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Old 11-03-2008, 03:38 PM   #1
krc333
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Default caramel flavor in all my brews

I’m on my third batch of beer and so far all of them seem to have a familiar caramel taste. I’ve did an Irish pale ale first, fat tire clone, and an Oktoberfest from extract. The first one was really good, but the fat tire clone and the Oktoberfest both have a very similar caramel taste. Is it from using the extract or am I doing something wrong? I currently have a larger that’s about a week away from bottling so I’ll be interested If it happens there as well.

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Old 11-03-2008, 03:46 PM   #2
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This is a common flavor that runs through most extract beers. To minimize it, use DME and add most of it very late in the boil.

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Old 11-03-2008, 04:02 PM   #3
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I guess its the caramelization that happens during overboiling?

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Old 11-03-2008, 04:12 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Pivzavod View Post
I guess its the caramelization that happens during overboiling?
I think the carmalization happens throughout the entire boiling process.
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Old 11-03-2008, 05:03 PM   #5
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But if you stir a lot you would have less of it if not prevent it completely?

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Old 11-03-2008, 05:12 PM   #6
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And make sure your flame is off when adding extract.

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Old 11-03-2008, 05:26 PM   #7
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But if you stir a lot you would have less of it if not prevent it completely?
hmm, not sure on that one. Boiling water circulates pretty darn good on its own.

I think if you want to avoid it some is to add the bulk of your extract late in the boil. The hot break is already pretty much done for you with extracts. Boiling it for 15 minutes would be enough to kill any bad things in it.
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Old 11-03-2008, 05:48 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Pivzavod View Post
But if you stir a lot you would have less of it if not prevent it completely?
Stirring prevents scorching. This is good. You definitely have to prevent scorching or you will get nasty carbon flavors in your beer. But make no mistake, stirring does nothing whatsoever to prevent or delay the carmelization process. You boil sugar to turn it into caramel after all. This is the same thing but on a slower scale depending on the relative quantity of water to sugar (extract)

So the three things you can do to get rid of ths flavor. 1. Use only DME or if pushed the freshest LME possible (definitely not canned.) 2. Add all but a pound of your extracts with 10-15 mis left in boil. 3. Use as much water as possible during the entire boil process. This will lower the sugar concentration = lower caramelization.
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Old 11-03-2008, 10:57 PM   #9
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The first batch I no doubt scorched the bottom of my keg because I didn’t turn off the burner when I poured it in, but the last two times I did turn it off and stirred the mix for about five minutes once I started the flame again. In my process (and instructions) I always to pour in the LME (not canned)at boil and then leave it boiling for about 45 mins to an hour. I haven’t been monitoring my temps really closely so I’m sure that’s part of the issue as well. What is the price difference between DME and LME? I don’t even think I’ve seen DME at my local homebrew store.

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Old 11-03-2008, 11:37 PM   #10
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My LHBS told me that DME was almost twice as much money as LME

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