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Home Brew Forums > Home Brewing Beer > Extract Brewing > True Brew Irish Stout - How to get better taste and mouthfeel?
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Old 03-07-2010, 09:49 PM   #1
AlterCow
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Default True Brew Irish Stout - How to get better taste and mouthfeel?

Hi folks.

I bet this question has been asked on different levels, as I have seen in a few threads, but I thought I would ask it to see what advice I could garner for my specific kit(s).

History: I have brewed a few extract kits and they have all come up short on flavor or mouthfeel. I have brewed to date: Rogue Dead Man Ale Kit, True Brew IPA, True Brew Porter, True Brew Amber Ale, and U2CanBrew ESB kit. The wort always seems tastey, but after I bottle and age the beers I find they are less than stellar. They all seem to have a similar "tang" to them (the flavor seems off and it is a noticable, similar flavor with each differing batch). Not only is there that similar flavor quality, which overpowers any nuances first tasted within the wort, but they are of a thin mouthfeel.

I have noticed with prolonged aging that the IPA has a decent mouthfeel, but the hops flavors are not there. It is replaced with that similar "tang" to the flavor. It by no means resembles an IPA.

I ferment and age well within the 60-70* range without temp fluctuations.

I have a True Brew Irish Stout kit that I would like to brew, but I don't want to put forth the effort until I know of a better approach to making it a much better batch this time around.

I have been using the dextrose that accompanies the kits for bottling and I wonder if this could be the cause of the problem? Could using DME for the priming sugar assist in bringing about a better flavor or mouthfeel? How can I rid myself of this damn consistant flavor that is apparent in all of my extract brews?

I am frustrated and discouraged. Unfortunately, going all grain is not in my budget right now and I hope I can make some decent beer out of an extract kit.

Please help. I hate having to drink my pseudo-brews... they taste weird.

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Old 03-08-2010, 03:07 AM   #2
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There's a lot of things that could cause these problems you mention. It isn't the dextrose used for bottling.

My first question would be about your water source. Tap water? Does it have chlorine in it? Did you filter the chlorine out with a charcoal filter?

If it's not your water then you could just be using crappy extract. There are also ways to improve extract beers dramatically such as moving towards a full volume boil (or as close to it as you can manage), adding the extract late in the process, and using specialty grains if you aren't already.

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Old 03-08-2010, 03:34 AM   #3
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I think I may have found some answers to my issues, but thank you for biting.

Not tap water, but 0ppm RO water. So, the water is alkaline and does not posses the minerals that make for a tastey brew.

I have been doing a partial boil with specialty grains. I will have to get an 8gal kettle so I can do a full boil and try the late addition of the extract. I feel that at least the ESB was fresh LME that came from a bulk dispensary. I didn't pay much mind to the date on the canned LME, though.

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Old 03-08-2010, 09:57 PM   #4
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I am also an extract / specialty grain brewer, but have never used any of the kits available. Fresh ingredients are important. Here are some ideas/thoughts I had when I read your OP...

FWIW, I have been brewing with natural spring water (I get it directly from the source) for a little over 3 years now, and it makes for a wonderful brew. Never an off flavor, or a problem with it. I have never used my home tap water, even though I drink it all of the time, and it tastes fine. I have never once used any water conditioners in my brews either, and they have all came out crystal clear (at least if they were supposed to - the stouts do not allow light to pass through )

Cleanliness is also a huge detail that can not be over looked. When in doubt, sanitize again. An extra 5 minutes cleaning, to avoid any contaminates is time well spent IMO.

Are you brewing indoors or out? A buddy of mine had similar problems with "tang" (a sour, off-taste common in all of his brews) and once he stopped brewing outdoors, it went away. We are supposing that he has a strong wild yeast population where he lives, and was picking up unwanted strains in his brews.

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Old 03-08-2010, 10:05 PM   #5
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My first thought was the canned extract in the TB kits is old.

Also: your IPA will lose hoppiness over time, and I don't know if True Brew IPA is particularly hoppy to begin with.

