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Beers flavor too heavy


I have been brewing for about a year now, and have been using northern brewer extract beer kits. Almost all of the beers I have made come out darker and heavier tasting than expected. For example the latest beer, Sierra Madre, came out a very deep amber, and is much heavier tasting,i.e. like a dark beer, than i imagine it is supposed to. Is there anything in particular that may be causing this? would steeping the grains too long give it this character? Thank you!

It’s probably due to boiling a smaller volume of wort. I’m guessing you’re boiling maybe 3 gallons of wort, then topping up with cold water post-boil. This will result in more carmelization of your wort sugars, since they come in contact with the bottom of your pot more often. It will also decrease your hop utilization, since your boil is more concentrated.

The best thing you could do would be to start doing full boils. You’d need at least a 7 gallon pot for that, although I’d recommend getting a 10-gallon pot, which also works great for all-grain brewing.

Until then, you could look into the “extract late” method, in which you add a portion of the malt extract with about 15 minutes left in the boil.

Welcome! Happy brewing! :cheers:

oh, that makes a lot of sense. Thanks for the info!

Only other things that I might add to El Capitan’s suggestions are to keep a slow boil, it doesn’t have to be a wild churning boil. And to make sure that your pot is off the heat when you add the extract, then make sure it is all dissolved before you fire it up again.

The NB extract kits assume 2-1/2 gallons of water, then adding probably another gallon of liquid malt extract, so you’re looking at about 3-1/2 gallons of wort in the pot. That fits comfortably in a 5-gallon pot. Not sure what size boils you have been doing but if yours are a lot smaller you’re cooking the malt more than boiling the hops.

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