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Old 08-30-2012, 01:22 AM   #1
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Default Need some advice...

I am pretty much giving up on homebrewing. I've brewed a few batches and they all always end up tasting funny, etc. I've done everything by the book, literally LOL. Granted, I have been using Coopers products as well as the Coopers fermenter (the one without the airlock). I live in Arizona and at times it is harder to ferment at a lower temperature in the summer (unless I invest in small fridge to control the temperature which aren't cheap) so I am at the mercy of my home air conditioning. All my batches so far has been 1-2 degrees outside the "normal" range. I wanted to brew a good batch or two, and then invest in a more deluxe beer equipment kit (primary/secondary fermenter, boil hops, large boiling pot, etc). I'm going to do one more batch (Coopers English bitter, 500g DME, 1kg corn sugar). If this batch doesn't turn out I'm done with homebrewing.

If anyone can give me any hints/advice that would be great because I want to be a good homebrewer someday. I always hear that homebrewed beer is better than store-bought beer but so far I'm not convinced.

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Old 08-30-2012, 01:25 AM   #2
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I'd ditch the Cooper's products entirely (although the fermenter is fine) and try a quality "real" kit from a place like austinhomebrew.com. I made only one Coopers kit which was terrible, but I made excellent beers right away with a quality kit and quality yeast from austinhomebrew.com. A good extract kit comes with fresh grains, great directions, and quality ingredients.

You do need to have controlled temperatures though. Fermentation really needs to be in the 60s to have a drinkable good tasting beer.

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Old 08-30-2012, 02:06 AM   #3
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Brewcraft also has some nice kits. http://shop.brewcraftusa.com/SearchB...er+Recipe+Kits
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Old 08-30-2012, 02:08 AM   #4
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Originally Posted by mattRPCA View Post
Granted, I have been using Coopers products as well as the Coopers fermenter (the one without the airlock).
Well, there's your first problem right there.

Temperature control is the next issue. Even small improvements in temp control can yield large improvements in the final quality.
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Old 08-30-2012, 02:10 AM   #5
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I live in AZ as well and temps can be a problem. however you don't have to invest in fridge/freezer to drop temps. a swamp cooler for your beer does wonders. I've made FANTASTIC beer in the dead of summer with only swamp cooling to cool my house (no A/C)
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Old 08-30-2012, 02:11 AM   #6
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Yeah, listen to Yooper. Look into a swamp cooler to keep your fermentation cool. One thing new brewers don't realize is the suggest temp for fermentation is the temp of the fermenting wort not the ambient temp. A good fermentation can raise the temp of the beer 5-10 degrees above room temp.

The most important part of brewing is fermenting.

Good luck
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Old 08-30-2012, 02:20 AM   #7
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I had issues with some funny tastes in my beers as well, not terrible, just a tad noticeable. That's when I built a ferm chamber...................awesome beer every since along with quality kits from austinhomebrewsupply.com and midwestsupplies.com. I can't tell you how much a difference in the beer there is when you start using crushed grains.
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Old 08-30-2012, 02:29 AM   #8
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Just to throw a little more on the pile, I agree with what everyone said. Get a kit from one of the big online retailers, or a local store that someone here recommends. Control your temps like this:

You can add a fan to increase cooling, but it may not be necessary.
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Old 08-30-2012, 02:35 AM   #9
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Yeah, I would bet an extract kit from any of the online retailers would be good. I made the best beers of my life from MoreBeer.com kits. Even though I do all-grain brewing now, their Janet's Brown Ale and Pliny the Elder extract kits are still the best brews I have ever made.
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Old 08-30-2012, 02:55 AM   #10
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If you don't have a fellow experienced homebrewer to brew with - find one and brew a batch together.

There is a lot to be said for seeing how this process is done successfully and finding out what you may be doing wrong.

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