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Old 08-14-2012, 07:15 PM   #11
FirstStateBrewer
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Since you can't describe what a "homebrew" taste is, I recommend you have more experienced brewers or certified beer judges taste you beer to see if they can tell you what they taste in your beer. Have you entered any of your beers in competitions? You would really hate to go through all the trouble & expense of switching over to all-grain only to keep tasting "homebrew" in your beer!



 
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Old 08-14-2012, 07:18 PM   #12
daksin
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mjohnson View Post
I'm guessing its due to fermentation. I was in your shoes. Once I started making starters, using pure O2, and controlling fermentation temps, my beers started tasting as good as commercial beers (once and a while, better). If ambient temp is 70, then the fermentation is likely going higher than that (it produces heat) which could cause flavor issues. Switching to all-grain won't fix that.

I've had some really good beers made with extract. It is possible. I'd get your fermentation processes in check before you switch to all-grain (but then I'd switch to all grain - its super fun).
Can't say "THIS" enough.

It just plain doesn't matter if you're brewing extract or all grain. To get high quality beer the only things you need to look at are:

Pitching the CORRECT NUMBER of HEALTHY yeast cells.
Oxygenating properly with pure O2 to get 10ppm dissolved oxygen
Fermenting at exactly the correct temperature for the ENTIRE duration of the ferment.
Pitching the yeast at or below fermentation temperatures.

If you do those things and are working with a good recipe, your beers will be commercial quality.


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Old 08-14-2012, 07:19 PM   #13
starrfish
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Dry malt extract may help clean that taste up, esp with a good portion of it added as a late addition.
When I used Liquid Malt Extract, I noticed that extract twang. Never noticed it with Dry Malt Extract.
When I moved to late extract additions (last 15min of boil) I noticed beers became lighter & truer to color expected.

I've gone as High as adding 50% of Dry Malt Extract in last 15min of boil of a partial mash batch.

That being said since I have moved to all-grain I feel my beers are cleaner, but I did struggle with astringency in some of my beers in the first several AGs. Each method has it's problems.

Ferm Temp Control is my next issue to tackle on a budget and limited space..... going to give one of these a shot http://www.homebrewtalk.com/f41/new-...cooler-296052/
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Old 08-14-2012, 07:25 PM   #14
Doed
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Mikey_Dawg,

I think I know what you mean. When I was extract brewing, I first did partial boils, then moved to full boils. I seemed to notice an odd flavor with my beers. I attributed it to that extract "twang" that I had read about on HBT. I switched to all grain and that flavor was gone. At the time, that was the only change I made to my brewing. I was still using the same water, still fermenting in my basement, still doing full boils.

I have just acquired a small chest freezer to use as a fermentation chamber and built the Ebay aquarium temperature controller to run it. I have my first brew in there right now. Temperature is 65* and the fermentation is rocking. We will see how it tastes in a few weeks.

 
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Old 08-14-2012, 07:50 PM   #15
Mikey_Dawg
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Doed View Post
Mikey_Dawg,

I think I know what you mean. When I was extract brewing, I first did partial boils, then moved to full boils. I seemed to notice an odd flavor with my beers. I attributed it to that extract "twang" that I had read about on HBT. I switched to all grain and that flavor was gone. At the time, that was the only change I made to my brewing. I was still using the same water, still fermenting in my basement, still doing full boils.

I have just acquired a small chest freezer to use as a fermentation chamber and built the Ebay aquarium temperature controller to run it. I have my first brew in there right now. Temperature is 65* and the fermentation is rocking. We will see how it tastes in a few weeks.
Extract twang...hmm...this might be what I am describing. It isnt always as noticeable from beer to beer and overall, I am very pleased with the results of my beer. I just notice something from time to time that I could do without....again, not anything that would make me think the beer was bad, but just an off flavor you dont taste with commercial beers.

