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BrooZer

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Why is it that my extract brews all taste pretty much the same??
 

Beerrific

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What kind of extract are you using? I found that LME results in beers that have very similar tastes.
 

malkore

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and it seems like extract kits often don't get very creative with the hops. the ones I get always seem to be Hallertau
 

Sir Humpsalot

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Sounds like it's time to start making your own recipes....

Be prepared for a couple of really mediocre batches, followed by an explosion of comprehension and the ability to practically whip up recipes on the fly! :mug:

Buy yourself a good computer program first. Brewsmith, ProMash, whatever.



Soon, you will discover that you have a certain couple of favorite processes that are seldom done. They will become your "signature" in each beer you create. Maybe you will geek out on Maris Otter. Maybe you will use oats. Maybe you will play around with decoctions or dry-hopping high AA hops. Personally, I don't like dry-hopping, but I do a lot of First-Wort Hopping. It's what I do. It celebrates hops while adding less bitterness and more garden-flavor and fresh complexity. It's part of my signature taste. Maybe it's time for you to spread your wings a little....
 

mawa

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I understand your frustration BrooZer

I've made 6 batches so far, and it's not like they taste exactly the same, they do have differences but there has always been this "taste" in all of the batches that I cannot describe, but it's always there.

I've read in the forum about an "extract twang" but haven't seen a detailed explanation for this or how to get rid of it or at least minimize it.

All my batches have been with LME and have used different hops. All of them have been purchased at AHS.

Would using DME instead of LME help get rid of the "twang"?

Regards!
Mawa
 

Sir Humpsalot

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mawa said:
I understand your frustration BrooZer

I've made 6 batches so far, and it's not like they taste exactly the same, they do have differences but there has always been this "taste" in all of the batches that I cannot describe, but it's always there.

I've read in the forum about an "extract twang" but haven't seen a detailed explanation for this or how to get rid of it or at least minimize it.

All my batches have been with LME and have used different hops. All of them have been purchased at AHS.

Would using DME instead of LME help get rid of the "twang"?

Regards!
Mawa

For less than $20 or so, you can have the tools to be doing partial mashing which will dramatically increase your range of flavors. Why not give that a shot?
 

talleymonster

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malkore said:
and it seems like extract kits often don't get very creative with the hops. the ones I get always seem to be Hallertau

Actually of the 4 extract kits I have done, they have never included hallertau.

So far I have seen Northern Brewer, Fuggles, and Cascade.
 

Beerrific

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mawa said:
I understand your frustration BrooZer

I've made 6 batches so far, and it's not like they taste exactly the same, they do have differences but there has always been this "taste" in all of the batches that I cannot describe, but it's always there.

I've read in the forum about an "extract twang" but haven't seen a detailed explanation for this or how to get rid of it or at least minimize it.

All my batches have been with LME and have used different hops. All of them have been purchased at AHS.

Would using DME instead of LME help get rid of the "twang"?

Regards!
Mawa
Extract 'twang': Described as molasses or licorice, caused by aging of the LME (ages since there is water still in it), get rid of it by using LME very fresh or go all DME, putting recipes together will let you choose your ingredients (such as DME), the aging of LME also makes it darker

You might try asking AHS if they would let you sub DME, you would have to pick up the price difference but well worth it IMO.
 

McKBrew

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I've had the twang in every LME brew I've made. Definately try DME, but it will cost more or look into a partial mash. I am going to try it next time.
 

mrk305

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You are at the right place. Read things on this sight and others and start doing partial mash brews. It is just like making iced tea and then adding stuff and boiling it. All I use is large stainless steel pots. It will add about an hour to your brewing time, but I use that time to bottle whatever I have in my secondary.
 

ArroganceFan

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I was all excited about my first brew getting close to being done, now I am not so sure about it as it was a LME kit from AHB...

SWMBO isnt going to be happy about more equipment. Wish me luck
 

Madtown Brew

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You could try adding the extract later in the boil. For my PM's, I usually add it at about 15 min left. If your only using extract (with or without steeping grains) then maybe add half at the beginning of the boil and half at 15 min left.
 

Zymurgrafi

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I just skimmed the other repies but has anyone talked about yeast? What yeasts are you using? Always the same one? Do your recipes use any specialty grains or is it straight up extract?
 

BNVince

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Madtown Brew said:
You could try adding the extract later in the boil. For my PM's, I usually add it at about 15 min left. If your only using extract (with or without steeping grains) then maybe add half at the beginning of the boil and half at 15 min left.
John Palmer suggests this in his book too. He adds all the DME in the beginning of the boil and all the LME with 5 minutes left in the boil. He claims it results in a clearer beer as well.
 

subourbonite

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I am not an expert, so all I can do is chime in with my experience. I did about 5 extract batches w/ steeped grains, all recipes from my LHBS. All used LME, but a variety of yeasts (all dried - Nottingham, S-04, US-05, Munton's Gold and Windsor) and hops (Hallertau, Saaz, Cascade, Chinook, Perle, EKG, Fuggles).

