Both FIrst Batches Taste Very Alcoholicly

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rohovie

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Hello,

I'm still faily new to brewing, i've done two batches now of the Barons Kit (Pilsner and Hi-Test). Both batches taste very good, very drinkable, but seem to have a stong alcoholicly (if thats even a word) taste to them. Almost simililar to a bad Canadian beer like a Black Ice, Big Bear, Colt 45 (for us Canadians). Based off hydrometer readings, they came out to about 4.7% and 5.1% abv. Both batches I have also added in more water than requied (I topped off the carboy after the fermenter).

Is there something wrong I am doing to make this happen? Or can I expect this from home brew? Or perhaps, is it just the two kits I have picked happen to taste like this do you think, and shouldnt expect this next time?

Thanks, Mike
 

bradsul

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It's most likely fusel alcohols caused by too high of a fermentation temperature. I had similar issues before I built my son of fermentation chiller. Do you remember what temperatures you have been fermenting the beers?
 

malkore

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other than fusels...how long have the beers been bottled? and did they get a secondary?

they might just be a bit green still.
 
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rohovie

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thanks for the replys. the first batch was fairly high tempatues (around 25 celcius) the second one I did it lower, with the help of you. Around 17 celcius and got up to around 20-21.

The first batch has been bottle for around 5-6 weeks, and the second batch around 2 weeks. (just tried it)

both batches got a secondary.

thanks again, mike
 

elkdog

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21C may still be a tad high for fermentation, but that probably wasn't it. What yeast did you use? It could be that you fermented at the high end for your yeast strain.
 
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rohovie

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elkdog, do be completely honest, i'm not sure what type of yeast I used. i used whatever was in the kit. sorry.

thanks, mike
 

Revvy

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Well, I just googled Baron's kits because I've never heard of them. It turn's out they're "beer in a bag" no boil type kits. Pre-Hopped syrups, no grains, mix with water and add yeast.

The second batch, that you tasted after only 2 weeks may indeed be to green. But I'm more apt to believe that if they taste similiar, that that's just the nature of no-boil beer making.

(Honestly they sound a lot like Mr. Beer kits, but on a larger scale and maybe higher quality ingredients.) Which means they're probably not everyone's cup of tea.

Doing some reading about Baron's Kits online it looks like they get mixed reviews, some people love the taste and other people hate them.

My suggestion is don't give up on home brewing, but give up on no-boil kits. You really don't get the taste and quality and control with these things. And you clearly aren't liking the alchohaly taste.

Try an extract with grains kits, such as Northern Brewer or Brewer's Best kits. These you do as 60 minute boils, first you steep the grains, then after removing the grainbag you bring the liquid to a boil, add your first round of hops, then extract (liquid and/or dry malt extract), and following the recipe, any more hop additions. Then you cool, strain and add your wort to your fermentor with enough water to make 5 gallons, then aerate and pitch yeast (preferably after rehydrating it.).

If you can't find one of those kits and don't want to order online, look through the recipes here uder extract or extract with grains and get the materials and ingredients to do it yourself.

I think you'll find that it will probably make for a better tasting beer.

....And read up on the late extraction method. If you haven't read it read Palmer's How to Brew. http://www.howtobrew.com/intro.html Also read Papazian's The Complete Joy of Homebrewing.

Also hanging around here is a good place to learn stuff as well.

But don't give up....A well made homebrew from quality ingredients (whether extract or allgrain) blows just about every commercial and micro-beer out of the water...And heck, even a bad homebrew taste better than a BMC anyday.

If we didn't like the taste of our own beers, then we wouldn't be doing it.

Hope this helps!
 
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rohovie

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Thanks Revvy,

I've definatly not given up on home brewing yet. I think its great. Like I said, the beer is very drinkable, I just thought it might be a little bit better. I have fun doing it.

The only reason I went with a brew in a bag kit was to get the process down. I'm going to be doing a boil next.

Other than right from scratch and adding grains and hops type. How are these types of kits. (not necessary the brand or type) but these types of kits in general?



Thanks, Mike
 

Revvy

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rohovie said:
Thanks Revvy,

I've definatly not given up on home brewing yet. I think its great. Like I said, the beer is very drinkable, I just thought it might be a little bit better. I have fun doing it.

