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Extract batches taste similar

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BoilerUp

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I'm new to homebrewing, but I've made two successful batches using extracts and a few specialty grains. One amber and porter, but they seem to taste very similar. Is this just because of using extract or am I not utilizing the special grains correctly? The temperature for steeping was 155 F for 20-25 min and stirred every few minutes. Thanks for the help!
 
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Amber
3.3 lbs. Plain Amber Malt Extract
2 lbs. Plain Amber Dry Malt Extract
8 oz. Crushed Crystal Malt 60L
1 oz. Willamette Hops (Bittering)
1 oz. Willamette Hops (Finishing)
Porter
6.6 lbs. Plain Amber Malt Extract
8 oz. Crushed Crystal Malt 60L
4 oz. Crushed Chocolate Malt
4 oz. Crushed Black Patent Malt
1 oz. Cluster Hops (Bittering)
1/2 oz. Willamette Hops (Finishing)
 

RedIrocZ-28

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I had the same issue too. Never tried to explain it or figure it out, just moved to All Grain brewing the BIAB procedure and have not looked back.

I think, though, looking back, that the fermentation temperature was the problem. Get your temps down into the mid 60's and the taste will come out a lot better. Low 70's always produced off flavors in my beers that would mask the style of the beer, overpowering really, even after 4 months in the bottle....
 

telemaster

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Just a n00b look at the recipes and I see the same LME, hops, and even some grain in both recipes. Did you use the same yeast as well? I'm not surprised they taste similar.

I would liken these two recipes to rye vs pumpernickel bread. They taste a lot alike because they use the same ingredients, but one is slightly different. I'm surprised there's no Dark LME in your porter.

I am sure someone with more experience and expertise will be along shortly to help you out further.

:mug:
 

LIVETOBREW

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This is the purpose of all grain brewing, you get a different flavor profile by using only grains, certain grains provide you with the flavor your looking for, when using extract your getting one style flavor, because your able to use the same extract for many different styles of beer, you will notice that same taste that hits you in each style of beer because of the extract.... when i was brewing extract i had the same problem, what i ended up trying was using more of the specialty grains and a little less extract and it improved the flavor a little bit.... but for ultimate controll All grain is the method i prefer for nailing flavor profile.....
 

McGarnigle

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You could use Light instead of Amber extract and pump up the steeping grain amounts. Maybe steep at a slightly higher temp, or for longer. That's where the difference should lie (that, and the porter will have less of a hop presence).

You could make a another porter with different yeast and hops and it would be more unlike your current porter.
 

lx302

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You could make a another porter with different yeast and hops and it would be more unlike your current porter.
Right, with extract brewing the grains and malt add subtle taste differences in flavor. You will get most of your different flavors from the yeast and hops /quantity of hops.
 

blackwaterbrewer

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if you used the same yeast , they will be fairly similar in flavor, if not in color. experiment with different yeasts and specialty grains and try using a light extract for a base (instead of amber or dark) and use different specialty grains for color and flavor.
 

Talloak

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You should consider partial mash brewing. It really doesn't require any extra equipment. You just use extracts to make sure you hit your mark.

Read: https://www.homebrewtalk.com/f39/easy-partial-mash-brewing-pics-75231/

I only brewed two extract kits before moving to partial mashing. I use recipes off of this site, and even created one myself. It turned out great - the California Common in my signature. I took it to a club meeting and it was well received. Not bragging, just saying theres no need to wait to advance your methods.
 

RedIrocZ-28

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My understanding was that most of the flavor in beer comes from the yeast not the fermentables.

mmmm, not exactly. If that were true, then there would be no need for Chocolate, Crystal, Victory, or other specialty malts. Everyone would use standard 2 or 6 row barley and whatever yeast they wanted to make the flavor profile.

While it is true that certain yeasts will impart a flavor to the beer, most all of the taste, mouthfeel, and color comes from the malts used. This is of course the simplified version as other factors such as mash temperature, fermentation temperature, attenuation, etc all have effects independent of each other. For instants, the same recipe mashed at 159* with Nottingham dried yeast will taste and BE a little different than that recipe mashed at 149*, all things being equal.
 

brewer_duke

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All of my beers had the same flavor before I switched to liquid yeast...before then I was always using Coopers little 45 cent packet. Once I made the switch to liquid and started regulating my fermentation temps it made an AMAZING difference...even when I was extract brewing. Of course now that I am AG it is just indescribable.

Bump it up to liquid yeast and experiment with different strains. Find one that you really like and learn how to harvest yeast from your fermenter.
 

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