Extract brew almost completely tasteless?

Australia & New Zealand Homebrewing Forum

Help Support Australia & New Zealand Homebrewing Forum:

This site may earn a commission from merchant affiliate links, including eBay, Amazon, and others.


Stereotypical Lupulin Addict
Reaction score
Okay so, bit of an odd situation I've run up against.

I've recently been making extract brews in my Birko urn, that is, starting with a base of unhopped dry malt and working my way up from there. So far, relatively good, I guess. However, I still have a few Coopers tins lying around and since I needed a quick keg filler, I brewed up a random beer with a Coopers English Bitter tin added at the end of the boil.

I will post the exact recipe when I get home, but I basically used a can of Coopers amber extract (which I also wanted to get rid of), boiled it for ~20 minutes with maybe 20g of EKG for flavour, then at flame out (switch off?) I added the Coopers English Bitter tin and maybe another 20g EKG for aroma.

Fermented for 2 weeks at 18ºC with Safale S-04. Fermentation was crazy. First time I've ever used a blow off tube on my Willow jerrys, krausen absolutely exploded everywhere. Fermented all the way down from 1.048 to 1.010 for ~5% ABV.

Cold crashed for 72 hours, kegged, force carbed and consumed maybe a week later. At three weeks I expected it to perhaps taste "young", but it tastes like ... nothing. Like bitter water. There's a hint of estery aroma, presumably from the S-04, and a very, very mild taste of malt at the back of the mouth, as if it's beer diluted with water.

Has anybody run into this situation before? Just a "nothing" tasting beer? Again, not "bad" tasting, it literally tastes like alcoholic water.
Yeah, I,ve got that at the moment with a Galaxy, all grain. I left out the dry hop this time, bittered and flavoured to about 35 IBU. I can hardly taste the galaxy. Surely dry hopping galaxy doesn't add all that flavour as well! :huh:
manticle said:
Some infections can strip malt and hop flavour.
Possibly, the krausen blew the cover completely off my Willow jerry and it was basically open to the world for anywhere between 9 - 12 hours before I got the blow off tube installed. As I said it doesn't taste or smell bad, just like "nothing". I didn't see any obvious bacteria growing on the beer but who knows?

foles said:
Maybe stale extract given you said its been lying around.
I didn't think it was that old but looking through my e-mail, it looks like I ordered them September 25th last year ... Didn't realise they were 4 months old. I can't imagine that helped.
4 month old malt certainly shouldn't be the issue, unless maybe it was already old when you bought it, and/or had been handled poorly. But then you used two cans of malt in the brew, not likely both were bad. And that Coopers English Bitter is a pretty strong kit, with 33 odd IBU right out of the can....and then you added more via the EKG hops. No way would should that recipe come out bland.

I reckon Manticle must be right, the 9-12 hours where your fermenter was open is a likely culprit. Where was the jerry, outdoors? Garage?
It was inside my fermenting freezer, which is indoors. I can't really think of any other factors that might have caused an infection unless I just got unlucky.