Author Topic: Why does this alcohol I brew taste too much like Alcohol !!  (Read 1428 times)

Offline Andy K

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Why does this alcohol I brew taste too much like Alcohol !!
« on: January 29, 2012, 01:14:41 PM »
I just brewed my first two batches. The first was a Blonde Ale kit and the second was a Dunkle weiss. I Read multiple books and followed instructions as close as possible. Everything for the most part went well. BUT – When I took a sample 3 weeks after primary (as I was racking to bottling bucket) the Blonde Ale had a strong alcohol taste. Since I have never tasted flat immature beer before I was hoping with age it would get better? Then a few weeks later when doing the same thing with the Dunkleweiss – I tasted a sample when I was racking to the bottling bucket. It too had a high alcohol taste to it – not as bad as the Blonde Ale – but pretty high… Is this normal for a young brew – will it get better with bottle aging or am I missing something or doing something wrong? – My first post on the site and look forward to picking everyone's minds  :D

Offline davidgzach

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Re: Why does this alcohol I brew taste too much like Alcohol !!
« Reply #1 on: January 29, 2012, 01:21:33 PM »
At what temp are you fermenting?  Too high a fermentation temp and you can produce fusel alcohols which are rough on the palate.  Only other thing I can think of is whether you are adding extra malt extract or boiling down to a lower volume to create a higher ABV?

Dave
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Offline Andy K

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Re: Why does this alcohol I brew taste too much like Alcohol !!
« Reply #2 on: January 29, 2012, 01:39:48 PM »
thanks for the quick response - both were feremented at 65-66 degrees - and I made sure when I used the wort chiller that the temp was quickly brought to below 70 before I pitched - the first Blonde ale I used the dry yeast they gave me wih the kit - the second brew - the Dunkleweiss I used the Wyeast smack pack liquid yeast. I have not added any addtional malt extract - and for the first brew the blonde ale I DID 2.5 gal boil and topped off with water to get 5 gal when I transfered to the primary - but I did put in the 1lb of corn sugar to the boil that come with the kit - and after that I read that oes not help things and to sub with malt extract for better results. The second brew - the Dunkle I did a  3 gal boil - no corn sugar added - and topped off to 5 gal with water when transfered to the primary.... - BTW - What should the young brew taste like at racking to bottles time? - thanks again for your replies

Offline davidgzach

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Re: Why does this alcohol I brew taste too much like Alcohol !!
« Reply #3 on: January 29, 2012, 02:05:47 PM »
I'm at a loss other than maybe you're just not accustomed to the taste of green beer.  Give them a couple of weeks and see how the flavor changes as the beer conditions.
Dave Zach

Offline Andy K

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Re: Why does this alcohol I brew taste too much like Alcohol !!
« Reply #4 on: January 29, 2012, 02:23:52 PM »
thank you - I will do that and post again to see if they clear up - thanks again

Offline corkybstewart

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Re: Why does this alcohol I brew taste too much like Alcohol !!
« Reply #5 on: January 29, 2012, 02:26:25 PM »
room temp of 66F could mean fragmentation temp as high as 74F.  While not a killer, it is probably hot enough to produce fusel alcohols.  Try to chill your wort to 60F before pitching and then keep it as cool as possible(for most ale yeasts).
But green beer doesn't taste good, especially if you don't leave it in primary long enough.  A week or 2 after the hydrometer says the beer is at FG will help clean up some of that alcohol flavor.
I'd really just rather be brewing in sunny Carlsbad New Mexico

Online morticaixavier

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Re: Why does this alcohol I brew taste too much like Alcohol !!
« Reply #6 on: January 29, 2012, 03:58:45 PM »
room temp of 66F could mean fragmentation temp as high as 74F.  While not a killer, it is probably hot enough to produce fusel alcohols.  Try to chill your wort to 60F before pitching and then keep it as cool as possible(for most ale yeasts).
But green beer doesn't taste good, especially if you don't leave it in primary long enough.  A week or 2 after the hydrometer says the beer is at FG will help clean up some of that alcohol flavor.

