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Old 08-05-2011, 08:05 PM   #1
TwoSheaStl
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Default Not happy with results

I've now brewed 2 batches of extract beer. The first being an Amber Ale, and the second being a Liberty Cream Ale. I purchased both kits from Midwest Supplies.

As far as I know, I followed all steps as closely as I could have. The beer isn't terrible, but I just feel like it's lacking something. They both taste very similar (both made from the same extract "GOLD"). The carbonation is great, neither are very hoppy (I did use a filter bag for the hops), but overall they both kind of taste like carbonated bittersweet water. The best way I can describe it; initial taste is fine, but both are lacking a back end flavor that you get with most beer. Could this be an issue with my yeast?

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Old 08-05-2011, 08:13 PM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TwoSheaStl View Post
I've now brewed 2 batches of extract beer. The first being an Amber Ale, and the second being a Liberty Cream Ale. I purchased both kits from Midwest Supplies.

As far as I know, I followed all steps as closely as I could have. The beer isn't terrible, but I just feel like it's lacking something. They both taste very similar (both made from the same extract "GOLD"). The carbonation is great, neither are very hoppy (I did use a filter bag for the hops), but overall they both kind of taste like carbonated bittersweet water. The best way I can describe it; initial taste is fine, but both are lacking a back end flavor that you get with most beer. Could this be an issue with my yeast?
I had the same problem with my first extract kit, did ya have more than 5 gallons total of beer? reason i ask cause i did and it tasted watery as well. It gets better with time but could be the problem. Were there steeping grains? I tend to leave mine in for 10 min longer than the recipe calls for. How long did ya primary for? Also, most beer actually all commercial beer are made with all grains, huge differance between that and extract brewing..Need at least a good 3 weeks for the bottles to condition as well..
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Old 08-05-2011, 08:13 PM   #3
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How long did you let them stay in bottle before drinking them? I had the same issue with my first batch. I first would taste water and then the beer flavor would kick in. I found out that letting them condition would change the overall mouthfeel of the beer.

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Old 08-05-2011, 08:19 PM   #4
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I have never ordered a Midwest Kit. but i use my Local brew store kits all the time. of course they come with the standard set of instructions. but what i have learned:

Leave it in primary for two weeks. I rack to a secondary (i know not neccesary) just to clean it up a little bit more for one week.
Bottle with a batch prime and dont even think about touching it until week 3 in the bottles.
put one in the fridge for one day and taste.

Good, put them all in the fridge.
little weak, wait another week and then start over with one in the fridge for a day.
good, drink on!

i have only done extract, and am on my 6th batch,,, the last batch was my best (Wit).. and i did exactly what i said above....

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Old 08-05-2011, 08:23 PM   #5
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Are these kits full boil or top off kits?

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Old 08-05-2011, 09:24 PM   #6
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Extract kits are all generally partial boil. They figure in for the beginner not having a turkey fryer or the like.
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Old 08-05-2011, 10:53 PM   #7
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If you followed the instructions then you prolly were mislead into rushing the process. Most of those instructions that come with the kits indicate 3-4 days in primary, then drink. That is terrible. 2 weeks primary, 2 weeks secondary (or bottle conditioned) is pretty minimum.

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Old 08-06-2011, 02:08 AM   #8
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i am in the process of my first batch right now and i did 9 days in the primary and now they have been in bottles for 2 weeks as of yesterday. i opened one just so that i could taste the beer. it was pretty good, but i am pretty sure that it needs to sit for another week or two. i agree 100% with testing one bottle, if it isn't what you are expecting, then let it sit for another week and trying it again.

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Old 08-06-2011, 02:19 AM   #9
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I would advise not rushing your initial batches into bottles... IMO, 9 days would be ok for a low OG brew (~1.040 and under). Anything higher should go at least a couple/few weeks. This is especially true with ales (or brews made with ale yeast) and can often be true of many other styles/types.

If you don't have tight temperature control over the brew (within a degree, or two) then time is your ally.
If it doesn't taste right (ALWAYS taste the hydrometer sample), give it more time.
Make sure you get two matching hydrometer readings 2-3 days apart before you consider it at FG.
Don't just blindly go by the directions that come with kits (after it goes into fermenter, you can pretty much toss the directions out).

Don't feel bad about rushing your initial batches into bottle. I think almost everyone here has done it (myself included, on my second batch, since then, I've learned patience).

If you want to brew another batch, and your primary (or primaries) contain fermenting brews, then get more primaries. I'd also advise racking to another vessel only when it makes 100% sense. There are a few cases where I do it, but the vast majority of my brews stay in primary for 4-8 weeks before going to bottle/keg. Since going with that model, I've been getting excellent tasting brews (my own recipes) that are super clear. I also do NOT cold crash or use gelatin in my batches. I do use Irish Moss/Whirlfloc in the boil, but that's it.

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Old 08-06-2011, 03:13 AM   #10
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Where the hops leaf or pellet? If it was pellet I wouldn't have used the filter bag...

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