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BigEd

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I wonder if that 1 pound of candi sugar is giving him the dreaded extract twang... ie cider taste.
No, that wouldn't do it IMO. Sugar mixed at a 50/50 ratio like Prohibition homebrew might. A combination of residual sugars, phenolics and assorted off flavors are the classic combination of bad homebrew. The residual sugars usually stem from the use of liquid extract and the nasty flavors can almost always be traced back to sanitation or fermentation problems.
 

DD2000GT

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Ah - the old "my homebrew has a HOMEBREW flavor"... I fought that battle for over 6 years. I too know the frustration of trying harder the next time - only to be completely disgusted with the end result. I too changed my aluminum brew pot, water source, yeast, LME to DME, fermentation temps, sanitation, etc - the list went on and on. Over the last 2 years since becoming unemployed - my beer if finally BETTER than the commercial equivalent, and all friends and family actually look forward to coming over and sharing a homebrew (as opposed to being polite). I kept maticulous logs - and I feel a few techniques I learned here have improved my brew - but the #1, hands down, difference I made was going all grain - really. Before the others jump in - YES, you can make good beer with extracts - but obviously it is a struggle for me. My beers instantly dropped the "homebrew" flavor on my first all grain batch. I went all grain to save money per batch - and it turned out to be the best decision I have ever made. I am now proud of my work instead of dissapointed.

A few other smaller changes I feel helped:

Lower fermentation temps - especially early on
Do full boils
Let the beer sit three weeks in the primary instead of two (I also do not secondary)

Don't give up, every failure is experience to help you make much better beer (and it makes the successes much better!).
 
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harding70

harding70

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Definitely headed the AG direction, but didn't want to jump before refining my processes. If this batch is still sub standard in my taste, I will make the jump to AG. If this batch improves dramatically, I will go back in time to recipes that should have been better, enjoy them for what they were supposed to be, and then make the jump. I'll keep the updates coming.
 
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harding70

harding70

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Haven't done any late addition Candi Sugar in any other batches so I don't guess so. I'm thinking it may be an extract vs. AG issue, but that is what this batch is going to hopefully decide.
 

Skoper

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These isn't much to invest in goin to all grain. If you are allready a full boil the only thing you need is a mash tun. You can get a 10 gallon igloo at GFS for 50 dollars. You can just use a grain bag if you don't wNt to spend the extra 50 dollars for a ball valve and stainless screen
After that your brews will be much cheeper. Just did an 5.7% pale ale with 3oz of hops for 18.00
 

Synovia

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SWITCH TO ALL GRAIN. Seriously your beers turn out way better. Extract brewing is too limiting.
If he can't make acceptable extract beer, theres absolutely no way he'll make good AG beer. There will just be more variables, and he'll be further away from knowing what the problem is.
 
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My extract beers were always overly malty. Might have been a very poor understanding of the balance between sugars and hops. I made many consecutive bad ones over 7 years. I never made one that was really good.

A year ago, I made 2 wheat beers (bavarian hefes with Wyeast 3068) with a partial mash. It was a major eye opener. I made good beer.

I then switched to all grain brewing and all of my beers are really really good. I suggest getting away from extract brewing. If you have a 40 qt. cooler you can do it - it's not hard.
 

jmansfield

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Lack of fermentation temperature control can lead to "homebrew" off-flavors - esters and fusel alcohols. It is not good enough to place your carboy in a 70 F room - the temperature inside the fermenter will rise up toward 80 F during the rapid ferm phases. Temperature control can be done a million different ways, from very simple to crazy complex. I place my carboy in a water bath and temperature control the water bath.
 

Tlylebrew

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All these go to AG folks.. I just find I don't have the time. For me to do an extract batch it takes around 3 - 3.5 hours from start to finish. Maybe a bit longer if I have had too much to drink.
I have brewed many good beers with extract. At the start I had issues which caused my beer to taste bad, partial boils on the stove, high pitching temps.. etc. . . But now that I have the proper equipment. keggle for full boil, proper burner, chilller, etc. . . I find I make great beer from Extract.

Could it be better if I went AG? Maybe, but since I have refined my process my beers taste great. Beers I've brewed I've honestly set back and said yes, I would buy that in a store. :)

I am guessing going AG would add an extra two to three hours to the brew process. Something I doubt my family would accept. A whole evening devoted to brewing?? I would just end up a lonely, broke, homeless, divorced, drunk.
 
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harding70

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If he can't make acceptable extract beer, theres absolutely no way he'll make good AG beer. There will just be more variables, and he'll be further away from knowing what the problem is.
Totally agree! That is the reason I joined HBT: to get better at the extract before jumping into the deep end. I am very optimistic that with the advice I've received on these posts, as well as the internalizing that I've done, I can produce a good beer out of a prescribed and proven recipe.

What I believe the biggest problem is, is that my beer has been suffering from incomplete fermentation due to high pitch temperatures, and not using a starter with White Labs, or Wyeast products. This is probably why I have that overbearing "malty" taste.

