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Home Brew Forums > Home Brewing Beer > All Grain & Partial Mash Brewing > Will switching to AG alleviate that "homebrew" taste?
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Old 08-16-2012, 12:12 AM   #51
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Originally Posted by Mikey_Dawg View Post
I've been brewing for almost 7 years now and have gotten pretty decent at it but I have never moved past partial mash brews. Even still, at times I still get that "homebrew" taste that reminds me that I am not producing commerical quality beers just yet.

The "homebrew" taste is more evident in some beers than others and IMO seems to get worse the longer I keep my beer stays in the keg.

Will going to AG minimize that taste I am referring to? I plan to do it very soon, but am trying to wrap up a huge basement /bar project I've been working on all year first. Thoughts?
The "homebrew' taste to which your are alluding can in some cases be aggravated by extract brewing but extract brewing is not necessarily the problem. Most extract homebrewers are doing partial boils and this alone can cause the "caramelly", too sweet flavor that many of us have encountered. A full boil brew combined with proper wort chilling will dramatically improve most extract beers.

Off flavors, particularly phenolic which is very common, are usually tied to improper sanitation and/or poor temperature control and/or underpitching yeast. Bad recipes are another common culprit. While it doesn't seem to happen as much as in years past (I'm an old SOB and have run across a lot of bad homebrew) there are still lots of awful recipes out there and making one without realizing its deficiencies will not make a quality beer even with good technique.

Anyways, all things being equal and not to start any debate, assuming you are already applying the best techniques, ingredients and recipes if you switch to AG you could make better beer. However, if you have a problem in the process and do not fix it simply going AG isn't going to bring you the cure.
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Old 08-16-2012, 01:51 AM   #52
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You are correct. I really am happy with 95% of the beers Ive made over the past 4 or 5 years when I really felt like I got past the learning curve of home brewing (at least in the partial mash style).

Last night I poured a couple strawberry blondes that I made a few months back and A) It was excellent B) I did not notice this taste.

I also have a Rye Pale Ale on draft that I had a week or so ago (that is even older than the SB) and when I poured one of those I did notice the taste we are discussing. I still drank the beer and enjoyed it very much but if I had any complaint about the beer, that would be it. I dont recall noticing it with a Cascade IPA I have on draft right now though.

Could this taste develop as the beer ages? That was my first thought when I tasted it as I simple dont recall the taste when the beer was more fresh.

At the end of the day, all I was really asking is will AG batches improve my homebrew vs. extract. This is the only complaint I have about my beer and like I've pointed out, I dont notice it more times than I do which really only makes it harder to pinpoint.

I've got some good info out of the discussion though. I am planning on moving to AG regardless sometime in the next year as it is long past due. Probably start with a simple BIAB setup to get the ball rolling. But right now, I am building my brewing domain in my basement so I want to get that done first.


I have read the thread and did not realize how prevelant the homebrew taste is. I will monitor my own brews. For this as I progress into AG. Thanks for the education.
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Old 08-16-2012, 03:08 AM   #53
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Are you racking to a secondary fermenter? I am just getting started on brewing but this seems to keep the beer off the trub to avoid off flavors. I suppose if you still have trub or excessive yeast left in the beer when you keg it, it could agitate again and start doing who knows what.

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Old 08-16-2012, 01:57 PM   #54
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1. Process
2. Sanitation
3. Quality of products

I don't think going from extract to all grain will necessarily make better beers if the above items are not aligned. You do however have more control in what you are making. Who knows what went into the DME or LME that you are buying. Like stated above though, many have won awards with extract brewing. The thing that is nice about AG is that you know everything that went into that beer. One thing I have noticed in some of my beers is an off flavor that I do not care about. I went back through my notes and I am trying to pinpoint the problem and I believe it is Cascade hops. I'm not a big fan of Hoppy beers, but I noticed I am not too paticular about beers with cascade. something about it just stands out

One thing to try would be to make two identical beers, one all grain and one with extract, then do a blind taste test. it's amazing how much your percetion changes when you don't visually "see" what you are drinkng.

