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Home Brew Forums > Home Brewing Beer > General Beer Discussion > My first brew. Expectations vs. results.
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Old 08-27-2008, 10:44 PM   #21
GIusedtoBe
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My first was a kit and not bad. Second was a "Red Tail" clone that tasted like the South side of a Norhtbound mule! It called for toasted crystal baked for 30 minutes at 350 F and I think thet is what ruined it but I also grossly underpitched.

The difference is that I had had very good beer before and knew mine was not so great. All of my batches since then have been good to very good IMO with the exception of a SNPA clone that I fermented way too hot and even its drinkable but weird.

Still waiting on my first AG which is in primary. I have high hopes for that one.

Regards,
Al

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Old 08-27-2008, 11:54 PM   #22
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Default Deluded or delighted...still unsure.

My neighbor and I have been tackling the homebrew hobby together. Both of us have an appreciation for great beer, so we keep eachother in check.

My first batch: I liked it. I knew it was lacking in a few areas...I shorted the batch, so instead of being an American Amber Ale it was more of an Imperial American Amber Ale. You could almost taste the ABV level, like a shot of whisky. I still wanted feedback, so I gave away 75 % of the batch to people who I thought had taste in beer. They gave mixed reviews...

My second batch: I loved it. I took a few bottles to a party, and people were pissed when there wasn't any more to drink. It was a variation of the "The Sun has left on time" recipe in Chuck P's "Joy of HB" I used Cry Havoc yeast in an effort to get a lager taste using ale fermenting temps.

Right now, I have a coffee stout and a blueberry ale conditioning and fermenting. I'm excited to see how they turn out, but like many have already said...both will be my creations, which is the greatest aspect of this hobby.

LM

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Old 08-28-2008, 12:47 AM   #23
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Today I had my first official sample of my first brew. It's admittedly young at 3 weeks in the fermenter and only 4 days in the keg, but I tried it anyway. I'd give it a solid...OK.

It's all grain, and not made from any official recipe. I just used 10 pounds American 2-row, and a pound of 60L crystal. 1.5 oz Perle for bittering, and 1 oz kent golding for flavor and aroma. The brewing process went smoothly, though I only ended up with 4.5 gallons, at 1.060. IBU's calculated at 47 or so. I used White Labs 002 (English Ale) and fermentation started quickly. After 3 weeks it was 1.011, and I kegged at 11 psi 4 days ago.

So it's not really fully carbed yet, but it does have some reasonable carbonation. It actually doesn't have any particular off flavors. No sourness or excessive fruitiness or anything like that. It just tastes like beer. I say it's just OK because it seems to lack the mouthfeel that I'd want. Some of that may be the recipe (or lack thereof) and some may be the still weak carbonation. It also has a tinge of harshness in the finish. Not over powering, but noticable in a side by side with a commercial craft brew. Perhaps that'll mellow out as time passes. As I said, it's only 3.5 weeks old. I'm not actually drinking it yet, by the way. I just sampled it.

All in all I'm pleased. it's not an award winner, but as a first effort (especially being all grain) it's plently close enough to a nice beer to keep me going. And it's already plenty good enough that I know I'll be drinking the whole batch without having to force it down.

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Old 08-29-2008, 11:58 PM   #24
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The harshness could be any number of different things, but my first guess, if it's like tea bag harsh, is that you cooked your grains a little too hot. It might mellow out, it might not. The flavor comes through I'm sure due to how simple the recipe is. There's tons of stuff you can do to improve mouthfeel, and you can get fancier, but jumping in AG is to be commended.

I'm building a mash tun this weekend so that I can go AG after the next two batches are brewed. Should save me a pretty penny in the long run.

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Old 08-30-2008, 12:24 AM   #25
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TheFlatline View Post
The harshness could be any number of different things, but my first guess, if it's like tea bag harsh, is that you cooked your grains a little too hot. It might mellow out, it might not. The flavor comes through I'm sure due to how simple the recipe is.
I tried it again today due to a little mishap, and I found that the perceived harshness was significantly reduced. The additional carbonation also helped give it some extra body. I thought it was actually quite good today, but I'm not going to start really drinking it for a little while longer.

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...but jumping in AG is to be commended.
To be fair, it's not technically my first brew. I brewed extracts years ago, but this is the first in 12 years. I'm sort of considering it my first brew since it's been so long and I'm using all new equipment and procedures. But strictly speaking, it's not really my first beer I guess.

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I'm building a mash tun this weekend so that I can go AG after the next two batches are brewed. Should save me a pretty penny in the long run.
You think?
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Old 08-30-2008, 12:40 AM   #26
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Compared to what I thought a homebrewer was capable of doing at the time (my dad made some MrBeer kits) I thought my first batch was great, in retrospect I made a lot of batches after that for a couple of years that where kind of meh. I make good beer most of the time now but sometimes you still have a batch that is so so. It's all a learning process just keep plugging away at is and before you know it you'll be making some great beer.

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Old 08-30-2008, 05:11 PM   #27
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I think Loup makes a good point. I, too, was kind of disappointed with my first batch (actually my first three). Part of it was reading about other people's superbeers on their first time out, and part of it was some bad advice from the LHBS (squeezing the grain bag is actually a very bad idea).

Anyhow, working through some earlier problems can make you more realistic and more appreciative when you start to nail some stuff. I'm now drinking my eighth batch and pretty darned impressed with what I've come up with just winging it on a recipe for Amarillo Ale.

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Old 08-30-2008, 07:10 PM   #28
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My *first ever* beer I never once took a drink of...ever. It is still in a keg in the garage "bulk aging".

My first beer that I made and drank was an AG cream ale using a recipe that I got at the HBS. I tried it along the process and let me agree that I was happy that I made beer, however it was not close to the standards which I hold myself to.

My second beer (which I am drinking now) I messed up on a bunch of aspects and it still turned out a great tasting mild brown that has 4% abv. So I look at it as a massive improvement.

Along the line of what Big Kahuna said, if I hadn't made four beers before really having a drink of my first one, I might have done very little beer in the future.

Just keep making beer people, you will make it better. Like making toast, if it is too dark set at six, then set it at 5 and try that you'll get there.

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Old 09-02-2008, 03:55 PM   #29
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I brewed some hoped extract kits fifteen years ago. None were great, but they all got drank before really coming of age.

Now I have two kits fermenting and they should be much better since they had steeping grains and hops. I've learned a lot and have a much better brewery now. That Irish Ale smelled so good-I wish my house always smelled like a brewery. I can hardly wait to get my first taste of home brew in many years.

I don't plan on winning any awards, just drinking beer. As long as it tastes better than Pabst I'll be happy.

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Old 09-10-2008, 12:38 AM   #30
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In a place like this, you have people all over the beer drinking spectrum. There have only been a handful of beers I've made that I would consider great, but I am a total beer snob. My drinking of really good beer is sort of great in a way though, because I strive to make something I'm really proud of.

I really think it all depends on what you were drinking before you started.
Ditto. I consider myself a beer snob as well. I kept hearing all these people that made "awesome" beer from their Mr. Beer kit and figured I would do one better and get myself a beginner rig at the LHBS. My expectations were so high that my 1st born beer was doomed to never live up to my expectations. It was "okay" at best.

I think it was my beer snobary (word?) that pushed me to do more homebrews. I knew I could do better then that. I learned to curb my expectations, be daring and try doing stuff that scared me.

I'm still new at this, but every beer tastes better then the last.
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