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Old 08-07-2010, 02:34 PM   #1
mrduna01
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Default Bitter Beer Face!

So I recently bottled my second batch. Both batches were extracts. The first batch was so riddled with mistakes that it is no wonder it tasted so awful that I can not drink it. Part of the problem I figured was that it was not a full kit, but was just some ingredients that the shop personnel through together rather carelessly and had no instructions or other insights. It had a very very bitter aftertaste after fermentation which stopped prematurely in the 1.02 range and I couldn't get it going again. It packed a bite to it that's for sure! So I tried again.

This batch was a Brewer's Best Kit. I followed the instructions and volumes down to every last one. I bottled it a few days ago and at bottling it tasted pretty damn good. I was very pleased that my second attempt turned out ok because I thought about giving up the hobby otherwise.

Skip forward a few days and in my haste I cracked one open. I knew that it wouldn't be carbonated and may have some off flavors and such as it was finishing up but damned if that same taste of bitterness and that sharp aftertaste is not present now in this batch.

Does anyone know what I could be doing wrong? I though about running a bottle out to the guy at the homebrew shop that I have started visiting whom is very knowledgeable to see if he could taste it and pick out what I am doing wrong but thought I would try here first.

Thanks for the help in advance.

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Old 08-07-2010, 02:48 PM   #2
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Just some thoughts from a fellow newbie brewer -

1. Temperate control. Is it possible that your carbonating bottles are too warm? Some yeasts can get pretty angry at temps agove 70, and some of the Belgian strains that produce nice fruit at 74 might get kind of funky chicken at 80.

With my first batch, an extract with specialty grains, I was using a heat tolerant yeast but I did not pay attention to how warm it actually got at certain points. The yeast produced an almost chemical-taste to it. It's not undrinkable, but none of the more desirable fruity characteristics of the yeast are present.

2. Bottles. What are you using to wash/rinse/sanitize your bottles. Is it possible there's some trace of sanitizer in there that should have been rinsed out and/or some sort of funk was introduced at bottling time ?

3. Time. Patience is not only a virtue, but it's a necessity with this hobby. Seriously - these folks who have been doing this for years really mean the whole relax dont worry, have a home brew stuff.. because it's true.

Put the bottles someplace cool, dark, and walk away for 4 weeks.

Think about what you might want to brew next....

Then after Labor Day, crack open another bottle and see where you're at.

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Old 08-07-2010, 02:54 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mermaid View Post
Just some thoughts from a fellow newbie brewer -

1. Temperate control. Is it possible that your carbonating bottles are too warm? Some yeasts can get pretty angry at temps agove 70, and some of the Belgian strains that produce nice fruit at 74 might get kind of funky chicken at 80.

With my first batch, an extract with specialty grains, I was using a heat tolerant yeast but I did not pay attention to how warm it actually got at certain points. The yeast produced an almost chemical-taste to it. It's not undrinkable, but none of the more desirable fruity characteristics of the yeast are present.

2. Bottles. What are you using to wash/rinse/sanitize your bottles. Is it possible there's some trace of sanitizer in there that should have been rinsed out and/or some sort of funk was introduced at bottling time ?

3. Time. Patience is not only a virtue, but it's a necessity with this hobby. Seriously - these folks who have been doing this for years really mean the whole relax dont worry, have a home brew stuff.. because it's true.

Put the bottles someplace cool, dark, and walk away for 4 weeks.

Think about what you might want to brew next....

Then after Labor Day, crack open another bottle and see where you're at.

Hey I appreciate your comments. I do not think it has anything to do with bottling temp and such due to the fact that the taste im getting was dominant in the first batch before bottling. I just don't know. I will set them aside, it just sucks because I have been at this for 2 months now and only have undrinkable beer to show for it! lol Oh well... life and beer go on I guess.
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Old 08-07-2010, 02:54 PM   #4
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... I would also add to this.. you might want to look into doing some steeped grains with your next extract batch. Steeped grains do add some character, some body to an extract batch.

I think that doing the extract + steeped grains + "add your own hops" is preferrable to opening a can and throwing it into some water. It's not too much more difficult and doesn't require any extra equipment aside from a mesh bag to steep your grains, ($1.00) and a floating thermometer to take the temperature of the water for your steeped grains.

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Old 08-07-2010, 02:56 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mermaid View Post
... I would also add to this.. you might want to look into doing some steeped grains with your next extract batch. Steeped grains do add some character, some body to an extract batch.

I think that doing the extract + steeped grains + "add your own hops" is preferrable to opening a can and throwing it into some water. It's not too much more difficult and doesn't require any extra equipment aside from a mesh bag to steep your grains, ($1.00) and a floating thermometer to take the temperature of the water for your steeped grains.
The second batch that I just bottled actually used grains in it. Maybe that is why the second batch has the same taste but is only half as bad?
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Old 08-07-2010, 04:07 PM   #6
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So it was mentioned ealier that my water may be to blame for this problem. My water profile is located at http://www.louisvilleky.gov/NR/rdonl...t_LWC_2010.pdf. Does anyone know what all this jargon means and how I may adjust my brewing to correct any potential problems?

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Old 08-07-2010, 04:58 PM   #7
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It means you have chloramines in your water, I recommend you start using bottled spring water for brewing or you could try treating your water with Campden tabs before brewing.

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And I'd like to see my 1.080 beers ready from grain to glass in a week, and served to me by red-headed twin penthouse pets wearing garter belts and fishnet stockings, with Irish accents, calling me "master luv gun," but we can't always get what we want can we? :)
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Old 08-07-2010, 05:17 PM   #8
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Do you get that from the profile or just the description of what is happening?

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Old 08-07-2010, 07:36 PM   #9
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From looking at your water profile. Chloramines turn in to Chlorophenols in finished beer, it tastes medicinal, phenolic or Band-Aid like. To rule the water completely out I'd just buy some jugs of spring water from the local grocery.

I see some other things like Flouride in the water, but I'm not sure what that might contribute to the finished product.

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And I'd like to see my 1.080 beers ready from grain to glass in a week, and served to me by red-headed twin penthouse pets wearing garter belts and fishnet stockings, with Irish accents, calling me "master luv gun," but we can't always get what we want can we? :)
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Old 08-07-2010, 07:51 PM   #10
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P.S. I can help diagnose what else might be going awry but you'll have to get your fingers busy and type out your process from start to finish. That means everything from what you sanitize/clean with to the temp you pitch your yeast at & your bottling procedure.

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And I'd like to see my 1.080 beers ready from grain to glass in a week, and served to me by red-headed twin penthouse pets wearing garter belts and fishnet stockings, with Irish accents, calling me "master luv gun," but we can't always get what we want can we? :)
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