I’ll start of by saying this forum has been great wealth of info. I am relatively new to the world of brewing. Started last March with a Caribou Slobber Deluxe home brewer kit. I have now finished 3 beers(The Slobber, American Amber Ale, and Inn Keeper Ale). I bottle the first 3 last spring.
Jump to this fall, I Just bottled my 4th (Smash American Ale) a week ago and have 3 others (Nut Brown, Dry Irish Stout, and Brick warmer Red) in various states of fermentation. My question is this, my beers tend to have a strong dry, bitter after taste, that sticks in the back of the mouth. I went ahead and tried other beers to try and better my brewing practices, but don’t think I quite have it yet. I am using John Palmers book which I received with the mad brewer’s kit. I am brewing all extract so far but contemplating all grain. The two beers that have been the worst seem to be the Amber Ale and the Smash Ale and the Slobber behind that. The Inn Keeper was the best.
I had thought my problem might be the steeping grains, so I varied from the NB recipe and started steeping in a gallon to gallon and half of water(per J. Palmer) on the stove and used two different thermometers to verify my temp was not to high(tannins), then add this to my wort. Then I tried my latest beer, the Smash Ale(no steeping grains) and after a week in the bottle it is starting to develop the same characteristic. I would classify the taste as astringent or a bit green(grassy), but with more over powering taste than just bitter, it is dry and it stays with you as you drink it. I know my water is a bit on the alkaline side, closer to 9 pH but didn’t think this would matter doing extract. Wondering what could be causing this flavor to what otherwise seem like great beers. The color, aroma, clarity and carbonation of the Amber Ale seem perfect. But this one seemed to have the most off in flavor. Still drinkable for me, I have one open now and I like IPAs but not quite the same especially for a Amber Ale???
My water or procedure is extracting too much or the wrong thing from to hops from the bittering hops early in the boil. And it never smoothes out or is to overpowering to let the other flavors come through.
Question: What do I try to make better… Could it be the water, the hops, maybe chlorine in the water pulling some flavors out of the hops…Don’t Know Thought I would have this by the third or fourth beer.
Sorry to get long winded but I love beer and really want to get on top of this so I can make something that will wow and delight my friends and family not to mention the thought of having a great one of kind beer in my fridge when I get home from work and I will not give up easily. :?