The only reason I went with a brew in a bag kit was to get the process down. I'm going to be doing a boil next.

Other than right from scratch and adding grains and hops type. How are these types of kits. (not necessary the brand or type) but these types of kits in general?



Thanks, Mike
I'm not familiar with those kits....

I've had great extract w/ grain beers and just decent beers from them. It just depends on the brewer...His process, how meticuluous he is about sanitizaton. Wheter he/she uses the late extract method...stuff like that.

Northern Brewer and Brewer's best kits are the ones I've used...I hear Austin Hombrewer's are great as well, but I've no experience with them.

The big thing to make sure is how fresh the kits are. If you order direct or shop at a high volume store, then you're good.... They are usually packet and dated for a year I believe.

And you can adapt them...add adjuncts like fruit, change the hops, boost the abv with more malt....add lactose to suit your needs...

But I'd stick to doing the basic recipe from the kit for the first coupla brews..just so you get a feel for your brewing process.

ANd if you need any help don't hesitate to ask..

Oh go to http://www.northernbrewer.com/ and request a catalog...not only do they have cool stuff, but it is very informative in terms of beer styles, beer history and such...
 

bradsul

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You'll probably have some trouble getting those kits across the border (not too mention the cost of doing so). Generally the kit&kilo kits make ok beer - better than BMC but nowhere near as good as what an extract+steeping grains recipe will produce.
 

Revvy

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bradsul said:
You'll probably have some trouble getting those kits across the border (not too mention the cost of doing so). Generally the kit&kilo kits make ok beer - better than BMC but nowhere near as good as what an extract+steeping grains recipe will produce.
So are extract w/ grains kits even available in the UK...I looked on the site where those cans were from http://www.hamstead-brewing-centre.co.uk/ and all I found were those kinds of kits (kit and Kilo, I guess you called 'em).
 

Orfy

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I'm an out and out all grain brewer and have never done an extract and grain brew so I'm lacking knowledge on that side.

From what I have seen the only kits sold in the UK ere generally all malt extract kits
Everything else is just separate ingredients for you to select.
A good LHBS should be able to help you put a recipe together.

I'm a little confused as to why you are looking at UK suppliers.
 

Revvy

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Oooops...Mike, I thought you were in England. Since it looked like all the kits you were using were English.

We'll have to find a Canadian who knows what kits are available on your side of the border.
 
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rohovie

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Revvy, not a problem. Im from Alberta Canada.

To help clarify things up, those kits I poseted a picture of, those are considered an extract brewing, right?
 

Revvy

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rohovie said:
Revvy, not a problem. Im from Alberta Canada.

To help clarify things up, those kits I poseted a picture of, those are considered an extract brewing, right?

They're technically extract, but I'm pretty sure that they are similiar to the brew in the bag version...Where the Extract is prehopped and flavored and you add water...So since it's pre hopped and boiled, it will probably taste about the same...

What you want will be something like this;


Basically it will be a bag of specialty grains, 1 or 2 cans or jugs of UNHOPPED liquid malt extract, a couple of pounds of dry malt extra, a couple of packets of hop pellets, any adjuncts like lactose or rice solids, and a package of priming sugar.....and dry yeast. Usually it comes in a shoebox.

If it's a single can, then it's probably not going to be what you're going to enjoy.

I've been googling to try to find what Extract w/grains kits our on your side....Who/where do you get your stuff from?

If you can't find kits, but can find ingredients, I can give give you the recipes from a couple of the brewer's best kits sheets I still have and you can just get all the individual ingredients....

Or you can make your way across country to Sarnia, Ontario and I'll throw a couple of kits across the St. Clair River to you:D
 

Revvy

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I Don't know if you like amber Ales, but here's a recipe for what I'm going to brew this weekend. It's not a kit, but it is a house recipe from my local homebrew shop. I've tried my best to convert it to metric.

.68 kg (1.5 pounds) Muntons Crystal 60 lovibond (steeping grains)
2.72 kg (6 pounds) Amber Dry Malt Extract
56 grams (2 ounces) Cascade Hop pellets (A.A. 5.9 %) At start of boil.
28 grams (1 ounce) Cascade Hop Pellets at flameout.
Safale US 05 Yeast

142 grams (5 ounces) Priming sugar at bottling time.
 
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