Regardless of the style of beer and the ingredients, all of these batches had a similar taste to them, very much like what you are describing. My sixth batch (an English-style pale ale) also used LME, but I did a late extract addition - 1/2 at the beginning, 1/2 at the end. The extract taste is more subdued, but it is still there.

After that last extract batch, I bit the bullet and purchased a 10-gallon Victory cooler to convert, using FlyGuy's great instructions. My first all-grain batch (a brown ale) is in secondary right now, but the samples I have taken from it have been extremely promising. This is despite the fact that I had an MLT-malfunction and ended up with some grain husks in the wort (tannins :eek: ).

That same "extract taste" that I had in all of my extract brews is not present in any of the hydrometer samples from my first AG batch; the batch is certainly far from perfect, but the fact that I got rid of that flavor has given me hope for my future batches. I am not sure whether switching to DME would have fixed my problem; I am also not sure how fresh the LME at the store is, but the owners seem to go through quite a bit, and don't seem like the kind of people to sell sub-par ingredients.

Whatever the cause of your problem, I wish you the best of luck in resolving it!
 

DaveT

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I am not sure if it is my error, but I have the same taste in the 2 batches that I have done also. I will be bottling my 3rd soon and my 4th is in primary. The first was corona and does not taste much like corona, way too hoppy. my second is the pikes IPA and that tates sinilar to the first one, but not as hoppy. Kinda dissapointed so far but I have other issues with them anyways.
 

cclloyd

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I have used bulk LME in all my batches and some 1K bags of DME in a couple with steeped grains in all but my very first batch and I have yet to have any off flavors or "twang". Maybe I'm lucky maybe it's something I'm doing or not doing I dunno. I do know that every one of my friends who has tried any or all of my brews so far are all coming back for more and anxiously awaiting the next batch. I've made 10 batched so far and all of the nine that are bottled have been really good and all have distinct profiles and flavors. I've used Safale US-05 in most of the batches - Nottingham Ale yeast in one and I did a hefe and a dunkel with Wyeast 3068.
I have been reading Papazians book and will likely go full boil as soon as I can find a 10Gal SS pot that doesn't set me back $$$ too much and will eventually go AG. For now, I'm gonna keep doin what I'm doin.
 

Mayday99

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cclloyd said:
I have used bulk LME in all my batches and some 1K bags of DME in a couple with steeped grains in all but my very first batch and I have yet to have any off flavors or "twang". Maybe I'm lucky maybe it's something I'm doing or not doing I dunno. I do know that every one of my friends who has tried any or all of my brews so far are all coming back for more and anxiously awaiting the next batch. I've made 10 batched so far and all of the nine that are bottled have been really good and all have distinct profiles and flavors. I've used Safale US-05 in most of the batches - Nottingham Ale yeast in one and I did a hefe and a dunkel with Wyeast 3068.
I have been reading Papazians book and will likely go full boil as soon as I can find a 10Gal SS pot that doesn't set me back $$$ too much and will eventually go AG. For now, I'm gonna keep doin what I'm doin.
Where are you getting your LME from? Are you using the canned kind or the kind that comes in a jug?

Thanks!
 

Muss

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Would steeping some specialty grains help? It might add a bit of a freshness taste which is lost when using only LME.
 

TheJadedDog

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I would suggest getting kits with specialty grains; extract batches are going to taste similar if you are only using the extract (it's all the same). Specialty grains will add flavor, body, and malt character to your extract brews and it is not any harder than brewing with just extract.

As for extract twang, go all DME and you'll never have to worry about it again.
 
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BrooZer

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Thanks guys for all of your responses. I have been using extract kits from AHBS with specialty grains and mostly LME partial DME. I have used different yeasts and also obviously brewed different kits. I dont konw how to partial mash, all I have is a 22qt stock pot so I cant do full boils, my stove cant even get a vigourous boil out of 3 gallons.

Im thining about doing my next beer all DME. Any other suggestions?
 

brewt00l

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BrooZer said:
Why is it that my extract brews all taste pretty much the same??
BrooZer said:
Thanks guys for all of your responses. I have been using extract kits from AHBS with specialty grains and mostly LME partial DME. I have used different yeasts and also obviously brewed different kits. I dont konw how to partial mash, all I have is a 22qt stock pot so I cant do full boils, my stove cant even get a vigourous boil out of 3 gallons.

Im thining about doing my next beer all DME. Any other suggestions?
I have done several of the AHS kits (and some Midwest kits too) with LME and speciality grains and can tell you that they didn't taste the same or exhibit any "twang" or other odd/off flavors.

Which kits have you brewed?
 

