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sgw86

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Hi,

I have only been back into home brewing for a couple of months and have learnt quite a fair bit from this forum. To date I have done a Golden Ale, Blue Mountain Lager, Bacchus & Barley and a few others. Most of them have been quite good, especially the Golden Ale.

What I have found with the Blue Mountain Lager is that it has that "home brew" taste to it...I can't put my finger on exactly the taste but it just tastes home brew. I don't believe its a cidery or butterscotch taste either.

In my Blue Mountain Lager recipe it was simply just

1 x BML Can
1 x Brew Enhancer 2
12g Hallertau steeped for 10mins.

I adapted the recipe and just put down

1 x BML Can
1 x Brew Enhancer 2
1 x LDM (250g)
10g Hallertau steeped for 15mins
15g Hallertau dry hopped (Day 3)

The Golden Ale had

1 x Coopers Canadian Blonde
1KG LDM
250g Dex
20g EKG + 10g Perle (dry hopped Day 3)

What would exactly be giving it the home brew taste? All my brews are temp controlled at the appropiate temp. 17-18C constant and then conditioned for 1 week at 1C.

Is it the Brew Enhancer giving it the home brew taste? Should I be swapping out BE2 for just a 1KG LDM?

Sorry about the long post.

Cheers,

Sam.
 

Kingbrownbrewing

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I would try fermenting the lager at around 10 degrees. Might change some of the flavours.
 

kelbygreen

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I found with kits I always had a metalic kinda taste even with all extract its there but not as much. Is this kind of what your experiencing?
 
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The kit that was giving the home brew taste might have been older than the others. I agree with Kelby, all kits have the metalic flavour which is also known as twang.
 

iralosavic

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Try to describe the taste. What temp do you ferment the lager at and do you know if the included yeast is an ale or lager strand? If it's a lager strand, fermenting at 18c could/will produce some off flavours. Yeasty, banana, sulphur etc
 

Yob

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I seem to be able to eliminate this 'twang'... The kits I lay down these days are frikkin awesome. I attribute this to several factors.

Minimal dex, which you seem to do anyway, 200-300g max, addition of grains, up to a KG of base malt, wheat malt (dry or grain, varies) and some crystal grains. More often than not they are partials.

Extended conditioning time at elevated temps. Once it gets close to FG I start to ramp up the temps, 0.5'c every few days and it is left a week to condition before cold conditioning. So ferment temp will be 17-18 and I slowly ramp to 20'c. I generally run a 3 week cycle, week 1 ferment, week 2 condition, week 3 CC

for my recent swap beer which was a Coopers APA Base with bit additions (as above) I have recieved many favorable reviews which Im quite chuffed with :ph34r: REVIEW

Though twang is common it can be eliminated or at least hidden with the correct treatment.

Ditch the 'brew enhancers' IMO they are the shittest thing about kits and brews Ive done with BE's have been inferior batches to what Ive outlined above.

also how long are you leaving them in the bottle? I find that the beers greatly improve about the 2.5 - 3 month mark.

Yob
 

Steve@PMF82

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I seem to be able to eliminate this 'twang'... The kits I lay down these days are frikkin awesome. I attribute this to several factors.

Minimal dex, which you seem to do anyway, 200-300g max, addition of grains, up to a KG of base malt, wheat malt (dry or grain, varies) and some crystal grains. More often than not they are partials.

Extended conditioning time at elevated temps. Once it gets close to FG I start to ramp up the temps, 0.5'c every few days and it is left a week to condition before cold conditioning. So ferment temp will be 17-18 and I slowly ramp to 20'c. I generally run a 3 week cycle, week 1 ferment, week 2 condition, week 3 CC

for my recent swap beer which was a Coopers APA Base with bit additions (as above) I have recieved many favorable reviews which Im quite chuffed with :ph34r: REVIEW

Though twang is common it can be eliminated or at least hidden with the correct treatment.

Ditch the 'brew enhancers' IMO they are the shittest thing about kits and brews Ive done with BE's have been inferior batches to what Ive outlined above.

also how long are you leaving them in the bottle? I find that the beers greatly improve about the 2.5 - 3 month mark.

