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Home Brew Forums > Home Brewing Beer > Beginners Beer Brewing Forum > Why do pre-hopped kits taste so bad?
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Old 08-31-2009, 05:35 AM   #1
Casey27
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Default Why do pre-hopped kits taste so bad?

When I first tried homebrewing about 12 years ago I started with a couple of those canned pre-hopped kits with the little yeast pack on top. Even to my uneducated palate something tasted wrong with those beers. There was a sharp harsh unpleasant taste that is characteristic of that type of kit. I soon quit homebrewing for 10+ years.

Since I started brewing again, doing things the right way this time, I have never had a beer with those off flavors. But recently I tried some beers that someone else brewed with the canned kits, and the memories came rushing back. Each had that same taste to it, regardless of brand or style.

So, my question is: what makes that distinctive canned kit taste? Is it the lack of freshness in the ingredients? Or perhaps the pre-hopping?

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Old 08-31-2009, 05:39 AM   #2
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Probably a lot to do with the freshness. There might also be some user error there as well since you have to figure most people using pre-hopped kits are just started out

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Old 08-31-2009, 05:41 AM   #3
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So, my question is: what makes that distinctive canned kit taste? Is it the lack of freshness in the ingredients? Or perhaps the pre-hopping?
A little of both probably. Also, the instructions on those can are just plain bad. If you use a couple pounds of sugar suggested in the instructions instead of malt to make them, it's even worse.

Those kits are good for new brewers to learn the techniques of sanitation and brewing so they are not worthless. Also, I have drank several canned kits that didn't taste bad at all but they were made by brewers that did not follow the instructions.
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Old 08-31-2009, 05:45 AM   #4
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I think it's a couple of things. Freshness, sure. Cheap ingredients, of course. There's the fact that the malt is, well, pre-hopped, so you get IBUs but no hop aroma. I haven't looked at a kit in a while, but I remember reading the directions on one and they said it wasn't necessary to boil for an hour. Fundamentally, you've got stale cheap ingredients and over-simplified directions.

I had a friend help me brew yesterday, and he was absolutely amazed at the process. He said two things really surprised him:

(1) The beer actually tasted like real microbrew, not what he thought homebrew tasted like, and
(2) It really wasn't that hard.

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Old 08-31-2009, 05:48 AM   #5
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I had the same complaint with my mr. beer kit. after the first prehopped pale ale kit that came with it, I made the remainder of my batches in it with DME, steeped crystal malts, and hop pellets. It didn't take me long to move past pre-hopped and not look back. I'm not sure of the reason though why they are so ****y.

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Old 08-31-2009, 06:25 AM   #6
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Whew, lucky for me I didn't start with pre-hopped kits. LHBS hooked it up right, even though I made many of my first brews with LME (ugh!) But again, like many have said before, once I stopped following the beginner instructions and did even the slightest bit of research on proper procedure, my beers became 1000% better.

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Old 08-31-2009, 07:02 AM   #7
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Whew, lucky for me I didn't start with pre-hopped kits. LHBS hooked it up right, even though I made many of my first brews with LME (ugh!) But again, like many have said before, once I stopped following the beginner instructions and did even the slightest bit of research on proper procedure, my beers became 1000% better.
whats wrong with LME?
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Old 08-31-2009, 07:07 AM   #8
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whats wrong with LME?
Liquid Malt Extract
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Old 08-31-2009, 07:25 AM   #9
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Liquid Malt Extract

Not what? what's wrong reno_envy? I am doing partial mashes now, less than half of my grain bill being ultra-light LME. I don't see a problem with it. my beers are amazing
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Old 08-31-2009, 08:10 AM   #10
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whats wrong with LME?
Absolutely nothing is wrong with LME. It is best to buy it fresh and not in cans.

There are a lot of people that have used bad LME and blame it on the LME instead of freshness or LME in a metal can.

You can make excellent beers using malt extract. Just don't let anyone ask you if the beer you are offering them is extract or all-grain before they taste it.

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