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Old 08-04-2007, 12:27 AM   #1
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Default Bad malt? or is it me?

Okay, I need help. Give it too me straight, I can take it. I have done 3 all grain batches now and the first 2 SUCKED! I still do not know what is wring with them but they both have the same off flavor/aroma. The first is the worst and has gotten progressively worse, the second tastes and sells like the first did when I first tried it.

I won't try and describe them fully unless that is neceesary, cause i tried in another post and could not figure it out. Suffice it too say they both started out with a methane (farty) gas smell, and the older one now tastes like, well, the first thing that came to mind was rubber. The weird thing is my 3rd batch is INCREDIBLE! Delicious. The only difference I can see right now is the malt.

I bought my first sack o' marris otter malt earlier this summer. That is what I brewed these bad ones with. I got it at my LHBS. The 3rd batch (good batch) a scottish ale I brewed with some golden promise I bought from Midwest homebrewing.

I am completely able to accept that I screwed up the first 2, but I really do not want to brew another bad batch if it was the malt and not me. Any ideas here? How do I know if my malt is bad without brewing another bad batch. I would rather be out the $35 for the bad grain than waste time brewing with it if it is bad. How can you tell what you got. Oh, and there was a slight weirdness when I bought it. The guy claimed he needed to put 2 bags together thus the reason the bag said crystal malt and not MO. He was not the usual guy and I am not wholly postive he knew anything about beer ingredients (my LHBS is also an AGWAY)

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Old 08-04-2007, 12:30 AM   #2
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I would start by chewing on a few grains and see how they taste. Also how are you storing them? Maybe whatever container you're using is imparting a flavour of some sort?

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Old 08-04-2007, 12:35 AM   #3
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what should they taste like? I will try that. They are in ziplock freezer bags in a large plastic storage tub in my basement. I brewed the first bad one ( a bitter) almost immediatly after buying the grain and the other about 2 weeks later.

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Old 08-04-2007, 12:45 AM   #4
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That's a good way to store them so I doubt that is an issue. I put my sacks into a rubbermaid garbage can that has a locking lid and I don't get off flavours.

The grains should taste pretty much like you think they would. Grainy. They certainly shouldn't taste like rubber or anything like that. If you've ever tasted your mash it is similar, just not sweet. Crystal malt tastes of caramel, victory tastes biscuity/nutty etc.

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Old 08-04-2007, 12:47 AM   #5
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Maris Otter, Golden Promise. Both 2 row base malts.

They should look the same, smell the same, and taste the same if you nibble a few grains. All the Maris Otter grains should also the same color. If you have grains of different color, then you probably have a mixture of two malts.

If they look, smell, and taste the same, then they should be good for brewing.
If the M.O has a musty smell, or tastes noticeably different than the G.P. then there is something wrong with it.

If you don't have any Golden Promise to nibble on, send me a PM with your address, and I'll mail you off a small sample of Maris Otter for your nibbling pleasure.

-a.

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Old 08-04-2007, 01:02 AM   #6
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I do not have any more golden promise. I do have some plain 2 row (I believe it is also english, Muntons possibly) I was going to use for my next batch. It is already cracked though so it may not quite be the same? I'll go try some now.

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Old 08-04-2007, 01:06 AM   #7
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YUM!

I do not know why I have never tasted grains before. They are really good. I tasted the cracked 2 row and the MO. They tasted like grape nuts cereal (which has always been a favorite). So I suppose they are good?

If not , I know what I am eating for breakfast tomorrow.

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Old 08-04-2007, 01:12 AM   #8
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Bad flavors: stale crackers, musty, moldy, sour. Should be hard, not chewy. When you get them chewed to a pulp, they should be grainy & a little sweet.

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Old 08-04-2007, 01:20 AM   #9
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They were crunchy. Was not hard to chew up. Really, just like grapenuts which have that sweetness. Come to think of it, I think grapenuts are from barley...

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Old 08-04-2007, 02:33 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by knights of Gambrinus
YUM!

I do not know why I have never tasted grains before. They are really good. I tasted the cracked 2 row and the MO. They tasted like grape nuts cereal (which has always been a favorite). So I suppose they are good?

If not , I know what I am eating for breakfast tomorrow.
If you want to eat it for breakfast, then it's good. I recently bought some stale malt, and there's no way that I would want to eat it. I wouldn't even let my boss sample it. (He's stupid, but not that stupid )

Unfortunately, this doesn't explain why your two brews went wrong.

-a.
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