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tbwrangler2000

New to homebrewing

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Hello everybody.Im new to homebrewing and need a little inspiration i guess.So far i have made 5 batches of beer.I have started drinking 2 of the batches.Hop Head Red and Columbus Cascading Amber Ale.Im not very impressed so far the beer seems to lack flavor and body.I have conditioned these for 2 months and they are a little better than when they where 2 weeks old.I am having fun with this hobby but Im having a hard time spending all the money for ok beer.Is there something i can do different to make a more exciting beer or should i try a better beer making kit?All my beer just seems to be lacking something.I feel like im wasting time and money when i can go to the store and buy delicious beer for less money.

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Well, there are a lot of things you can do to kick it up a notch. We recommed everyone do thise boring batches before going mad scientist. These, albeit somewhat lacking in taste, are good for teaching the basics. You can do batch's using grains to steep. This adds body, character, abv and better head/lacing. You can also start mixing in some DME or LME for added body/taste/abv etc. When doing this, u can start experimenting with hop additions for bitterness, flavor and aroma.

Brewing your own beer sometimes is just as expensive, sometimes more expensive than running down to the corner market and buying some piss beer. Brewing your own is not always about the cost, but it's about the enjoyment from creating your own beer, tinkering with amounts/flavors to create a beer that is yours, not some commercial swill.

I'm sorry to hear you are disappointed with your beers. I must say I was very disappointed with my first few also, then I started learning how to make my own. I'm still learning how, but I must say most the beer I make is so far above commercial crap I rarely drink any commercial shyte.

Are you wanting to continue with recipe kits, or make your own up? Do you want to use available malts, or try going to all grain? Do you have something in particular you are wanting to make? Imitations of commercial beer? Styles?

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I don't remember if I welcomed you to the forum or not, but I will do it again. In my welcome is several suggestions for reading, if u have not read these already, these are very informative and will teach you alot. There is a ton of free reading on the internet on stepping it up a notch or 2, all depends on your comfort level. Anyways:

Welcome to the forum!

Some good reads:
http://community.mrbeer.com/forum/8-new-brewers-and-faqs/123726-simple-guide-line
http://community.mrbeer.com/forum/8-new-brewers-and-faqs/65050-new-brewers-please-read-malt-to-adjunct-ratios
http://www.howtobrew.com/intro.html
http://www.brewersassociation.org/attachments/0000/2207/BA_Beer_Style_2010.pdf
http://hbd.org/cgi-bin/recipator/recipator/carbonation.html?11878171#tag
http://www.beerborg.com/index/
Old Mr. Beer recipes for those that got lucky enough to have the older HMEs:
https://docs.google.com/spreadsheet/ccc?key=0AvC_u0VMvajpdHRSYlVpUElvbGZJYl9hbFo3NkVmR3c#gid=2
(Spreadsheet NOT my creation!)

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I think maybe i will stick to simple styles of beer for now.Maybe im getting ahead of myself here.Ill just focus on the basics and improve those. :stout:

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JohnDubya is right. An extract beer can be made so much better with a few simple ingredients or additions. Try adding some DME/LME, steeping grains and hop boils.
I can say from experience that the two most significant improvements I have made to my brewing has been steeping grain and hop boils. These two additions have taken my homebrew from decent to damn good. And the best part is they are both so easy it's kinda like making a can of Campbells soup... try it, I think you'll see a geat improvement in your brews.

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Hello, welcome! I agree with you, as I am in the same boat, made a few and tasted a couple but reading and chatting here will give you the tools needed to make an awesome brew. The recipes from MrB are good for learning the basics and reference points for making a beer that you will be happy with. I'm preparing myself for my 1st hops boil, and adding some malt for body and mouthfeel, it will be my 5th batch.
Always remember sanitize, 3wks LBK - 4wks carb/cond at room temp this is no joke it's a while to wait but soooo worth it and temp stability is key!

Welcome to the obsession!

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You can make better beer, and if you stick with it, you will.

Right now, you're at the learning phase (although the learning never really stops). So you're like the kid who sees an Olympic gymnast and wants to get involved in that sport, or someone learning how to drive who looks at the Indy 500 or stunt driving in the movies. Can't do that stuff yet, but that's no reason to quit.

If you want to stick with the Mr. Beer products (and they're good products), but want more interesting beer with more flavor and body, try the Advanced Recipes link on the homepage. You can probably find recipes for a style you like, and they'll be more interesting beers. They'll also be more expensive kits, but you get what you pay for. A JohnDubya noted, in many cases, what you get most out of this hobby is the satisfaction of making your own beer - not saving money on beer.

Eventually, if you stick with it and read threads here, and ask questions here, and do research, and get more familiar with the process as a whole, you'll be able to branch out to steeping grains, boiling hops, maybe formulating your own recipes for original beers, as many of us do. That's where the real satisfaction (and the cost-saving) comes in. But you're just not there yet.

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john and dave are right it's not about the price it's about flavor. do the reads that john suggested it helps. i just started last Dec.11. what i have discovered is that when you stop making HMEs and doing your own(extract) recipies you'll start enjoying the beer more. by this i mean not opening a hme but buying lme/dme, hops, yeasts, you decide what, how much, and how long. there's more of you in there so you'll enjoy the beer more. don't really cost that much i figgured out my average run to the lhbe. i pay .80 a beer(12oz). i can live with that.

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I believe the brews that the OP listed are Advanced Recipes.

I understand your complaint. I'd suggest adding 1lb of pale LME to some upcoming batches. Ideally, make a recipe that you already made AND still have some left. Keep at least a bottle of it for side by side comparison.

I've started grain steeps, in 4 batches, but the first two aren't ready until next Friday so I can't speak to the effect other than I steeped to improve flavor and mouthfeel (Carafoam and either Honey Malt or Crystal Malt). I've been adding LME to all my batches for a while and it definitely helps.

I'd also recommend you buy at least one of the Craft Series. They are like night and day from the Standard Series. You can add a pound of pale LME to them also - I did the Bewitched Amber Ale and Winter Dark and both are nice (without additions), if I do them in the future they should be very nice with LME.

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+1 to what they said above. The basic kits seem to take linger to conditon, but will get better. Steeping and adding DME/LME are a big improvement. I have just started trying AG BIABs and they are certainly more work than the extracts and I have yet to taste one yet so I can't comment on quality yet. Most importantly I am having fun and what I have made so far is better than the mass produced comercial beers. Welcome to the community....Read, Ask and experiment...your journey has begun.

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Thanks guys you all are very helpful.Im not gonna give up i really like this hobby so far.I do have to admit my Winter Dark Ale gets better the longer it conditions.I think for now I just need to have patience.Im starting to get a good pipeline going.right now i have Winter Dark Ale,Columbus Cascading Amber Ale and Hop Head Red conditioning.Jamaica Mon carbonating and Canadian Blonde in the LBK.I have been collecting bottles and delabeling those.this hobby sure can keep me busy. :cheers:

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Guest System Admin

Don't ever give up.

That is all.

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