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Old 02-01-2013, 03:55 AM   #1
Dec 2012
Posts: 37

I am now just starting to enjoy my first brew and it tastes okay but it seems really dark for a brown ale. I used the NB caribou slobber extract kit and followed the instructions fairly well... I had a few newb moments, okay, maybe a lot. These are my notes... Steeped grains for 30 not 20 and poured wort through grains with strainer or amateur mashed for last 5 min. Also temp got up to 170 for the first 5 min. Of steep. Brought up to boil and forgot to add LME till 10 min in. But did add first hop addition at 60... Propane tank ran out at 30 so got replacement, took 10min, returned to boil... Had about 2 gal of wort when done... Chilling took forever about 40mim... Forgot to airate prior to yeast pitch but did so immediately afterward... Fermentation was vigorously active after 12 hrs had to switch to blow off tube... OG was 1.055 two weeks later FG was 1.020 secondary for 3 weeks and bottle for 2 weeks. The beer tastes good but a bit sour... It is very dark compared to what I've seen or heard. The pic I've attached is of my brown ale that a looks like a stout... Can anyone tell me about the color but more importantly the sour taste?
Thank you...

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Old 02-01-2013, 04:05 AM   #2
Ogri's Avatar
Sep 2011
Osaka, Japan
Posts: 854
Liked 82 Times on 76 Posts

The sour note could be extract twang. A lot of people tend to add LME closer to the end of the boil, or even after flame out, to avoid scorching or inducing Maillard reactions in the extract. Twang and a darkening of the wort can be caused by adding extract whilst the brew kettle is over a flame.

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Old 02-01-2013, 04:06 AM   #3
Sep 2012
Posts: 120
Liked 3 Times on 3 Posts

Sour taste could be tannins from steeping at too high a temperature; though I wouldn't describe typical tannin flavor as sour but I can see how it may taste that way. 170 (assuming it didnt go over at all) should be okay but you usually want to stick mid 150s. Steep time shouldn't be an issue. As far as color goes, with a recipe kit, that is how it is designed so not much variation there. If you look at English browns, e.g. Newcastle, they're typical more pale in color than the American brown ale. I've seen some american craft browns that are quite dark so it may just be what you're looking to make. But my guess on the flavor is tannin extraction... And there is always the sanitation threat and the beer may still be "green". So let it sit a couple weeks, flavors mellow out and malt comes through; may be a completely different beer then. But good job on the note taking. It will definitely help you in the long run. Consistency is key.

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