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Old 08-16-2012, 04:36 PM   #55
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Originally Posted by BigEd View Post
Anyways, all things being equal and not to start any debate, assuming you are already applying the best techniques, ingredients and recipes if you switch to AG you could make better beer. However, if you have a problem in the process and do not fix it simply going AG isn't going to bring you the cure.
I wouldn't make that assumption. In fact, I would suggest if he's making bad beer with extract, he will make REALLY bad beer with AG. The AG process complicates things tremendously. I brewed extract for 20 years before going AG in the Spring of 2011. I was making consistently awesome brews in my opinion with extract. Only switched to AG to add more excitement to my brewing. My advice is for him to fix his "homebrew" taste problem (whatever that mean) before switching to AG.
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Old 08-16-2012, 04:58 PM   #56
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I wouldn't make that assumption. In fact, I would suggest if he's making bad beer with extract, he will make REALLY bad beer with AG. The AG process complicates things tremendously. I brewed extract for 20 years before going AG in the Spring of 2011. I was making consistently awesome brews in my opinion with extract. Only switched to AG to add more excitement to my brewing. My advice is for him to fix his "homebrew" taste problem (whatever that mean) before switching to AG.
I agree. There are more variables involved in AG brewing that can really mess things up and are more difficult to diagnose and fix to improve.

As I mentioned much earlier, there are many accomplished brewers doing all extract and brewing award winning beer!

If you can't make great beer with good,fresh, extract kits or recipes you will be hard pressed to fix it by going AG.

IMO it is best to figure out exactly what is going on in your extract technique and fix it first. Freshness of ingredients, cleaning/sanitizing, fermentation temperatures, pitching rate, making starters, water quality and final packaging are all things that need to be broken down and looked at. Once all these aspects are improved upon the beer too will improve!
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Old 08-16-2012, 06:06 PM   #57
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Another peeve I have with the original poster, when I look at this listing of "“Off” Flavors In Beer", I don't see that "homebrew" taste in there anywhere. To me, it would make sense to identify what that "homebrew" taste really is and then address that.

http://morebeer.com/public/pdf/off_flavor.pdf

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Old 08-16-2012, 06:38 PM   #58
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Another peeve I have with the original poster, when I look at this listing of "“Off” Flavors In Beer", I don't see that "homebrew" taste in there anywhere. To me, it would make sense to identify what that "homebrew" taste really is and then address that.

http://morebeer.com/public/pdf/off_flavor.pdf

Sorry to peeve you, but if you've read through the thread, I am not the only person that has experienced the taste I am describing.

Perhaps I should have worded my initial question better, but all I was really asking was "is there an obvious taste difference when moving from extract HB to AG HB?"

The simple answer would have been "No"...or "It shouldnt"... But overall, a few things have been brought to light in this thread that I think will be helpful...so..<shrug>

Also, who is to say I am making a bad Extract beer at all? I simply stating that from time to time in certain beers, I notice a slight off taste that I wanted to identify....and thought maybe, just maybe, it was a taste associated with using extracts.
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Old 08-16-2012, 06:54 PM   #59
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Originally Posted by Mikey_Dawg View Post
Sorry to peeve you, but if you've read through the thread, I am not the only person that has experienced the taste I am describing.

Perhaps I should have worded my initial question better, but all I was really asking was "is there an obvious taste difference when moving from extract HB to AG HB?"

The simple answer would have been "No"...or "It shouldnt"... But overall, a few things have been brought to light in this thread that I think will be helpful...so..<shrug>

Also, who is to say I am making a bad Extract beer at all? I simply stating that from time to time in certain beers, I notice a slight off taste that I wanted to identify....and thought maybe, just maybe, it was a taste associated with using extracts.
Why don't you want to find out what this mystery flavor is and how to correct it?
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Old 08-16-2012, 06:56 PM   #60
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Why don't you want to find out what this mystery flavor is and how to correct it?
Stop. You're getting to the point of harassment.

This is a forum for discussion, not for inquisitions. Either post to be helpful, or walk away. Thanks!
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