Author Topic: First Brew, Funny Taste  (Read 660 times)

Offline paulie_walnuts

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First Brew, Funny Taste
« on: November 16, 2010, 08:33:23 PM »
So I brewed my first batch of beer a few months ago and thought I did everything right. I pretty much followed the instructions of my extract kit exactly. I sanitized everything, made sure my airlock was good, etc.
Two weeks after bottling I tried one and there was some serious funk going on. I also noticed it was not carbonated at all. Fast forward another three weeks and I've opened several noticing that the funk is slowly going away and my batch is finally starting to carbonate. Could this be a fermentation problem? I compared notes to my friend and he had an explosive start to his fermentation on his first batch of beer where mine was mediocre at best. Any thoughts? Will there be any improvement or will these off flavors just hang around forever?


Offline tygo

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Re: First Brew, Funny Taste
« Reply #1 on: November 16, 2010, 08:45:12 PM »
We're going to need a little more information to go on.  First of all be a little more specific on the "funk" character.  What did it taste like exactly?  And describe your process:  What yeast did you use?  Did you make a starter?.  What were you brewing and what was the original gravity?  How long did it ferment and in what?  At what temp?  Etc.
Clint
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On Tap: Lucifer's Hammer Golden Strong Ale, Dopplebock, Old Fuzzynut's Ale

Offline paulie_walnuts

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Re: First Brew, Funny Taste
« Reply #2 on: November 16, 2010, 08:59:05 PM »
I guess more details would help huh? Pardon my noob post.

Ok, so it was a extract kit for a brown Ale

Starting Gravity: 1.042
Yeast: White Labs WL002 (I was aparently given a "free upgrade" so I tried this in lieu of the dry yeast)
Starter: No, direct pitch from the vial

Primary: 1 week
Secondary: 2 Weeks
Bottle: A little over a month now

Temp in my apartment is set for 68F but it probably has a swing of +/- 2 degrees.

The taste is kind of sweet but like a rotten heffewizen. Like if you let it sit out in the sun all day. It's drinkable, but not at all what I expected.

Some guy at work told me it probably needs to sit in the bottle for a few more months and that I screwed something up with the yeast or pitching. I did what the instructions said and let it warm up to room temp after coming out of the fridge, shake it up and pitch it. Maybe I had a bad vile? Not a larger enough volume of yeast?




Offline azallgrain

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Re: First Brew, Funny Taste
« Reply #3 on: November 16, 2010, 10:31:49 PM »
First I would drop the secondary.  Not really needed these days if you have healthy yeast and constant cool temps.  Sounds like the starting gravity is ok, did you measure with a hydrometer?  More important, what was the final gravity when you bottled?

After you completed your ferment, what amount and type of priming sugar did you use for bottling?

If you had an ok ferment, but missed the priming sugar at bottling this could account for the slow ferment in the bottles, or if the bottles were not left out at room temperature to carb, that would slow them up.

Early on I would focus on healthy yeast, right ferment temperature, and sanitation.  If you get a good ferment and finish gravity, like 1.010 etc, then add your priming sugar and bottle.

The flavor may be weaker yeast from an older vialmunder stress and the fruiter esters you get from an English ale yeast like 002.

Hope this helps. 


Offline euge

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Re: First Brew, Funny Taste
« Reply #4 on: November 17, 2010, 12:06:00 AM »
There was priming sugar? You didn't mention it.

Don't worry about it. From what I've seen/experienced many homebrewing careers start by jumping in headfirst and asking questions later.  :D

You don't like the beer? Try again. Read this first.http://howtobrew.com/
The first principle is that you must not fool yourself, and you are the easiest person to fool. -Richard P. Feynman

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Offline bluesman

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Re: First Brew, Funny Taste
« Reply #5 on: November 17, 2010, 05:21:42 AM »
The first batch is typically a science experiment.

The fermentation is the most important aspect of the brewing process. The environment including temperature are very important.
Pitching appropriate amounts of healthy yeast in an oxygenated environment is also required in order to make good quality brew.
Sounds like you made beer albiet not the quality you were hoping for. Chalk this one up as a learning experience.

I also recommend reading "How to Brew" and asking alot of questions.  Don't hesitate to post your questions right here on the forum.

Welcome to the AHA forum.

Good Luck!
Ron Price

Offline tygo

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Re: First Brew, Funny Taste
« Reply #6 on: November 17, 2010, 05:57:28 AM »
Your fermentation temp was probably a little high if it was sitting in a 68F room.  The temperature of the fermentation is going to be several degrees higher than room temperature.  That could be contributing to the off flavors you're tasting.

Are you using a bucket or a carboy for your fermenter and where did you store it (dark closet or right in direct sunlight)?

Clint
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Fermenting: Wit
On Tap: Lucifer's Hammer Golden Strong Ale, Dopplebock, Old Fuzzynut's Ale

Offline hopfenundmalz

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Re: First Brew, Funny Taste
« Reply #7 on: November 17, 2010, 06:34:41 AM »
The first batch is typically a science experiment.

The fermentation is the most important aspect of the brewing process. The environment including temperature are very important.
Pitching appropriate amounts of healthy yeast in an oxygenated environment is also required in order to make good quality brew.

That is some sage advice, and it was a long time before I realized that.

For the original poster, find a homebrewing club in your area, go to a meeting, have someone experienced taste your beer and give advice.  You might ask if you can observe someone else brew a batch.  That is a great way to learn and pick up some homebrewing tricks. 

Jeff Rankert
Ann Arbor Brewers Guild, AHA Member, BJCP Certified
Home-brewing, not just a hobby, it is a lifestyle!

Offline paulie_walnuts

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Re: First Brew, Funny Taste
« Reply #8 on: November 17, 2010, 05:31:10 PM »
Thanks for all the advice

Final Gravity was 1.015 (too high?) and I did use the priming sugar included in my kit per the instructions (boil water, dissolve sugar, cool, addd to bottling bucket). Both fermenters were glass carboys and I used my closet (no lights on) as my location.

I actaully have another 5 gallons of pale ale almost ready to bottle. I was so frustrated with my first attempt that I immediately went out and bought another kit and brewed it. Wish me luck on attempt #2.

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Re: First Brew, Funny Taste
« Reply #9 on: November 17, 2010, 06:11:58 PM »
If I may just add, in addition to all the other comments, that even if you follow the directions on the kit completely, this may not be enough to give you a good beer. Brewing is a craft and an art - way more detailed than any instruction on any kit can explain. Hell, if it was as easy as following a one or two page instruction for a kit everyone would be making great beer. Pick up a copy of the book "How to Brew" by John Palmer, hang out here on the forums and go back to the drawing board. Few first batches turn out great, or even good. I have beer brewing for 15+ years and am still fine tuning every batch. Thats what makes brewing so great!. That said, after my 3rd or 4th brew I was making some pretty darn tasty beer - so it is a craft you can pick up rather quickly and then perfect for as long as it holds your attention. And remember that fermentation is the key to making great beer - and temperature control is a HUGE part of that. Good luck!
Keith Y.

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Offline Wheat_Brewer

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Re: First Brew, Funny Taste
« Reply #10 on: November 17, 2010, 06:53:28 PM »
I commend you for staying with brewing despite some less than hopefully first batch results.  No worries with any of this, follow the process the best you can with the cleaning, proper boiling times, temp control, and then sit back and have a great beer and dream of your next batch!  Before you know it you'll be the beer guru and making outstanding world class beer!
Homebrewing isn't my obsession, it's my life calling, there's a difference.

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