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Old 01-05-2013, 01:18 AM   #1
JWStockton
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Default Brewing with old extract

I just brewed up an ale (we will call it an ale) from two 3.3 lb cans of liquid malt extract (one light malt unhopped extract one pilsner hopped 40 ibu extract) and one lb corn sugar. I did a 60min boil of .5 oz chinook pellets in the 2 gallons of wort and then cut it to 5 gal with cold water and pitched muntons ale yeast. This was 9 days ago. Today i took a sample prior to dry hopping and it tastes like crap. Sweet malty and "hot". The airlock bubbled vigorously for 3 days. (The room was about 70°). The extract was very old (4-6 years) i know that isnt good but i didnt want to throw it away... its very disappointing considering its my 3rd beer and the other two were from extract just as old. Both other ales were darker though (one nut brown and the other a stout)... does original color effect shelf life? I was thinking that maybe the sugars broke down into something VERY fermentable (making it taste hot) and something NOT fermentable (making it taste too sweet/malty)...


Should i dump it or wait another week or so on the yeast cake?

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Old 01-05-2013, 01:23 AM   #2
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Hot sounds like maybe a problem with fermentation temps. If the room was 70 you could have been in the mid to high 70's wort temp. I wouldn't give up on any beer 9 days in though. Give it some time. What was your OG and FG?

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Old 01-05-2013, 01:29 AM   #3
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My advice would be to give it some more time on the yeast cake, like about three weeks from the time of pitching your yeast, then ascertain the FG and see how many gravity points it attenuated and also how the flavour has changed.

I don't know what the condition of your extract was when you added it but my experience of bad extract was a 7 year old can of Pilsener HME (Brewiser?). The can was bloated and upon opening the extract was pure black, looked like it was a stout kit, with a mustard coloured funky scum on the surface, and it smelled musty, like a bag of earth. Tried to make a brew with it and actually let it go for over two months but it still tasted hideous so ended up dumping it.

So, if your extract wasn't extremely dark and didn't smell too bad there's a reasonable chance it might just turn out drinkable

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Old 01-05-2013, 01:35 AM   #4
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Ive been trying to go about it as cheaply as possible and havent bought a meter yet... (only my 3rd batch) i will buy one tomorrow and measure it though.

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Old 01-05-2013, 01:40 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ogri View Post
My advice would be to give it some more time on the yeast cake, like about three weeks from the time of pitching your yeast, then ascertain the FG and see how many gravity points it attenuated and also how the flavour has changed.

I don't know what the condition of your extract was when you added it but my experience of bad extract was a 7 year old can of Pilsener HME (Brewiser?). The can was bloated and upon opening the extract was pure black, looked like it was a stout kit, with a mustard coloured funky scum on the surface, and it smelled musty, like a bag of earth. Tried to make a brew with it and actually let it go for over two months but it still tasted hideous so ended up dumping it.

So, if your extract wasn't extremely dark and didn't smell too bad there's a reasonable chance it might just turn out drinkable
Both cans hissed when i opened them, i figured that was from the hot water they were soaking in. The brew is dark amber. The wort tasted very bitter but i figured that was from the 40 ibu pils and the half oz of chinook.
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Old 01-05-2013, 01:48 AM   #6
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yeah, definitely a good idea to get a hydrometer

It's not that difficult to work out what your OG was so, after you get your FG, you'll be able to figure out the percentage of alcohol by volume of your beer.

just reading through your first post again I see that you say it tasted sweet malty and hot. With the 3.3 lbs of Unhopped LME you've knocked the balance of the original recipe a little out of whack and it would have been a good idea to have done some hop additions, bittering for sure and possibly some flavour and aroma too. You could make a hop tea which you add to the brew to try to regain some of the balance.

Edit: strike the last part. Just noticed your addition of Chinook for 60 mins.

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Old 01-05-2013, 01:56 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JWStockton View Post
Both cans hissed when i opened them, i figured that was from the hot water they were soaking in. The brew is dark amber. The wort tasted very bitter but i figured that was from the 40 ibu pils and the half oz of chinook.
The bitterness gets slightly dissipated during the initial fermentation and will mellow even more with time conditioning. It could be that the extract had undergone some maillard reaction and darkened more than normal but most of my brews look darker in the kettle/fermentor and lighten up a bit as they clear.
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Old 01-05-2013, 01:56 AM   #8
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I made a similar beer for a friend who gave me a kit he found at a garage sale, and asked that I just brew it for him in exchange for the equipment. I did what I could knowing it could be really old, and in the end it was "drinkable" and more tolerable the more it aged (never "good"). All up to you.

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Old 01-05-2013, 02:06 AM   #9
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Thanks for the replies guys. I'll pick up another bucket tomorrow as well and start something with fresh ingredients to rebuild my confidence if i have to wait a month while this one becomes drinkable....

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Old 01-06-2013, 02:35 AM   #10
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Ok... i got my hydrometer... measuring 1.022. The OG should have been about 1.055 according to the recipe calculator and FG 1.015 . Its at 64° now (I also bought some temp strips) so I'll leave it alone for another week...

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