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Old 08-30-2006, 07:19 PM   #1
Aug 2006
Posts: 117
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I have accepted the fact that my first homebrew, which will be bottled this coming Sunday, will have lots of tannins in it due to the fact that I boiled my crystal malt grains in the wort for 60 minutes. I am also worried that I scorched the LME by pouring it all (7lbs) in at once, but that is a seperate issue. I have heard that tannins give a "medicinal" quality to the beer, however I'm not quite sure what this means. Does anyone have any input from experience on what too many tannins taste like? Will my beer still be tasty?
P.S. I was using
7lbs Pre-hopped Coopers IPA LME
1lb Crystal Malt 60L
1oz Cascades at flame-out

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Old 08-30-2006, 07:34 PM   #2
May 2006
Dallas, Texas
Posts: 345

Have you ever had a red wine that made your mouth pucker a bit or tasted "sharp"? Those are tannins at work.

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Old 08-31-2006, 12:44 AM   #3
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Jul 2006
Maryland 'burbs of Washington, D.C.
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One thing I've learned in this hobby is that no matter how much I think I've screwed up or how awful I think the beer is going to taste, I've never brewed anything that was actually undrinkable. Even my biggest goofs came out just fine!

I bet your first brew will be a pleasant surprise to you!

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Old 08-31-2006, 01:55 AM   #4
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Oct 2005
Long Island
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I'm not so sure that boiling your crystal will necessarily extract excessive tannins.

I would not recommend this practice, but I have a book written in the early 1970's that recommended this practice. I used to do this thirty odd years ago, and I never noticed excessive tannin extraction.

Tannins give a bitter, astringent taste.

Try making a couple of cups of tea with a two tea bags per cup, Put the tea bags in the cup, and fill the cup with freshly boiling water, and stir well.
Remove the tea bags from one cup after a minute. Leave the tea bags in the other cup for about 20 minutes. (When removing the tea bags, be sure to squeeze them to extract the flavor).
The difference in taste between the two cups will be largely caused by tannins.


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Old 08-31-2006, 02:01 AM   #5
G. Cretin
Jul 2006
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medicinal= taste like band aids smell

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Old 08-31-2006, 03:51 PM   #6
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Oct 2005
Oak Grove, Oregon, USA
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If the tannins are a big problem, you can use gelatin to remove them. Assuming you where making an IPA and had normal levels of bittering hops, it will just taste like you used Columbus.
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Old 08-31-2006, 04:12 PM   #7
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Jul 2006
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I boiled crystal grains AND scorched a little LME on one of my first brews. It turned out fantastic. I'm not going to do (or recommend) either of those things again, but the end result was a very drinkable beer. The boiled grains didn't add any detectable off flavors, and the scorched LME imparted a little roasted flavor completely by accident. All is probably not lost - live and learn!

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Old 09-01-2006, 02:44 AM   #8
Aug 2005
Baltimore, MD
Posts: 298

Tannins and a "medicinal" flavor are pretty different. The tannins are going to taste a little sharp, and the tea experiment hits the nail right on the head. Also, the wine example was good. Largely, the differences between white wines and red wines come from the fact that red wines have lots of tannins from the grape skins.

And about the scorched wort - scorched sugars are, pretty much, caramel. So I doubt that you'll have any regrets with this one. And it sounds like your so-called mistakes might turn out to be interesting.

Now, I'm sure you've read about decoction. This is where brewers boil the grains. So just think of your boiled grains as a loosely interpreted thin decoction!

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