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IdahoSpud 06-30-2012 12:13 PM

Tastes like half-burnt 2x4 lumber
Sooo... I brewed up my very first batch of beer. I was doing a full boil (because I have a big enough pot) on a Midwest Irish Red kit, and didn't really have a long enough spoon (since corrected),

There was about 2 inches of spoon handle sticking out above the wort as I poured the LME in. I THOUGHT I had the LME all blended, but apparently not. There was a pattern on the bottom of the pot where small amounts of the wort had coked up on the burner supports.

Since I had all the junk sanitized, I made a second batch of wheat beer with orange and coriander that day.

It's been 5 weeks since brew day. My second batch tastes good. The first batch is almost undrinkable. I understand about "green" brews, but this tastes really gross. I suspect that aging is not going to improve this fireplace ash taste. I will give it a few more weeks and then post a follow-up whether it ended up in the drain or the belly.

One other thing for the new extract guys. I just brewed again, using DME. It was a pleasure to use and mix, and I got a better OG with it. No more LME for me!

Theis 06-30-2012 01:58 PM

I remember once adding all the LME to the boil without stirring it in- had a ton of burnt flakes floating around the fermenter. They eventually settled out with the trub and the beer turned out ok but I definitely learned my lesson- now I turn the burner off and stir like crazy when adding extract. Glad your second batch turned out.

unionrdr 06-30-2012 03:24 PM

You have to take the BK off the burner to add LME. Stir till no more LME can be scraped off the bottom,then return to heat. But youy can get caramelization,darkening,whatever you wanna call it easier with LME.
That said,I use plain DME in the boil for hop additions,Doesn't darken as easily as LME. Then add remaining DME & all the LME at flame out. Cover & steep 10-15 minutes to pasteurize,which happens around 162F. Works well for me. I get lighter colors & cleaner flavors...provided ferment temps are in check,etc.

IdahoSpud 06-30-2012 07:04 PM

OK thanks for the tips fellas. I shut off the flame while adding the LME, but never took the boil bucket off the burner. I reckon you are right that the hot supports could have easily scorched the syrup as I poured it in, even with flame off.

Question for unionrdr: Most recipes call for bittering hops at the beginning of the boil. If we add LME or DME at the end and hold temperatures up for a while to pasteurize, does this increase bitterness, or does the bittering only take place when the wort is on a boil? In other words, do we need to compensate by adding hops later (or using less of them)?

As I said, I am a noob. I use a wort chiller, so my temps are not hot for long after the boil is finished, so I have no experience with keeping the wort hot following a boil.

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