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Old 11-19-2012, 03:00 PM   #61
Ogri
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I enjoy a bass. They are good. Old speckled hen was hard to choke down. It could have gone bad. I can't imagine it gets ordered often...

Every bottle of Bass Pale Ale I've ever had here in Japan, (actually, now that I think of it, Bass never was high on my list of beers before I left Blighty), has been really lacking in any flavour. Bland and boring is the only way I could express it. Every bottle of Old Speckled Hen/Old Crafty Hen I've had here has left me thinking what a wonderfully, nutty, sweet, yet not cloyingly so, easy to drink and flavourful beer it is. So much so that I decided to buy some Marris Otter, Fuggles, Kent Goldings and use the Crystal 70 I have kicking around to try my hand at all grain and do an OSH clone. Maybe it's just not your cup o' tea but I'd really like to think you just got a sh1tty example of it. see if you can get a bottle, if it was draught that you had that gave you the impression you currently tout, and see if there's a difference.
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Old 11-19-2012, 03:12 PM   #62
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Haha funny how people have such dramatic perceptions in taste. It was a draft and after the bartender poured it, it had a hazy/cloudiness to it that seemed to fizz away to the top as foam. I was even a few beers deep when I had it and still didnt like it...

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Old 11-19-2012, 03:34 PM   #63
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That "taste" you're describing is extract twang, and it's from using canned liquid extract and boiling it too long. Try using fresh LME from a plastic tub (not a can) and only boil half it for the full boil, adding the rest at the end. Also, as others have pointed out, temperature control during fermentation is crucial.

To answer your question, during my "first chapter" of homebrewing, all I did was canned kits, and the best of them were drinkable, with that "twang," while the worst were undrinkable paint thinner (fermented with a heating belt!) that ended up getting dumped down the drain. I gave up for a few years.

My "second chapter" started a couple of months ago. Thanks to everything I read and learned here, I completely stepped up my game. My first two batches were extract kits, and still had a bit of that "twang," but not nearly as bad. They were perfectly drinkable, but still not comparable to commercial examples. My third batch was a partial mash IPA ("Laughing Heart IPA," from Papazian's book). The difference was night-and-day. It was fantastic. The next batch was an all-grain pale ale with no extract at all, and I was blown away by how delicious it is. No "twang" at all, easily as good (or better) than local craft beers. But by then, I had really dialed in my process and was employing a repurposed chest freezer as a fermentation chamber, using spring water, and so on.

Fifth batch was an all-grain Dry Irish Stout, also delicious. It should get even better with age, but I don't think it's going to last that long.

Batches 6 through 10 are currently in various stages of fermentation and clarification, but I have no doubt they'll all be equally fantastic.

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Old 11-19-2012, 03:37 PM   #64
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My very first batch was awesome, and all batches since then have continued to be awesome. I started brewing with my very own partial mash recipe. Aside from minor things, like slightly higher FG than expected, the beer as a whole exceeded my expectations as well as my friends.

I'm a bit of a perfectionist, so I think this question depends on the individual brewer's desire to get it right the first time. I had a recipe in hand, but delayed for a good 4 months before I my actual brewday so that I could soak up as much knowledge as possible.

I've appreciated a lot of the upper echelon IPAs from Kern, Russian River, Alpine, Lagunitas, Lawson's Finest, Hill Farmstead, etc. So it really made me happy that I was able to mimic that type of quality at home on my very first attempt.

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Old 11-19-2012, 03:41 PM   #65
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This time I did use lme from a plastic tub. Got the kit from Midwest per everyone advising me to. All previous batches were from canned lme. I guess this is what added to my disappointment, cause I switched vendors and thought I'd gotten better fresher ingredients, and would taste the difference.

However, I did boil all the lme for 60 minutes. I will try the late additions next...

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Old 11-19-2012, 03:45 PM   #66
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Well I did 3 ok extracts, 1 terrible AG, 1 ok AG, and finally one really good Blonde AG. Biggest thing I can suggest is to find a homebrew club to join. That is what I did. We have 3 certified judges which helps a lot. Everyone has tasted my beers and I have gotten a lot of feedback to steer me in the right direction.

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Old 11-19-2012, 04:20 PM   #67
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ogri View Post
Every bottle of Bass Pale Ale I've ever had here in Japan, (actually, now that I think of it, Bass never was high on my list of beers before I left Blighty), has been really lacking in any flavour. Bland and boring is the only way I could express it.
Well that's probably because Bass is now made by Molson Coors Brewing. :/
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Old 11-19-2012, 04:29 PM   #68
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I enjoy a bass. They are good. Old speckled hen was hard to choke down. It could have gone bad. I can't imagine it gets ordered often...
That's weird, Old Speckled is a well rounded, warming, nutty brown ale. Out of all cask ales I've had it is probably the most consistent, can't really go wrong ordering it. Only thing is that it isn't terribly exciting (although it's good). You might want to get a London Pride or a Black Sheep best bitter for widely available British flavours.
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Old 11-19-2012, 05:05 PM   #69
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First batch was amazing. Batches 2-4 were off. Im on 5 and I am pretty optimistic.

My off batches were off due to high fermentation temps and my water levels being off.

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Old 11-19-2012, 05:12 PM   #70
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My first couple of batches were pretty good. My middle batches were kind of lousy. Made a few adjustments (mostly controlling temperatures and changing around the process a little), and the two most recent batches have been pretty close to awesome. Maybe some small tweaks to the recipe here or there, but nothing so major as to be concerned about it.

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