Yob
Yep was a nice beer that one. Better than my last 2 AG pale ales, not that they were crap, they just did not turn out that good. I attribute most of it from rushing the fermentation process due to low stocks.

The fermentation technique yob has mentioned is what i have done in the past and to me makes all the difference AG kits or what ever. My current spate of impatient behaviour has resulted in me having more beer but less enjoyable beer which actually = less beer, so i will revert back to time and patience.

Patience along with attention to detail is a big player in this game...
 

sgw86

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Try to describe the taste. What temp do you ferment the lager at and do you know if the included yeast is an ale or lager strand? If it's a lager strand, fermenting at 18c could/will produce some off flavours. Yeasty, banana, sulphur etc
The yeast in the BML is a Hybrid yeast...so anything from 15-30. I ferment at 17C as 15-16C the yeast becomes very sluggish. If it's an Ale yeast I ferment at 18C. Lager...depending on which one is either 10C or 12C.
 

sgw86

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I seem to be able to eliminate this 'twang'... The kits I lay down these days are frikkin awesome. I attribute this to several factors.

Minimal dex, which you seem to do anyway, 200-300g max, addition of grains, up to a KG of base malt, wheat malt (dry or grain, varies) and some crystal grains. More often than not they are partials.

Extended conditioning time at elevated temps. Once it gets close to FG I start to ramp up the temps, 0.5'c every few days and it is left a week to condition before cold conditioning. So ferment temp will be 17-18 and I slowly ramp to 20'c. I generally run a 3 week cycle, week 1 ferment, week 2 condition, week 3 CC

for my recent swap beer which was a Coopers APA Base with bit additions (as above) I have recieved many favorable reviews which Im quite chuffed with :ph34r: REVIEW

Though twang is common it can be eliminated or at least hidden with the correct treatment.

Ditch the 'brew enhancers' IMO they are the shittest thing about kits and brews Ive done with BE's have been inferior batches to what Ive outlined above.

also how long are you leaving them in the bottle? I find that the beers greatly improve about the 2.5 - 3 month mark.

Yob
Yob,

Thanks for the great feedback. I think what I will be doing from now on (and you have suggested this in the past) is to remove any BE and replace with Malt. Can this be Liquid Malt or Dry Malt? Do they both produce similar bases to build on?

I would still like to add some dex, and as you said I will make sure I don't go over 300g.

I would also like to move on and start adding grains etc. to my brews.

I put my brews in the 5L Minikegs and then prime with 15g of Dex and let them carb up and condition for 5+ weeks.

Also I usually wait until Day 7, and then if the ferment is 75% or more of the expected FG I ramp up the temp controlled fridge 1C a day until I reach 20C. I then leave it until Day 14 and assuming I have a few constant readings I then drop the fridge to 1C and CC for 1-2 weeks and then keg in the minikegs.
 

Yob

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never really played with (un-hopped) liquid malt so cant comment on that mate... sorry.
 

iralosavic

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Well, you could just buy a lager yeast. Im giving the Swiss lager s189 strain a whirl on my next k&k. Adds $10, sure, but still .. $25 for 3 slabs of much more drinkable beer. Be careful not to over bitter a lager. The malt presence is very mellow so it is easy to end up with a very imbalanced beer that is overly astringent and bitter.​
The yeast in the BML is a Hybrid yeast...so anything from 15-30. I ferment at 17C as 15-16C the yeast becomes very sluggish. If it's an Ale yeast I ferment at 18C. Lager...depending on which one is either 10C or 12C.
 

DU99

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This link might answer your question.....also DME is a bit more expensive to LME..and also a better yeast helps
 

roverfj1200

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Kit twang I think is from the Iso hops used to bitter kits and to a less degree from the reduction of the wort to make extract. It can be hidden or reduced by watching ferment temps and aging the beer. the more money you spend on your brew with better ingredients with reduce it too.

But I can brew a good beer from a kit and BE2 just by watching the temps and conditioning. ( 30 tallies for under $20 ) You get what you pay for.

More bitter kits seem to hide the twang a bit too.

