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Topics - geobrewer

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Hi All-

I've got 3 extract batches under my belt so far, and all of them have turned out great. One thing I've noticed though, is a similar background taste in all of them. They are/were three different beer styles. The first was a Red Ale, followed by a Witbier and a Scottish Ale. The overall flavor was good in each batch, appropriate for each style. I've seen some talk about "Extract tang" or something like that, and I'm wondering if that's what I'm experiencing.

Other than being extract kits (from 2 different sources) the other similarities between the batches were:
The use of dried yeast (although the witbier used a different yeast than the other two)
My brewing process (I'd describe the taste has slightly sour, but not strong, and not offensive)
My water (I have hard water, and use a water softener)

So, I plan on using a recipe for the next batch instead of a kit, and I'm just wondering if that might make a difference (using liquid yeast, fresher ingredients maybe, different hops,...?)

Like I said, it's not a strong flavor, and it's not offensive, but it is noticeable (to me) and it's something I'd like to try to change if I try my hand at a lighter beer, like a cream ale. Also wondering if moving to all grain might make a difference, or doing something with my water would be a better answer.

One last thing. The flavor I'm talking about has diminished in my first batch since it's been sitting in the bottle for a couple months now, but I can still tell it's there.

Here are the ingredients I found in the 3 kits, if that helps:

Rebel Brewer - Malty Mississippi Red Ale
6 lbs Extra Light Dry Extract
~1 lbs 8.0 oz. of some kind of steeping grains (not sure exactly what was in the bag)
0.50 oz Chinook [13.00 %] (30 min) Hops
0.50 oz Chinook [13.00 %] (20 min) Hops
0.50 oz Chinook [13.00 %] (10 min) Hops
0.50 oz Chinook [13.00 %] (5 min) Hops
1 Pkgs Dry Windsor Yeast (Lallemand)

Brewer's Best - Witbier
2 lbs Wheat Dry Extract
3 lbs 4.8 oz Wheat Liquid Extract
1 lbs Pale Malt (2 Row)
8.0 oz Oats, Flaked
8.0 oz Wheat, Flaked
1.00 oz Williamette [4.70 %] (60 min) Hops
1.00 oz Sterling [6.00 %] (10 min) Hops
0.50 oz Coriander Seed
0.50 oz Orange Peel, Bitter
1 Pkgs Dry Safbrew WB-06 (Fermentis) Yeast-Wheat

Brewer's Best - Scottish Ale
1 lbs Amber Dry Extract
3 lbs 4.8 oz Amber Liquid Extract
4.0 oz Caramel/Crystal Malt - 60L
4.0 oz Chocolate Malt
4.0 oz Smoked Malt
1.0 oz Roasted Barley
0.50 oz Palisade [6.70 %] (45 min) Hops
0.50 oz Palisade [6.70 %] (5 min) Hops
1 Pkgs Dry Windsor Yeast (Lallemand)

Beer Recipes / Sparkling Beer?
« on: December 08, 2010, 08:32:28 PM »
Back in my college days (about 30 years ago) there was a beer store near campus (southern NH) that sold over 100 different kinds of beer from all over the world. One of the beers we bought quite often was some kind of "sparkling" beer. I do not remember the brewery, or even what country it came from, but I do remember it was an ale, bottle conditioned (lots of sediment), and came in a regular style capped bottle. I remember it was a light color and light tasting beer, and if you tried to drink it right out of the bottle (stupid college kids) it would foam so much it would squirt out of your mouth.

My question is, where can i find a recipe for such a beer? I'm kind of new to homebrewing, and I have seen a few recipes that might result in something similar, but I'm really not sure where to start. I'm assuming it was some kind of Belgium ale. Most of the recipes that call for high carbonation I see recommend using champagne style bottle for bottling, but I'm sure this beer came in a standard style bottle.

Sorry if this is kind of a vague question, I'm just curious to see what some of you pros have to say about this.

Equipment and Software / Stainless Steel Immersion Chiller
« on: November 19, 2010, 03:53:27 PM »
Anyone ever use a stainless steel immersion chiller? I've seen a few advertized, but never seen any comments on them.

My newbie thoughts are, they probably don't cool the wort as fast as copper, since SS has poorer heat conductivity. The only advantage might be less tarnish/easier to keep "shiny". But haven't read about major concerns about that from the more experienced brewers on here.

I'm not really in the market for one right now. I just thought I'd throw it out for discussion.

Equipment and Software / 8 Gallon SS Brew Kettle
« on: November 17, 2010, 08:04:33 PM »
Hi All-

I'm a new homebrewer with 3 extract/mini-mash batches done so far. I'm already tired of trying to squeeze a full fermenter's worth of finished wort out of the 4 pots I have that barely add up to 5 gallons. So, I'm looking into purchasing this brew kettle:

I've seen a nearly identical kettle going for about $30 less on another site, but that one uses weldless bulkheads, while this one has them both welded to the pot. I know the benefits of going with welded connections, but there will still be a number of threaded connections involved (the 1/2" ball valve, thermometer, probably a hose barb...).

My question is, are the two welds worth the extra cash given that they won't eliminate all of the nooks and cranies that will still exist? What would you do?

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