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ryanbullen

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Hello
I have now done 5 home brew kits. Ranging from ipa to lager to dark beer. Every kit tastes the same. Sweet. Help me please or I am just going to give up
 

VApatriot

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HI Ryan welcome aboard.

Did you use any hops when you brewed them? For a better understanding of your issue, please give us a full description of what you did and how you did it for at least one of your batches.
 

55x11

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Hello
I have now done 5 home brew kits. Ranging from ipa to lager to dark beer. Every kit tastes the same. Sweet. Help me please or I am just going to give up
sweetness may be the result of fermentation not being completely finished. describe your process/kits etc.
 

20grit

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Are you expecting different answers in this thread? The last one made it 5 pages.

If you are having issues, stop buying kits. Go to the recipes section here and find a recipe that fits your needs. Buy the individual parts and pieces. That way you can confirm what is going in. The last thread sounded a bit like you weren't really sure what the ingredients were you were using.
 

flars

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Hello
I have now done 5 home brew kits. Ranging from ipa to lager to dark beer. Every kit tastes the same. Sweet. Help me please or I am just going to give up
Ignore the non-answers.
Give some details on the last brew that seemed to be to sweet?
 

J187

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Hey Ryan, I too am a little puzzled by the starting of a new thread, but I'll throw my 2 cents in... at this point you have wasted so much money in beer you do not like, I think rather than give up on the hobby, you should buy a boil kettle and whatever small amount of necessary equipment you need to take a slight step up from pre-hopped kits that aren't working out. Move to kits that require what would be considered a typical extract brew day... if the beer still has problems, we can troubleshoot, but at least you'll eliminate questions about whether the kit is prehopped or not, old, bad instructions, etc. Get a kit that requires you to purchase some separate fresh hops if possible. Either that or take one of the extract recipes from here to a LHBS and have them set you up.
 

Yeastieboy

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We require more details about what you are brewing (ingredients and methods) to provide any helpful insight.
 
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ryanbullen

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Ok so my process, as per the instructions
1. Heat the liquid extract can in warm water
2. While warming, sterilise all equipment
3. Pour extract into fermenter Bucket
4. Add 5 litres of boiling water and stir until all extract is dissolved
5. Top up to 23 litres with cold water, put the lid on fermenter and wait until mix reaches 24°
6. Take gravity reading
7. Pitch yeast
8. Put the lid back on fermenter and wait
 
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ryanbullen

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Literally every brew I have done tastes exactly the same so I must be doing something wrong. Either that, or kits just don't work properly which I can't see being true or nobody would buy them
 

Yooper

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Literally every brew I have done tastes exactly the same so I must be doing something wrong. Either that, or kits just don't work properly which I can't see being true or nobody would buy them
It's the kits. I tried them many times, and gave up brewing because of them. They are designed to be easy, but I never made a drinkable beer out of them. A few years later, I tried again with an ingredient kit of extract, grains, hops, and quality yeast. It was more expensive, but it was so worth it.

Buy better quality ingredients, and you will make good beer.

You're buying the mix up no-boil kits. They are very easy. But they will not make anything like commercial beers.

You can have a "mix it up" beer, or you can have a good beer. But you will never have a good commercial quality beer out of those "kit and a kilo" kits.
 
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ryanbullen

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Thank you for that. I was kind of hoping it would be the kits and not something I'm doing wrong 😀 I'm saving for a boiler this month so hopefully next month I will be posting a successful brew
 

mongoose33

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Ryan, where do you live? Do you have access to a homebrew store where we could suggest some ingredients you might use to make a good extract brew? Or even a good all-grain mash brew?
 

flars

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Another question. Are you using water that does not have have chlorine or chloramines? Almost all municipal water will be treated with one or the other. The treated water can give each one of your beers the same off flavor.
 

Chrispy92

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What sugar are you using?

I Found last two batches which were brewed the same as you. I used table sugar as my fermentable and both beers were cidery and sweet.

Not good.

I just brewed one which was a bit more complex, with steeped grains and lots of hops. Most importantly no table sugar.... I'm hopeful this will fix the sweet taste my beer had as it had nothing to do with lack of time in the primary or a hot fermentation temp.
 
