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Old 08-03-2010, 01:40 AM   #1
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Default How to achieve that "grainy/cereal" taste & body in Homebrew?

I've brewed beer for 2 years, approximately 20 batches give or take. Secretly, I've never been UBER-stoked on the taste of my homebrew, because as an avid beer connoisseur I always feel like the brew lacks body and "grainy" taste that great beers do...

Most of my beers have a slight yeasty taste (yes I know the longer I ferment, or dual-stage, the cleaner the beer will be) or go down smooth but TOO smooth, like a mild cream ale. I am obsessed with beer that has that full-mouth body and grainy/cereal-like taste.

Am I doing something wrong or do I need to get on the all-grain bandwagon already? Here's a quick summary of my current techniques:

Extract with Partial Grain
Tap Water (clean Oregon water - I've had it checked)
3 gallon boil added to 2 gallons tap water = 5 gallon carboy
Iodophor sanitizing
Whole hops - always
No yeast starter - just liquid yeast right into the carboy after cooking and cooling

Never had a problem with brew much before, but just felt like the "big boys" beer taste is missing from what I want to achieve.


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Old 08-03-2010, 01:49 AM   #2
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Oh, if you're making good beers I bet it'll take just a couple of tweaks to make it great. AG is great, but some of the best beers I've had have been PM beers so it's possible.

A couple of quick ideas- first, use a good recipe. I know that seems like duh! but there are some great recipes out there (free). Either our recipe database, or a book like Brewing Classic Styles by Jamil Zainasheff and John Palmer. Second- rethink your yeast starters (or lack of, I guess). Seriously, two things in my homebrewing career made my beer go from "good" to "great", and it's NOT AG. It's pitching the proper amount of yeast for each batch, and fermentation temperature control. Those two things can be considered one, I guess, since they both speak to yeast health and treatment. But that really is what separates the men from the boys, so to speak.

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Old 08-04-2010, 04:06 AM   #3
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Going to add one more to the message above.. The biggest thing that has improved my brews is doing 5 gallon boils. Add to that, patience, and letting the beer age a bit, and whalla.
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Old 08-04-2010, 01:53 PM   #4
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It may be as simple as the grains you are using. Some, like Roasted Barley, can impart more of a grainy flavor in the beer.
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Old 08-04-2010, 11:33 PM   #5
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add a pound of victory or biscuit malt to the next batch.

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