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Old 06-14-2007, 03:37 AM   #1
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Default Help how do I make beer that tastes better?

I am trying to brew beer that doesn't taste like home brew you know that distinct flavour. The beer can be very good however you always know its home brew. I have always used canned malts (most often Coopers). I have used filtered water, usually dextrose never cane sugar and I have used finings. I guess I have been reasonably thorough in trying to get a beer of "commercial" quality but have fallen short everytime. Is making my own malt the answer? I would appreciate any thoughts.

Thanks Ben

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Old 06-14-2007, 03:43 AM   #2
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You don't need to make your own malt (though of course you can). Replacing dextrose with malt extract is the best thing to do first. If you aren't already, add steeping grains to your recipes to help with freshness and flavouring.

Moving to all-grain or partial mashing is an excellent way to improve the quality and control over your beers.

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Old 06-14-2007, 03:54 AM   #3
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Excellent beer can be made with extracts. The process is key. If you can afford to and are not already doing a full volume boil that is where your biggest gains could be made. This will give you better hop utilization as well as less caramelization and melanoidin formation which are partially responsible for that "homebrew" off flavour. As bradsul mentioned using steeping grains and extract rather then dextrose will also help.

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Old 06-14-2007, 05:52 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bend140174
I am trying to brew beer that doesn't taste like home brew you know that distinct flavour. The beer can be very good however you always know its home brew. I have always used canned malts (most often Coopers). I have used filtered water, usually dextrose never cane sugar and I have used finings. I guess I have been reasonably thorough in trying to get a beer of "commercial" quality but have fallen short everytime. Is making my own malt the answer? I would appreciate any thoughts.

Thanks Ben
That is the flavor of a fresh unfiltered beer. Besides of a process improvements give your beer a time to condition and you'll be amazed with the results. Enjoy.
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Old 06-14-2007, 06:01 AM   #5
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Try DME as well as the late extract method. Gets rid of the twang. O...and try using a fresh kit out together by your LHBS or online one instead of Coopers which may or may not have been sitting a while. My thoughts only....I know good beers have been made from Coopers, too.

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Old 06-14-2007, 11:31 AM   #6
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All my beers tasted 'homebrewy' until I started really controlling the fermentation temperatures and doing full boils. That makes a huge difference. Also be sure your ingredients are very fresh. Malt extract develops a nasty taste after a while of sitting on the shelf. I have lately gone all grain and the results are even better, but the difference between extract and all grain isn't as great if you start controlling other factors such as ferm temps and boil volume.

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Old 06-14-2007, 11:44 AM   #7
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I agree with Trub and Kayos. Here are some things you can do to help your beer (if you're all ready doing them all the better)-
-full volume boil, this will reduce melanoidins
-steeping grains
-fresh ingredients, dry extract holds up better than liquid
-enough yeast, dry or liquid
-appropriate fermentation temps

As for malting your own grain it is an unneccessary and troublrsome step well beyond partial mash or all grain brewing.

(I see now that I'm repeating a lot of what mward has to say)

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Old 06-14-2007, 12:48 PM   #8
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In addition to all the great comments above, I find one MAJOR factor in your brews flavor is TIME.

Most people cannot fight the urge to drink their brew right away. Sometimes I don't touch my brews for 3-4 months.

During that time it will mellow, meld and age into a great tasting brew.

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Old 06-14-2007, 01:07 PM   #9
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Time. It's probably homebrewing's biggest "dirty little secret." When they hook you on it, they say you can be drinking your beer within like 2 weeks of when you bew it. That, while technically true, ignores the fact that you probably won't be drinking good beer. And, actually, I'm sure that most of us have been thrilled by that first taste of our first batch of green beer-- thrilled that it actually is beer, tastes like beer and we made it ourselves. It's only later when that forgotten last six-pack shows up after 2 or 3 months in the cellar and you drink it and find out is has turned into Nectar of the Gods that you realize how much a bit of aging can improve a homebrew.

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Old 06-14-2007, 01:08 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bend140174
I am trying to brew beer that doesn't taste like home brew you know that distinct flavour.
Go All Grain, use a liquid yeast strain or at least something like Nottingham, and let your beer age properly. Life will be good.
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