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JayBee

Oktoberfest tastes weird

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I am on day 26 of fermenting the Oktoberfest mix.  I am a first time brewer and followed suggestion off a youtube video, I added 400g dextrose and 200g light dry malt extract.  The room it is fermenting in has been between 68-70 on average with some lows down to 64.  That is based on a thermometer in the room and I am wondering if I should have found a way to measure the temperature of the liquid in the keg.  I tasted the beer after 21 days and it reminded me apples in scent and the taste was sweet and a bit sour.  The apple vibe has mellowed since then but is still noticeable, I don't detect any toffee notes.  I've heard the actual temperature in the keg can be 10-15 degrees warmer than the room temperature.  Do I need to toss this or carry on?

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room temp 68-70...  equals ...  inside fermentation temp of 78-85f . yes...

 

too hot.

 

too hot = yeast pee out acetaldehyde = green apple taste.

 

that being said, the hardest lesson for the new brewer is patience and temperature control.  get a stick on thermometer from mr beer. stick it on your lbk. look up how to build a fermentation chiller box. you can make a simple one from an igloo cooler, an aquarium thermometer and a 1 liter bottle of ice. experiment with the amount of ice and note how long it keeps termperatures in the cooler at the level desired. shoot for an ambient temp of 62-64f for most ales.   too cold? yeast will go sleepies. too hot, yeast make sour apple juice.

 

dont get discouraged. your first 3 beer kits will most likely be a disappointment. persist. learn. you get better.

 

----

 

suggestions in you tube video for ruining mr beer kits?  the world is full of 'experts'. most dont know jack.  the sage advice i gleaned from here ages ago was this: new brewers should do a couple kits exactly as instructed to see the process, what happens, and how they come out. over time you can get experiemental and add things.  dont chase alcohol content. chase flavor.  add extra stuff to a recipe you change the recipe and no longer match the style. i once added tons of brown sugar to a stout. gack. brown sugar is cane sugar with mollasses. the yeast eat the sugar and leave the mollasses so i ended up with licorice flavored 'stout'. no longer stout. if you added the extra fermentables at the start of the process you can probably go ahead and bottle. just dont expect great beer. remember too that tasting beer in midferment will produce a different flavor than after it has carbed and conditioned.  age is your friend...as is patience.

 

 

---

 

toss beer? are you nuts? even the appleyist crappy beer is still alcohol. add something to the glass like a shot of bourbon to cut the apple. acetaldehyde wont kill you. the beauty of mr beer and home brewing is that you can drink your mistakes.. most of the time... unless you got a really bad infection like ecoli or acetobacter (vinegar).

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bottle it and forget about it for a couple months. store the bottles in a room that is 70f+ to carbonate.  carbing is backwards from fermenting. when carbing, warm rooms are your friend.

 

aging a beer allows flavors to meld, mellow and this is called 'conditioning'.  hops over time get smoother, less pronounced. grains come forward a bit. off flavors like apple soften to a degree. brew an ipa. after conditioning 4 weeks try one. you will be hit with an in your face hop intensity. let it sit for a year. you will have a totally different beer.

 

 

btw welcome to brewing... sadly this forum isnt the busiest place like it used to be but welcome anyway.

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5 hours ago, JayBee said:

I am on day 26 of fermenting the Oktoberfest mix.  I am a first time brewer and followed suggestion off a youtube video, I added 400g dextrose and 200g light dry malt extract.  The room it is fermenting in has been between 68-70 on average with some lows down to 64.  That is based on a thermometer in the room and I am wondering if I should have found a way to measure the temperature of the liquid in the keg.  I tasted the beer after 21 days and it reminded me apples in scent and the taste was sweet and a bit sour.  The apple vibe has mellowed since then but is still noticeable, I don't detect any toffee notes.  I've heard the actual temperature in the keg can be 10-15 degrees warmer than the room temperature.  Do I need to toss this or carry on?

welcome to the forum. if you are following the instructions, you should be bottling at 21 days and tasting a sample while you are doing that. i learned the hard way about temp control. use a camping cooler and put a few frozen water bottles in there. i found a cheap aquarium thermometer on amazon for like $10 and taped the probe on the side of the lbk. that will get you started. your next batch will be much better.

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6 hours ago, JayBee said:

I am on day 26 of fermenting the Oktoberfest mix.  I am a first time brewer and followed suggestion off a youtube video, I added 400g dextrose and 200g light dry malt extract.  The room it is fermenting in has been between 68-70 on average with some lows down to 64.  That is based on a thermometer in the room and I am wondering if I should have found a way to measure the temperature of the liquid in the keg.  I tasted the beer after 21 days and it reminded me apples in scent and the taste was sweet and a bit sour.  The apple vibe has mellowed since then but is still noticeable, I don't detect any toffee notes.  I've heard the actual temperature in the keg can be 10-15 degrees warmer than the room temperature.  Do I need to toss this or carry on?

As @zorak1066 and @Jdub said above temperature control is the second most important thing in brewing (sanitization is the most important). 

 

Bottle this one and as Zorak said, add some bourbon to cut the apple flavor from the acetaldehyde  to make it drinkable.  Also, be sure to brew a few as the instructions and tips from this forum state.  At this point your main concern should be learning how to brew not changing the beer as it is intended.  Brew a few batches of American Light, once you get that one so that it taste good you have all of your processes down and can go on with confidence to other styles.

 

As Zorak said, this forum isn't as busy as it used to be but you will get answers in time.  Be patient with your questions and also use the search feature, chances are good there is already an answer to your question somewhere on this forum.

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Proper temperature control during fermentation (which I learned about on this forum) was the single greatest factor that improved the quality of my beers.

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Man I did not expect this much response, much thanks to everyone that did.  Consider your tips taken, I'll do all you have said to salvage this batch.

How much bourbon would you recommend adding to the 2g keg?

 

Cheers

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1 hour ago, JayBee said:

Man I did not expect this much response, much thanks to everyone that did.  Consider your tips taken, I'll do all you have said to salvage this batch.

How much bourbon would you recommend adding to the 2g keg?

 

Cheers

I recommend adding it to each glass as you drink them.  Start with a little, taste it, if it needs more add more.

Or do what I'd do and turn them into boilermakers by just adding a whole shot.  :)

 

 

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22 hours ago, JayBee said:

Do I need to toss this or carry on?

Welcome to your new obsession and this forum. Carry on of course. If you have questions, do a quick search. There's hardly a topic that hasn't been discussed over the last decade including food parings and what many think about Michigan Wolverines.

Begin your search with the topics pinned by Rickbeer. He has done an excellent job (better than could usually be expected from a Wolverine) summing up much of the knowledge and advice available for new brewers. 

Sanitation, temperature control and patience. As Zorak has said, you can always drink your mistakes. 

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8 hours ago, D Kristof said:

Welcome to your new obsession and this forum. Carry on of course. If you have questions, do a quick search. There's hardly a topic that hasn't been discussed over the last decade including food parings and what many think about Michigan Wolverines.

Begin your search with the topics pinned by Rickbeer. He has done an excellent job (better than could usually be expected from a Wolverine) summing up much of the knowledge and advice available for new brewers. 

Sanitation, temperature control and patience. As Zorak has said, you can always drink your mistakes. 

 

In addition, some of my mistakes have gone into a batch of beer chili or chicken marinades.  Then there's always cooking some bratwurst in them.

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