg timers are all well and good in the baking process but they only provide a "rule of thumb" as to when something is ready...recipes, oven types, heck even atmospheric conditions, STILL have more bearing on when a cake is ready than the time it says it will be done in the cook book. You STILL have to stick a toothpick in the center and pull it out to see if truly the cake is ready.....otherwise you may end up with a raw cake....Even if the instructions say it should be done, it might not be.

Not too different from our beers....We can have a rough idea when our beer is ready (or use something silly like the 1-2-3 rule (which doesn't factor in things like yeast lag time or even ambient temp during fermentation) and do things to our beer willy nilly....but unless we actually stick "our toothpick" (the hydrometer) in and let it tell us when the yeasties are finished...we too can "f" our beer up.

If you use a secondary wait til fermentation is complete and even a couple more days before you move to secondary to clear the beer...Let the largest concentration of yeast start eatig byproducts of fermentation and begin to floculate out.

Atr the minimum check your grav on the 7th and again on the 10th day....if the numbers are the same, THEN move it to secondary...or just wait 2 weeks THEN rack to secondary (that's what I do, if I secondary) and leave it for a minimum 2 more weeks....

Or if you opt for the long primary/no secondary, just leave it for a month...

The yeast will clean out a lot of the off flavor stuff that a lot of new brewers call everything from "twang" to any of the other mis diagnosis.

Then leave bottle conditioning for a minimum 3 weeks (if not more) will usually take care of the rest.

Time really is our friend in brewing...
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