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ryanbullen

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I use "brewing sugar" from the homebrew shop (dextrose I think it is). Supposedly completely fermentable.
It is nothing to do with fermentation time, I left this last batch in fermenter for 2 weeks and the gravity dropped from 1048 and steadied at 1008. That is fully fermented if you ask me
 

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#1 fault almost every novice brewer makes resulting in sweet, bland beer- not pitching enough yeast. This is really the fault of the producers of such kits, and up until recently, the yeast labs, not instructing to make a starter, or to rehydrate dry yeast before pitching. I bet if you purchased some DME, or used a small portion of the extract from the kit (adjusting batch size to compensate) and made a starter a day or 2 before you brew, you will get a fully attenuated, much better tasting beer.
 

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At 1.008, attenuation isn't the issue.

The problem is the ingredients- prehopped extract mixed up like Kool-Aid, and cheap yeast with the kit. Making a starter won't help since it's a no-boil prehopped kit that will taste the same.


The difference between those kits and a kit with fresh extract and hops to boil will be dramatic.
 
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ryanbullen

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Brewmasher ok thanks I will take that in mind. How do I make a yeast starter please. Do you advise buying a separate yeast pouch instead of using the one that comes with the kit?
 
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ryanbullen

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Yooper so you're suggesting to do a boil/extract brew and to forget the kits?
 

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I'm with Yooper on this one. Kits can be easy, except they can also be hard to make GOOD beer with.

There are different levels of quality in kits as well. You may be served well by buying a quality kit from someone like Northern Brewer/Midwest Supplies, Homebrew Supply, Etc. They out together good recipes and ship kits with fresh ingredients.

You should also look into buying kits that aren't pre-hopped. I hate to say it, but those things seem designed for people who really don't care much how their beer tastes. If you must use an extract kit, then try one you add the hops to and boil for a bit. They aren't as convenient, but you will likely be amazed at the results.

You may also look into fermentation temperatures and sanitation. High fermentation temps can lend certain flavors to a beer, and if you are tasting that across several beers, then it might give the appearance that the kits are to blame, but maybe you just need to to lower the temps and get rid of the phenols.

Likewise, your sanitizer may be providing an off flavor. I don't know what you use, but bleach can do this. Many people use bleach as a sanitizer, but a lot of them mix it too strong or don't properly rinse it off.

Your water can also lend a common flavor. Make SURE you are using water that doesn't have Chlorine or Chloramine. Or add a bit of Campden Tablet to your water to neutralize the chlorination and prevent a plasticky flavor.

That's all I can think of at this time. Even if you end up replacing your sanitizer, or treating your treated water, I still recommend at LEAST buying a quality kit with hops to boil from a reputable source. The pre-hopped kits (That seem to be more popular outside the US) are just not that good if you like good beer.
 

Bobbybob

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Yes ditch the pre hopped kits. I don't think the people who manufacture them drink beer. You can make great tasting award winning beer with extract, it may take a little time but it is worth it.:mug:
 

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Yes ditch the pre hopped kits. I don't think the people who manufacture them drink beer. You can make great tasting award winning beer with extract, it may take a little time but it is worth it.:mug:
For the sake of argument, I'll agree that nice beers can be made with extract. But note I didn't say "I" can make good beers from extract because plain and simple, I can't. I followed directions to the T, was cautious with every detail along the way, and my extract beers were not good. I could always taste an extract twang associated with these beers. I pulled out an old bottled extract beer and was really surprised at how poor that beer was when compared side by side to the same beer in AG.

If your set-up and budget allows, I'd strongly recommend you look into the simple BIAB format of AG brewing. In my opinion, and my opinion only, you'll be more pleased and will not be saying all my beers still taste the same. If I only had extract as a brewing option, I'd have quit brewing long ago.
 

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I am a very big fan of what Brooklyn Brew Shop has to offer. Yes, it is all introductory, but you an get a 1- or 5-gallon, all-grain kit that produces damned good beer, and gives you a launching pad from which to expand as much as your preference and situation allow. I started with a 1-gallon kit from there, and still use them. I've branched out from using the pre-mixed grains (hops are packaged separately) to mixing my own to even coming up with my own recipes, and still use the basic equipment that came with the kit to produce beer that is even better.

