So I screwed up. Not sure where though.

Discussion in 'General Brewing Discussions' started by Wulfsbane, Nov 28, 2020.

  1. Wulfsbane

    Wulfsbane New Member

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    Alright, after a rather successful first batch I was very eager to get my 2nd batch going. So browsing along Northern Brewers I found a Kölsch extract kit (I'm trying to get the hang of it first before I go all grain... and I need the space for it too) and I ordered it. Brewed it about a week or two after receiving it. It all went well and I tried it out for the first time tonight.... and I could tell almost immediately I screwed up somewhere. I grabbed one of the Kölschs I had sitting in my fridge to compare it to and well...

    Definitely can see there's something wrong with it.



    While I know something went wrong with it, I'm not entirely sure where I went wrong. Maybe something went wrong a lot earlier and I didn't recognize it? Maybe the fizz drops didn't do the job? Maybe everything went wrong? ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

    It tasted okay I guess. The taste dissipated early and kinda left a lingering aftertaste to it that the others in my fridge didn't leave. I'm kinda disappointed with it but I wanna know what I did wrong, so I don't repeat the same mistakes for the 3rd batch.
     
  2. 56 Firedome

    56 Firedome Active Member

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    Extract kits avoid most of the typical problem areas. The Extract represents what you would get out of the Mash without the hassle of pouring hot water over grain. You just heat the water to dissolve the extract, dry or liquid, & add Hops per the directions. After cooling to Yeast pitching temperature transfer from your Kettle to your Fermenter & pitch Yeast. Airlock prevents contamination during fermentation. Most Yeast from a kit will work fine at room temperature.
    That leaves contamination as the most likely miscreant. Clean, clean & then sanitize. Professional Brewers Wash followed by Star San to Sanitize ALL your equipment. Special attention should be paid to all threads, hoses, spoons, anything that touches the Beer to Be after it has boiled.
    Most important of all, Get back on that horse. Don't be discouraged, everyone on this Forum has had this or some other problem at least once in their brewing experience. Brew up, drink up & enjoy your experience.
    Later man.
     
  3. HighVoltageMan!

    HighVoltageMan! Well-Known Member

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    Truer words were never spoken.

    The beer looks a little dark (sometimes extract will do that), with no head. What kind of yeast? What temperature did you ferment at? Remember you are comparing it to a Reissdorf, it's a high mark your aiming for. So if you miss the mark the first time, don't be discouraged. That is a tough beer to replicate.

    Kolsch's need a healthy pitch of yeast, lots of aeration at pitch. The flavor of all light beers is generally delicate, so any problems with the fermentation or ingredients stick out like a sore thumb. It's one of my favorite styles, but not the easiest to brew.

    Don't be discourage, you'll nail it.
     
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  4. Donoroto

    Donoroto Well-Known Member

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    Yes, it could be sanitation. Read my post on that topic.But real sanitation issues produce undrinkable beer.

    You wrote it tastes mostly OK, and so this isn't a screw up, it is a success. Just a learning experience. Also, it is often difficult to match exactly a commercial beer.

    I see three differences: Color, clarity.and head

    Color could be old malt extract, or a slightly different one, or many other things that I am not qualified to name. I hope others will pipe up here.

    Clarity can be yeast, racking technique (pulling too much Trub from the fermenter), missing a clarifying ingredient, or just timing: I see a bottle, so I assume that's where that beer came from: Let them sit cold a while so the suspended particles get a chance to settle and then pour more carefully, perhaps.

    A lack of head points to cleanliness, since this is an extract brew it won't be mash temperature.

    My 0.02
     
  5. Steve SPF

    Steve SPF Well-Known Member

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    I think many of us miss, or misunderstand, that last step of the cleaning process - sanitising. We clean properly and then rinse thoroughly with water and think of it as job done when what we really need is that terminal sterilant as a last step - and that means bottles as well if we are bottling.

    It's worth reminding ourselves as well that we need clean glasses. Nothing kills the head on a beer quite like a glass that isn't clean.

    One other thought that my brewing guru told me more than once is that the beer is at its most vulnerable as it's coming down to pitching temp prior to fermentation starting. The quicker we cool and get fermentation started the better off the beer will be.
     
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  6. Hawkbox

    Hawkbox Well-Known Member

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    One thing too, when I started out I made 7 or 8 extract batches and never boiled any of them. Just heated the cans to make them soft and poured it in and added water. The extra is already pastuerized unlike grain so there is very little actual risk there too. Looking back I probably would boil them if I were to do it now but I successfully made beer numerous times just starsanning the bucket and pouring everything in.

    Unless you have something seriously wrong with your tap water it's not going to be a source of major infection.
     
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  7. Suga

    Suga Member

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    If you're not doing so use distilled water, will probably help with color. Water chemistry is little further along , but should look into it soon. also not sure if steeping grains included in your kit, but if so steep at 152 rather then the 170 they say, And maybe little longer if you can, It will help with the head and flavor
     
  8. Ward Chillington

    Ward Chillington Well-Known Member

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    Yeah...I was thinking water too especially as a new brewer, the kits don't point out things like water softeners, iron and chorine....hell I stumbled on that somewhere and feel all the better about it! My mystery screw up still has me thinking it was in mixing the priming sugar...I may have done it with water from the kitchen tap after the softener and not off the well tank with my RV Filter...in a hurry, lazy....inexperienced..hell...I'll cop to all three but I'm still not sure what that after taste was ....good thing vanilla extract could cover it up! :rolleyes:
    Whatever it is, get back on that horse...falling off is just part of learning how to ride!
     
  9. Nosybear

    Nosybear Well-Known Member

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    Ooooohhh! If you're using a softener, don't brew with it! Use the water prior to the softener. The softener adds a lot of stuff you don't want in your beer.
     

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