 
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Old 08-14-2012, 08:09 PM   #16
fastenova
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mikey_Dawg View Post
Extract twang...hmm...this might be what I am describing. It isnt always as noticeable from beer to beer and overall, I am very pleased with the results of my beer. I just notice something from time to time that I could do without....again, not anything that would make me think the beer was bad, but just an off flavor you dont taste with commercial beers.
Have you tried any recipes with late extract addition? It will allow for higher hop utilization as well so be sure to take that into account or you'll end up with bitterer beers than anticipated. On the flipside you can save $ on hops when doing IPAs and the like if you do a large late addition. =]

Personally I've done ten extract batches and ~5 all-grain batches this year, and I did NOT notice any distinct taste brewing extract vs. all-grain. I have done both 100% early addition as well as 25/75 early/late addition for my LME (I never use DME except for starters) and haven't noticed the 'twang' that most people talk about, but my LHBS turns over LME VERY fast and I feel like it's about as fresh as you can get.

I have noticed more 'interesting' flavor from higher ferm temps as summer has rolled in - my fermentation area is closer to 70' in the summer, and 66' in the winter, but it stays pretty constant at that temp, with my fermenters reaching a max of about 72' during very vigorous fermentation. However these flavors seem to mellow out after being in the keg for 1-2 full weeks (plus the 2-3 weeks in primary).

My kegs don't generally last more than 2 months, so I can't say anything about how they hold up.

I would second the idea of using bottled or RO water for a few batches just to see if that takes changes anything - also, assuming you're on a city water system vs. a well, does your water contain chloramine? You can remove this from your water by letting it sit out uncovered overnight, or by boiling before you start adding ingredients, my understanding is that this can change the taste of beer a bit if the city adds higher than average levels.

 
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Old 08-14-2012, 08:18 PM   #17
mjohnson
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mikey_Dawg View Post
Extract twang...hmm...this might be what I am describing. It isnt always as noticeable from beer to beer and overall, I am very pleased with the results of my beer. I just notice something from time to time that I could do without....again, not anything that would make me think the beer was bad, but just an off flavor you dont taste with commercial beers.
I think I know exactly what you mean. Its not bad, but its just kinda makes you think, this isn't quite as good as it should be. I think pitching rates and fermentation control were a big part of my slight off flavors. I have a theory that going all-grain gets a lot of props for eliminating these kind of "meh" beers because brewers typically start to get more sophisticated with starters and ferm control at the same time as going all-grain. Correlation vs causation. Its just my pet theory, though. Ymmv.

Just fyi - I don't believe that chloramines will dissipate by leaving the water out over night. I think chlorine will, but my understanding is that the benefit of chloramines is that they are more stable. Using 1/4 a campden tablet per 5 gallons of water will get rid of chloramines.

 
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Old 08-14-2012, 08:22 PM   #18
fastenova
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mjohnson View Post
Just fyi - I don't believe that chloramines will dissipate by leaving the water out over night. I think chlorine will, but my understanding is that the benefit of chloramines is that they are more stable. Using 1/4 a campden tablet per 5 gallons of water will get rid of chloramines.
Thanks a lot for adding that, I'll have to read up on it - I think you're right about chlorine evaporating, I had assumed (oops) that it was the same for chloramine! Thankfully my city doesn't add chlorine or chloramine so I get to just use my tap water.

 
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Old 08-14-2012, 08:29 PM   #19
DonMagee
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My first beers had a 'twang' to them that I thought was from using extract and it is what pushed me to all grain. What I have learned from that is that it is the process that makes the beer. Good recipes, good technique, and attention to detail is what makes good beer.

The beer I make now is 100% better than the beer I made when I first moved to extract. That beer was better simply because I was getting better at making beer. I'm going to make some extract beers this winter to test my theory.

In fact, I was recently mad that my beer tasted exactly like a commercial beer. I wanted something unique.

 
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Old 08-14-2012, 08:46 PM   #20
RainyDay
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I'm guessing you're just tasting more yeast than in commercial beers. I really think the Homebrew taste is yeast. And i'm with you, I taste it too, although I enjoy it. Commercial beers are filtered as mentioned above, and force carb, so there's not much yeast with the exception of hefe's and belgians (etc).



 
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