If you have an LHBS nearby, you can get all of the equipment for much less than the cost of the kit; from there, you can start with some of the basic, tried-and-true recipes posted on this forum, and grow from there. But, if you are like me and live several hundred miles away from the LHBS, it is a good option.
 

Yooper

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Yooper so you're suggesting to do a boil/extract brew and to forget the kits?
Homercidal answered this quite well. I'm not suggesting that you should forget all kits- just those "kit and a kilo" kits that are junk.

There are quality kits out there, and if you let us know your location we can steer you to a homebrew store that can supply one. They do require a boil, as the hops must be boiled, but that can be done in most cases on your household stove.

I liken the kit & a kilo kits to a can of spaghettios. It's easy, some people like them, but it's in no way a "good" version of pasta.

The next level up can be likened to canned pasta sauce, but you can add some seasoning and serve it over pasta and it's pretty good for what it is.

Partial mash (the next level from that) is like opening a can of tomato sauce and some tomato paste and making the spaghetti sauce. Much more "homemade" (better) and still not all that difficult.

That's how I see the beer kits. You can get the Spaghettios version which is like mixing up orange juice from a can. And for many people, especially those who value quantity over quality, those kit & a kilo kits may be good enough.

If you want a better homemade product, though, you have to start with a better set of ingredients.
 

brick_haus

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LOL, one of my local microbreweries beers all taste the same too...I digress...

You are getting good advice here, I have nothing more to ad.
 
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ryanbullen

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I love that spaghetti analogy 😀 The extract is already hopped apparently however maybe not enough. I think I am going to wait now until I can do my own recipe. I dry hopped my last batch but it was a waste of time and money, plus the hop bag will probably block my barrel at some stage during drinking it
 

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Bittering hops are used to offset the sweetness of the malt. They have to be boiled to extract the alpha acids. Does the kit tell you the IBU's? The extract may have unfermentable sugars in it that the yeast will NEVER eat. I agree that a quality kit with separate hops and possibly steeping grains is the way to go. You will have to boil.
 

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I love that spaghetti analogy 😀 The extract is already hopped apparently however maybe not enough. I think I am going to wait now until I can do my own recipe. I dry hopped my last batch but it was a waste of time and money, plus the hop bag will probably block my barrel at some stage during drinking it
I use the soup analogy;

You can open a can of concentrate, add a can of water and heat. Fast, simple, not so good. (kits)

You can open a can of stock and add fresh ingredients and spices. Much better, possible to make really good to excellent soup with just a little more time and effort. (extract + specialty grains and hops)

Or you can make your soup from scratch. A lot more time and effort, but cheapest and best quality, requires skill and experience as every aspect is a direct result of the quality of ingredients and the method of cooking. (all grain)
 

GHBWNY

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At 1.008, attenuation isn't the issue.

The problem is the ingredients- prehopped extract mixed up like Kool-Aid, and cheap yeast with the kit. Making a starter won't help since it's a no-boil prehopped kit that will taste the same.


The difference between those kits and a kit with fresh extract and hops to boil will be dramatic.
This, this, this^^^ Endo convo
 

akthor

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Baloney its not the kits even the cheapest kits you can tell an IPA blind testing from anything else. He either has terrible taste buds (my grandfather put hot pepper on everything cuz he couldn't taste it, but he was also really old) or he is obviously doing something wrong. People can make great beer with kits. If they can follow directions.
 

Yooper

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Baloney its not the kits even the cheapest kits you can tell an IPA blind testing from anything else. He either has terrible taste buds (my grandfather put hot pepper on everything cuz he couldn't taste it, but he was also really old) or he is obviously doing something wrong. People can make great beer with kits. If they can follow directions.
How can you not follow the directions? It's like making Kool-Aid.

"Open the container. Put in sanitized fermenter. Pour in a kilo of sugar. Pour in water. Add yeast. Cover and airlock". That's the only directions since there aren't any items to boil or any grains to steep.

