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Home Brew Forums > Home Brewing Beer > Extract Brewing > Beer tastes a little "thin"
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Old 02-21-2011, 12:24 AM   #1
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Default Beer tastes a little "thin"

This is now the second time I've brewed something that's come out tasting thin, like there's malt and hop flavor but no "base". Both were extract and steeping grains. The first was a Morebeer Irish Red, and the second was Jamil's mild. Nothing else I've brewed has come out like this, from blonde ales to stouts. Any thoughts as to the cause?

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Old 02-21-2011, 12:41 AM   #2
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Originally Posted by belmontbrew View Post
This is now the second time I've brewed something that's come out tasting thin, like there's malt and hop flavor but no "base". Both were extract and steeping grains. The first was a Morebeer Irish Red, and the second was Jamil's mild. Nothing else I've brewed has come out like this, from blonde ales to stouts. Any thoughts as to the cause?
Well, the first question would be what were the final gravities on these beers? If they were lower than expected for the kit, then that will probably point us in the right direction.

If they seem good for the kits, then I'd wonder how the carbonation was. Carbonation makes a big difference in mouth-feel.
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Old 02-21-2011, 02:50 AM   #3
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So, I don't really take gravity readings anymore. I could never use my hydrometer accurately, and figured it didn't matter that much for extract. Neither of these was infected, and I didn't think I could beat the estimated attenuation given my amateur fermentation control.

Carbonation for both was actually a little less than expected. I suppose that, along with the thinness, they seemed a bit flat.

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Old 02-21-2011, 03:01 AM   #4
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So, I don't really take gravity readings anymore. I could never use my hydrometer accurately, and figured it didn't matter that much for extract. Neither of these was infected, and I didn't think I could beat the estimated attenuation given my amateur fermentation control.

Carbonation for both was actually a little less than expected. I suppose that, along with the thinness, they seemed a bit flat.
Has anything else in your process changed?

Higher fermentation temperatures can mean more attenuation, and of course every fermentation is different, so it is certainly possible to beat the estimated attenuation for the recipe (just as it is possible to fall short).

There are a few other possibilities, one could be that incomplete mixing in of your extract during the boil caused some to scorch onto the pan, and then that might get tossed out with the trub, lowering your OG (which then of course means a lowering of your final gravity).

If you top off with water before bottling, you may be leaving more beer behind with the yeast and diluting it. Or if you are using way more water than you need to for boiling your bottling sugar. But you'd need to be adding something on the lines of half a gallon, I would think, to cause a noticeable difference. I suppose a combination of all of these could add up to a few points lower gravity at bottling time than intended..
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Old 02-21-2011, 03:25 AM   #5
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Did you start using irish moss or whirlfloc? Some of the extracts have large amounts of maltodextrins. If you changed to a different maker, you might be getting a more fermentable product which will give you a lower FG, and less body.

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Old 02-21-2011, 03:42 AM   #6
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These two batches, compared to other times I've used English ale yeast, fermented at lower temps. The pitch was in the low 60's and I let it free rise to 70. Other times I've used english ale it's been kept roughly at 68-70 the entire time.

This might be totally irrelevant, but I think these two were the only beers I've made that have crystal malt as the major steeping grain. I steep by leaving the grain bag in the pot with 3 gallons of water until it hits 170 (and at least 30 minutes has elapsed since flame-on). I usually go for the roasted or kilned malts.

My bottling sugar gets boiled with a pint or less. It could be scorching, but I never notice any burnt stuff at the bottom of my pot. The first time, I chalked it up to Radom chance. But a year later, it's happened again! Come to think of it, the last time this happened was last February/March... My fermentation is cold-blooded, so maybe it is the temperature.

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Old 02-21-2011, 03:42 AM   #7
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I've had that happen to me as well. I've always felt like the thinness of an extract beer came from drinking it too soon. For some reason, just leaving it in the bottle to age a little seemed to help the beer fill out a little better and develop a better mouthfeel.

Also, make sure you give it at least a couple of weeks at room temp to get the carbonation really going.

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Old 02-21-2011, 02:04 PM   #8
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I've had that happen to me as well. I've always felt like the thinness of an extract beer came from drinking it too soon. For some reason, just leaving it in the bottle to age a little seemed to help the beer fill out a little better and develop a better mouthfeel.

Also, make sure you give it at least a couple of weeks at room temp to get the carbonation really going.

I agree with the poster above.

My first beer that I brewed tasted a little thin at first, but letting it age a little longer and it has smoothed out to a really nice beer and not thin at all. Give it a little more time and it should taste much better.
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