I think he means fermentation temp. damn you auto correct!
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Offline a10t2

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Re: Why does this alcohol I brew taste too much like Alcohol !!
« Reply #7 on: January 29, 2012, 04:33:54 PM »
Could be under-pitching too. www.mrmalty.com/starter_faq.php
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Offline corkybstewart

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Re: Why does this alcohol I brew taste too much like Alcohol !!
« Reply #8 on: January 29, 2012, 05:53:34 PM »
room temp of 66F could mean fragmentation temp as high as 74F.  While not a killer, it is probably hot enough to produce fusel alcohols.  Try to chill your wort to 60F before pitching and then keep it as cool as possible(for most ale yeasts).
But green beer doesn't taste good, especially if you don't leave it in primary long enough.  A week or 2 after the hydrometer says the beer is at FG will help clean up some of that alcohol flavor.

I think he means fermentation temp. damn you auto correct!
No I meant fragmentation-like when that fusel bomb blows your effing head apart. ;D
Actually I did mean fermentation.
I'd really just rather be brewing in sunny Carlsbad New Mexico

Offline Andy K

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Re: Why does this alcohol I brew taste too much like Alcohol !!
« Reply #9 on: February 10, 2012, 10:10:37 AM »
Thanks everyone - this is good info. I am going to pitch at 60ish for now on and I will be trying a yeast starter for the first time - maybe a combo of pitch temp, fermentation temp, and pitch rate is my problem.
Thanks again

Offline bonjour

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Re: Why does this alcohol I brew taste too much like Alcohol !!
« Reply #10 on: February 10, 2012, 10:16:55 AM »
Those stick on thermometers work great on the side of your fermenter and accurately enough indicate the wort temp, the only temp that matters during fermentation.
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Offline bluesman

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Re: Why does this alcohol I brew taste too much like Alcohol !!
« Reply #11 on: February 10, 2012, 10:25:17 AM »
Those stick on thermometers work great on the side of your fermenter and accurately enough indicate the wort temp, the only temp that matters during fermentation.

+1

I've found that pitching at 65F with an amblient temp of 65F for a 1.060 gravity beer will result in a ferm temp maxing out at 72F. This also depends on the yeast type, health and qauntity but one can anticipate anywhere from 5-10F temp rise during the ferment all things considered. The fermentation is exothermic and this must be accounted for in the end product.
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Offline erockrph

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Re: Why does this alcohol I brew taste too much like Alcohol !!
« Reply #12 on: February 10, 2012, 11:14:37 AM »
Those stick on thermometers work great on the side of your fermenter and accurately enough indicate the wort temp, the only temp that matters during fermentation.

If you have multiple primaries, it may be worthwhile getting a cheap IR thermometer from Radio Shack. You just shoot the side of the fermenter in the middle of the wort and get a pretty accurate reading. They're pretty useful to have around the house too. That said, I'm pretty happy with the stick-on fermometer that came with my initial kit.
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Offline sharg54

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Re: Why does this alcohol I brew taste too much like Alcohol !!
« Reply #13 on: February 10, 2012, 08:42:43 PM »
Quote
but I did put in the 1lb of corn sugar to the boil that come with the kit -

Only thing I can see is adding a lb of your priming sugar to the mix. That ferments totally as alcohol and may have added to your problem. I've fermented plenty of ales in the upper 70  degree range and never had an alcohol taste problem so I would say keep the priming sugar out of the mix next time. 
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Offline euge

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Re: Why does this alcohol I brew taste too much like Alcohol !!
« Reply #14 on: February 10, 2012, 09:46:13 PM »
Those stick on thermometers work great on the side of your fermenter and accurately enough indicate the wort temp, the only temp that matters during fermentation.

If you have multiple primaries, it may be worthwhile getting a cheap IR thermometer from Radio Shack. You just shoot the side of the fermenter in the middle of the wort and get a pretty accurate reading. They're pretty useful to have around the house too. That said, I'm pretty happy with the stick-on fermometer that came with my initial kit.

Got my IR from Harbor Freight and it works well. But for fermenter temp a sanitized Thermapen gives me a quick and more accurate reading.

RE the OP: I'm inclined to agree that it's unfamiliarity with young homebrew- which is often stronger than their commercial counterparts.

If you want to rule out the fusel alcohol and temp question then temp control is a must. It's a must anyway. If you want to know how to tackle that then it's another question another thread. :)
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