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Home Brew Forums > Home Brewing Beer > Extract Brewing > Brewing with a local unknown brand extract
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Old 07-09-2009, 11:16 AM   #1
laz
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Default Brewing with a local unknown brand extract

Hello there, I am new here!

I decided to brew with a cheap local brand of liquid extract and i'm a bit concerned. It was this really thick liquid and it tasted really sweet and the smell could be described as "starchy".

Anyway, the reason I'm concerned is that the instructions say that it only needs to ferment for 12 hours. I know someone who did ferment for 12 hours and said it tasted like kvass (A virtually non alcoholic soft drink.). Also, this person's batch got ruined in about 3 days (Or at least, he didn't like it and threw it down the drain. He was also new to this and probably didn't take any sanitizing precautions.)

Anyway, it's been nearly 24 hours since it started fermenting and i decided to check on it. It's been fermenting quite violently of late (2,5 pea sized bubbles per second in a 10 liter bucket). It has turned from an opaque brown to a quite nice yellow. The taste was...Distinctly alcoholic. Maybe too alcoholic - another reason for my concern. I could be wrong, but it tasted almost like wine. .

I also added ca 200g of sugar to the concoction.


Anyway, I was wondering if anyone has any helpful information to share regarding my batch

Rock on

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Old 07-09-2009, 11:50 AM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by laz View Post
Hello there, I am new here!

I decided to brew with a cheap local brand of liquid extract and i'm a bit concerned. It was this really thick liquid and it tasted really sweet and the smell could be described as "starchy".

Anyway, the reason I'm concerned is that the instructions say that it only needs to ferment for 12 hours. I know someone who did ferment for 12 hours and said it tasted like kvass (A virtually non alcoholic soft drink.). Also, this person's batch got ruined in about 3 days (Or at least, he didn't like it and threw it down the drain. He was also new to this and probably didn't take any sanitizing precautions.)

Anyway, it's been nearly 24 hours since it started fermenting and i decided to check on it. It's been fermenting quite violently of late (2,5 pea sized bubbles per second in a 10 liter bucket). It has turned from an opaque brown to a quite nice yellow. The taste was...Distinctly alcoholic. Maybe too alcoholic - another reason for my concern. I could be wrong, but it tasted almost like wine. .

I also added ca 200g of sugar to the concoction.


Anyway, I was wondering if anyone has any helpful information to share regarding my batch

Rock on
Well your extract should be a thick liquid and taste sweet so no problem there. You should probably leave it alone for a couple of weeks and see how it turns out. You shouldn't be tasting it after 24 hours anyway.
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Old 07-09-2009, 12:23 PM   #3
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Not sure what the ferment for 12 hours comment means. Most worts are just coming up to speed at that point, and many haven't even begun yet.

There is pretty much nothing you can tell about your beer by tasting it at 24 hours. The yeast still have a lot of work to do. They will still convert a lot of sugar to alcohol, and when they are done with that they will begin cleaning up the byproducts they made converting the sugar. After the primary is done which will be 1-2 weeks depending on if you are going to secondary, then you can taste it and have a rough idea of the flavor profile. It will still change as it conditions however.

Was the extra sugar you added in the recipe? Was it corn or regular? Mostly the sugar adition will just add alcohol and move the profile a little more towards the dry side. As to the extract you bought, it's hard to know exactly what is in it. Some of it is high quality extract, and some manufacturers sneak in some low grade sugars to beef up the volume as they are cheaper than malt extracts. If you are suspect of the quality, try a different source for your next batch.

The best thing you can do is go buy a couple six packs of your favorite beer and let the one you just made sit a bit. I bet it turns out just fine.

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Old 07-09-2009, 12:38 PM   #4
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Thanks for the replies!

I ignored the original instructions manual as i'm sure this is just regular malt extract and proceeded using a basic outline of beermaking.

Here's the recipe on the back of the bottle:

Quote:
We recommend mixing this malt extract with 10 liters of boiled and cooled water (25 c). Add 15g of yeast to concoction which has previously been activated in a sugary water. Let ferment no longer than 12 h at room temperature. After completion seal hermetically and store in a cool place.
Pretty daft, really.


I added the extra sugar 'just in case'. It wasn't using any recipe in particular. I just used 1 lbs of extract per gallon rule and added some sugar to it.

It was fermenting so crazy yesterday that i had to put music on in the night as it was hard to sleep with the airlock bubbling (It was consistently throwing 2.5 bubbles per second and had bursts, or 'farts', every couple of minutes where it was particualrily intense. Now i just checked and it looks like the proccess has slowed down significantly. I think it may have something to do with temperature. Ah, who knows.

So i read that under good conditions the beer may be complete in 3 days, but can take up to 2 weeks?
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Old 07-09-2009, 12:46 PM   #5
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Are you exited to try it? LOL

Under good conditions you may have all the sugar fermented in 3 days, but you ain't gonna want to drink that! The initial conversion to alcohol causes a lot of secondary byproducts that the yeast then begin to clean up. Because you brewed a pretty simple beer you may be able to bottle it after 2 weeks if you are in a hurry, but the yeast has to have time to clean up the beer, and the beer has to have time to condition a little. If you are going to bottle the beer you will have to add another week or two for the bottles to carbonate. If you are going to keg, you could have drinkable beer in 3 weeks.

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Old 07-09-2009, 12:53 PM   #6
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Ah, understood

So one last question for now...It's alright to bottle the beer into plastic PET bottles? I don't have the equipment for glass bottling (I thought it wasn't a good idea to buy the bottling equipment for my first try.)

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Old 07-09-2009, 02:55 PM   #7
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PET bottles are fine and they let you check the carbonation without opening the bottle.

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Old 07-11-2009, 01:14 PM   #8
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Hey there guys,

So it's been 3 days since i started fermenting and my airlock has stopped bubbling altogether at room temperature (Currently 22 degrees). I opened up my bucket and discovered, that the beer is quite nice and brown in colour and there's really little foam (there's these spots of really frail foam, which on a photo looked a bit like mould ).

The reason i am worried, is that usually when i've seen pictures of people's carboys, there's a nice and a consistent layer of foam and mine doesn't have a layer, just 'spots'.

Any advice on what to do from here (Except for waiting for a week or two?)

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Old 07-11-2009, 01:54 PM   #9
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Wait another week minimum, and stop opening your fermenter.

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Old 07-11-2009, 02:22 PM   #10
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+1

Quote:
Wait another week minimum, and stop opening your fermenter.
Except wait two more weeks, minimum. Also, buy a carboy/better bottle or if unavailable a water jug (to stare at it) and stop opening the bucket.

The big foam head you refer to happens during primary fermentation (when the airlock was going nuts) and sinks afterwords. The leftover foam/top floater crap varies batch to batch and is normal. If it's something bad you'll see fuzzy colonies form or a white film. (Or maybe even never know it was infected)

And start planning the next batch + reading all the information on this site to keep you away from the bucket.

I wouldn't expect much out of this, sugar + malt + 0 hops(?) and what kind of yeast?
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