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Help Beginner Brewer Having Problems!!

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mr6690

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Gentlemen.. I am desperate. Me and two other buddies are each in over $300 each and have brewed 4 unsuccessful 5 gallon batches of "beer". We are all willing to learn and listen to all of the advice we can, but we just can't get it right. We are tedious in our sanitation processes, we follow the step by step instructions in the brewing, cooling, fermenting, etc. All of our batches were ales (ESB, Scotch, Pale) with 7 gallons of liquid malt extract, 4 ounces of hops, and steeping grains. All of the beers have come out the same: tart, sour, NASTY. I wish that I could describe the off flavors in better detail but all I can say is it is NOTHING like any of the homebrews that I have tasted.

Here are some of my ideas of what's going wrong:
1. We are using tap water (It is clear and tastes good, very drinkable)
2. We use glass carboys that we keep in my friends room (constant 70 degrees) and we keep his blinds shut and we cover the carboys with a t-shirt to keep sunlight out (I know stupid, but my stubborn Italian friend thinks that this is enough)
3. The recipes we are getting from our homebrew expert are bad?

Please help guys and let me know ANY information you can give me!
 

AllHoppedUp

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I hate to tell you this, but despite your efforts I think you still have a sanitation issue. This will be redundant if you've already heard it but every single thing that your beer touches after the boil must be 100% sanitized. Chiller, siphon hoses, primary, racking apperatus, secondary, bottling equipment, bottles, and bottle caps. Everything.

What are your yeast prep/pitching procedures? Those must be completely sanitary as well.

I don't think any of the things you've described could consistently ruin your beer. Sorry man.
 
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We are tedious in our sanitation processes, we follow the step by step instructions in the brewing, cooling, fermenting, etc.

Sounds good so far, but we'll get back to that.

1. We are using tap water (It is clear and tastes good, very drinkable)

Likely not the culprit.

2. We use glass carboys that we keep in my friends room (constant 70 degrees) and we keep his blinds shut and we cover the carboys with a t-shirt to keep sunlight out (I know stupid, but my stubborn Italian friend thinks that this is enough)

Closed blinds and a t-shirt are just fine. No problem here. Light is not harming your beer with these precautions in place.

3. The recipes we are getting from our homebrew expert are bad?

Doubtful.

All of the beers have come out the same: tart, sour, NASTY.

This is highly indicative of an infection. Please post your entire procedure, including your sanitation process. Does it taste like vinegar? Does it smell like bad breath? Does it smell or taste like cardboard? Band-aids? More information will help us nail down your problem.
 
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