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Good beer gone BAD !

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FairWeatherSmoker

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My first batch is an American Light style, you can't screw this up, extract kit from Defalco's.

I bottled it 3 weeks ago and have been sampling it along the way.

It HAD a rather sweet taste to it, seemed a little to sweet too me, but was a pretty good tasting beer. At least my kids would drink it as opposed to the commercial ales I bought to sample that they poured out.

This afternoon I put some in the fridge to chill. I poured one when chilled. It had a small head, but tasted very bitter, like an IPA, or some of the bitter pale ales I have bought to sample.

Why did it go bitter ? What can I make that doesn't bitter ? Is it the hops that bitter ? Some of the commercial hefes didn't taste too bad.

The more I know the less I understand, or the more I understand the less I know :(
 

ohiobrewtus

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Can you post your recipe as well as how long you had this in primary and secondary? That would help in trying to determine the source of the problem.

At what temperature did the bottles condition?
 
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FairWeatherSmoker

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1 can (3-4 lbs.) hopped malt extract
2 lbs unhopped malt extract
1 oz. hops
3/4 cup corn sugar (for priming)
1 - 2 pkgs top fermenting yeast
1 pkg Bru-Vigor (yeast food)

I followed the 2 stage instructions located here - http://www.defalcos.com/firstbatchofbeer.htm

My OG was 40, my FG was 10
10 days in primary to final fg.
14 days in clarifier
21 days in bottle

When I racked it, it had a nice sweet taste at 10 days. When I transferred to secondary + 14 days it has a slight sweet taste. Last night, + 21 days in bottle, it has a bitter taste like in an IPA and some of the more bitter pale ales.

I think it must taste like it is suppose to taste. I just don't like that taste. I don't like the bitter taste. Some of the Hefes have a nice mouthy feel and are slightly sweet. I can tolerate this. I suppose what I want to brew is a lager, but I don't have any temp control to try it :(

I guess I'll just go to the store and get me a case of Miller Light !!!
 

jmiracle

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whoa let's not do anything rash...just take it slow and easy, breathe, and put...the...BMC...down!

No seriously you'll probably want to avoid hopped extract in the future and just really control the amount of hops, there are plenty of beers you can make that aren't very bitter. Maybe look into some English styles like brown ale, mild ale, or ordinary bitter (despite the name not usually that bitter). It seems to me (I'm still a noob so take that with a grain of salt) that pale beers usually have higher bitterness. You could try making a hefe, that's super easy and not very hop-centered. You don't even really need a recipe, just try:

6.6 lbs Wheat LME
1/2 oz Hallertau at beginning of boil
Hefeweizen yeast

Boil a couple pounds of the LME with the hops for 45 minutes, add the rest of the LME and boil for 15. Cool down to below 80 and pitch. Let that thing ferment for 10 days and bottle (if fermentation is done). You can be drinking it in another 10 days and it'll be tasty.

Another option you could do is sweet stout, oatmeal stout, breakfast stout...

I don't know anything about lagering so I can't speak to that, but you definitely don't need to lager to have non hop-centered beers.
 

Aclay

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yeah, I agree with the above posts. Stay away from the hopped extracts. You don't know how much "hop" flavor is in the extract. Plus on top of that you used hops so...there is posiblely your "bitter" taste.

If you could describe the bitter taste though it might not be the hops. You may have a contamination. How was your sanitization at bottleing time? What types of bottles did you use?
 

Revvy

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Where did you store your bottles in the interim? Could they have been exposed to excess sunlight or heat? I'm wondering if you skunked em?

The other possibility, is that you simply prefer sweeter, less hoppy beers, and once they bottle conditioned to how this recipe was supposed to taste, you didn't like it.

hmmm..

But don't give up and go back to the dreaded BMC....

Hey, you're interesting in Lagering...I've heard about this video, that talks about being able to do it without a chest freezer, even in Arkansas Summers....I've never seen it, but I hear it's pretty good...I don't like lagers myself, so that's why I haven't checked into the video...Just heard about it.

http://basicbrewingshop.com/index.php?main_page=product_info&cPath=2&products_id=2
 
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FairWeatherSmoker

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Added 2/3 oz at beginning of boil, maintained a rolling boil for 30 minutes, turned off heat, added remaining 1/3 oz hops, then cooled to 80 degrees, added 3 gallons spring water

The bottles are in the bottle box they came in, in the coolest corner of the kitchen - 70 - 75 degrees cover with a towel.

I used Idophor to sanitize and I sanitized everything every time including me :)

I can't say that it is bad beer, it is just NOT what I want to drink. BUT since I never made/had any homebrew before, I can't say its good beer either ! Just don't know.
 

Boerderij_Kabouter

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Keep sampling new beers! When you have had enough different beers you will love the hop flavors, aromas, and nuances. After a life of BMC, it is hard to flip the switch to "real" beer. Keep at it and the rewards are endless.

Weiss beers are easy and quick to brew. They are an ale, so temp control should not be a problem. You may also like wit beers, so try a few of those. Farmhouse or Saison style Belgians may also be a good fit to start with.

Keep at it! This is a great hobby for everyone:)
 

TexLaw

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I don't know what the recipe was, but it sounds like you may have boiled those extra hops for too long, getting more bitterness than you wanted. The hopped extract probably had all the bitterness you needed. The extras probably were there to add just a little hop flavor and aroma to the beer.

Did you take actual gravity reading through the process, as well, or just go by the calendar? The way you describe it, it sounds like you continued to ferment a bit as time went on. The bitterness also will mellow out with a bit more time.

I agree that you might want to look into other styles. Hefeweizens and wits are nice, as are blonde and cream ales. You can look around in those areas and work from there.


TL
 

BierMuncher

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Early on (in the primary and secondary), beer can retain an artificially (almost bready) sweet flavor because of the high concentration of yeast that is still suspended in the beer.

Once the beer has conditioned and chilled, that yeast falls out and your left with the "intended" product.

That intended product now has some very fresh hops flavor and can be bitter since the beer has not had a chance to age and mellow.

95% of the posts regarding too much bitterness end up coming back after several weeks of aging and proclaim the beer to be much better.

That said, I just looked at your recipe and the vendors instruction page. There is not reference as to the style of hops or the targetted IBU's. As long as you follow blind-kit-instructions, you're brewing an unknown beer. It could be that the beer turned out perfect...just not to your liking.
 

jmiracle

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FairWeatherSmoker said:
I can't say that it is bad beer, it is just NOT what I want to drink. BUT since I never made/had any homebrew before, I can't say its good beer either ! Just don't know.

Good beer is beer that you like, period. Trust your own tastes, that's all that you have to go by. Don't choke down a style you don't like just because you think you should. But don't get discouraged either, there's tons of beer styles, and then there's cider, mead, etc. There's no one taste that indicates "homebrew."

I bet if you tried an English brown ale you'd like it and the recipes are pretty simple and forgiving, that's why they're popular styles to start the brewing hobby.
 
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