“Home Brew” taste

Discussion on brewing beer from malt extract, hops, and yeast.
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Charles2020
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“Home Brew” taste

Post by Charles2020 » Wed Jun 17, 2020 3:39 pm

Hi guys, years ago I tried several kits, without exception they all had a classic “home brew” taste. I then did a full mash brew, same temperature control etc. and the result was exactly like a real ale from the pub, excellent and no “home brew” taste whatsoever. Perhaps no surprise as I’d just done what a brewery does, but on a very small scale.
My question is, can you brew a beer nowadays from a kit without it having that “home brew” taste?
Thanks, Charles

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LeeH
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“Home Brew” taste

Post by LeeH » Wed Jun 17, 2020 4:11 pm

Buy a large pan and boil up DME, add your own hops and even steep grain. It far superior than any kit IMO.

What kits are you trying? You can get a good pint from kits so you do have an issue somewhere or you are sensitive to a particular off flavour.

What water are you using? Does it smell from the tap? Carbon filters can help..


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staghill
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Re: “Home Brew” taste

Post by staghill » Wed Jun 17, 2020 4:20 pm

it's a few years since I 'brewed' a kit, but I found that the stout kits were much more successful that the light and hoppy kits.

Charles2020
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Re: “Home Brew” taste

Post by Charles2020 » Wed Jun 17, 2020 4:51 pm

Thanks, sorry guys, perhaps I'm not explaining myself correctly, I can make a full mash brew (too much messing about though) and it turns out excellent, exactly like a real ale in the pub. What I really want to know is can you do that with concentrate?

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Trefoyl
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Re: “Home Brew” taste

Post by Trefoyl » Thu Jun 18, 2020 12:53 am

LeeH wrote:
Wed Jun 17, 2020 4:11 pm
Buy a large pan and boil up DME, add your own hops and even steep grain. It far superior than any kit IMO.

What kits are you trying? You can get a good pint from kits so you do have an issue somewhere or you are sensitive to a particular off flavour.

What water are you using? Does it smell from the tap? Carbon filters can help..


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As Lee says, dried malt extract (also called spray malt) with steeped grains is excellent and a short cut I do often and tastes as good as a full mash. Liquid malt extract often has a twang but I don’t know why.
https://byo.com/newbrew/extract-with-grains/
I have tried dark DME but prefer to use pale and get all the color from the steeped grains.
Sommeliers recommend that you swirl a glass of wine and inhale its bouquet before throwing it in the face of your enemy.

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bitter_dave
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Re: “Home Brew” taste

Post by bitter_dave » Thu Jun 18, 2020 8:29 am

I agree with discuasion above - dried malt extract plus grains steeped can make really decent beer. Liquid malt extract is said to develop a ‘twang’ in the can over time whereas this doesn’t happen (at least to the same degree) with dried malt extract because a lot more of the moisture is removed. Apparently liquid malt extract is better than dried if you get it really fresh, although I can’t vouch for that. Presumably if you buy kits with long best before dates the results would therefore be better, although this is something we often have little control over. Ultimately beer is always going to be better if it has fresh grains and hops.

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Re: “Home Brew” taste

Post by Kingfisher4 » Thu Jun 18, 2020 8:41 am

For recipes you might try:

https://www.amazon.co.uk/Brewing-Classi ... 6/ref=nodl_

It specifically uses DME and steeped grains for “award winning beers” by respected US authors.

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Jocky
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Re: “Home Brew” taste

Post by Jocky » Thu Jun 18, 2020 9:06 am

Kingfisher4 wrote:
Thu Jun 18, 2020 8:41 am
For recipes you might try:

https://www.amazon.co.uk/Brewing-Classi ... 6/ref=nodl_

It specifically uses DME and steeped grains for “award winning beers” by respected US authors.
It uses quite a wide range of extracts that are hard to find - stuff like Pilsner or Munich LME. It's a good book though - the all grain recipes give you a great starting point for any style.
Ingredients: Water, Barley, Hops, Yeast, Seaweed, Blood, Sweat, The swim bladder of a sturgeon, My enemies tears, Scenes of mild peril, An otter's handbag and Riboflavin.

Kingfisher4
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Re: “Home Brew” taste

Post by Kingfisher4 » Thu Jun 18, 2020 11:03 am

Jocky wrote:
Thu Jun 18, 2020 9:06 am
Kingfisher4 wrote:
Thu Jun 18, 2020 8:41 am
For recipes you might try:

https://www.amazon.co.uk/Brewing-Classi ... 6/ref=nodl_

It specifically uses DME and steeped grains for “award winning beers” by respected US authors.
It uses quite a wide range of extracts that are hard to find - stuff like Pilsner or Munich LME. It's a good book though - the all grain recipes give you a great starting point for any style.
Thanks Jocky, almost mentioned that, but there are quite a few recipes that just use light DME and steeped grains. I reckon some of the others could be readily adapted as a starting point.

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Jocky
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Re: “Home Brew” taste

Post by Jocky » Thu Jun 18, 2020 11:51 am

Yes, I think that my advice on using that book would be not to get hung up on the various types of special extract. In most cases you can substitute with one the range of DME (Extra light, light, amber, dark, extra dark, wheat) and you'll have something similar to the intended beer. Particularly if the beer has expressive yeast.
Ingredients: Water, Barley, Hops, Yeast, Seaweed, Blood, Sweat, The swim bladder of a sturgeon, My enemies tears, Scenes of mild peril, An otter's handbag and Riboflavin.

brewbrew
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Re: “Home Brew” taste

Post by brewbrew » Sun Jun 21, 2020 4:37 pm

I had not made a kit in 25 years until lockdown came and I could not get malt and tI faced he prospect of no booze in the house. After years of good all grain brewing, I reverted back to a kit (Coopers Irish Stout). I did not realise that the "kit" needed spray malt - so I did a small mash with some old, left over pale malt to make up the kit and made it with a Fermentis US05 yeast. The results were perfect - no old style home brew taste and it was good as a well made all grain or a pint in a decent pub.

The other thing that I'd say is that the yeast is also important. When I started in all grain, my first brews were made with cheap general beer yeast - branded by one of the big liquid malt extract and kit makers - I definitely ended up with homebrew taint in these - but no extract used. When I stepped up to the more expensive yeasts (eg US05), that taste disappeared.

I wonder if cheap yeast is prone to that clove aroma (sometimes desirable in certain beers - but not many)

Silver_Is_Money
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Re: “Home Brew” taste

Post by Silver_Is_Money » Sun Jun 21, 2020 5:12 pm

It's taken me a long time to realize it, but now I'm convinced that many of the flaws of homebrew are related to oxidation. My rudimentary equipment does not permit me to do much to fight it, and that I bottle makes it far worse. I presume that the larger commercials all take sophisticated measures to eliminate oxidation, both on the hot and cold side. That said, Pilsner Urquell is often said to have plenty of hot side oxidation due to their process. I don't know the truth value in this. Perhaps the most important thing is to reduce cold side oxidation, particularly at packaging time. This is much easier to accomplish if you keg your beer.

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