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Home Brew Forums > Home Brewing Beer > Beginners Beer Brewing Forum > We tasted our first batch...
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Old 11-21-2012, 06:25 PM   #11
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Originally Posted by scoundrel View Post
Please take a gravity reading. It will clear things up alot. You may have had very good attenuation compounded by too much priming sugar or it could be that it was inoculated by something other than brewer's yeast. I'm also seriously questioning the supplier of you ingredients. Either way, let us know your process and the final gravity by letting one beer go flat and taking a reading.
I remember my gravity readings being nearly right on throughout. Since I'm not the only one having the champagne issue... I imagine it's one of 3 things: The ingredients, the need for more time (instead of what directions say), or we messed up the recipe in exactly the same way -- I'm finding that hard to believe since I keep hearing it's kind of difficult to mess up beer, much less multiple people messing it up in the saem way... although all instances I've heard are all noobs like me.
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Old 11-21-2012, 06:32 PM   #12
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What about the yeast you're using? I know some kits can sit on a shelf for a while and become stale. That'll definitely affect what flavor compounds are created during fermentation.

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Old 11-21-2012, 06:34 PM   #13
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Brewers Crystals are a mix of sugars. A high percentage of sugar will often give a winey or cidery taste. This is especially pronounced if your fermentation temps were high.

So, for future brews, try a recipe with 100% grain and think about how you can control fermentation temps.

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Old 11-21-2012, 06:44 PM   #14
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Try purchasing the same ingredients as individual compoinents rather than a kit. Many times the kits sit on the shelf for a long time. Components are stocked and restocked as they are sold so tend to be fresher. Pilsen DME and 1 LB of L40 will make for a fairly light beer. On the other hand, 5 oz is a LOT of hops for a 5 gallon batch. If you do this again and are still unhappy, try the recipie forums for an IPA extract recipie.

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Old 11-21-2012, 07:08 PM   #15
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+1 to bill above. The Brewers Cyrstals could have thinned the body too, giving it a more dry champagne-like mouthfeel

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Old 11-21-2012, 07:19 PM   #16
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It's definitely the "brewers crystals". That's roughly 15% of the total fermentables (grist). I've used that much before for belgian beers. Although I've never had cidery taste, that amount will definitely thin the beer.

Malt is not fully fermentable and will leave behind residual sugar that will give it more body. Sugar is fully fermentable and can ferment to or less than 1.000 (water).

It looks to me that your supplier was trying to give you an alcohol boost on the cheap, by adding more cheap sugar to the recipe and cutting back on more expensive malt. A way to remedy this would be to reduce the sugar and add more malt on a scale of 1/1.

Check out Northern Brewer. Their kits are top notch.

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Old 11-21-2012, 08:02 PM   #17
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Okay, here is an update:

The beer is STILL undrinkable and it's been in the bottle for 2 1/2 months. What's even more concerning though, is our 2nd batch, which wasn't a kit, tastes almost EXACTLY the same. We used table sugar. Could the brewer's crystals and sugar be the cause? The high fermentation temperatures are going to be better controlled going forward. We're brewing our 3rd batch this week.

We're not using any sugar this time around. It's a partial mash with 6lbs of DME.
I'm determined to make a drinkable beer.

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Old 11-21-2012, 08:14 PM   #18
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Yes. High sugar levels definitely can give that taste, especially at higher temps.

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Old 11-21-2012, 08:35 PM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sea_of_Shells
Okay, here is an update:

The beer is STILL undrinkable and it's been in the bottle for 2 1/2 months. What's even more concerning though, is our 2nd batch, which wasn't a kit, tastes almost EXACTLY the same. We used table sugar. Could the brewer's crystals and sugar be the cause? The high fermentation temperatures are going to be better controlled going forward. We're brewing our 3rd batch this week.

We're not using any sugar this time around. It's a partial mash with 6lbs of DME.
I'm determined to make a drinkable beer.
You hit it exactly. It's thin because of the sugar and undrinkable because of the fusel alcohol created because of high ferment temps. If possible try to get the temp to around 64. Now that's beer temp not air temp. For me beer temp tends to be 6-8 degrees higher than air for the first 48 hours.

There are tons of DIY ways to control temp. Search the sites for something that will work for you.

If you make these changes, you're beer will be much better than just drinkable.

One more thing. Make sure to pitch the correct amount of yeast. Go to mrmalty.com to calculate how much yeast you'll need.
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