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Old 10-07-2005, 05:35 AM   #1
captaineriv
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Default 1st brew review

No one might care but I thought I'd include a review of my first homebrew because I'm excited about it, so just go with it.

Here goes: Cooper’s IPA kit plus 3.3 lbs. hopped amber LME. Primary fermentation only. Bottle-conditioned for 1 week before first sampled (plenty of carbonation anyway). Dark amber color, initially clear but clouded up after being poured and sipped, thick head, very sweet smell. Initial taste was rather bland but slightly estery. Aftertaste was very bitter. ABV approximately 3.4% (lower than expected but I know how to correct). As far as body or mouthfeel, I'm not experienced enough to determine. Successful first batch but wouldn’t call it a good-tasting beer. However, I've had much worse brewed commercially. I'll give it a 2 out of 5, compared to commercial brews I've tried, but I expected this.

Next time around, I'll definitely experiment with 2ndary fermentation, liquid yeast, and stray away from ingredient kits. Might also try using some specialty grains depending on what style I choose. No need to comment, but do so if you'd like.

captaineriv



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Old 10-07-2005, 01:48 PM   #2
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Review your beer in two more weeks and let us know if you still feel the same way about it

My first batch is just coming up on the 3rd week in bottles. After the first week, I tried it, and was a little disappointed. Last night however, I had a bottle and it has turned into some pretty good beer. I'll bet that yours will suprise you after another week or two.



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Old 10-07-2005, 03:07 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by captaineriv
Next time around, I'll definitely experiment with 2ndary fermentation, liquid yeast, and stray away from ingredient kits. Might also try using some specialty grains depending on what style I choose.

I'm in the midst of my first brew (it's resting in the secondary). From what I've read, it seems to me that the most important things are good ingredients and a decent recipe. I ordered a recipe package on-line. Great packages, everything you need in pre-measured amounts, steeping grains, a few kinds of hops, malt extracts; awesome. Check your local home brew shop, they may have something similar.

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Old 10-07-2005, 05:24 PM   #4
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Thank you both for the advice. Maybe I was biased when I said that it wasn't great tasting because I had already convinced myself that an ingredient kit probably wouldn't be. Even though this is my first actual brew, I've done quite a bit of studying up on partial mash and AG brewing (as far as equipment, ingredients, and procedures) by use of this forum, two printed homebrewing books, and other online sources, so I'm trying to get to all-grain hopefully by my 4th or 5th batch. If that's unrealistic, can someone please let me know?

Thanks
captaineriv

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Old 10-07-2005, 05:28 PM   #5
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Also, Catfish, can you tell me where you found those packages. Might be a good choice for my next batch. I was already planning on using an extract plus specialty grain recipe. Two kinds of hops is cool too.

captaineriv

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Old 10-07-2005, 11:09 PM   #6
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I ordered mine from the Grape and Granary (www.grapeandgranary.com/). In the Ingredients Packages section of Beer Brewing you can choose from either Best Brewer's or Grape&Granary's own packages. Both types will probably suit your needs.

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Old 10-08-2005, 12:43 AM   #7
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The hardest part for me has been waiting for my first batch to condition long enough in the bottles. It tastes great, but it's a little light on the carbonation after 2 weeks. Mine is a part grain amber ale. Primary fermentation only. I guess I would say I am pleasantly surprised by the results. My beer tastes like the stuff that brew-pubs tend to serve, but it's a little crisper tasting, a little less hoppy and a little less bitter. If it gets better over the next week I will be very happy. I'm just fortunate that one batch makes 2 cases!

Next up: an Oktoberfest made with ale yeast.

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Old 10-08-2005, 04:22 AM   #8
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I did an IPA kit for my first brew and it had a VERY bitter aftertaste which never went away.

I'm doing a kit again, but I'm going to use fresher hops, better yeast and more fermentables. Even though my brew was bitter, it was drinkable and I got drunk off of it more than once. Nothing like getting drunk on your own beer.



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