Taste test

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Paddy Melon

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Hi fellow brewers, I am becoming more and more desperate to sample all grain home brews. I have been brewing kit brews with modifications and am really happy with the outcomes, and so are my neighbours. I have also done a BIAB lager which was good but not discernibly different to the kit lagers I have been producing. I even gave a six pack of my kit lager to an all grain brewer ( who hasn't done it for a while) and he reported back that my brew was very admirable in taste colour and mouth feel. He also said that I would enjoy the step up to all grain. I have done my share of taste testing of boutique breweries and must admit that nothing has hit me to say that what I was sampling was any better than I was making, and in many cases, in my opinion, mine was better. So, I am asking if anyone , in the Perth area, has produced an all grain lager that they would like to do a taste test comparison with me, so I can determine how much better an all grain is to what I am producing. In fairness my tastes are simple, I like a crisp, COLD, lawn mower type beer that is not loaded with hops. If there is anyone who would like to help me out with testing my brew or would like to do a six pack swap let me know.
Thanks M.
 

BrewLizard

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It sounds like you've already done the most controlled experiment you can: each beer was brewed by you -- one kits and bits and one BIAB (which is all-grain). I'm not sure what tasting someone else's all-grain will tell you, if you're happy with your own results from both techniques.

What's your secret to getting kit brews tasting better than boutique/award-winning commercial beers?
 

Hangover68

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If your happy with your current brews then keep at it, AG will give you more control over the grain bill though.
Must admit i have never had a craft beer that knocked my socks off, most tend to be overpriced hop bombs.
 

Paddy Melon

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That's pretty much what my neighbours have said. Maybe it's just our simple tastes and aren't into the flavours that to us aren't the type of beers we grew up with. But to answer your question I have found the recipe that is suiting us is very simple, but before I tell you, I must stress that the biggest differences to the end product were definitely temperature control and type and amount of yeast used ( I got some guidance from MHB when I couldn't understand things). Definitely pitching at higher rates made a great difference.
The yeast I use now is harvested WLP 800 Pilsner Lager yeast, I have an activated carbon filtered water source and make a 26 litre batch. I use 1 and 1/4 cans of Coopers Canadian blond wort to which I add 250gms of maltodextrin (powdered corn syrup) and either 800gms or 1kg of Dextrose. I let it ferment until it is a few points away from FG then give it a D rest for a few days then over a day lower it to 3 degrees and leave it there for two or three days. Then I transfer it into a second container which is bulk primed with 220grams of dissolved dextrose. I bottle and add co2 before I cap. That's it. It's a nice crisp clear lager with a good head. But I would like to do a comparison because I haven't tried a home brew all grain.
"What's your secret to getting kit brews tasting better than boutique/award-winning commercial beers?" Maybe I haven't had a boutique lager that tastes meets my expectations. Not saying that those beers are bad just different. Too much flavour to a beer is not what I'm looking for. As you say, maybe I've stumbled on what suits me and I should just stick to it. BUT, we home brewers are curious and want to know what's around the corner or if the grass is greener.
 
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Paddy Melon

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While touring some small breweries when I went to South Aus, (before Covid) I came across a brew called "I can't believe it's not Bacon" I was told it was a popular drop and when I tried it it lived up to its name. It tasted nothing like beer, and I thought I was drinking cold bacon fat. Each to their own, but that and others I have sampled don't taste like beer. Maybe there should be another category?
 

tubbsy

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Given the style of beer you prefer, you likely won't notice much difference between extract and AG. The differences really become apparent when you compare full flavoured beers.
 

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