Richard

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brewt00l said:
I have done several of the AHS kits (and some Midwest kits too) with LME and speciality grains and can tell you that they didn't taste the same or exhibit any "twang" or other odd/off flavors.
Glad to hear that, as I had fun brewing my first batch (AHS) with steeping grains and hops, and I'm quite looking forward to doing some more from AHS. All my previous batches were extract only, but I didn't notice any twang. Perhaps there's something in BrooZer's water...
 

rdwj

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BrooZer said:
all I have is a 22qt stock pot so I cant do full boils, my stove cant even get a vigourous boil out of 3 gallons.
I'd bet that's you're problem. I noticed a bit of a twang when I did partial boils. Once I moved to full boils, that taste was gone. I've used both DME and LME and haven't had a problem with either (except for some color issues).

Perhaps try filtered water
 

Evan!

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BrooZer said:
Thanks guys for all of your responses. I have been using extract kits from AHBS with specialty grains and mostly LME partial DME. I have used different yeasts and also obviously brewed different kits. I dont konw how to partial mash, all I have is a 22qt stock pot so I cant do full boils, my stove cant even get a vigourous boil out of 3 gallons.

Im thining about doing my next beer all DME. Any other suggestions?
  1. Get Papazian's Complete Joy of Homebrewing, where partial mashing is explained in great detail. That's how I learned. It's really not that difficult. When I started PM's, I was just using the existing equipment I had (direct-fired mash), and sparged using the pasta insert that came with our cookware set.
  2. Aerate, aerate, aerate. If you don't have an aeration or oxygenation kit yet, get one. This, I've found, is immensely important in higher attenuation, and results in healthier ferments and better beer.
  3. Use liquid yeasts where possible, and always make a starter when using them.
  4. CONTROL YOUR FERMENTATION TEMPS! For ales, keep that sucker well below 70f. My brews improved immensely once I got my fermentation temps under control. When my lagerator is occupado during the summer months, I still use the simple method of putting the carboy into my utility sink, stopping the drain up, filling 2/3 with cold water, then adding frozen water-filled apple juice jugs. This cools it down considerably. I cannot stress enough how important fermentation temps are to the finaly quality of your beer.

Good luck!!! I've been in your place before, I've felt your pain...but there are ways to get past it. :mug:

Oh, and regarding your stove...wait till November if you can. WalMart will have turkey fryer kits for $40. You get a 55,000 BTU propane burner + stand, a 30qt alum pot (great for brewing, I still use mine), and a dial thermometer (not very accurate but good for sparge water temp monitoring, etc.). I bought two.
 

ohiobrewtus

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Damn Squirrels said:
For less than $20 or so, you can have the tools to be doing partial mashing which will dramatically increase your range of flavors. Why not give that a shot?
I agree. Once you go to PM you will notice a marked improvement in the flavor of your beer.
 

Evan!

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ohiobrewtus said:
I agree. Once you go to PM you will notice a marked improvement in the flavor of your beer.
My biggest makred improvement in quality came when I moved to partial mash...and the higher my grain/extract ratio got, the better the beers were. I can't say that AG is the pinnacle...I'd say that, all other things being equal, there's no significant difference between a mostly-mash and an all-grain...but the difference between a 20/80 grain-to-extract brew and an 80/20 grain-to-extract brew is pretty amazing.
 

brewt00l

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ohiobrewtus said:
I agree. Once you go to PM you will notice a marked improvement in the flavor of your beer.

...course, if you are already having issues with brewing extract w/ grain you might just be introducing more variables with out diagnosing the initial cause (or you may just eliminate it by removing/adding a process/technique/habit). Not that I disagree with your point in essence.
 

Mayday99

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Great tip on the turkey fryer, I found this
On Amazon. Seems like it would be worth the price for the pot alone, plus the shipping is free.
 
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BrooZer

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Evan! said:

  1. Oh, and regarding your stove...wait till November if you can. WalMart will have turkey fryer kits for $40. You get a 55,000 BTU propane burner + stand, a 30qt alum pot (great for brewing, I still use mine), and a dial thermometer (not very accurate but good for sparge water temp monitoring, etc.). I bought two.



  1. Thanks for the info and I do have a copy of Papazians book as well as Palmers.

    Do you use the aluminum pot that came with? I thought that was bad.
 

Philip1993

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Evan! said:
dial thermometer (not very accurate but good for sparge water temp monitoring, etc.).
One note: Most cheap mechanical thermometers are not very accurate in the top and bottom 10% of their ranges. If your fryer comes with a 750* oil thermometer, I wouldn't trust it for mash temps (<200*).
 
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BrooZer

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BrooZer said:
Do you use the aluminum pot that came with? I thought that was bad.

Still curious about those aluminum turkey fryer pots. Are they bad?
 

subourbonite

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BrooZer said:
Still curious about those aluminum turkey fryer pots. Are they bad?
No. Stainless is more durable, but aluminum is fine. Helps if you boil just water in the aluminum pot for ~30 minutes before you use it for the first time - this will build up a layer of oxidation to prevent a small amount (less than what is in Tums) of aluminum from getting into the first batch that you make in it.
 
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