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Still not cracked it

  • #1
    Registered Users Posts: 235 ✭✭ Caribs


    I've been experimenting with extract recipes, primarily on the additions of different types of hops at different stages of the boil but have been disappointed with the results. Generally get a lovely clear brew, good head and right amount of carbonation, good FG etc. Just being let down by the minor detail of the taste!

    I normally start by boiling up 3kg of Craft range LME and water in a 10L pot, attempt to get the hot break and then over an hour add hops at different stages. I don't have a cooler but once the boil is over I try to get the temp down as quickly as possible, add the yeast and leave it go.

    Last couple of brews while smelling somewhat okay, in that you get a bit of hop aroma, just seem to be overwhelmed with almost a burnt malty type taste. I don't let the malt stick or burn off during the boil and would sometimes get a similar taste when starting off with the extract kits.

    Basically, beers end up tasting like muck and are not improving - any hints?


Comments



  • Caribs wrote: »
    I've been experimenting with extract recipes, primarily on the additions of different types of hops at different stages of the boil but have been disappointed with the results. Generally get a lovely clear brew, good head and right amount of carbonation, good FG etc. Just being let down by the minor detail of the taste!

    I normally start by boiling up 3kg of Craft range LME and water in a 10L pot, attempt to get the hot break and then over an hour add hops at different stages. I don't have a cooler but once the boil is over I try to get the temp down as quickly as possible, add the yeast and leave it go.

    Last couple of brews while smelling somewhat okay, in that you get a bit of hop aroma, just seem to be overwhelmed with almost a burnt malty type taste. I don't let the malt stick or burn off during the boil and would sometimes get a similar taste when starting off with the extract kits.

    Basically, beers end up tasting like muck and are not improving - any hints?


    Simple solution, go all grain or at least partial mash.




  • I don't have the gear (or don't think I do) to start using grain :confused:




  • Caribs wrote: »
    I don't have the gear (or don't think I do) to start using grain :confused:

    What do you have?




  • I have the 25L fermentation drum, airlock etc and then just a 10L pot for starting off the process.

    Fairly basic set up I know




  • Your system seems fine in theory, but you'd need to post some of your recipes for us to be of assistance. Even then there's not a whole we can do without tasting your beer. Your best bet is to bring some to your local homebrew club for appraisal. They'll be happy to advise.


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  • You're cooking your chips in a microwave. Buy a potato and go all grain.




  • I've brewed extract for years and got perfectly good results. Moving to all-grain when you don't know why your extract beers aren't turning out the way you want would be a mistake. It seems unlikely it would fix the problem.




  • BeerNut wrote: »
    Your system seems fine in theory, but you'd need to post some of your recipes for us to be of assistance. Even then there's not a whole we can do without tasting your beer. Your best bet is to bring some to your local homebrew club for appraisal. They'll be happy to advise.

    Thanks for the advice, good to know the process is in theory at least okay so far. I'd concerns that boiling the LME was causing the problems.

    Here's two recipes I used both of which were made up to 23 litres

    3kg Craft Range LME
    500gms Spray Malt brew enhancer

    40gms Cascade Hops @ 60 mins
    30gms Columbus Hops @ 30mins
    12gms Chinook Hops @ 10 mins

    Starting Gravity 1.046 and Finished at 1.007

    3kg Craft Range LME
    500gms Spray Malt brew enhancer

    50gms Cascade Hops @ 60 mins
    40gms Columbus Hops @ 30mins
    12gms Target Hops @ 10 mins

    Starting Gravity 1.005 and Finished at 1.008

    First recipe was very nice to drink (initially at least) but the second one despite being very similar didn't end up tasting great




  • I thought you don't bother with 60min boils during extract?




  • Is the brew enhancer boiled with the LME?


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  • Personally I'd don't like the taste of LME, taste totally different to an all DME brew. I find LME taste closer to a kit while DME taste closer to a all grain.




  • from reading around the forums it seems boiling for 60mins is causing this caramelised taste.




  • mordeith wrote: »
    Is the brew enhancer boiled with the LME?

    No, I normally mix that in just before I start to bring the temp down but did some more searching after the post from Rasta and have read you can boil it but the jury seems to be out :-).

    If it's the boiling that is causing that caramelised taste but I want to play with the hops, can you just boil the hops in water or a very diluted part of the LME/DME and then just bring it all together at the end?




  • You have no speciality malt, which could be why the beers aren't coming out very interesting. On the assumption that you're making something vaguely in a pale ale style, steep 500g of light crystal or amber or Caramunich malt in a muslin bag or cheese cloth in about 3L of water at 60C for about 20 minutes, then add that to the kettle.

    If it were me I would abandon the LME altogether: it oxidises in the tin. Switch to 100% spraymalt.

    The hop additions seem unbalanced towards the beginning: I would change to more late hops.

    Assuming that you're doing partial boils, ie topping up with cold water afterwards, I have been told that it's best for hop utilisation to begin with only half the fermentables in the kettle and add the rest half way through. That might fix your caramelisation issue too.

    Plenty to tweak there, but the speciality malt is the biggie.




  • Thanks for the advice all, much appreciated




  • I use a similar setup for extract brewing, and my most noticeable improvement came from the addition of a copper-pipe heat-transfer setup to get the temps down to room-temp after cooking. Takes about 20 minutes now.




  • Thanks for all the advice lads,

    Latest brew much more drinkable with the burnt flavours no where to be seen. Back to the hop experimentations again but DME seems to have definitely helped.




  • reading various forums, liquid malt is blamed by a lot of people for what is called "kit twang" - the cidery aftertaste a lot of kit beers have. Personally I've never made a kit beer that didn't have some slight off-taste, when I switched to doing Extract I used DME and never had the same problem. The one issue with DME is it's very expensive compared to all-grain (though that's not factoring the cost of extra equipment, but hey, no one ever counts the cost of the gear :pac:)


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