I mean, it's not rocket science. It's the quality of the prehopped no-boil kit with the poor quality yeast strain. You might make a drinkable alcohol product with it, but it wouldn't ever be "good".
 

akthor

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OK by good I mean better than you're Bud Light :)

But truly I stand by the fact that there is no way an IPA tastes like anything else.

Unless he's not following directions. ;)
 

Yooper

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OK by good I mean better than you're Bud Light :)

But truly I stand by the fact that there is no way an IPA tastes like anything else.

Unless he's not following directions. ;)
well, the IPA Kit & a kilo kits are also no boil, so it's not like you add hops to it...........................

Just like all of the other kits. No hops added, period. Just the no-boil kit. And they do all taste pretty much the same. The color sometimes differs, though.
 

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I have done DME + specialty grains/partial mash. Every one of my brews has tasted radically different so if I was you I would steer away from the LME kits. Boil some hops in DME for an hour and you'll get some bitterness that will balance the malt. It sounds like you are looking to brew something quality. Get some whole grains and real hops to achieve your goals.
 

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Hello
I have now done 5 home brew kits. Ranging from ipa to lager to dark beer. Every kit tastes the same. Sweet. Help me please or I am just going to give up
He isn't saying they all taste EXACTLY the same. He says they all share a familiar trait. Sweet.

I'm not suggesting that kits are to blame. I think that THESE kits are to blame.

We all know quality kits, brewed with proper care, can and will produce good beer. I think that it's best to step away from the "kit and kilo" kits and move towards a higher quality kit.

It's been well noted that extract kits often finish with higher gravity than All Grain kits. This lends a sweet flavor to the beer. The best counter to that problem is pitching the proper amount of fresh yeast. A quality kit (one that is fresh!) should have more, healthier, yeast. I would even suggest you purchase a few packets of fresh dry yeast to have on hand to supplement the yeast in the kit.

Fermenting at the proper temp range (look up the proper temp range at the yeast company's website, and I'd target the middle or lower range of that range) and pitching plenty of yeast will help.

Give it time to ferment completely before bottling. Take gravity readings and compare against expected.
 

Chrispy92

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I have now done 5 home brew kits. Ranging from ipa to lager to dark beer. Every kit tastes the same. Sweet. Help me please or I am just going to give up

Wait hang on.... Did you just post the same question as the original poster, even though there are 3 pages worth of responses as to why the beers may be tasting the same/ sweet!?

Maybe read back through this post and ask these brew legends more specific questions😊 Also no doubt they will want more info, like fermentation temp etc....
 

Homercidal

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Wait hang on.... Did you just post the same question as the original poster, even though there are 3 pages worth of responses as to why the beers may be tasting the same/ sweet!?

Maybe read back through this post and ask these brew legends more specific questions😊 Also no doubt they will want more info, like fermentation temp etc....
Copy/Paste spammer.

He's gone now.
 

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Just to add my bit on fresh ingredients. I started the same way most of this community did, with 2 separate kits. I like how easy it was but it did not produce fantastic beer that I had hoped. I didn't know it at the time, but there were/are many different ways a beer can be made better.

Then I started shopping at a local homebrew shop. Not only was the owner an encyclopedia of knowledge, he could tell me EXACTLY when a product was made and guaranteed my results (pending I didn't screw something up royally). Since my brew times are few and far between, I want the best I can make given the time I have to make it. I have an 18 month old son who takes up most of his daddy's free time.

I have brewed 4 LME batches with excellent results. Fresh LME makes a huge difference. Same goes for the hops and any other ingredient you intend to use. I can tell you now that if I compared my first "kit" beers to my fresh LME made beer, well, it's likening fresh hot pizza to 7 day old fridge pizza. I still will enjoy both but I definitely prefer the hot fresh pizza.

There is a wealth of knowledge on this site. If you want to get better, disregard the negative responses and stick with people like Yooper and Homercidal. Grab some fresh ingredients and keep at it. Do not be discouraged because you are trying a new hobby. Focus on brewing the best beer you can. You will be rewarded.
 

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