To a lesser extent, maybe I've been carmelizing my extract with full 60 minute boils, even if they all have been full batch boils.

I don't think temperature control is my problem as my brewing environment is now and is generally quite steady.

As I said in my HBT brew history, my first batch was by far the favorite of all my recipes and it has recently dawned on me that my first batch was fermented with a packet of DRY YEAST! Ah simplicity, or perhaps I just had simpler taste back then.

Anyway,,,, I'll be sure to post the outcome and send out invites when my beer turns out to be a big success. Thanks to all for the input.
 

wendelgee2

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it has recently dawned on me that my first batch was fermented with a packet of DRY YEAST! Ah simplicity, or perhaps I just had simpler taste back then.
A packet of dry yeast has roughly the correct yeast count for a full 5 gallon batch. A tube of White Labs or a Wyeast smack pack does not. Thus the starter. You don't need a starter with dry yeast.

Problem #1 identified.
 

masonsjax

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I am guessing going AG would add an extra two to three hours to the brew process.
Not quite. It takes me 4 to 4.5 hours total including setup and cleanup. I do single infusion and batch sparge. I'm sure other processes can take more time, but AG doesn't need to be very time consuming. I even have time to do other things while waiting for the mash.
 
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harding70

harding70

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Mein brau ich nicht bubblin und der krausen ich fallenbach unt machen fer klerer brauen. Der hotuntcolden ich 17.22222 C.

That's my American interpretation of a German describing the activity of my beer so far:

My beer is not bubbling and the krausen has fallen back and is making for clearer beer. The temperature is 63 F(in case you don't speak American interpretive German)

Sorry, maybe I'm a little punchy tonight. I'll plan on another week in the primary to let the yeast do some housekeeping before they move into their home for the next month, the glass carboy secondary.

I'll keep a close eye on the temp now that there's no heat being generated by the active fermentation so my little housekeepers stay awake and do their stuff. Yep, I'm punchy...night night.
 

-TH-

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I've seen more than one person on here have off flavors due to iodophor (myself included). Its worth a try to switch to starsan.
 
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harding70

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I've seen more than one person on here have off flavors due to iodophor (myself included). Its worth a try to switch to starsan.
My brother in-law uses it, and it seems way more convenient. I'll get some and give it a try next time.

Wouldn't it be a kick in the balls if i go through all this process improvement, the batch turns out crappy, then I switch to star-san and my home-brew tastes go away?! I guess if nothing else, my process is refined...

Thanks for the tip.
 

ruffdeezy

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I haven't read thru the whole thread, but if I were you, I'd go all grain. Once I started doing all grain brews, I felt a lot more confident in what I was doing. It actually seemed easier than brewing with extracts. It takes me 4 hours if I'm paying attention, 5 hours if I'm not. All you need is a MLT, I use a 10 gal rubbermaid cooler with false bottom. Anyways, hope things work out for you.
 

-TH-

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My brother in-law uses it, and it seems way more convenient. I'll get some and give it a try next time.

Wouldn't it be a kick in the balls if i go through all this process improvement, the batch turns out crappy, then I switch to star-san and my home-brew tastes go away?! I guess if nothing else, my process is refined...

Thanks for the tip.
I know exactly what you mean. My process was refined (understatement) throughout 14 batches of bad beer until I finally switched sanitizers. Granted I was using the farm supply variety iodophor which might of had something to do with it. Anyways no problem since, and on the plus side I'm making damn fine beer thanks to all that "refinement".

Good luck with yours...
 

rocketman768

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Man, 11 pages so far and it's only been a week since the new batch started? This thing is gonna be 40 pages by the time we hear the results. Anyway, looking forward to hearing how it comes out.
 
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harding70

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Temp still holding at about 65F and If you look closely...by God, there IS still a little somethin' somethin' going on in there, even if there isn't any noticeable bubbling from the blow-off tube. Lots of smart folks on this here forum.

I'll rack into the secondary tuesday (per the instructions and my control measures) even though many say this is a superfluous step. That'll make two weeks in the primary. I'll keep the secondary going for a month, then keg condition for two weeks for a total of two months prior to the first sample start to finish (unless I get a bunch of posts telling me to put it off longer.)

I'll keep the updates coming. Just wanted to share my game plan in case there's a large school of thought in opposition to the process I'm taking (or have taken, for that matter.)
 

CoalBrew

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Maaannnn.... Don't let the winds of popular thought blow your individuality and cognitive sense of reason out the window. Do what's right for you man. I like your beer just the way it is. Let your beer speak to us in whatever language it wants to. If your beer doesnt taste the way you want, maybe your tastes are off.

American interpretive hippie meaning: Your brew be bitchin, chill.

-Thats for the crazy German thingy you pulled a page back!
 

chunk

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i don't know what you were using for LME before you got the NB kit, but I think you will notice a difference with the NB. when i was doing extract the syrup from NB was good stuff and my attenuation was always better than using other LME's. good luck.
 
