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Old 05-04-2011, 12:02 AM   #1
ckemper2
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Default Round 2, beer still fruity

I want to start out by saying that I am VERY new to homebrewing.

Round 1: I decided to start with a kit just to get the process down. Everything was well-sanitized, and we let the beer ferment for a little more than a week in primary and then two in secondary because that was what the kit said to do. It fermented in a room that was around 70 degrees the whole time. It turned out tasting like a weird hard cider.

Round 2: Used another kit, but did some more research before starting this time. Everything was well-sterilized again. Thinking that maybe that it didn't ferment long enough and at too high of a temperature, we decided to ferment it in a room that is about 60 degrees. It's been two weeks now, and it smells JUST like the last batch did - like apples/pears.

Both times the hydrometer showed that yes, indeed, it is fermenting, and both times it has reached the reading suggested by the kit.

Both times there has been no airlock activity, but we can't find any areas that aren't sealed.

What's the longest we can let this sit? Is that the problem? Is this an issue with kits? Any more ideas?

Thanks!


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Old 05-04-2011, 12:10 AM   #2
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What's the recipe?


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Old 05-04-2011, 12:13 AM   #3
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do you have a stick-on thermometer to see the actual beer temperature? Which yeast strain did you use? If you used Cooper's or Munton's, throw those out and get Safale S04, S05, or Nottingham. They have 11 gram packages, which is big enough to ferment a 5 gallon batch.

If you used a Cooper's kit with tons of sugar, that would be another cause of bad flavor. I don't recommend them at all. I think the John Bull kits are similar, and wouldn't use that one either.

A good kit would contain malt extract, some grains, some fresh yeast, and no sugar. Which kit did you buy? We can help you make it work!
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Old 05-04-2011, 03:23 AM   #4
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The kits were Munton's Brown Ale. They call for 2.2 lbs of sugar. The first time I used cane sugar (bad idea I've been told) so I am now using corn sugar...that's what I am supposed to use, right?

I do have the stick-on thermometer to get the beer temp the second time, it's always 63-65.

Also, I'm in Alaska, and there is only one place to buy kits up where I live (the Interior); they are pretty much all Muntons. They come with some yeast and hopped malt extract, you provide the sugar yourself.

If this is a bad brand, is there a super-easy starters recipe that would be better?

Thanks for helping me everyone

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Old 05-04-2011, 03:39 AM   #5
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Well, generally speaking round 1 and 2 would be good temperature wise. I'm thinking it's the sugar. Many people say that the addition of regular sugar and corn sugar can give it a cidery taste. I don't do the kits so it's probably not the best advice on that part, but your best bet is just going with the actual extract (even if it's pre hopped), hops and yeast. If it's possible to get more extract, you could probably use that instead of the sugar.
I'd best leave it to the people who use/modify the kits. I'll post this http://www.homebrewtalk.com/f14/home...alaska-235251/ if this helps. There's not a whole lot there (seems it was a few posts in early April), but you should be able to find something at your LHBS that's not a kit.
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Old 05-04-2011, 01:39 PM   #6
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That's too much sugar, IMO. Frankly, for almost any kit I would substitute some Dry Malt Extract for the sugar. Check and see if your LHBS has some of that. There is a percentage, by weight, that corresponds with table sugar to achieve the same amount of fermentable (I would not try ti hit it precisely, just shoot to get close).

Sugar is fine if used up to like 10-20% of total fermentables, or if used in certain styles, like some Belgians, which are supposed to have a fruity flavor profile.

They recommend using sugar because they think that people who use their kits aren't going to care if the beer isn't "great", and because it makes the cost of the beer a bit cheaper.

If the kit is fresh, and you ferment at the low 60's like you did for batch 2, you should be able to produce a much better beer by substituting the sugar with some Malt Extract.
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Old 05-04-2011, 02:04 PM   #7
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My first thought was sugar, too, even before you posted the recipe. I've been fermenting at about the same temp, and while I'm thinking of trying to move to a different room to get a little bit lower temp (especially with summer coming), my beer definitely doesn't taste like cider. And cider-y flavors is exactly what I've always read will happen if you use too much sugar in comparison to malt extract.
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Old 05-04-2011, 04:00 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jsweet View Post
My first thought was sugar, too, even before you posted the recipe. I've been fermenting at about the same temp, and while I'm thinking of trying to move to a different room to get a little bit lower temp (especially with summer coming), my beer definitely doesn't taste like cider. And cider-y flavors is exactly what I've always read will happen if you use too much sugar in comparison to malt extract.
Not so much "cidery", but thin, dry and not as good as using malt extract.

I'm not a fan of no-boil prehopped kits, and I think Munton's yeast is the worst possible thing you could put in a beer. The packages are too small, the yeast has trouble fermenting maltose (the sugars in wort) and is not regarded as a good yeast for all-malt beers.

I'd suggest mail ordering some quality kits and ingredients- that's what I have to do where I live- and it's worth it.

A good kit will have crushed grains to steep, malt extract for the fermentables, hops, and a good quality yeast. Dry yeast is fine, but not Cooper's or Munton's. Try Safale S05 or S04, or nottingham, for dry yeast.
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Old 05-04-2011, 06:04 PM   #9
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Get yourself a high quality kit, like from here: http://www.austinhomebrew.com/index.php?cPath=178_452

These aren't even kits, just all the ingredients you need to make a fantastic beer. Pick your favourite commercial beer and buy a clone from AHB above. This will give you a yard stick to measure your finished result.
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Old 05-04-2011, 06:27 PM   #10
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I agree with the comments above. Don't waste your money anymore with the munton's kits. I made a couple batches with the "boil can of syrup" kits and wasn't really pleased with the outcome. It was good for me to ease into the hobby, but once I steeped grains, added real hops, used malt extract and pitched good yeast I realized I was never going back to the other method.


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