home brew taste

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Chia

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so, i brewed yesterday. I thought i would be nice and cook and brew and invite a few friends over. one is an ex-brewer who had bad luck, but was nice enough to loan me some items to get started. one thing he said was that he liked my beer, but "it has that homebrew taste." my question is does AG have a taste? or is it a lack of commercial beer taste?
 

Beezy

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There is an ongoing debate over extract "twang" or whatever. I don't necessarily believe that but haven't had that many extract brews. I don't really believe homebrew AG at least has a taste different from commercial I mean it's the same techniques, same ingredients just on a different scale. If anything homebrewers let the beer age more. Commercial micros tend to move beer pretty quickly. I dunno.
 

bbrim

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I think one of the most common factors in this is under pitching yeast. It creates stress on the little guys and the flavor is never as polished. Another thing is that a full boil will allow you to better utilize your hops and prevent scorching/kettle caramelization. I have homebrews that taste as good as anything on the shelf at the store. But I also have beers that are just a little off. You too can brew great beer that people will think came from the store, it just takes some work, some mistakes and some research. To answer your question. The quality you are talking about can be overcome with AG brewing, but an extract brewer could do it too. Just bump up to a full boil, pitch more yeast, watch fermentation temps and keep everything clean!
 

smizak

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More so than extract, I'm convinced the "homebrew" taste is because of partial boils and uncontrolled fermentation temperatures. I've tasted plenty of homebrew, and full volume boiled, fermentation temp controlled beers NEVER have the "twang" that's often described. I've had plenty of beer that is more than on par with commercial that was homebrewed.

Edit: bbrim beat me to it, +1,000,000
 

Beezy

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Definitely problems can come from the yeast / fermentation than anything. But it shouldn't be considered a homebrew taste it should be considered a flawed beer.
 

scottland

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I find the 'homebrewed' taste as a number of flaws

A. Under pitching yeast (usually half as much as needed)
B. Poor fermentation temp control.
C. Partial Boils.
D. Cloudy appearance due to chill haze or yeast in suspension.

A and B being the most important. Anyone looking to improve their brewing should be concerned first with pitching the proper amount of healthy yeast, and second fermenting at a controlled temp. Those two aspects are much more critical than anything that happens on brew day short of sanitation.
 

BryceL

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More so than extract, I'm convinced the "homebrew" taste is because of partial boils and uncontrolled fermentation temperatures. I've tasted plenty of homebrew, and full volume boiled, fermentation temp controlled beers NEVER have the "twang" that's often described. I've had plenty of beer that is more than on par with commercial that was homebrewed.

Edit: bbrim beat me to it, +1,000,000
I agree that temperature control plays a huge roll in the outcome of the beer. I've done extract, partial mash, and AG and have had good results with each. Once I got a temperature controlled unit I really began to produce much better beer without that "homebrew" taste. I've got a partial mash IPA in my keg right now that is probably my best IPA to date. Good size starter and good temperature control has been the key for me.
 

unionrdr

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I agree that a good starter,even a small one for average gravity brews,will make for better flavors by fermenting quicker & more vigorously. Even re-hydrating with a tsp or two of dextrose added will work wonders. But i must say,temp control can be a demon in warm weather.
During the cool/cold months,I have an electrically controlled oil heater in the room. With an old fleece lined CPO wrapped around the fermenter. What is needed is a way to cheaply control cool temps in the summer humidity. The humidity in the air carries more heat. something that doesn't need huge trays of water with frozen jugs in it. Just something that you set & forget.
That keeps things in line with the pitch on it & leave it alone routine.
I don't think partial boils have much to do with it. Just learn how to use the right amount of the right hops,& chill it down quickly. That really helps with "putting off" chill haze. Chill haze on mine take until the next day to show up,rather than as soon as it cools down. Then,by the 2nd or 3rd day,it's gone. That's what the quick chill is good for.
Also,keeping sugar additions to the wort at a minimum will help get rid of some "twang". But,again,that goes hand in hand with initial ferment temps.
 

HexKrak

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Another common "homebrew taste" might be yeast bite from not leaving the dregs in the bottom of your bottle conditioned beer.

The extracts I used never had any flavors that I haven't found in my AG counterparts, but I've never used canned extract, so there might yet be something there. I'm going to guess his comment is either because he prefers light american lagers, or one of the other imperfections listed above.
 

Beezy

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HexKrak said:
Another common "homebrew taste" might be yeast bite from not leaving the dregs in the bottom of your bottle conditioned beer.

The extracts I used never had any flavors that I haven't found in my AG counterparts, but I've never used canned extract, so there might yet be something there. I'm going to guess his comment is either because he prefers light american lagers, or one of the other imperfections listed above.
Did you ever think it could be ale vs lager yeast flavors if that's the case? Anyway I don't value too highly the opinion of a light lager drinker tbh.
 

unionrdr

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Could be? But over carbonation ha a bite as well. That's why I'm glad I discovered beer brewing. Ales are way better to me now. I hated waiting years for my wine to age properly. Ales have so many ways to change up flavors,colors,mouth fell,etc. And combining extracts from around the world has been great fun. Different countries,different malt & hop flavors.
 
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