Tastes the same!!!

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omarf2002

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I am new to homebrewing. Just did my second batch. The first one was an extract kit for an IPA. The second was an extract kit for an Oktoberfest. I used ale yeast on both. They taste very malty. Almost similar. There is an obvious change of taste as the IPA was maltier. But... The 2nd batch (Oktoberfest) tastes almost the same. Any suggestions what could be happening???
 

beerkench

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Can you provide more info about your process and recipe? An IPA should be hoppy so it's sounds like could be something to do with hops whether it's amount, freshness or schedule.


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Subdivisions

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I looked at a couple of places and here are the specs for the True Brew IPA below. Multiple places had these same specs.
The hop schedule is 1oz pilgrim at 45 min and 1 oz cascade at 1 min. Another site had First gold hops as the late addition. Same AA% though. I figured that to be in the low 20s on IBU with a partial boil of 3 gallons. That was using an average AA% that brewers friend plugged in for those hops. This beer has no right to be called an IPA or to be sold as one.

India Pale Ale Specs:

Starting Gravity: 1.052
Final Gravity: 1.014
Estimated ABV%: 4.98 %
IBU: 17.5

A blonde ale I have going right now has more IBUs
 

MadHomebrewer

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Yeah, the IBUs on that are way low. Need more hop additions in the boil. You should have a very noticeable hoppy difference with the IPA. I've notice some of the kits I've done in the past are a little light on hops for my liking.
 

mrgrimm101

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That's why I try to steer people away from kits and more toward designing their own or cloning a commercial brew. Especially with IPAs, most kit recipes are quite mild/plain compared to what a lot of us are used to.
 

Peruvian802

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That's why I try to steer people away from kits and more toward designing their own or cloning a commercial brew. Especially with IPAs, most kit recipes are quite mild/plain compared to what a lot of us are used to.
I wonder if it has to do with expense. In order to include enough hops to get to higher IBUs, they have to get someone to drop $40-50 on a kit. That seems like a lot.
 

azazel1024

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I wonder if it has to do with expense. In order to include enough hops to get to higher IBUs, they have to get someone to drop $40-50 on a kit. That seems like a lot.
The first couple of kits I bought were in that range. Brewer's best kits. They were quite good and looking back on it with a couple years of experience, they both had all necessary ingredients (including sanitizers), but very good directions for someone who didn't know how to brew.

I haven't ever used any other kits, but I have looked at what a few other blokes have bought, and frankly a lot of the other kits are total crap, either directions, ingredients, or both. Which isn't to say there are no other decent kits out there.

It was a pretty easy step after the 2nd brew kit just to grab the ingredients to make a good extract recipe "on my own". Saved a few bucks and was exactly what I wanted (then I went all grain on my 4th batch, but let's not get ahead of ourselves).

A really high gravity beer or a DIPA, sure, that takes a LOT of extra ingredients and if the kit makers wants a profit, it would be really expensive. However, lets be honest here, swapping in an ounce of high bitterness hops and extending the boil to 60 minutes, doesn't add much cost. Say an ounce of Magnum or warrior at 60 minutes, an ounce of cascade at 15 minutes and an ounce of cascade at 1 minute and an OG around 1.055 would most certainly meet the deffinition of a real IPA and might cost all of $5-6 more in ingredients.
 

IslandLizard

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I guess Brewer's Best kits are designed to not offend anyone, and therefore please only a few. 17 IBUs is way too low to be called an IPA (look at style guidelines). Actually barely half enough to qualify as a Pale Ale (30-50 IBU) or IPA (40-70 IBU).

IPAs are also dry hopped.

If you really want better beer, buy better kits or step away from kits and look in our recipe forum (or online) for good recipes that suit you and compound your own from the basic ingredients, malt (extract and/or grains), hops, and yeast.

I've only brewed one beer from a kit, my first, which was actually quite decent and tasted like a moderate American Pale Ale, before going the alternate route.
 
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mrgrimm101

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I've brewed 1 Brewer's Best kit and it wasn't too bad..it just wasn't great. From what I've seen, a lot of kit instructions really rush the whole process and can cause way more confusion than understanding. Often they strongly recommend a secondary, improper steep times/temps, way too short of time in primary, and other processes that really should be up to the brewer's preference, not listed out as a necessary step in the kit instructions.

To me personally, biggest downside I see in kits is that they are too safe and timid. They tend to make mediocre brews, when a little bit of extra research into the style you are trying to brew could result in a better recipe and a better beer.
 

mrgrimm101

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If you really want better beer, buy better kits or step away from kits and look in our recipe forum (or online) for good recipes that suit you and compound your own from the basic ingredients, malt (extract and/or grains), hops, and yeast.
This is great advice. There are so many recipes out there for any style that one could want to make. A little research goes a long way with designing or deciding on an existing recipe.

BYO.com has a great recipe selection as well, along with great articles about the styles. My favorite stout I make I found on their article about American Stouts. I took their recipe and adjusted the hops here and there, changed up the grain bill slightly, and BAM! A great, hoppy, American Stout was born!
 
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omarf2002

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Very interesting all the feedbacks. Remember I am new to this. Fairly said and to be more specific... I can really taste a difference in between both of the batches. The thing is that they feel that they have ALMOST the same aftertaste. I just started reading the book How to Brew from Palmer. And I am guessing its because I need to be more militarized about cleaning and sanitizing. I am obviously doing it bit I guess I need more practice.
 

BlkWater_brewer

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Very interesting all the feedbacks. Remember I am new to this. Fairly said and to be more specific... I can really taste a difference in between both of the batches. The thing is that they feel that they have ALMOST the same aftertaste. I just started reading the book How to Brew from Palmer. And I am guessing its because I need to be more militarized about cleaning and sanitizing. I am obviously doing it bit I guess I need more practice.
Kits are the best way to get started and get used to a process. Everything is right there that you need. Nothing says you can't add some additional hops to bump up flavor/aroma. Concentrate on perfecting your process and by all means clean and sanitize. When you are done clean and sanitize again. Try and use partial grain kits and you can even have your LHBS prepare your "kit". It depends a lot on the shop, but the good ones will put one together if you tell them what your after.

Did I say to clean and sanitize again??
 
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omarf2002

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I will surely try that receipe. Thank you all for the advices. cleaning and sanitizing is key for a good taste. Thank you!!!
 
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