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Advice for New Brewer

Posted: Mon Feb 27, 2017 2:37 pm
by BrewDoctor

I am a Bristolian with the simple aim of (eventually) brewing beers that are nearly as good as some of the wonderful craft ales current available - including from our home town. So far x2 kit brews (x3/10 and x4/10 self-rating). Currently brewing:

5 gallons
4No x 500g Malt Extract
100g of Hops (Cascade added at Zero and 45m of boil)
Sorry can't recall yeast.
Kept around 18-20 degs
OG 1.029

"The girls" as I like to call them, got to work sharpish. Lot of bubbling - slowed after 5days. This is now d8. SG now 1.09 for last 3d. Some bubbles - lid gets "tense" but not much going on I think. I have turned the heat off (using heating band or strap).

My issue: when I taste the wart or whatever you call it after it has fermented it tastes really weak. A good deal weaker than the wart tasted with my previous "kits" brews. It's a nice clean taste and are definitely some alcohol plenty of hops in there but the aftertaste is a weak to the point of watery. Lovely man in Brewer's droop suggested I put in five bags of malt I wanted 5% beer and four bags if I wanted 4%. But having read up on it I'm concerned that my OG was a bit too low.

The question is this, should I go ahead and bottle of beer and just trust that it will develop a more wholesome taste through secondary fermentation in the bottle (I was planning on adding some sugar)? Or is there anything else I could do to tackle this watery element? I noticed with my other batch that the taste changed considerably in the bottle but I wouldn't said tasted stronger.

Any advice? I'm looking forward to coming to one of the brewing groups.



Re: Advice for New Brewer

Posted: Mon Feb 27, 2017 4:05 pm
by PMowdes

Welcome aboard.

I'm not much of an extract brewer tbh but your OG is very low. 1.029 down to 1.009 will give you a beer of 2.63% abv.

you really want your OG above 1.040 to make anything worthwhile to drink. Have a good look at your instructions and make sure you calculations take into account your boil off rate, boil time and brew length (final volume)

Re: Advice for New Brewer

Posted: Mon Feb 27, 2017 4:32 pm
by BrewDoctor
Hi and Thanks for your reply - I didn't follow a printed recipe but rather what I was told. I just wonder if there is anything I can do now or put it down to experience? Pity to waste that beer but I don't especially want to drink weak stuff. Trev

Re: Advice for New Brewer

Posted: Mon Feb 27, 2017 8:38 pm
by RogerP
Bottle it. Brew a strong ale and bottle it. Mix the two in your glass. Enjoy.

Re: Advice for New Brewer

Posted: Tue Feb 28, 2017 5:48 pm
by steve crawshaw
if you want to design your own recipe i recommend brewing software like beersmith \ brewers friend which will help you dial in your gravity \ ABV \ bitterness etc. If you want to progress taste wise, I suggest you go to all grain via BIAB. There's a simple guide here.

Re: Advice for New Brewer

Posted: Tue Mar 07, 2017 8:01 am
by BrewDoctor
Thanks for these tips - I think I am heading in the full grain direction - thanks. BTW the beer improved a bit and I bottled it.

Re: Advice for New Brewer

Posted: Fri Mar 24, 2017 3:16 pm
by BrewDoctor
FYI only - the beer has been bottled now for 2 weeks and I ampleased to say it is tasting pretty good - defo better than my previous kit efforts. So the learning here for me is that the taste changes completely from the end of fermentation. But if I was doing extract again I would use more malt as this one is still too low on etoh for my liking. Thanks. Trev

Re: Advice for New Brewer

Posted: Sun Mar 26, 2017 9:25 am
by RogerP
When you start mashing, you have full control of the process. You can easily produce quite full bodied low alcohol beers by manipulating the amount of unfermentable sugars in the wort.

On the flip side, much more opportunity to feck it up!