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Bladeruner69

Why is my beer thin and watery?

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On my 3rd batch and can't figure out why my beer is so thin. First batch was WCPA, second Christmas ale and my Full Moon is also watery. The taste is there but there does not seem to be enough body. Should I add less water to the keg?

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please elaborate...

What is your batch consisting of?

By that, I mean is it one can Mr Beer HME (Hopped Malt Extract), Booster and filled to the 8.5 quart mark?

Are you adding in anything else like DME (dried Malt Extract) or LME Liquid Malt Extract)?

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I think that what Yankeedag and Fat Pete are driving at (if I may be so presumptuous) is the fact that use of more malts will give your beer better body and flavor. If you are using an HME and booster, add a UME. You can eliminate the booster or keep it, or even add yet another UME or HME. Just be aware that adding more and more UME will diminish the perceived bitterness of the beer (one won't make much difference, two can). You will get the same effect by adding a pound of DME as you would by adding a 1.2 lb. can of UME.

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It may just need more conditioning time. For example, I recently did the Mocha Cherry Stout recipe. I carbed/conditioned for 1 month. Tasted like lightly carbonated chocolate water. I let it sit 1 more month and i now feel it's best brew i've done so far. I feel the 2-2-2 method is good for standard refills (1 can HME, 1 pack Booster. Most everything i do now is 2 weeks fermenting, 4-6 weeks carbonating and conditioning at room temp. Then a couple days in the fridge

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I've also found that a better source of water and a higher quality yeast helps. Once I started using filtered water and liquid yeast, my beers took a turn for the better. Much better. Body was better, flavors were better, they melded together in a much more satisfying way. And the beer just had a better mouth feel.

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malt makes the body good in your brew. may want to add another round of dme to the batch. just a guess, i don't use mrbeer. love mrbeer and have notheng bad to say about it. it was a great start for my hobby, but i have found that if your brew is thin and no body you need more malt.

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Well for the first batch(WCPA)I followed almost exactly as directed with the exception of adding a cup of Honey. Conditioned about one month. X-mas ale also made following the directions and one month conditoning. The brews that I have conditioning now(Triple Tipple, Full Moon Marzen and Wicked Monk), I used premuim yeast from Wyeast labs. All of the brews have been pretty much made following Mr. Beer directions. Adding more malts=more expense(+ premium yeast). At what point do you start paying more to home brew than you would to pick up your favorites at BevMo. I have really enjoyed brewing so far but It is turning out to be no less expensive than buying.

I don't know, maybe I need to get a more traditional brew kit. It sucks because I have 3 kegs and lots of accessories already. Have you all experienced this LOVE/HATE relationship with brewing?

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Bladeruner69 wrote:

Well for the first batch(WCPA)I followed almost exactly as directed with the exception of adding a cup of Honey. Conditioned about one month. X-mas ale also made following the directions and one month conditoning. The brews that I have conditioning now(Triple Tipple, Full Moon Marzen and Wicked Monk), I used premuim yeast from Wyeast labs. All of the brews have been pretty much made following Mr. Beer directions. Adding more malts=more expense(+ premium yeast). At what point do you start paying more to home brew than you would to pick up your favorites at BevMo. I have really enjoyed brewing so far but It is turning out to be no less expensive than buying.

I don't know, maybe I need to get a more traditional brew kit. It sucks because I have 3 kegs and lots of accessories already. Have you all experienced this LOVE/HATE relationship with brewing?

I'm not sure that extract brewing is any cheaper that buying commercial. Thats not really the selling point here....I do it cause I like to make my own beer.

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I'm brand new at this, just tasted my Vienna Octoberfest for the first time an hour ago :). It's also thin and watery, but then again it's still fermenting (day 12).


One thing I've quickly come to terms with is that in order to brew great beer for less than store prices, you must use hops and malt (plus other grains for flavor). If you keep spending 15-22 bucks on a can of premade HME and UME then you won't save any money. I ordered a pound of cascade hops from hopsdirect.com for 9 bux (another 10 to ship).

I plan to make a sierra nevada pale ale clone using about 2oz of hops per batch plus 3 pounds of light DME (bout 12 bucks). So 3 bucks for hops and 12 bucks for DME. That's 15 bucks for 22 beers (i get water for free). Sierra nevada around here costs 9 bucks per 6 beers. So I can basically make my own for half price.

I also want to make a st. bernardus brew, but I'm having trouble finding an economical way to do so.

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Bladeruner69 wrote:


I don't know, maybe I need to get a more traditional brew kit. It sucks because I have 3 kegs and lots of accessories already. Have you all experienced this LOVE/HATE relationship with brewing?

I'm not sure how a different brew kit changes your expense (unless you are looking at going AG, which is where the real cost savings can come from). Extract brewing is extract brewing, whether it is in a 2.5 gallon fermenter or a 5 gallon one. You can search out different ingredients if cost reduction is your main goal, but the equipment used really doesn't make a cost difference.

It also depends on what you are comparing to. If you're comparing the costs to Natty Light, you're likely to never make beer cheaper than commercial. If you're, OTOH, comparing to micros, you may be able to find beers you like cheaper with extracts (and you definitely can with AG).

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Bladeruner69 wrote:

Well for the first batch(WCPA)I followed almost exactly as directed with the exception of adding a cup of Honey. Conditioned about one month.

You took a thin beer and added a cup of honey, which is almost completely fermentable, so you made it even thinner. I used sugar to mess up my first two batches.


