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Tyson E

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Hello,

I am brand new to brewing, my wife got me a kit for Christmas and my birthday and I have loved doing it, although I feel like I have no idea what I am doing. I am very lucky in that I have a local homebrew supply store less than five minutes away, here in Ogden, UT.

My first brew was a hefeweizen that I'm not sure how it's going to turn out, it's in the second week of bottling and it just doesn't taste very good. I'm not sure if it's from it not being fully carbonated yet or if it's because I was using an electric stovetop that could barely form bubbles in the bottom of the three gallons of extract and water I was attempting to boil. The beer is very dark and cloudy, wondering if anyone has any insight on this?

My second time around, I went and bought an outdoor stove that was able to boil my wort without issues, and it was a lot more fun doing it outside. I have a raspberry ale in primary fermentation right now that I'm excited to bottle and try out, I feel fairly confident about this one but we'll see how it ends up.
 

nDub

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Welcome!

On the hef besides dark and cloudy how does it taste? Sweet? Sour? Cardboard-y?

Could be lots of things. Although I know I had a few of my first batches get oxidized at bottling and they didn't taste right. Now I can taste it in commercial beers... That's the wet cardboard taste.

Keep on at it, like anything you'll get better with practice!
 

stpug

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My first brew was a hefeweizen that I'm not sure how it's going to turn out, it's in the second week of bottling and it just doesn't taste very good. I'm not sure if it's from it not being fully carbonated yet or if it's because I was using an electric stovetop that could barely form bubbles in the bottom of the three gallons of extract and water I was attempting to boil. The beer is very dark and cloudy, wondering if anyone has any insight on this?

My second time around, I went and bought an outdoor stove that was able to boil my wort without issues, and it was a lot more fun doing it outside. I have a raspberry ale in primary fermentation right now that I'm excited to bottle and try out, I feel fairly confident about this one but we'll see how it ends up.

Welcome to the addiction! :D

As far as the color of your beer is concerned... I would not be overly concerned with it. Color is fickle, especially with liquid malt extract/syrup (assuming that's what you used). It has a tendency to produce darker colors than expected, but generally the flavor should be appropriate. I would say, judge your next sample from the flavor/aroma standpoint and ignore the color for now (there are various ways of improving that on future batches). DME (dry malt extract) doesn't suffer the darkening nearly as much as LME, so that's a potential change you could make next wheat beer you brew. Also, working from grain you can keep things even lighter. A BIAB partial mash supplemented with some wheat DME would keep the beer on the super-light color side of things. Lots of options.

The low boil/simmer on stovetop should not be the culprit of the beer tasting bad UNLESS the liquid extract/syrup got scorched a little to the bottom of the pot when you added it. Scorched extract will definitely affect the overall flavor in a negative way. If you're tasting unusual bitterness (i.e. not typical hop bitterness but a strange tangy bitterness) then it's possible you had a little scorching occur - hard to say really unless you recall seeing some scorch marks on the bottom of your pot after emptying it.

Cloudy is relative. All beers start out cloudy, and most beers end up clear. It's mostly a function of cold temperatures and time. Put a bottle in your fridge for 2 weeks prior to drinking; pour into a glass slowly to avoid adding the sediment; and your beer should be clear. HOWEVER, wheat beers are SUPPOSED to be cloudy - that's one of their main characteristics, appearance-wise.

The outdoor stove is an excellent step up and should resolve any low boil issues you may have had - just remember that a boil means the surface of the wort is moving, not trying to jump out of the pot.

Have fun and enjoy the hobby!
 

ncbrewer

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Welcome.
I'll assume you did a partial boil, and add that if you boil at lower sugar concentration, you will get less darkening. You can do that by adding only about 1/4 - 1/2 of the extract at the beginning of the boil and adding the rest at flameout. Or you can do a full boil - maybe your new burner can handle this. Be aware that hop utilization, which relates to bitterness, is affected by boil gravity. Be sure to adjust as needed.
 
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