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Old 12-11-2012, 06:18 PM   #1
schwibbidy
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Hey guys ill get straight to the problem, I'm going on to my third homebrew and my first two haven't been up to par for what I think a craft brew should be. I've been extract brewing with about a 30 min boil beforehand where I steep some grains. My beers aren't very full bodied and the tastes are on the sour side, I made sure to use good sanitation after my first batch but I get a sour apple/ cidery almost wine taste on my second batch. I've read that it might be because of acetelahyde or whatever and I just need to age it longer

The QUESTION I had is.....

Will all grain brewing help fix these problems and take my beers, which are drinkable, to a higher level where I will be able to have a craft brew that my friends and family will enjoy because I feel like I'm doing every step right and it just doesn't make a gooooood beer

THOUGHTS??

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Old 12-11-2012, 07:07 PM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by schwibbidy View Post
I've been extract brewing with about a 30 min boil beforehand where I steep some grains.

THOUGHTS??
If you are boiling steeping grains that might be a problem. Steep at 150. Maybe you didn't mean to write that your boiling them but if you are, that is probably your problem.
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Old 12-11-2012, 07:12 PM   #3
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Lots of people make very good beers from extract or martial mash, I did for a long time!

What type of yeast did you use?

Are you using a hydrometer to measure your starting and final gravities? This could give you good insight.

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Old 12-11-2012, 07:15 PM   #4
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There are lots of folks here that brew extract beer that's awesome stuff. You do have more control over flavors and process with all-grain. But you can certainly make excellent beer without going all-grain. If you do decide to go all-grain, I'd start with the BIAB route. It's easy to get into, doesn't require much for equipment over extract, and can certainly make excellent beer.

I'd also agree with jcam91 that, if you boiled your steeping grains, that could be the problem. You're supposed to steep well below boiling, or else you extract a lot of undesirable flavors from the grain.

Just a quick word of advice: post what you need help with in your title, rather than just putting "HELP!!!" That way we'll know what you need help with.

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Old 12-11-2012, 07:16 PM   #5
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You should be able to make a great beer, whether with extract, partial mash, or all-grain. If you're using good ingredients (of whatever kind) and have good brewing processes, good beer should follow.

You want to avoid boiling grains, since high temperatures can potentially lead to tannin extraction and give you and unpleasant astringency. Steeping at 150-155 F is typically recommended.

Finally, how old is it? Time will help heal most beer wounds, so if it tastes cidery, it may just be a function of it being very green and needing to condition longer. I personally would recommend at least 6 weeks (3 in fermenter, 3 in bottles) for normal strength beers before you start to make any real evaluations (but who can resist trying a bottle or two early).

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Old 12-11-2012, 07:19 PM   #6
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If your specialty grains are exposed to heat above 170, it will release bad flavors. Keep your heat around 160. Remove grains, then boil with extract.

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Old 12-11-2012, 07:22 PM   #7
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the best i can tell the secret to delicious, enjoyable brew is two fold -

1) pitching enough yeast
2) fermenting at the appropriate temperature

how do you stand on these two items?

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Old 12-11-2012, 07:22 PM   #8
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If you aren't getting good beer at the extract stage, all-graiin will just add many more things that can go wrong. Fix this first then consider moving on.

Here is a page on the forums on acetaldehyde.

Replace any hoses that contact your beer--hoses are a cheap fix. If you use a bucket fermenter replace it. If there are scratches in the plastic, your sanitizer may not be reaching them. Anything plastic that touches your finished beer should be replaced.

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Old 12-11-2012, 07:39 PM   #9
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Sounds like you just need to get your basics in the right order and these guys nailed it for ya.

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Old 12-11-2012, 07:55 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by progmac View Post
the best i can tell the secret to delicious, enjoyable brew is two fold -

1) pitching enough yeast
2) fermenting at the appropriate temperature

how do you stand on these two items?
+1. Also leave your beer in the fermenter for at least 2 weeks (I usually go 3-4, personally) to make sure the yeast have ample time to clean up after themselves and remove any compounds that may be giving you off flavors.
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