X-mas ale also made following the directions and one month conditoning. The brews that I have conditioning now(Triple Tipple, Full Moon Marzen and Wicked Monk), I used premuim yeast from Wyeast labs. All of the brews have been pretty much made following Mr. Beer directions. Adding more malts=more expense(+ premium yeast).


The triple tipple will likely be fuller than your previous attempts.


At what point do you start paying more to home brew than you would to pick up your favorites at BevMo. I have really enjoyed brewing so far but It is turning out to be no less expensive than buying.

I'm a cheapskate. Big time. But that's not why I make my own beer. I make my own beer because I like it. If you're not enjoying it, do something else.

Having said that, I can make a case of beer for about half what I can buy it. I get Mr Beer refills on clearance and I buy LME and hops in bulk. I brew my own beer to get better beer. Getting it for half the price (and 2-4 times the alcohol content) is a side benefit.

I don't know, maybe I need to get a more traditional brew kit. It sucks because I have 3 kegs and lots of accessories already. Have you all experienced this LOVE/HATE relationship with brewing?

The first time I went to the LHBS, I told the guy I had a Mr Beer. He told me that I could do anything with the Mr Beer that I could with a 5 gallon setup except for one thing. I asked about that one thing. He chuckled and said that I can't make 5 gallons at a time.

I'm not sure how you'll save money by spending more, but feel free to give it a try.

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swenocha wrote:


It also depends on what you are comparing to. If you're comparing the costs to Natty Light, you're likely to never make beer cheaper than commercial.

I was a Natty Ice drinker. It was cheap and available. And since I'm in Utah, it was 3.2 ABW (unlike the 5.9 in the civilized world). So when Woot had the kits for $19.99 that made 3.7% ABV beer, I jumped. Then I learned that 3.7% ABV is LOWER than 3.2% ABW.

So I added sugar. And the result compared favorably with Natty Ice. If you weren't familiar with the expression "damned by faint praise" you are now.

I then looked into DME and later into hops. Then I learned my LHBS sells LME in bulk.

I can make a batch of beer for about half the cost of Natty Ice if I only want to make it twice the strength.

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I've found that I can brew a 5 gallon kit for about $20 if I really try. It's usually about $30. In my neck of the woods a 12 pack of micro brew is starting to push $20 after tax. 5 gallons usually yields me about 2 cases. That's $7.50 a 12 pack. It's hard to find natty ice for that price, let alone microbrew!

The other day I bought a 4 pack of dog fish heads pumpkin ale for $12! I thought to myself, "Self, you can make much better pumpkin beer for less than $3 a bottle." And I did. I made an Ocktoberfest pumpkin ale that tasted much better than the dog fish head for about 50 cents a beer. I figured I saved over $100 by making my own, and I gave some to friends.

I've found that the joy of brewing for me is not the cost savings per se, but the fun I have making better beer than what the micro brews make, for cheeper than what I can buy them, and still share with my friends and get their nod of approval!

A couple tips to making cheeper beer:
Reuse your yeast
Buy in bulk
Go to 5 gallon batches

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I have enjoyed this ride so far also. I think that I would enjoy it much more IF I were making better beer. And it really is not about expense for me, however I don't want to spend $40 per batch and have crappy beer when I can buy cappy beer for less. As much as I have enjoyed brewing I would be totally satisfied if the finished product wowed me.

I will be taking a class this Saturday at the LHBS and maybe I can work on my skills there. Thanks for all of the advise and wish me luck.

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Learning to make good beer takes time and experience. The only way you can learn to make good beer is to make beer!

There are so many variables that go into making a beer that could make your beer not quite taste right, including the ingredients. Don't worry if that happens. If you post your recipie and your procedure on this website, there is usually someone that will try to help you figure out where you went wrong! Your LHBS is also a HUGE resource, if they are good, as they can actually taste your beer and give you feedback.

Cheers and good luck!

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Agreed. There's nothing wrong with more education (in fact, there's nothing not right about more education), and I encourage you to go to the class at your LHBS, but Tindel is right... The only way you make good beer is by practice... you have to have experience. Whether it is Mr. Beer kit, a 5 gallon bucket kit from the LHBS, or whatever, practice makes perfect. As stated earlier, there is no limit to what you can do in a Mr. B kit... people here do everything from straight Mr. B extract kits, to highly modded Mr. B kits, to extract kits from the LHBS, to extract recipes put together themselves, to all-grain. We've done every beer style, as well as mead, lemonade, cider, etc. The only limitation the equipment has is that it can only produce 2+ gallons, while a 5 gallon system can produce 5 gallons. It is a bucket fermenter just like what they sell at the LHBS, only scaled down to a smaller size. There is no way the equipment itself can make your beer thin and/or watery, just as there is no way that a 6 gallon carboy can.

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bpgreen wrote:

swenocha wrote:


It also depends on what you are comparing to. If you're comparing the costs to Natty Light, you're likely to never make beer cheaper than commercial.

I was a Natty Ice drinker. It was cheap and available. And since I'm in Utah, it was 3.2 ABW (unlike the 5.9 in the civilized world). So when Woot had the kits for $19.99 that made 3.7% ABV beer, I jumped. Then I learned that 3.7% ABV is LOWER than 3.2% ABW.

So I added sugar. And the result compared favorably with Natty Ice. If you weren't familiar with the expression "damned by faint praise" you are now.

I then looked into DME and later into hops. Then I learned my LHBS sells LME in bulk.

I can make a batch of beer for about half the cost of Natty Ice if I only want to make it twice the strength.

Touché ;)

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The only thing I will add to everyone elses great posts is that your beers will probably taste better if you let them condition at room temp for longer. I had a really bad batch I was about to throw out but I let it sit for 6 months and now it is good.

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