Sometimes I have found that I am my biggest critic of my beers. Maybe you are being a little too harsh on yourself gmac.
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Since you bottled after 9 days, part pf the bitterness you're experiencing could be yeast that's still in suspension. On your next batch, leave it in the fermenter for 2-3 weeks. That will promote a cleaner beer.+1000 patience in this area will reward you with better beer. Even if the gravity doesn't drop after 9 days, the yeast are still doing some clean up work.
Have you ever brewed an APA/IPA with 23% C-malts before? WAY too much IMO unless you like really sweet beers.I agree. You might want to lower the Crystal to 1 lb.
To me the twang tastes sort of like a combination of two things: caramel and banana. But it's not exactly the same as either of those. The banana-ish flavor might possibly be due to fermentation temperature more than the extract, but the unusual stale oxidized sort of character of the caramel-ish flavor is very distinctive and is the primary taste sensation. I think it can happen with DME, but is more prevalent with LME. I believe it is caused by a combination of concentrated wort boils that are part of the extract production process, with oxidation occurring over time in the packaging. And then the problem might be exascerbated (sp?) by concentrated boiling when reconstituting the wort. In other words, it helps to do full wort boils, rather than boiling concentrated wort and then diluting at the end. Preventive measures can be taken by using the freshest and lightest extracts available, and boiling with the full volume and not concentrating in the boil. One other key thing about extracts is they contain high concentrations of salt from the production process, so it's a very good idea to use distilled or RO water. I think it is likely the extra salt that also contributes to detection of the extract twang flavor. So try using purer water to see if that helps as well.I totally agree with this. I think it is also important to stress on having enough healthy yeast and controlling fermentation temperatures. When I began brewing, my fermentation temps were in the 70's and my beer was mediocre at best.
Hope this helps a few people out there. A lot of it is theoretical (on my part), but I think it makes a hell of a lot of sense when you stop to think about it.