Grainy taste

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New Member
Jan 8, 2005
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Toronto, Ontario
I brewed my first batch of beer, an attempt at a porter, and the product tastes overwhelmingly grainy. It's like drinking carbonated wort. Perhaps we ground the grains too fine? Or could it have been that I mistakenly left the beer in the plastic bucket for the entire fermentation right up to bottling (as opposed to transferring it to the glass carbuoy)? Just wondering if anyone has suggestions on where we may have gone wrong. Thanks!
Can you tell me a little more about the brew? Is it all-grain or extract with some grain added?

When you say it tastes like wort, do you mean it tastes sweet?

Graininess can be caused by a hot mash, too long a sparge, grain in the fermentor...

In general, racking to a secondary will help the quality of your beer, but I'm not sure that's your problem in this case...

Thanks for your reply, Janx! Our brew was 6 lbs of extract and 1.25 lbs of various grains. As for the taste, I wouldn't call it sweet. I just remember the taste I encountered when I snuck a little taste during bottling, and it was just like that...bitter, as though I had chewed a couple grains and taken a mouthful of water. You mention a number of potential causes, and I suspect we went wrong with a number of them. For example, we didn't monitor the temperature of our boil, so our mash may have been too hot. And I strained the mash using a kitchen strainer that may not have been fine enough, so I think there was some degree of grain in the fermentor, even though it looked to me like I got most of it. Our brew is now two months old, so as a porter, it may mellow a bit with some additional ageing.

Based on what I've written, I'd be grateful for any other advice you have. Thanks again for your reply.
Well, grain contact in the fermentor isn't a really desirable thing, but a little bit usually isn't too big a deal.

Did you boil the grain with the wort? If so, that's the likely culprit. You never want the grains to be boiled, with the exception of certain styles. What you want to do in a recipe like yours is just steep the grain in hot water...say as long as it's below 160-170 F. Once you bring the wort to a boil, the grain needs to be removed. It shouldn't be in the wort for the whole boil, or you'll definitely get husky flavors from the grain.

What you're doing is basically an extract beer with additional grains for flavoring. The grains are sort of like a tea bag to add more flavor to the beer, and it's a good idea. In any event, even when mashing your grains, the grain is never boiled.

I think you've found our problem. Yes, we had the grains in the boiling water for an hour. And "husky" is definitely a word I'd use to describe the taste! We're making the next batch soon so we'll definitely do this a little differently - thanks so much for your advice!