Author Topic: Were you disappointed in your first home brew??  (Read 3718 times)

Offline Laminarman

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Were you disappointed in your first home brew??
« on: February 03, 2017, 12:24:12 AM »
I did about six batches 25 years ago. They tasted like homebrewed beer.  My first since then, using John Palmers Cincinnati Pale Ale from his book, is MUCH better than what I did before. But...it still tastes like homebrewed beer.  Nice head, clear, great color, but body lacking and a short finish with little hop aroma. Not sure if this is the recipe (below) or water (used distilled) or technique.  I'm a process freak so I was measured timed and weighed and I'm sure it wasn't the process.  There are no off flavors.  My business partner said, "It's drinkable, tastes like home brewed beer."  That's like saying "His girlfriend has a great personality..."  I push on, am not deterred.  I'm about to put my second batch, the Northern Brewers Gaarden Hoe, into keg in about a week. I guess I'm a bit disillusioned because our local HBS, who is very nice, has a rather flippant attitude.  He said "gotta start somewhere and not sure what you expected."  Gotta tell you, I expect great beer, eventually.  I just don't do things half way.  I'll consider that first batch a learning experience. Next up is a one gallon all grain BIAB Belgian Pale Ale.  I'll see if grains make any difference.  In any event this stuff is FUN   ;)

Cincinnati Pale Ale
Ingredients:
2 lbs 8 oz.  Pale malt extract syrup, unhopped.
3 lbs. of sparkling Amber dry malt extract.
12 AAUs of Bittering Hop (Nugget)  60 minute
2.50 AAUs of Finishing Hop (Cascade) 30 minute
2.50 AAUs of Finishing Hop (Cascade) 15 minute
Safale Ale Yeast US-05

Offline klickitat jim

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Re: Were you disappointed in your first home brew??
« Reply #1 on: February 03, 2017, 12:44:39 AM »
What are you doing about temperature stability during fermentation? In my experience, that was the number one improvement. My fermenting beer never changes temperature unless I want it to.

Offline Laminarman

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Re: Were you disappointed in your first home brew??
« Reply #2 on: February 03, 2017, 01:16:25 AM »
They were rock steady in the dark in my basement at 63 degrees.  I have a thermometer that tracks temperature max/min and it was 62 to 64.5 over one week in primary and ten days in secondary. 

Offline ynotbrusum

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Re: Were you disappointed in your first home brew??
« Reply #3 on: February 03, 2017, 01:20:37 AM »
Us05 is usually forgiving at that temp.  Any colder and I pick up some clove at times.maybe you need a little more body, so you could consider adding some malto dextrin to achieve that.  I would try the same style over and over until you get what you like.
« Last Edit: February 03, 2017, 01:23:41 AM by ynotbrusum »
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Offline klickitat jim

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Re: Were you disappointed in your first home brew??
« Reply #4 on: February 03, 2017, 01:23:50 AM »
Tracking room temp or beer temp?

Offline GS

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Re: Were you disappointed in your first home brew??
« Reply #5 on: February 03, 2017, 01:33:06 AM »
I brewed my first beer back in 1990. All extract pale ale of some stripe. It was awful!

That was the last extract beer I ever brewed. Armed with Dave Miller's book and a homemade lauter tun, I jumped into all grain and never looked back.

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Offline Laminarman

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Re: Were you disappointed in your first home brew??
« Reply #6 on: February 03, 2017, 01:46:21 AM »
I was tracking room temperature.  So I'll show my complete newbieness here, won't the carboy come to room temp?  Even if there's heat with fermentation shouldn't be too much?  I am interested to see what the grain in BIAB is like.  I'm doing that as I learn process and don't want 5 gallon after 5 gallon of crud to dump out.  Unfortunately I like to drink good beer and wine.  I gave up on wine making because it will NEVER be as good as what I like to drink. 

Offline klickitat jim

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Re: Were you disappointed in your first home brew??
« Reply #7 on: February 03, 2017, 02:00:55 AM »
It will come up to room temperature and exceed it by as much as 10° during active fermentation. Then as fermentation slows it drops back down to room temperature. So it's at its warmest during the time it's most active and creating the most flavors. And dropping in temp before it's really done, which can trick yeast into going prematurely dormant.

A combo that can cause that "home brewed" character

Offline Stevie

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Re: Were you disappointed in your first home brew??
« Reply #8 on: February 03, 2017, 02:10:34 AM »
Just keep doing it. Not much works the first time, brewing included.

I was pretty jazzed about my first beer. It worked, I drank it, I made more.

Offline Visor

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Re: Were you disappointed in your first home brew??
« Reply #9 on: February 03, 2017, 02:13:03 AM »
   In answer to the question asked in the subject, I was more than disappointed by all but 2 or 3 of the first dozen or more batches I brewed many years ago, and only had 1 that I really liked. When I got back into this last spring after a 30 year hiatus, the 1st two batches were pretty dismal, and of the 20 plus batches over the last year several were not to my liking - or worse, the rest have ranged from okay to outstanding. I absolutely hate when a batch turns out bad, but it's all part of the learning curve. If a person can't handle failure, they should just veg out in front of the lobotomy box ;), nothing is learned or accomplished without risk, and usually a healthy dose of pain.
I spent most of my money on beer, tools and guns, the rest I foolishly squandered on stupid stuff!

Offline Hooper

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Re: Were you disappointed in your first home brew??
« Reply #10 on: February 03, 2017, 02:29:02 AM »
No...that first brew got 4 michlen stars
“Stay with the beer. Beer is continuous blood. A continuous lover.”
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Offline kramerog

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Re: Were you disappointed in your first home brew??
« Reply #11 on: February 03, 2017, 02:39:08 AM »
That recipe won't give you a beer with much hop aroma no matter how good of a brewer you are.  The hop additions are too early in the process for hop aroma to come through.  The hop additions should begin at the very end of the boil to get flavor and a modicum of aroma.  If you want a lot of aroma, you need to dry hop during fermentation.  Also I'm guessing you added about 2 oz of hops total, which is not much particulalry when 1 oz is Cascade.

Offline santoch

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Re: Were you disappointed in your first home brew??
« Reply #12 on: February 03, 2017, 02:40:32 AM »
Dry hop the heck out of it.
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Offline Laminarman

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Re: Were you disappointed in your first home brew??
« Reply #13 on: February 03, 2017, 03:20:48 AM »
It wasn't the hop aroma so much as lack of "body" and palate or mouth feel given the style and color. It was not unpleasant, but like colored Coors Light?  I think if I hopped the daylights out of this it would be terribly unbalanced.  I don't know how to put it, but since I'm more of a wine educated person, it lacks viscosity or grip when criticizing an insipid Bordeaux from a decent vintage. 

Offline Joe Sr.

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Re: Were you disappointed in your first home brew??
« Reply #14 on: February 03, 2017, 03:55:06 AM »
My first batch was pretty good, to my tastes at the time.  But I guarantee you it tasted like homebrew.

US-05 and Cascade hops, along with perhaps low attenuation from malt extract will give you that homebrew taste.  To be fair, there were breweries back in the 90s that tasted the same.

Give it another whirl.  You say the body was thin.  Steep some crystal grains to give it more complexity.

A good pale ale doesn't have a ton of body, IMO.  Crisp, some malt, hops.  Sessionable.

You may have made exactly what the recipe called for but were expecting something else.
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