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harding70

harding70

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i don't know what you were using for LME before you got the NB kit, but I think you will notice a difference with the NB. when i was doing extract the syrup from NB was good stuff and my attenuation was always better than using other LME's. good luck.
Thanks, I've learned so much from this forum that it will be difficult to tell which modification caused the improvement (I'm hoping there is a significant improvement to speak of.)

If this batch turns out agreeable, or even desirable, I plan to duplicate it with my local homebrew store's wares to determine if he has good ingredients. My guess is that my process needed improvement and the ingredients had little to do with it.

If that is the case, I'll have 10 gallons of appreciated beer under my belt.
 
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harding70

harding70

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Maaannnn.... Don't let the winds of popular thought blow your individuality and cognitive sense of reason out the window. Do what's right for you man. I like your beer just the way it is. Let your beer speak to us in whatever language it wants to. If your beer doesnt taste the way you want, maybe your tastes are off.

American interpretive hippie meaning: Your brew be bitchin, chill.

-Thats for the crazy German thingy you pulled a page back!
I can only hope that this batch of beer wantsto be better. It's like, yeah man, I want to strive to be a great beer. And I'm all, yeah man I want you to be great so I can drink you man...
 
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harding70

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there's something to be said for subtlety... My fermentation is not bubbling anymore, but look really close, and you can see little specks coming from the bottom to the top every 30 seconds or so. I have always been to busy and missed out on these nuances before. I plan to secondary as programmed tomorrow evening as I think the yeast is just dawdling and trying to stretch out their housekeeping work. They must be paid hourly.
 
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harding70

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It's been in the primary two weeks tonight. I'm going into the secondary tomorrow evening
 
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harding70

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Liar Liar, I did not rack into the secondary tonight, I chose to drink beer with friends. Torpedo Extra IPA, thanks for asking. I did go to the local brew store and get some more tubing for siphoning/blowoff, a weldless thermometer for my mash-tun (under construction), and some of those neat orange caps for my carbuoys. You know the ones you stick your racking cane in the top hole and blow CO2 in the smaller hole and it starts the siphon for you?

Maybe I'll rack to the secondary tomorrow. With all I've learned in the last 3 weeks from this post, I have a hard time getting in a big hot dither to get my wort of the trub like I used to. I'd be interested to hear other opinions on the point of diminishing returns when it comes to "length on the trub"...thoughts??
 
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Liar Liar, I did not rack into the secondary tonight, I chose to drink beer with friends. Torpedo Extra IPA, thanks for asking. I did go to the local brew store and get some more tubing for siphoning/blowoff, a weldless thermometer for my mash-tun (under construction), and some of those neat orange caps for my carbuoys. You know the ones you stick your racking cane in the top hole and blow CO2 in the smaller hole and it starts the siphon for you?

Maybe I'll rack to the secondary tomorrow. With all I've learned in the last 3 weeks from this post, I have a hard time getting in a big hot dither to get my wort of the trub like I used to. I'd be interested to hear other opinions on the point of diminishing returns when it comes to "length on the trub"...thoughts??
Search autolysis if you want to spend the evening reading. Under 6 months and you are probably OK leaving the fermenter alone. I can't imagine leaving a beer on the lees for 6 months myself.
 

masonsjax

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Most beers I just primary one month and then keg. There are differing opinions out there, so read up and decide for yourself.
Personally I would never blow into my wort for any reason. You could probably suck on the destination carboy cap though.
 
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harding70

harding70

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Personally I would never blow into my wort for any reason. You could probably suck on the destination carboy cap though.
Where's the harm in blowing CO2 to start the siphon? Not argumentative, just inquisitive. I was under the impression that using CO2 negates the possibility of contamination, although I have heard some start by physically "blowing" into the tube. That technique does seem dangerous to me.
 

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O.K. O.K. it was me, I admit... I have been lazy on occasion and blew my beer to the secondary... Ahh but I said beer not wert... Can we not call it beer if the gravity tells us we're where we need to be??? AND if it is beer we are blowing over, can't we assume the alcohol content is enough to take care of any bacteria and/or other bio-chemical attackers? Especially if I use a filter to blow through???? This may sound like rationale, and it is, but can we really point to any proove-able issue with the blowing, or does it have more to do with just treating your beer with respect? (by the way you noticed I say "lazy" above, to which you may correctly deduce my admittance of not properly respecting my brew in the first place. For that I apologize...) AND.. When you exhale... its mostly CO2 anyway... so what the dif man???

ALSO... (just learning here) What the hell are we doing messing with secondary fermenters anyway... If 6 months of trube doesn't dis-respect your beer... why do we secondary???? Is this just that new of info? Is this an example of the continual maturation of the art?
 

masonsjax

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Yeah.. I think beer is pretty resilient, and (for the most part) you'd have to be pretty negligent to infect it, and even then it's pretty rare. On the other hand, there are meticulous sanitation nazis that get infections. The human mouth is loaded with bacteria, so I figure better safe than sorry.

Secondary is for noobs that don't have a pipeline and NEED to touch their beer. :) We all take unnecessary steps on occasion just for the fun of it. I know sometimes I do.
 

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