The priming sugar is not the problem. Boil size could be: a 'thick' wort would reduce hop efficiency. The mineral profile of the water is much less of an issue with extract than all-grain.

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Old 03-08-2010, 11:59 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bluehaze View Post
I am also an extract / specialty grain brewer, but have never used any of the kits available. Fresh ingredients are important. Here are some ideas/thoughts I had when I read your OP...

FWIW, I have been brewing with natural spring water (I get it directly from the source) for a little over 3 years now, and it makes for a wonderful brew. Never an off flavor, or a problem with it. I have never used my home tap water, even though I drink it all of the time, and it tastes fine. I have never once used any water conditioners in my brews either, and they have all came out crystal clear (at least if they were supposed to - the stouts do not allow light to pass through )

Cleanliness is also a huge detail that can not be over looked. When in doubt, sanitize again. An extra 5 minutes cleaning, to avoid any contaminates is time well spent IMO.

Are you brewing indoors or out? A buddy of mine had similar problems with "tang" (a sour, off-taste common in all of his brews) and once he stopped brewing outdoors, it went away. We are supposing that he has a strong wild yeast population where he lives, and was picking up unwanted strains in his brews.
I am going to use spring water next time. I live on a mountain that has taps and watersheds all over it: one on the next door property and one on a friends pad about 500' down the hill. I was using store bought RO water, but no more.

I am a sanitzing freak. Some would say a little too much.

I have been brewing indoors only. I do wish to make a wild beer this Spring, but we will see.
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Old 03-09-2010, 12:04 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by McGarnigle View Post
My first thought was the canned extract in the TB kits is old.

Also: your IPA will lose hoppiness over time, and I don't know if True Brew IPA is particularly hoppy to begin with.

The priming sugar is not the problem. Boil size could be: a 'thick' wort would reduce hop efficiency. The mineral profile of the water is much less of an issue with extract than all-grain.
Yeah, I can see the LME in those kits being less than fresh. I even wrote to true brew to ask about how to better flavor and mouthfeel and the buggers will not respond. Same goes with me asking the same question of U2CanBrew, once I gave them positive feedback via eBay their customer service vanished.

THe True Brew IPA, after researching other's IPA's, has very little hops... a total of two types for two total oz's. From what I have read that is very little hops... nothing even close to a Lagunitas Hopstupid.

I do think I need to invest in a larger boilpot. I am currently doing partials in a 3gal SS pot and adding cool water to the mix post boil. I get the right OG, but from what I have been reading I could be overcaramelizing the wort and merely thinning it out post boil. ACK!
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Old 03-09-2010, 09:57 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AlterCow View Post
Hi folks.

I bet this question has been asked on different levels, as I have seen in a few threads, but I thought I would ask it to see what advice I could garner for my specific kit(s).

They all seem to have a similar "tang" to them (the flavor seems off and it is a noticable, similar flavor with each differing batch). Not only is there that similar flavor quality, which overpowers any nuances first tasted within the wort, but they are of a thin mouthfeel.

I have noticed with prolonged aging that the IPA has a decent mouthfeel, but the hops flavors are not there. It is replaced with that similar "tang" to the flavor. How can I rid myself of this damn consistant flavor that is apparent in all of my extract brews?

I am frustrated and discouraged. Unfortunately, going all grain is not in my budget right now and I hope I can make some decent beer out of an extract kit.

Please help. I hate having to drink my pseudo-brews... they taste weird.
You may find some answers here: http://www.homebrewtalk.com/f37/extr...ng-what-54434/ Regards, GF.
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Old 03-10-2010, 02:01 AM   #9
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Thanks for the input. I have been reading that thread a bit. LME seems to be questionable.

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Old 03-10-2010, 06:00 PM   #10
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How long are you letting your beers age in the bottle before trying them?

When i was doing extract brews i found that all of my beers had a twang to them after only three weeks sitting 65F. when i started putting them away and letting them age for 5-6 weeks and then letting them sit in the fridge for a week before sampling they were much much better beers. Even with my IPAs this was true, and i did not notice much loss of hop aroma/flavor in 6 weeks vs 3 weeks.

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