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Home Brew Forums > Home Brewing Beer > Beginners Beer Brewing Forum > First test doesn't taste right.
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Old 02-16-2014, 05:44 PM   #1
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Default First test doesn't taste right.

I did my 1st extract kit 2 weeks ago. I did a full boil of Midwests Holiday Ale. OG was 1.066. I took my first hydrometer reading today and it was 1.018. Both of these readings were in my target area but it had no cinnamon or spice tastes like I was expecting. The instructions stated to add spices for the last 10 mins of the boil. The cinnamon sticks stayed in my kettle after i transferred to my fermentor.
The taste wasn't disgusting or anything but it wasn't what I was expecting. The texture was about right and it smelled like a beer without any spices.I'm assuming the flat bland taste is because it's not carbed yet? And should I consider adding a cinnamon stick to spice it up a bit. Or will the spices come back after bottle conditioning. I was expecting a Killians Red type taste with a little spicy kick to it.
I have 3 more kits and a some milled grains waiting for my next batches but I want to make sure I'm doing everything right.

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Old 02-16-2014, 08:37 PM   #2
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There are two types of spice beers: those where you taste the spice and those where you TASTE THE SPICE.

With a kit it's hard to know how much spice is in it and which it is. But I'm guessing is mildly spiced.

The spices are probably being masked by the green beer and yeasty flavors you are getting in your sample. After it's bottled and carbed, you will probably taste them better.

You can add spices at anytime because they are unfermentable. But I'm hesitant to recommend it since it is your first kit. Overspiced isn't better than underspiced.

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Old 02-16-2014, 09:32 PM   #3
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Age makes all beer better green beer can have some funkiness the yeast needs time to clean out all the bi products of fermentation. Be patient and see how it is after its bottled and grabbed some age.

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Old 02-16-2014, 11:15 PM   #4
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I never get a good, representative taste from my hydro samples--it's always quite green to me, even at bottling time. Two weeks in the fermenter is way too early to get a good idea of the spices. Tasting the hydro sample only serves to let you know if things are really off.

Wait until it has conditioned in bottles a while. Don't give up. You may be pleasantly surprised.

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Old 02-17-2014, 04:51 AM   #5
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Thanks everyone. i guess it's better for me to learn to be patient from the beginning. Adding cinnamon sticks had me wondering if it's even safe to do so after the boil. How do you know they are even sanitary?

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Old 02-17-2014, 04:59 AM   #6
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Originally Posted by Beernik View Post
I'm hesitant to recommend it since it is your first kit. Overspiced isn't better than underspiced.
I've not done a spiced beer before, but I've done spiced wines. I'm with Beernik on this one. I overspiced some dandelion wine once with cinnamon and hated the flavour until the wine had aged over two years! It was awesome by then, but I hated myself for putting in the Cinnamon at the onset until that time had passed. Its too long to wait for beer.. your brew will go bad before then.

Again to agree with Beernik, your hops etc. are probably masking the flavour of the spices. Allow your beer to mellow some more before deciding if its right or wrong. I've never had a hopped ale that tasted right just after brewing.. the flavour and scents have to mellow before it'll please the palate. Give it a few weeks before doing anything else to the brew. Then you'll at least know what its like, and maybe how to adjust for the next time with your additions.

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Old 02-17-2014, 05:12 AM   #7
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I'm with the crowd on this one. I'd skip the extra cinnamon stick and see how it tastes once it has bottle conditioned. Worst case, it's under-spiced and you know to add more next time. I over-spiced two gallons of mead and left it completely undrinkable. In fact, I let it sit for another year (almost) hoping it would mellow out, but it was just as bad. I ended up dumping the entire two gallons down the drain. Under-spiced is FAR better than over-spiced.

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Old 02-17-2014, 05:27 AM   #8
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I have made "flavored" beers before, and learned the hard way about over spicing/flavoring. One batch I kept adding coffee until it tasted "right". Three weeks later it wasn't a coffee stout, it was coffee syrup like you would put in ice cream, or on ice cream. I since can't drink any stout with coffee "notes". I still like my morning coffee so it didn't ruin that for me. Apricot Ale, same thing, too much apricot up front, in the end, barely drinkable. You get my point, I'm sure. It is always better to go easy on the adjuncts the first time through, and adjust on the next few batches. Given enough time, the flavors will be way too intense for the next few months, and eventually will mellow out, if there are any left... Oh, BTW, if anyone is thinking about using Torani sugar free syrups, they are great, but for me, the"natural flavorings" in the chocolate variety include some sort of vanilla flavor and I screwed myself (in my opinion) on my Triple Chocolate Stout I recently brewed. Chocolate malt, cocoa powder, real vanilla, and Torani Sugar Free Chocolate Syrup brewed 11/17/2013. At first it was sweet up front, and sort of bitter-ish at the swallows end. Two plus months later, to me there is still too much vanilla, but the finish is chocolate. Sorry for the run on post.

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Old 02-17-2014, 05:27 AM   #9
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I'm with the crowd on this one. I'd skip the extra cinnamon stick and see how it tastes once it has bottle conditioned. Worst case, it's under-spiced and you know to add more next time. I over-spiced two gallons of mead and left it completely undrinkable. In fact, I let it sit for another year (almost) hoping it would mellow out, but it was just as bad. I ended up dumping the entire two gallons down the drain. Under-spiced is FAR better than over-spiced.
Man! I'm sad you had to go there, friend. I'd have done something with it, like diluting it with distilled water and adding a bit of malt to make a spiced honey ale/mead combo! Seriously, don't make me cry. Mead takes too long, and spiced or not, its too good to pour down the drain!
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Old 02-17-2014, 05:30 AM   #10
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Man! I'm sad you had to go there, friend. I'd have done something with it, like diluting it with distilled water and adding a bit of malt to make a spiced honey ale/mead combo! Seriously, don't make me cry. Mead takes too long, and spiced or not, its too good to pour down the drain!
It was literally undrinkable. I wouldn't be willing to waste water or malt to try and fix this. I literally gag if I think about the taste too hard. Blech. SOOOO overspiced! If you had the displeasure of trying, I'm quite certain you would come around to my way of thinking! lol
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