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Old 07-04-2010, 10:53 PM   #1
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Default A bit disappointed

I have brewed 4 batches of Mr. Beer and one 5 gallon batch with a midwest brewing supplies kit. Each batch has had the same distinctive cider-y/apple-y flavor. I'm brewing a hefeweizen today, but honestly I don't have high hopes for it. It seems that I can't make a good brew to save my life. I've tried regulating the temperature using a rubbermaid bin and water/frozen water bottles, but it didn't help the recent 5 gal batch. I love brewing, but I'm frustrated that I'm not brewing good beer. Any suggestions?

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Old 07-04-2010, 10:59 PM   #2
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With the Midwest kit, what were the ingredients, and how long ago did you bottle it?

Temperature control is crucial, so don't give up on that! We'll help you find out what is giving you that off-flavor and fix your beer.

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Old 07-04-2010, 11:02 PM   #3
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Don't give up yet... off flavors are not all that uncommon. Its sounds to me like you've got a piece of equipment in the system that is probably infected. Old fermentor with a scratch that isn't sanitizing right maybe. Old tubing that is holding on to lactobacillus or similar. How much variation in the temperature are you facing? I don't think cidery profiles are generally a result of bad temp regulation... banana and spice maybe. Are you letting your beer age a bit before trying it? If you haven't tried it before tuck it away for a month and see what happens. If it gets worse then you've got an infection. If its better it's probably just green (young) beer.

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Old 07-04-2010, 11:10 PM   #4
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The Mr. Beer kits were obviously hopped extract and such. For the first 5 gallon batch it was an Amber ale recommended from How To Brew.

3.3 lbs briess amber LME
4 lbs briess amber DME

.5 oz centennial 60 mins
1 oz mt. hood 30 mins
1 oz willamette 15 mins

safale us-05

The kit is brand new, so I don't think there is that much chance of an infection (at least I hope not).

I have aged some of the Mr. Beers and the cidery flavors were less pronounced, but still there and tasted nothing like the beer they were supposed to be.

I replace the water bottles in the cooler 2x per day and maintain the BB fermometer reading at 68. Is that too high?

I'm trying a hefe so that hopefully the higher temperatures won't hurt the flavor too badly.

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Old 07-04-2010, 11:11 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GatorBeer View Post
The Mr. Beer kits were obviously hopped extract and such. For the first 5 gallon batch it was an Amber ale recommended from How To Brew.

3.3 lbs briess amber LME
4 lbs briess amber DME

.5 oz centennial 60 mins
1 oz mt. hood 30 mins
1 oz willamette 15 mins

safale us-05

The kit is brand new, so I don't think there is that much chance of an infection (at least I hope not).

I have aged some of the Mr. Beers and the cidery flavors were less pronounced, but still there and tasted nothing like the beer they were supposed to be.

I replace the water bottles in the cooler 2x per day and maintain the BB fermometer reading at 68. Is that too high?

I'm trying a hefe so that hopefully the higher temperatures won't hurt the flavor too badly.
68 degrees is fine for S05! The recipe is fine, and so is the yeast. When did you bottle the kit beer? What was your water supply?
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Old 07-04-2010, 11:17 PM   #6
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68 degrees should be good. How long did you age? If the cidery flavor less pronounced it may just be a matter of waiting longer. Most of those types of flavors come from acetaldehyde which is a chemical produced in the process of yeast converting sugars to alcohol. If they are working slow then there is a chance that part of the process will linger on for a long time. Are you aerating your wort after it's cooled? If you're certain your sanitation is good then I'd start looking at yeast health. If the yeast aren't happy then it will be tough for them to do the job to process that acetaldehyde out once it's made. If they run out of oxygen then they won't have what they need to complete the process in a timely fashion. If that's the case then its going to take longer than normal to get through that stage of their life. You could also try adding yeast nutrient to the last 15 min of the boil... won't hurt anything and give the yeast a boost also. So, aeration and yeast health is what I'd suspect next...

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Old 07-04-2010, 11:26 PM   #7
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the taste could also come from liquid extracts. some people don't like (and can't drink) beers made with liquid extract, where as dry is fine. if it also tastes a little off, like too tangy, this might be the case with you. i'm 1 of those, and any lme beer i try tastes that way. even though 95% of the time i'm an all-grainer, i love a good hefeweizen made with dry extract. not likely, but just something to keep in mind.

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