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Old 05-25-2005, 06:44 PM   #1
Simon Morris
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Default Bad Taste

All of my brews seam to come out tasting very sour/bitter you can also smell this taste if that make sence.

I have followed advice on brewing times,
i am keeping the brew at 20c (sorry) during fermentation and using brewers yeast, mashing at 66c and using whole hops, added once the wort is boiling then cooling to 20c in about 15mins. Colour is good, and it is clear.

It doing my head in.....
if i use a Beer kits turn out spot on ever time....


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Old 05-25-2005, 07:11 PM   #2
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What kind of brew, all grain, partial grain (with dry maltose) or all maltose, either dry or liquid???

I had 3-4 bad batches, drinkable, but easily identified as "home brew" until I started steeping grains (partial grain process) and using fresh leaf hops.

Now it is better than commercial - not a bit of that cheap "home brew" taste, with better body, etc.

Fred


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Old 05-25-2005, 07:14 PM   #3
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The bitterness would indicate too much yeast.

Sour on the other hand MAY have to do more with the type of yeast you are using and sanitary practices.
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Old 05-25-2005, 07:33 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by homebrewer_99
Sour on the other hand MAY have to do more with the type of yeast you are using and sanitary practices.
The dried brewers yeast was my first guess too. My 1st batch had a sour taste too and I used the dry yeast that looks like what you use when making bread. My next three used liquid yeast and the sour taste was no longer there. I am not sure I know what poor sanitation would make it taste like, and I prefer not to find out any time soon.
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Old 05-25-2005, 07:50 PM   #5
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Every thing is clean, that was my first idea, and then i thought yeast as it is the only thing i have not changed.

Its an all grain brew by the way.

What yeast would you recomend? but it needs to avalible in the UK.

Thanks for your help
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Old 05-25-2005, 07:55 PM   #6
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Any liquid yeast (make a starter) will be good enough.

I hope you can save it.
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Old 05-25-2005, 08:39 PM   #7
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Best way to make a starter?????
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Old 05-25-2005, 08:57 PM   #8
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Just think of it as a really small batch of beer.

These numbers vary from who you ask so if you see other numbers or recommendations don't get all uptight about it, OK?

You need to do this about the day BEFORE you plan on brewing.

Place 2 C water and 1/2 C malt into a pot a boil for 5 mins.
The lighter the better because it will not interfere with the brew style you are making.

Let cool to about 70-80 F.

Pour your liquid yeast and the malt into a sanitized bottle. Swirl it around to mix it up. Place an airlock on it.

You should see activity within 12-24 hours. This way you know the yeast is good.

Brew a batch the usual way and when you get ready to pitch your yeast you will need to sanitize the mouth of the bottle (vodka on a swab works well), light it with a match, then pour (pitch) your yeast in the normal fashoin.

Good luck!
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Old 05-25-2005, 09:05 PM   #9
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To make a starter, about 24-36 hours before I need it, I usually boil a quart of water and add around a cup of Dry Malt Extract. Let it boil for 15 minutes and then chill it. Take a large bottle, I use a 1/2 gal "growler" jug, and sanitize it by soaking in bleach and rinsing very well. Pour the chilled DME mixture into the jug and cover with aluminium foil or something. Take a deep breath and open your liquid yeast, quickly remove the foil and pour it into the jug. Seal the jug with an stopper and airlock. Breathe. Shake or swirl the mixture around to aeriate, add oxygen. Put the jug in a warm place out of direct sunlight.

By the time the next day rolls around, the airlock should be bubbling away, and your packet of yeast is now a quart of very hungry yeast. Pitch some or all of the starter. Be sure to torch the mouth of the bottle like the previous post mentioned.

If you'd like, you can take a sterilized bottle and pour some of the starter into it. Put a airlock on it and wait for the bubbling to stop. Then cap the bottle and store it in your fridge. Bam, next time you need that type of yeast, warm the bottle up, make a starter, and pour it in.

There may be better ways to make a starter, but this method has worked for me.
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Old 05-26-2005, 12:45 PM   #10
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Simon: it is highly unlikely that you have pitched too much yeast. On a homebrew scale, this is almost impossible. Homebrewers notoriously under pitch. Going with liquid yeast is a good idea, however, there are quality dry yeasts available that will certainly give you better results than what you have been getting. Dry yeast has come a long way in the past several years. Avoid any yeast that came with a kit, and stick with the major brands. Most important: check the dates on the package.

Sour and bitter sounds like sanitation to me. It's the easiest thing to screw up, so it's usually the root of most problems. Take a second look at ALL of your procedures and really analyze what you are doing post boil. Once the burner is turned off, nothing is more important than sanitation. Other than that, make sure you aren't sparging to hot (never go over 170 F) or accidentally boiling some the grains in the kettle. Boiling grain husks gives astringency that can be perceived as bitterness. Oh, I almost forgot the most obvious: are you over-hopping your beer?

Regarding the starter, what you are looking for is a starter wort with an OG of about 1.025 to 1.030 regardless of your beer style. This gravity promotes yeast growth. A 2 quart starter is recommended for ales, for lagers it's a full gallon, the more yeast the better. With this much starter wort, I like to start 3 or 4 days ahead so that the yeast ferments and settles out so I can decant off most of the liquid before pitching. I personally like to weigh my dry malt extract (DME) rather than measure by volume. DME gives about 46 gravity points per pound per gallon of water. If you run the numbers, 5.2 oz of DME in 2 quarts of water will give you a gravity of 1.030. Boil 2 quarts of water in a large pan (at least 4 qt), remove from the heat, SLOWLY add the DME (it will foam like crazy, be careful), then bring the heat back up while stirring to dissolve. Boil for 15 minutes, then submerge the pan in cold water until the temp is down to 70 F or so. Stirring the wort with a sanitized spoon and moving the pan around in the water (gently) will speed the cooling. Pour the wort into a gallon sized, sanitized, glass jug. Make sure everything that touches the wort is sanitized. Add your yeast, cover the opening with a sanitized piece of foil, hold tightly and shake it vigorously for 10 - 15 seconds to aerate. Remove the foil and put on an air lock (sanitized of course) and wait. About twice a day for the first couple of days, give the jug a swirl to keep the yeast in suspension. After this, let the yeast settle out.

If you make your starter Tuesday night and brew Saturday morning, the yeast will have mostly settled out by pitching time. I like to decant off most of the liquid, and in fact, I will pour some in a small shot glass and taste it. Be sure to flame the mouth of the jug before pouring. If the sanitation procedures are sound, it should taste nothing like beer, but should taste clean and free from whangy off flavors like those typical of infection. Leave a pint or so behind in the jug, swirl up the yeast, and pitch.

If you haven't done so already, get a copy of some brewing software like Promash (my favorite). This will help greatly in your recipe formulation.

Prosit,


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