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Old 09-14-2009, 03:01 AM   #1
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Default Who are you and why are you in my beer?

So I'm new to homebrewing - I've brewed about 4 or 5 extract recipes and I'm having a great time. The first 3 that I've bottled and started drinking have given me mixed results.

The first (a steam beer) turned out cloud. Unfortunately, people (including me) don't like the taste of it. It didn't turn out anywhere close to how it should have - it's not bad, but it's not good and tastes far from how it should.

The second (a belgian blond), turned out great - tastes exactly as it should and every seems to like it quite a bit. My only "issue" with it is that it's also a bit cloudy - which I wouldn't have expected for this style necessarily.

The last (an extra pale ale), turned out similar to the steam beer - very cloudy with some off-flavors. Both the pale and the steam have a "vegetabley" aftertaste - kind of like celery.

My question is this - what is the veggie taste, and more importantly, how do I get rid of it? Second, any idea how get rid of the cloudiness I've seen in the first couple of beers?

Any help you can provide is MUCH appreciated.

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Old 09-14-2009, 03:03 AM   #2
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Recipes? What kind of extract are you using?

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Old 09-14-2009, 03:05 AM   #3
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How long are you fermenting and at what temperature?

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Old 09-14-2009, 03:06 AM   #4
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Here are the recipes I used - they're from Northern Brewer:

Blonde: Lefse Blond Extract Kit

Pale: Extra Pale Ale Extract Kit

Steam: California Common Extract Kit


As an FYI - I'm doing a partial boil and diluting in the primary.

The Steam turned out pretty dark as well.

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Old 09-14-2009, 03:07 AM   #5
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Primary fermentation for about 10-14 days, then racked to secondary for another 14 days. Bottle conditioned for another 10-14 days.

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Old 09-14-2009, 03:07 AM   #6
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It's hard to say without knowing much about what you did, but vegetable flavor is often due to DMS, which is caused by not boiling long enough or hard enough.

Is it cloudy when it's at room temperature, or just when it's cold? If you don't give it enough time for the solids & yeast to settle out that might cause cloudiness all the time, or if it just gets cloudy when it's cold that's commonly due to not chilling fast enough.

These are just very general suggestions -- like I said it's hard to know without knowing more about how it was brewed.

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Old 09-14-2009, 03:07 AM   #7
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The first thing I want to ask is about your sanitation and your other techniques. I also wonder about fermentation temperature- that could be an issue here.

How do you cool the wort when the boil is over? Chilling quickly will help make a clear beer, as will a good hard boil while it's boiling.

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Old 09-14-2009, 03:10 AM   #8
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The veggie flavor will more than likely mellow with time. IPA's need a about 2-3 months IMHO before they start tasting great.

As far as your cloudiness, try using irish moss in your boils. Also, a few days in the fridge should fix it. This is most likely caused by chill haze. Having too many proteins left in the beer after your cold break can do this. If it takes you a while to cool your beer down before pitching yeast, this could be the cause.

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Old 09-14-2009, 03:14 AM   #9
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Yooper - I was really careful with cleaning everything thoroughly and sanitizing anything that came in contact with the wort. Sanitized with Iodiophor. Fermented in the range of temperatures listed for the specified yeasts - generally between 68-72 (which is tough to get down to in AZ).

After boiling, I cooled the brewpot in an ice water bath in the kitchen sink. I had also sanitized at 1 gallon rubbermaid tupperware container and froze a block of ice. That was added to the wort (since I needed to dilute to get to 5 gallons).

HotBreakHotel - it's cloudy at room temperature and cold.

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Old 09-14-2009, 03:15 AM   #10
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It seems like you let them sit long enough. It can be a challenge to make a beer very clear without cold conditioning. May you could investigate using Irish Moss to make it clearer.

As far as being dark, sometimes extract can darken during the boil. I'm not an extract brewer but I understand it can be hard to get around, but maybe others can help further.

Good for you for being picky -- that makes for a great brewer!

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