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Old 08-13-2008, 10:33 PM   #1
CWalters
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Default Is it me or the beer kits?

I need some creative criticism on my brewing technique, my beers seem to lack flavor and I'm unsure if it's me or the beer kits, so here's how I recently brewed a Porter. Any and all feedback is welcome.


Steep grains @ 155-165, 30 minutes in a ratio of 1lb of grains to 1 gallon water.....Bring to boil.....Add 1/2 MLE.....Add 2 gallons of water.....Bring to boil.....Add Bitter hops, Boil 60 minutes.....Last 20-30 minutes Add remaining 1/2 MLE.....Last 2-5 minutes add Aroma Hops.....ICE BATH, usually cools to 80 degrees in 20-30 minutes.....Pour into glass 6.5 carboy.....Hand aerate for 3-5 minutes....Pitch Yeast....Primary 7-10 days, secondary 7-10 days, then Keg (carb at 12 psi).....Store at 40-50 degree temps.


MIDWEST KIT ESTIMATED SG: 1.063-67 ----- FG: 1.012-15


3 gallon tap water, 2.2 gallon filter ice

London Ale Wyeast Activator

6 lbs of Dark malt extract
3.3 lbs Light malt extract
4 oz. Black Patent malt
4 oz. Chocolate malt
8 oz. Caramel 120°L. specialty grains
1 oz Challenger bittering hops
1 oz. Glacier aroma hops

What I produced: SG: 1.064 ----- FG: 1.015

Krausen within 36 hours



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Old 08-13-2008, 10:46 PM   #2
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what style of beer is it supposed to be?

you'll have no real hop flavor, just malt flavors.



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Old 08-13-2008, 10:47 PM   #3
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Hopping is nominal for a Porter. Check it in 4-6 weeks.

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Old 08-13-2008, 11:44 PM   #4
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Seems like a lot of Extract and very little Specialty grains - only 1 pound??

I would think more then 9% of the Grain bill should be Specialty.

Make sure you wait at LEAST 4 weeks before making a real judgment but I
m not real excited about a kit with 9.3 lbs of Extract and 1lb of grains.

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Old 08-14-2008, 12:41 AM   #5
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+1 more specialty grains. Change the dark extract to light and use more specialty grains to bring in the color. You will get more flaver as well as a result.

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Old 08-14-2008, 03:16 AM   #6
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Yea - I've never seen an extract recipe with only 9% of the grain bill with in Specialty grains.

Maybe some Pale Ales or lighter ones but a Porter I FEEL needs more then just a ton of extract.

The Extract is just the basement of which all else is built on. You have a GREAT basement but pretty plain upstairs.

The 8 oz. Caramel 120° is OK but PERSONALLY I would use 12oz of Chocolate and 8oz of the Black Patent - at least looking at comparable recipes for a Robust Porter.

The GOOD thing is that the Hops are paired up with the grains so it's not over hopped. The others mentioned lack of hops but with the lack of grains the hops fit nicely (in a odd sort of way LOL)

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Old 08-14-2008, 04:32 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by waterse View Post
+1 more specialty grains. Change the dark extract to light and use more specialty grains to bring in the color. You will get more flaver as well as a result.
I agree. The dark extract is probably why there is such a small grain bill. Your getting alot of your color from the extract when it should be coming from the specialty grains only, IMO. I'm sure this brew will be great with time, but I believe you should use light extract and get your color and flavor from grains.
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Old 08-14-2008, 05:36 AM   #8
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so, the short answer is it's the beer kits. Your process looks fine, I would poke through the recipe section and start putting together your own kits.

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Old 08-14-2008, 10:58 AM   #9
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Quote:
Hand aerate for 3-5 minutes
Seems a little overkill if you ask me but process looks fine!
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Old 08-14-2008, 12:05 PM   #10
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I aerate for at least 5 minutes usually. Overkill? Maybe. Will I have incomplete fermentation? Not a chance.

+1 on putting together your own recipies. There's a learning curve to it, so your first recipie might not be as good as one of the better kits, but you'll be able to produce much better beer after a couple.



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