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Off Flavors from Extract Kits

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Jason Horlacher

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I have brewed 7 kits (1 IPA, 2 Sierra Pale clones, 2 Irish red, 2 Scottish Ale) from the same supplier (Midwest) and they have all turned out tasting/looking pretty much the same....terrible.

The have a STRONG metallic taste. There is 0 mouth feel. Watery and sweet. They are all the same dark Amber color. (Each kit used the same liquid "GOLD" malt extract.)

I follow the instructions closely...Sanitation is good...I hit my times on hops...I dont ring out the steeping grains (tannins)...I use Activator with a good starter...take gravity readings...fermented around 70-72 for some/60-65 for others...no difference. Tried adding the malt later in the boil.

I use an aluminum pot on all of them (I have a S/S 10 gal on the way here)...tried using Culligan water on one of the Pale Ale clone kits...dont think it made a difference.

I am ready to go all grain but I am going to quit brewing if I get the same results!!! PLEASE HELP!
 

Yooper

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Is that "gold" extract liquid extract? The first thing that comes to my mind is that the extract spent too long in storage/shipping/etc and isn't fresh. You could try using dry malt extract, and see if that makes a difference.
 

homebrewer_99

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Das ist Schade!!

My best advice to you is to stop using LME.

Where do you get your supplies?

Since you are in Germany go to hobbybrauer.de for a German HB site. In the upper right hand corner look for the page translator if you don't know
German. There's also a link there for HB supplies in Germany.

Hab kein angst. Viel gluck und viel spass!! ;)
 

Bobby_M

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Midwest supply is what his initial post says. I wouldn't consider them a shady operation but LME is the most volatile of the extracts. Go DME if you stick with extract kits.
 

RICLARK

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Jason Horlacher said:
I have brewed 7 kits (1 IPA, 2 Sierra Pale clones, 2 Irish red, 2 Scottish Ale) from the same supplier (Midwest) and they have all turned out tasting/looking pretty much the same....terrible.

The have a STRONG metallic taste. There is 0 mouth feel. Watery and sweet. They are all the same dark Amber color. (Each kit used the same liquid "GOLD" malt extract.)

I follow the instructions closely...Sanitation is good...I hit my times on hops...I dont ring out the steeping grains (tannins)...I use Activator with a good starter...take gravity readings...fermented around 70-72 for some/60-65 for others...no difference. Tried adding the malt later in the boil.

I use an aluminum pot on all of them (I have a S/S 10 gal on the way here)...tried using Culligan water on one of the Pale Ale clone kits...dont think it made a difference.

I am ready to go all grain but I am going to quit brewing if I get the same results!!! PLEASE HELP!

The Metallic Taste might be from your water, Are you using well water?
 

wizardofza

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Was it a 'twang-like' taste too?

I started with kits and the first three tasted like a metallic twang too. I did a fourth from a different homebrew shop and it was great.

I don't know if it was the extract that was the reason or not. But regardless, I went all-grain and I'll never go back.
 

brewt00l

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I have brewed a couple kits in the past from midwest in the extract w/steeping grains category and neither exhibited the metallic flavor you describe.
 

BrooZer

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straight from howtobrew....

"Metallic
Metallic flavors are usually caused by unprotected metals dissolving into the wort but can also be caused by the hydrolysis of lipids in poorly stored malts. Iron and aluminum can cause metallic flavors leaching into the wort during the boil. The small amount could be considered to be nutritional if it weren't for the bad taste. Nicks and cracks ceramic coated steel pots are a common cause as are high iron levels in well water. Stainless steel pots will not contribute any metallic flavors. Aluminum pots usually won't cause metallic flavors unless the brewing water is alkaline with a pH level greater than 9. Shiny new aluminum pots will sometimes turn black when boiling water due to chlorine and carbonates in the water.

The protective (grayish) oxides of aluminum can be enhanced by heating the clean pot in a dry oven at 250°F for about 6 hours.
"
 

blacklab

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I started with extract as well and soon progressed from the world of liquid to dry malt extracts with steeped grains. IMHO, the best possible beer from an extract kit is using a full boil, late addition DME method, and steeped grains. A wort chiller is not completely necessary, but the quicker you get the wort to pitching temps, the less twang you will have. Make a starter with your yeast to ensure quick activity as well.

