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Old 08-03-2008, 01:21 AM   #1
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Default Getting sick, tired, and demoralized

So I have brewed about 25 batches of brew so far, almost a year now. I started with extract and did this for a while, and I was happy but not thrilled with how my beer would come out. I have always had this trouble with generic tasting beers with none of the intended tastes coming through (thin tasting), even when aged for more than enough time. I racked my brain and complained to you all then, and decided to go PM.
I did a PM and after 4 weeks letting my wit age in the bottles, same problem. I then went to AG, and even though my recipe (a Rye) is only one week in the bottles, I can definitely start to see the oncomings of the same problem.
A few of my friends have noticed that as time goes by my beers are actually LOSING taste as the carb starts to take effect. And I have to say I agree. Its really pissing me off because all I am is passionate about my brewing and I spent so much time and money on trying to make great brews, but they all have the same sub-par end result. Im sure some of you have heard these ramblings from me before, but im at my wits end and getting very demoralized.
My water is fine because a buddy of mine who brews here makes great tasting beer, much better than mine while using the same processes, ingredients, and time (although he kegs). I have thought that its something with the carbonation and the priming sugar I use, but everyone seems to think its inert. So I dont know what to do anymore, but im sick of spending money on beer that comes out wrong no matter how hard I try. Im getting a keg system in the near future, so maybe this will help I hope (however my glass has been half empty lately so im guessing its just more wasted money).

does anybody have any advice?

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Old 08-03-2008, 02:26 AM   #2
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Could you have a brew day with your buddy? Maybe he'll notice some differences in your methods. Besides, brewing with other guys while drinking some homebrew is what I look forward to all week.

How's the stout?

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Old 08-03-2008, 02:33 AM   #3
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Have you had experienced brewers or beer judges try your beers and have they made the same (unsolicited) observations? It's possible you're being too hard on yourself and expecting to taste something wrong with the beer.

If you're methods are solid, your water is good, and your ingredients fresh, it seems odd you would have problems making good beer.

Can you describe more of what you believe is wrong with the beer?

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Old 08-03-2008, 02:38 AM   #4
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Are you hitting your gravities?

I have had the thin tasting beer issue in the past because:

A. My crush was too coarse, and I wasn't extracting enough sugar.

B. My mash temp was lower than I intended, and therefore, my beer finished too low resulting in less body.

Also try throwing a lb of flaked Barley and/or 1/2 lb dextrine in with the mash. The barley won't change the flavor, but will add head retention and mouthefeel. The dextrine is very sweet so be careful, but it adds some beautiful body to ales.

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Old 08-03-2008, 03:02 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BrianP View Post
Have you had experienced brewers or beer judges try your beers and have they made the same (unsolicited) observations? It's possible you're being too hard on yourself and expecting to taste something wrong with the beer.

If you're methods are solid, your water is good, and your ingredients fresh, it seems odd you would have problems making good beer.

Can you describe more of what you believe is wrong with the beer?
Yeah my methods are solid and I have brewed with my buddy before and I actually learned most of what I do from him, his beer is great. I suppose about the only way I can describe them is generic, almost too carbed. For example, ive NEVER had a beer that tasted malty, they only taste sharp and dry. Maybe this is the "green beer taste," ive never really known exactly what that is, so maybe I just need to let my beer sit longer? I generally do the 123 thing. However, my wit is going to be at 4-5 weeks and it tastes generic still. Is the 123 method rubbish or what? I would think that my Rye is going to only need 3 weeks, but im 100% its going to be the same story even after a month of bottle aging. Im sick of it too, I read people who have only had their beers aged for 2 weeks and they find them to be "amazing." Ive never felt my beers to be amazing even though the amount of effort I put into them should make them so. I would love for a experienced brewer or a beer judge to tell me whats up, but I really wouldnt know where to look in my town.

I could sure use some fruits of my labors.
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Old 08-03-2008, 03:09 AM   #6
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Personally I think the 1-2-3 method IS rubish. It's there mostly so new brewers can have something to try as soon as possible...

Brew one of your batches again, preferably your simplest recipe (base malt and no more than 2 flavor grains, preferably one, and a simple hop bill) leave it in primary for a month and bottle carb/condition for 3 weeks

See if it tastes any better/different...and if you brew a beer that you have some bottles left from the previous batch you can compare the 2.

Leaving my beers for 3-4 week in primary was one of the best "upgrades" to my process ever.\

But definitely find a Bjcp judge to evaluate your beer...even enter a contest for a blind judging...you should get some good feedback that way...

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Old 08-03-2008, 03:12 AM   #7
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Do usually use a yeast with high attenuation? You could try a purposefully high mash (158°) for unfermentable sugars or a yeast that leaves you with a high FG.

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Old 08-03-2008, 03:15 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Revvy View Post
Personally I think the 1-2-3 method IS rubish. It's there mostly so new brewers can have something to try as soon as possible...

Brew one of your batches again, preferably your simplest recipe (base malt and no more than 2 flavor grains, preferably one, and a simple hop bill) leave it in primary for a month and bottle carb/condition for 3 weeks

See if it tastes any better/different...and if you brew a beer that you have some bottles left from the previous batch you can compare the 2.

Leaving my beers for 3-4 week in primary was one of the best "upgrades" to my process ever.\

But definitely find a Bjcp judge to evaluate your beer...even enter a contest for a blind judging...you should get some good feedback that way...
You leave your beer in the primary for 3-4, then still secondary? And then you wait for bottle conditioning?

Maybe I just need to let this stuff sit....
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Old 08-03-2008, 03:17 AM   #9
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Do usually use a yeast with high attenuation? You could try a purposefully high mash (158°) for unfermentable sugars or a yeast that leaves you with a high FG.
Yeah I have thought about mashing high, but im more and more thinking that it just took me a bunch of batches to realize that im drinking green beer and am thus dissatisfied.

Hopefully

Basically what I am going to equate to green beer is:

Green Beer = harsh, sharp, bitter, unbalanced, hazy, thin - yes?
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Old 08-03-2008, 03:19 AM   #10
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You leave your beer in the primary for 3-4, then still secondary? And then you wait for bottle conditioning?

Maybe I just need to let this stuff sit....

no I never secondary, there is no need...with 3-4 weeks of the yeast cleaning up after themselves, my beers are jewel-like and taste really clean and crisp.
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