From the HBD Archive
From: florianb@tekred.cna.tek.com
Subject: HB.DIG #201--Re: "my homebrew tastes like wine!"
Date: 1989-07-14 15:28:15 GMT

Paul Close says:

HELP! After several years of not brewing (with a few botched attempts at
brewing before that), I decided to try again.

(my hydrometer indicated it should be 5%). After a few swallows, my mouth
has an unpleasant "dry" feel to it, and the sour impression strengthens.
After a quarter-glass or so, I throw out the rest. Yuck!

I'm going to take a stab at this one. I'll bet you a dime to a dollar that
the taste is associated with corn sugar. Lots of people (including myself)
complain about dryness and sourness in brews containing a large amount of
corn sugar. Yes, it could be a bacterial infection, but if your sanitization
is good, then I wouldn't jump to that conclusion.

I recommend starting over with a full extract recipe. Use two cans of
extract this time, and use a cup of corn sugar for priming. Don't worry
about the heat. I've brewed in 90 degree weather before and have had
good results with ale. You can always put the carboy in a pan of water
and drape towels over it. Let the towels dip into the water. They will
act as wicks to bring up the water and evaporate it. This action will
cool the carboy by ten degrees or so.

Use unhopped extract and a couple ounces of Cascade or Willamette hops.
I'm telling you, with this simple procedure, you shouldn't go wrong. If
you still have trouble, write back in for more hints and analysis.

Above all, DON'T QUIT AGAIN! Persevere. You will be rewarded handsomely!

[Florian Bell, Boonesborough, Oregon]

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