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Home Brew Forums > Home Brewing Beer > Extract Brewing > Little to no taste in beer
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Old 01-27-2014, 04:05 PM   #1
willz
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Default Little to no taste in beer

I'm currently on my first batch of beer. I'm way new at this but very passionate about it and trying to stay fully informed however. I am on a brown ale right now. I know its not necessary to rack to a secondary but I figured I'd give it a try over this past weekend. When I did I tried a little of the beer and its has very little taste. I pretty much just tasted hops and water. Does it take time for the flavor to fully develop? Or did I do something totally wrong. In my reading of how to brew it says it can be due to a gusher infection but I haven't bottled yet. Any help would be appreciated. Thanks so much!

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Old 01-27-2014, 06:23 PM   #2
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Flavors do take time to develop, but be cautious scoring your beer from a fermenter sample. Things can sometimes taste weird. The time spent conditioning in the bottle *should* improve things. Patience usually improves the taste.

That said, there are really a lot of factors that will influence the final outcome of your beer and it is difficult to pinpoint any issues from one single batch (unless something went drastically wrong). When I first started, I also found some of my beers to be thin and watery. I discovered that adding body to my beer (through specialty grains such as dextrine malts) really helped achieve that flavor I was looking for. When I upgraded to all-grain brewing, that effect was achieved with the grain bill and mash temps.

If you have an infection, you might notice off flavors, but not always. Sometimes the surface of the beer in the bottle becomes cloudy, other times it will explode or gush when opened. That issue is usually addressed with thorough cleaning and sanitation (two separate processes) for the next batch. There isn't much you can do with a contaminated batch, toss it or keep it as an experiment.

I think the tl:dr for this is, RDWHAHB. Clean your stuff, bottle your beer (once it is fully fermented of course), and see what happens.

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Old 01-27-2014, 06:33 PM   #3
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I have been pretty careful being sure everything was clean and sanitized well. I also used specialty grains as well. Ill see what happens after everything has been conditioned in the bottles. Thanks for your input!

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Old 01-28-2014, 06:54 PM   #4
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Did you use a kit or piece together a recipe yourself? Can you post the recipe?

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Old 01-28-2014, 06:59 PM   #5
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Taste cannot be fully true until the beer is totally finished.

But, we need to see the recipe and brewing procedures to troubleshoot. Anything prior to that is just conjecture.

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Old 01-28-2014, 11:25 PM   #6
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I used the northern brewer caribou slobber brown ale kit and followed the instructions step by step as far as the procedure goes the recipe used in the kit is this:

specialty grains
0.25lbs briess caramel 80L
0.25lbs fawcett pale chocolate
0.125lbs black malt

fermentables
6lbs amber malt syrup
1lbs amber dry malt extract

hops
1oz us goldings (60min)
1oz liberty (45 min)
10z williamette (15 min)

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Old 01-29-2014, 01:22 PM   #7
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Ok, I've made Caribou Slobber myself and it is a flavorful beer. So, here are a few ideas -

First off, like kh54s10 and ColoHox said, the taste won't really be right until the beer is finished. I.e., conditioned, carbonated, and chilled. See what you think when the beer is finished.

Also, the hops flavor is strongest on brew day and fades over time, so it's possible that your hops were drowning out the other flavors. This will improve with time.

Other thoughts having to do with the process - are you sure you used all the malt provided? Did you overfill the water? Did you use the full 5 gallon volume during the boil, or only the 2.5 gallons the kit recommends?

Finally, did you get your steeping water up to at least 150 deg F (but below 170)? Was the thermometer you were using reliable? If not, you may not have extracted much flavor from your specialty grains, leaving you with a blah beer (yes, that's a technical term )

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Old 01-29-2014, 01:34 PM   #8
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How long were you in the Primary? I too am new...and this is my first brew. Mine has only been in the Primary for four days now. From reading others posts on this I have found it takes this one quite awhile to develop fully...possibly months. The advice of the many I have read is to leave it in the primary for at least four weeks...then bottle and let sit for at least another 3 weeks. This is going to be hard for me to do...but I will force myself to be patient.

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Old 01-29-2014, 04:03 PM   #9
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I did use all of the malt and I steeped the grains to 170 degrees not one 150 I used the themomoter that I got with my kit from northern brewer as well. I also boiled the 2.5 gallons the kit says to do but after reading more I can tell doing a full boil would of been a lot better. I left it in the primary for two weeks and then racked it to the secondary. That's when I took a little taste. I'm thinking (hoping) it will improve in time once its all done because I can't figure out anything I've done wrong. I used as much malt as possible. It was hard to get every bit of syrup extract out but I tried the best I could.

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Old 01-29-2014, 05:16 PM   #10
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I have noticed this phenomenon myself. Once it's bottle conditioned, the flavors will develop. I made a White House Honey Ale that tasted like nothing for awhile. After a few months, it was very malty and complex, but I had only a couple of bottles left (I thought I did something wrong, so just drank them up before they'd matured).

Sometimes time is your best bet to let things develop and come into their own.

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