How do I know if its a bad brew?

Discussion in 'General Brewing Discussions' started by McAvinbrew, Mar 27, 2016.

  1. McAvinbrew

    McAvinbrew New Member

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    So here goes, I kegged up my last brew and got it carbonated nicely but it tastes a bit too sour/bitter. It was one of those Alfreds extract kits for a witbier with orange and coriander. I had a few bits floating in it after the secondary but not alot so didn't really worry too much about it when I kegged it up. I was expecting something a lot paler and lighter with a bit of zest from the orange but what I got is quite dark with a bitter taste. I am a real stickler for sanitizing and haven't had any trouble in the 15 or so batches I've done before. Not really sure what do with this batch now, would be a shame to have to toss it but I don't want to drink something that's no good. So is there some way I can tell if its an infected batch or just a bitter one?

    Any advice welcome and thanks in advance.
     
  2. Ozarks Mountain Brew

    Staff Member

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    leave it in the keg cool for a week or 2 then taste it, sometimes beer just need a touch of gravity lol
     
  3. jmcnamara

    jmcnamara Well-Known Member

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    I've heard that the Orange zest sold in homebrew shops contains quite a bit of the pith, which might be where the bitterness is coming from.
    As far as the dark color, not so sure. My first thought was that the boil was too long, but maybe the kit was close to / past its expiration date?
     
  4. Nosybear

    Nosybear Well-Known Member

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    Agree on the zest. Either zest your oranges fresh or go to the spice shop (or Amazon) and look for dried zest. Not peel, but zest. It's the only way I could find to guarantee I had Seville, or bitter, orange zest on hand.

    Extract beers are always darker than their all-grain versions so that's likely the issue. Even using the extract from our local homebrew shop, which goes through extract very quickly, extract beers are darker. For light colored beers even more so. It doesn't mean the beer is bad! In fact, if you can get your hands on some Sinamar, dye it dark red and call it a Dunkelweizen.
     
  5. jmcnamara

    jmcnamara Well-Known Member

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    if you go that route, be sure to invest in a good zester.
    I found the hard way that trying to do it with a paring knife for a 10gal batch is not a good idea

    it smells amazing when you do it fresh too
     
  6. McAvinbrew

    McAvinbrew New Member

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    Thanks for the pointers guys. I will set it aside in the kegerator for a week and take a taste then. As long as it not bad Im happy enough. Im making the switch over to all grain for my next batch with an eye to making a summery wheat beer for the upcoming hot days. Maybe I'll keep it simple at first and leave the zests for a more experienced me.

    Thanks
     
  7. jmcnamara

    jmcnamara Well-Known Member

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    Maybe some Citra or Amarillo hops can also give the illusion that you used some actual oranges

    Good luck!
     
  8. McAvinbrew

    McAvinbrew New Member

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    Thats lucky, I just happen to have 4 oz of Citra hops in the fridge. Would I just use an Oz of those in the last 15 mins of the boil to give the zesty flavour?
     
  9. jmcnamara

    jmcnamara Well-Known Member

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    Well then, it's fate.

    That plan should work. I tend to like a slightly hoppy wheat beer, so I'd put some in around the 60 or 45 min mark, maybe .25 oz.
    Maybe even put some in at flame out to give it a bit more of a flavor punch
     
  10. McAvinbrew

    McAvinbrew New Member

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    Thanks for the advice. I will give that a go when Im taking the plunge into All-Grain in a few weeks.
     
  11. griz

    griz Member

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    Mcavinbrew, Any batches that I have kegged that came out tasting different from previous batches have improved after letting them sit for several weeks. Be patient.
     
  12. Head First

    Head First Well-Known Member

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    If by chance you do have a batch that soured don't dump it , just ad a little raspberry extract and enjoy your first sour. I had a Hefe last year that soured with good sanitation and new smack packs. We can blame the yeast company but ... stuff is floating in the air all the time.
     

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