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-   -   What went wrong in my first batch? (http://www.homebrewtalk.com/f37/what-went-wrong-my-first-batch-348413/)

brewbeest 08-18-2012 05:14 PM

What went wrong in my first batch?
Hey everyone, I did my first extract brew and it came out ok. My non beer geek buddies were very complimentary but I'm not so impressed. There is this subtle cloying sweetness in the finish, kind of creamy, kind of tart. It's a light ale but the finish is more appropriate for a wheat. There's something not quite right about the sweetness in the finish an I'm trying to figure out where it came from so I don't repeat it. My first guess is the extract itself, I got it from more beer with my brewkit and don't know what brand it is. But of course, I'm brand new and plenty of other things could be wrong. Any ideas?

PistolaPete 08-18-2012 05:24 PM

The more info you give the more we can help. Post your recipe and as much about the brewing & fermenting process as you can (such as boiling details, how long did you ferment for, at what temp, etc).

brewbeest 08-18-2012 06:53 PM

Six lbs lme and I think a lb of crystal. Hops at 60 and 1 min. I took the hops out after the one minute, not sure if I should have, the recipe was vague, cooling took longer than expected as I didn't have the right sink attachment and had to macguyver one at the last minute, resulting in less water flowing through. Wasn't terribly slow but slower than if everything was right, I'm sure. Fermented for a week, started at about 72-73 but after a day or so dropped down to 70. After the fermentation, the air conditioner broke for about a week, so whole time it was settling out it was mad-warm. Probably bad, now that I'm thinking on it. While siphoning the beginning part was a little splashy as I had the bottling bucket too low. Bottle conditioned two weeks in about 74 degree house. It's now two weeks later and tastes better, the thing I didn't like was more mellow but very there

brewbeest 08-18-2012 06:54 PM

Also used whirlfloc and the bottle fermentation medium was corn sugar

Bithead 08-18-2012 07:14 PM

Next time leave the hops in till after you cool. Strain hops while transferring to fermentor. Your fermenting temp probably needs to be a little lower. Generally in the mid 60* for many yeasts. Check out a swamp cooler.

PistolaPete 08-18-2012 07:22 PM

I also would recomend fermenting in lower temps. I live in FL and have improved my beer greatly since I now ferment in a chest freezer. The swamp cooler works well or check out http://www.coolbrewing.com Only downside to these methods is you have to be around to switch out the ice bottles every day so no going on vacation while beer is fermenting. Most people will also recomend to bottle prime and condition around 70F which I think is good since bottle priming is another form of fermentation. How long was the beer in the fermenter for and in the bottles for before you tried them? I recomend at least 3 weeks in the fermenter and 3 weeks in the bottle so the yeast has time to clean up the off flavors, any shorter than this and I notice there is usually a tart or green kind of taste to the beer.

brewbeest 08-19-2012 10:53 PM

Phenomenal advice! I will check out both of those cooling methods. 2 weeks in fermenter and two in bottles. It's been another week since and is better, but still weird. Thanks!!

PistolaPete 08-20-2012 01:37 AM

Just don't get discouraged. Keep brewing and you will find your own path to making great beer. For myself, brewing in cooler temps (mid 60s) and waiting an extra few weeks (3 in the fermenter, 3 in the bottle) helped me to get from beer that was drinkable to beer that makes you and your friends want to have another.

phatspade 08-20-2012 02:56 AM

Sounds like the unstable temp caused an off flavor. Its from the temp getting warmer so don't freak about you dropping the temp after signs of fermentation started. If its slowly going away then leave it be for a couple more weeks. The taste u described is more consistant with a temp problem.

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