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Old 10-10-2013, 01:32 AM   #1
brewczyk
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Default Consistent off flavor in all my homebrews

Hello All,

I've been brewing for about 2 years now and have made about 10 beers. Every beer I've made (wheather extract or all grain) have all had a consistent after taste that you don't find in craft beer. I wish I could describe it but I can't. To me it taste like "homebrew after taste." I've taken the following into account. Am I missing anything?

1) Water chemistry is good. My Chicago tap water just needs to be treated with a campden tablet.

2) My mash temps are always on point and I've never had a stuck sparge

3) I can usually get to just about a rolling boil. Usually 210 is as high as I can get

4) I ensure the proper amount of yeast cells are pitched (I use starters for liquid yeast) I always Aerate my wort before pitching

5) I have the ability to completely control my fermentation. I usually ferment at 66 for regular Ales. I increase the temp for a few degrees as the weeks progress

6) I normally transfer to secondary and then cold crash for 4 days

7) I bottle for 2 weeks. From pitching yeast to drinking is usually 6 weeks.

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Old 10-10-2013, 01:36 AM   #2
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Default Off taste in all my home brews

Hello All,

I've been brewing for about 2 years now and have made about 10 beers. Every beer I've made (wheather extract or all grain) have all had a consistent after taste that you don't find in craft beer. I wish I could describe it but I can't. To me it taste like "homebrew after taste." I've taken the following into account. Am I missing anything?

1) Water chemistry is good. My Chicago tap water just needs to be treated with a campden tablet.

2) My mash temps are always on point and I've never had a stuck sparge

3) I can usually get to just about a rolling boil. Usually 210 is as high as I can get

4) I ensure the proper amount of yeast cells are pitched (I use starters for liquid yeast) I always Aerate my wort before pitching

5) I have the ability to completely control my fermentation. I usually ferment at 66 for regular Ales. I increase the temp for a few degrees as the weeks progress

6) I normally transfer to secondary and then cold crash for 4 days

7) I bottle for 2 weeks. From pitching yeast to drinking is usually 6 weeks.

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Old 10-10-2013, 01:39 AM   #3
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This may be a stupid suggestion, but have you ever tried to make a batch with bought water (RO, for instance) to see if the flavor goes away?

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Old 10-10-2013, 01:45 AM   #4
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As shaky said, trying new water might be a good idea. Also, are you getting all of your ingredients from the same store? If it is a local place then they might not have very fresh stuff.

Any more specific info about the flavor would be very helpful.

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Old 10-10-2013, 01:48 AM   #5
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As shaky said, trying new water might be a good idea. Also, are you getting all of your ingredients from the same store? If it is a local place then they might not have very fresh stuff.

Any more specific info about the flavor would be very helpful.
I've tried R/O water as well. No improvement. I've also shopped at 3 different brew supply stores. Most in Chicago have a very high turnover rate so product always seems to be freshy fresh.
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Old 10-10-2013, 01:55 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by brewczyk View Post
Hello All,

I've been brewing for about 2 years now and have made about 10 beers. Every beer I've made (wheather extract or all grain) have all had a consistent after taste that you don't find in craft beer. I wish I could describe it but I can't. To me it taste like "homebrew after taste." I've taken the following into account. Am I missing anything?
For starters you are going to have to give a more exacting description beyond "homebrew after taste".

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Originally Posted by brewczyk View Post
1) Water chemistry is good. My Chicago tap water just needs to be treated with a campden tablet.
What does "good" mean? Again there is a severe lack of specifics here. I have seen many posts from homebrewers in the Great Lakes area and the one constant seems to be a high residual alkalinity. Pleas post your water profile. Without knowing what the actual numbers are it is extremely difficult to give you any meaningful feedback.

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2) My mash temps are always on point and I've never had a stuck sparge
Problems in that area are unlikely to cause any unusual aftertastes.

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Originally Posted by brewczyk View Post
3) I can usually get to just about a rolling boil. Usually 210 is as high as I can get
Please see above. Boiling is boiling. 212F is sea level. What is your elevation? A thermometer calibration is never a bad thing.

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4) I ensure the proper amount of yeast cells are pitched (I use starters for liquid yeast) I always Aerate my wort before pitching.


5) I have the ability to completely control my fermentation. I usually ferment at 66 for regular Ales. I increase the temp for a few degrees as the weeks progress

6) I normally transfer to secondary and then cold crash for 4 days

7) I bottle for 2 weeks. From pitching yeast to drinking is usually 6 weeks.
None of that sounds out of the ordinary.
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Old 10-10-2013, 01:57 AM   #7
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You mentioned that you get " just about a rolling boil" at 210. Are you actually boiling?

Also, are you diluting your wort after the boil? A full batch boil will make a huge difference, BTDT.

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Old 10-10-2013, 02:02 AM   #8
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I recommend not raising ferment temps. I like to keep towards the low end as the wort temp is usually 3-5 degrees warmer then your set temp.
Don't secondary let it sit 2-3 weeks in the primary (it will help "clean" up some off flavor profiles) then cold crash.

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Old 10-10-2013, 02:31 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by brewczyk View Post

I've been brewing for about 2 years now and have made about 10 beers.
You are expecting a lot if you hope to compete with craft brewers after 10 brews especially when stretched out over 2 years.


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1) Water chemistry is good. My Chicago tap water just needs to be treated with a campden tablet.
This is a telling statement. Your water may be good for a beer or 2 with only a Campden tablet but it is certainly not good for all styles with only a Campden tablet. Water needs to be adjusted to the style being brewed and in most cases acid needs to be added to attain proper mash pH. But in some cases it is alkali that is required. Depends on the beer. Control of mash pH is a sine qua non for good beer. It is often the difference between blah beer and ah beer.

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3) I can usually get to just about a rolling boil. Usually 210 is as high as I can get
If you are at 210 °F at sea level your boil is not rolling. There are definite advantages to a good vigorous boil. Your marginal boil alone is probably not wholly responsible for your lackluster brews but could be a contributor.


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4) I ensure the proper amount of yeast cells are pitched (I use starters for liquid yeast) I always Aerate my wort before pitching
Aeration isn't going to do it for most yeast strains. Oxygenation is usually required.

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5) I have the ability to completely control my fermentation. I usually ferment at 66 for regular Ales. I increase the temp for a few degrees as the weeks progress
It is the usual practice to hold fermentation temperature until terminal gravity is reached and then reduce temperature, either gradually or in a crash, depending on the style of beer being brewed. Some brewers will raise for a day or two in order to eliminate diacetyl in lagers but this is followed by a crash.

It is very hard to diagnose what your problem(s) might be beyond lack of experience. Best thing for you to do is rub elbows with some experienced brewers. Join a club.
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Old 10-10-2013, 02:47 AM   #10
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I just had my first "off-taste" that was not part of my brewing regime. It was a sanitation problem. I did not rinse my cleaning agents properly. If you could describe the taste as i.e. Chemical, sour, cardboard, etc. It would point in the direction of the cause.

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