Cheers.
 

sgw86

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Kit twang I think is from the Iso hops used to bitter kits and to a less degree from the reduction of the wort to make extract. It can be hidden or reduced by watching ferment temps and aging the beer. the more money you spend on your brew with better ingredients with reduce it too.

But I can brew a good beer from a kit and BE2 just by watching the temps and conditioning. ( 30 tallies for under $20 ) You get what you pay for.

More bitter kits seem to hide the twang a bit too.

Cheers.
Thanks mate for the feedback. Temp I have under control now that I have a temp controlled fridge. I generally pitch the yeast around 22-23C and then it's usually dropped to the appropiate ferment temp within about 2-3 hours.

I have been adding tea bag hops to my beers lately as well, usually 10-12g steeped for 10mins and then add the liquid to the fermenter. My LHBS was saying to me that he generally only does the steep for 1-2mins as he believes the kits are already bittered enough. Perhaps I could reduce the steep time...or just purely dry hop.

Actually while I am on the topic I have another question that I am hoping somebody could help me with.

Generally what is the recommened amount of hops to dry hop with? I am looking at going with a standard 20g of hop with my brews. Is there a rule for how much to dry hop with...as in is there a limit before the dry hop becomes out of control and just ruins the aroma of the brew?
 

Nick JD

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I found the best way to remove kit twang from my beer was to make beer from the ingredients beer is made from.

Sure, you can make some really decent kit beers - but by the time you've pissed about trying to put lipstick on a pig you might have well just done it right in the first place.

Plus it's cheaper. Extract brewing with lipstick on is expensive, and time consuming.
 

iralosavic

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I found the best way to remove kit twang from my beer was to make beer from the ingredients beer is made from.

Sure, you can make some really decent kit beers - but by the time you've pissed about trying to put lipstick on a pig you might have well just done it right in the first place.

Plus it's cheaper. Extract brewing with lipstick on is expensive, and time consuming.

I agree with this, however, if you have surpless hops and DME hanging about you can still whip out a half decent brew for the cost of a Coopers can ($12). I'll eventually brew AG exclusively, but I don't have a very big store of finished beer at present and I'd rather have some slightly improved kit beers at hand than nothing.
 

Rina

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I'll bite. How is extract brewing more time consuming than milling, mashing and sparging?
 

iralosavic

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Well doing a 20 minute stovetop boil for some flavour/aroma hop additions to an extract brew will likely mean a 30 minute total brewday. So yeah, it's not time consuming at all. However, if you really dress the pig up, so to speak, and start steeping grains etc, you can draw the brewday out many hours, so I see what Nick is saying. Each to their own, but personally, I'm either spending 30 minutes banging some choice hops into a k&k or I'm spending the time making an AG. Sometimes it's just easier to justify a $15 purchase at BigW and an hour away from home than it is to get "permission" from the minister of finance and home affairs to order (now there's a bad word) a recipe's worth of grains and plan a whole day away.

You CAN get half decent beer out of a kit beer if you use good DME and choose a hop/s and yeast that compliments the style. Assuming your fermenting control is good.
 

Yob

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but by the time you've pissed about trying to put lipstick on a pig you might have well just done it right in the first place.
For me, I really wanted to nail, and nail HARD.. how to make really, really good Kit brews before moving on to AG, which I have done.

I also skipped all the stove top brewing that I perceive to be a complete waste of time and went right to 3V, with a mill not a grinder. I also bypassed BIAB as a waste of my time.

Kits and Bits for me was as much about process as any stove top AG brew IMO and has served me up many valuable lessons that serve me well in AG brewing.

My opinion is, By the time you have pissed about with little pots on a stove you might as well man up and go full scale. Who wants to do all that work for a dozen beers?

Not trying to pick a fight, it just shits me that every time someone says "you CAN make good beer with a kit" someone always has to jump in with "why dont you go AG"

People will go AG when people are ready to and not before. As I did.

Yob
 

bignath

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I'll bite. How is extract brewing more time consuming than milling, mashing and sparging?
I think it must be due to using the lipstick.

Pigs don't like lipstick. It takes a pretty mellow pig to let you put lipstick on it. This could potentially take a very long time.
 

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