Originally Posted by DtownRiot
Hi and thanks for reading, even more thanks for replying. So I just bottled my first batch of Munton's IPA last night. This is my first attempt at home brewing.
First things first. I did not follow the recipe. I was told by my supplier to boost the alcohol content by adding more sugar. So I did. I added six cups of confectioner's sugar (the powdery stuff) to my batch. This ultimately resulted in cidery tasting samples. Then I added five ounces of dextrose to my bottling bucket to give the beer carbonation at bottling time. This was not on the recipe either but my supplier recommended it.
Out of curiosity I chilled one of the beers I had bottled and decided to try it out. It looked like piss. It was the exact color of pee and was so cloudy that I couldn't see the Yuengling label through the liquid that was printed on my glass. Now the taste. I realized that my beer was not yet carbonated nor aged, but I wanted to get a feel for what it may turn out to be in a couple of weeks. It tasted very cidery and nothing like any IPA I've ever had. Not to mention that I've never seen an IPA have a color like my brew.
*** QUESTION TIME *** What kind of sugar do you add to your wort that will boost alcohol and not taste cidery? Why is my beer so cloudy? What kind of sugar are you supposed to add to aide in carbonating and how much? And lastly, Why was my beer that dreadful color?
Hopefully the aging and carbonating will help the taste and color.
Any help is greatly appreciated guys and gals.
Wow- lots of questions! I'll try answer most of them as best as I can. First of all, it will improve in the bottle. Carbonation and a little time makes a huge difference in the beer.
Now, some of the things I see as problems- first is the confectioner's sugar. If someone told you to do that, that was bad advice. If you did it on your own, then don't do that again! Some brewing kits do use sugar in them, but those are usually canned kits that use corn sugar to boost the fermentables. Some people like the results, but when I tried it, it wasn't very good. Confectioner's sugar is not a good choice for brewing- it's finely ground table sugar mixed with things such as corn starch. If you feel that you must use sugar, use corn sugar (dextrose).
My thoughts on why it's so cloudy- well, a couple of reasons. I bet it's not 5-6 weeks old, which is a good time to start drinking. Also, the powdered sugar probably has some starches in it (like cornstarch) that will be hazy in beer.
You did fine with the dextrose (corn sugar) for priming- that's what most of us use. That's about right- 5 ounces by weight for 5 gallons of beer.
Do you have and use a hydrometer? I find that they are very helpful in determining when fermentation is finished and to help decide when to bottle.
I'd recommend reading some recipes here on the site, and to see howtobrew.com, an online book that explains the ingredients better than I can. I would say though that the better extract beers I've had use NO sugar at all, except for the priming sugar. I like to use malt, hops, water and yeast for everyday beers. There may be a place for other ingredients in some styles, but for a beginner it's helpful to not get too fancy.
Where are you located? If you're in the US, there are many online retailers that sell beer kits. A "Brewer's Best" kit is a good place to start. I'm not familiar with the Munton's kit- what were their instructions like?
I'd also recommend austinhomebrew.com for kits, as well as northernbrewer.com. They have excellent instructions, and fresh (not canned) ingredients to make good beginner beers.