Or - go AG if you want your beer to taste 10x better with no extract twang. If you've taken the extract kits to the above methods - you've got everything but the mash lauter tun.

If you're stuck on extracts - and the twang pisses you off(did me), brew stouts and porters. You won't notice the twang as much. I'm an APA guy myself, so that wasn't really an option.
 

wizardofza

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blacklab said:
I started with extract as well and soon progressed from the world of liquid to dry malt extracts with steeped grains. IMHO, the best possible beer from an extract kit is using a full boil, late addition DME method, and steeped grains. A wort chiller is not completely necessary, but the quicker you get the wort to pitching temps, the less twang you will have. Make a starter with your yeast to ensure quick activity as well.

Or - go AG if you want your beer to taste 10x better with no extract twang. If you've taken the extract kits to the above methods - you've got everything but the mash lauter tun.

If you're stuck on extracts - and the twang pisses you off(did me), brew stouts and porters. You won't notice the twang as much. I'm an APA guy myself, so that wasn't really an option.
+1 on the stout porter suggestion. The kit that I had good luck with happened to be a porter whereas the others were a pilsner and honey brown ale.
 

Zul'jin

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My Irish Stout with LME from Midwest, first brew ever, is now bottled and carbonating. I tasted it several times and do not have a metallic or twangy taste.
 

plumber

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I was in Midwest today. Had to wait in line for grains and to pay. They are always busy and always going through invintory. I don't think the problem is LME sitting around too long. I saw 8 extract kits go out the door while I was doing my shoping (about 30 min worth). I too started with Midwest extract kits before moving to AG and never had the problems you are. My water is a little alkaline but I do treat it to tame it down a little (but I only started to do this when I went AG). I also use a 10 gal aluminum boil pot and have not had metalic off flavors. IMO Midwest is A+ and will do all my business there. :mug:
Definatly check your water. I don't think a stainless pot is going to change anything.
 
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Jason Horlacher

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I'm thinking it maybe a combo of everthing...I tried the bottled Culligan H2O...didnt sem to help. I just need 10 gal pot and cooler convertion kit to arrive and I'll be AG brewing...thanks for the help.
 

sirsloop

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I order LME from midwest all the time... granted its usually extra pale LME. I say try getting pale LME and use steeped grains to add flavor. I've made lots of great tasting brews using exclusively midwest sourced ingredients. Heck, I'm currently drinking an IPA using xpale midwest LME...yummy! ;)
 

Junebug

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You know, I'm seriously contemplating moving to all-grain. All of my brews have been made with extract kits and every last one has what I have described as a "maple" flavor. Not really heavy, but it's there in every single beer I've made. I followed each recipe to a "t" and used only jugs of spring water to avoid off flavors from my screwed up city water. One of my friends said that to her, the taste is excessively "malty". So, it seems that the LME might just be the culprit.
 

Yooper

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You could try DME and see if that makes a difference. It did for me. My beers with DME were better than the ones with canned LME. If the LME was really, really fresh it was fine, but I noticed more "twang" in the LME.
 

Ol' Grog

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I've had bad experiences with AHS kits. They have all tasted the same, no matter the style. The Brewers Best kits I've used in the past have all been pretty good.
 

Surfman

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i have done a bunch of kits now and i have had great results, from what i read i bet the metallic flavor is from the aluminum pot.:mug:
 

SenorHops

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I would suggest using dry malt extract instead of liquid and start putting together your own recipes. You can use a free website like Hopville and it's easy enough.
 

SenorHops

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i have done a bunch of kits now and i have had great results, from what i read i bet the metallic flavor is from the aluminum pot.:mug:
I've done at least 15 batches with an aluminum pot and no metallic flavor whatsover.
 

Clann

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As long as your aluminum kettle has a layer of oxidation on it you are fine. I've also done 15-20 batches of beer and 3 turkeys in my aluminum kettle with no problems with metallic flavor
 

Bitty

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I completely agree with others when they say to go to DME. I ditched the kits and the liquid after the first couple batches and never looked back. Also, try the late extract addition method. I've been experimenting with that lately and have been amazed with the results.
 
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