Homebrew Twang??

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oo7tk

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So I'm all new to brewing and have since done 2 beer kits and a Strawberry & Lime cider..

My first brew was a Craft Range IPA and has been in the bottle about 6 weeks but I'm getting a kind of twang is all I can call it that I have never really tasted off a beer, some people say it's tastes ok/good and other agree with me that there is a twang kind of taste... Kinda thought I must have done something wrong so my second brew was a Four Finger Jack from Bulldog and it's in the bottle about 2 weeks and just tried one for taste last night and it has the same twang :-(

Now I have read up that it could be the water but our water is very good from the tap and I drink it all the time and if it's drinkable I thought it was good for brewing??

Bottles my strawberry & lime cider last night and in very happy with how it tastes at the mo so what's up??

Is it just how the kits taste or do they need a longer time to condition, the taste just does not seem to be dying down..

Any help would be great, thanks
 

Cwrw666

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Two possible causes of `homebrew twang'.
First is the use of too much sugar with a one can kit - they usually want you to add 1Kg of sugar but that's too much in my experience. Half a kilo is ok, so to get the beer to the right strength you `brew it short' as well - in other words make it up to 4 gallons instead of 5. Always results in a better beer.
The second cause is brewing at the wrong temperature - you can get some funny twangy flavours developing if the temperature goes too high.
 

GhostShip

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I've only completed one brew (Woodforde's Wherry) and there was a definite twang to it. When I gave it to a friend to try, he said "It's got that home brew twang", which deflated me a bit.

My second brew (St Peter's Ruby Red) is in bottles now and I've used bottled water from Tesco just to see if it makes any difference. The bottles are currently undergoing secondary fermentation, so far too early to draw any conclusions.

I'll report back in a few weeks but one thing I've already learnt, even though I'm a complete novice, is to be patient. I'm really going to let the Ruby Red take its time and don't intend sampling it for at least a month after it's cold conditioned. If this one has a twang, then I'm not sure where I would go from there.
 

oo7tk

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Yea GhostShip I totally agree I have realised I need to take my time and just leave them for a few weeks but the twang is just not fading at all, hopefully you will see a difference in the Tesco water..


CWRW666 Yea I only used approx 600g of sugar for both brews so should have been fine but the first 2 brews I didn't have the InkBird up working so maybe a temp problem... I have St Peters cream stout in the fridge with the inkbird at the mo so hopefully see a difference..

Thanks
 

Pavros

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Did you treat your tap water at all?
My tap water is soft but sometimes has a strong chlorine smell. I fill an fv with 20+ litres of water, add half a crushed campden tablet and leave uncovered for half an hour. This apparently drives off the chlorine/chlorides
 

terrym

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Homebrew twang has been attributed to
- using table sugar
- using liquid malt extract rather than grain
- cheap kits
- not enough conditioning
- use of tap water
- yeast used
So take your pick :-?
 

Gunge

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I use none, or occasionally very small amounts of white sugar in my otherwise all-grain brews, with no ill effects when I do use it. However... for the first time in many years I decided recently to follow to the letter a recipe in a well-known HB book. It called for 770g of sugar and blow me it has the twang which I last tasted in a cheapo kits from decades ago. Don't know if it will fade with time but I ain't following anyone else's recipe ever again.
 

dad_of_jon

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Homebrew twang has been attributed to
- using table sugar
- using liquid malt extract rather than grain
- cheap kits
- not enough conditioning
- use of tap water
- yeast used
So take your pick :-?
I've never had HBT but then have never used tap water or used table sugar or not let it condition.

I have used a cheap kit as a base and used lme

the only time I had an issue was my first brew using wikos sanitizer (sodium percolate?) there was an astringency there. perhaps 2 rinses were not enought and I should have rinsed everything 3 times :doh: I changed to star san the brew after and it went away :)
 

Jakeyboi

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This is interesting, I started brewing a year ago and had exactly the same thing. I read through pages and pages of comments on the web, and now I make sublime beer with no twang and all my friends agree.

I changed three things

1. Got my self some temp control and brew at 18-20C
2. Got myself a 3rd fv and brewed like crazy to reach a "critical mass" this meant I was leaving the beer in the fv to 3-4 weeks and leaving the bottles alone for at least another 4 weeks. I was using the brew fridge for the 1st week of fermentation as this when temp control is most critical, so I could keep the fvs going non stop.
3. Bought starssan no rinse steriliser.

I considered all the other suggestions, water, yeast, infection etc etc but happily my beer is now fantastic.

It could also be that the twang u talk about is just the quality of the beer/or live yeast and ur not use to it. I never thought commercial lager had a twang before, but no it all definitely has an odd twang now, and of course is just rank.

Any who, don't panic about it you will suss it out, happy homebrewing.

Jake
 

dad_of_jon

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This is interesting, I started brewing a year ago and had exactly the same thing. I read through pages and pages of comments on the web, and now I make sublime beer with no twang and all my friends agree.

I changed three things

1. Got my self some temp control and brew at 18-20C
2. Got myself a 3rd fv and brewed like crazy to reach a "critical mass" this meant I was leaving the beer in the fv to 3-4 weeks and leaving the bottles alone for at least another 4 weeks. I was using the brew fridge for the 1st week of fermentation as this when temp control is most critical, so I could keep the fvs going non stop.
3. Bought starssan no rinse steriliser.

I considered all the other suggestions, water, yeast, infection etc etc but happily my beer is now fantastic.

It could also be that the twang u talk about is just the quality of the beer/or live yeast and ur not use to it. I never thought commercial lager had a twang before, but no it all definitely has an odd twang now, and of course is just rank.

Any who, don't panic about it you will suss it out, happy homebrewing.

Jake
yup, drinking beer within 2 weeks of brewing is not going to give you the best result! Leaving beer in the fv for 2-3 weeks rather than 5 days is also going to help as the yeast clear up after themselves.
 

Jamie93

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Hi. I've been brewing kits for years. I have tried numerous ones, I think youngs in my opinion are the best. But I totally agree with everyone who has commented. I never follow the instructions properly!.

I use less sugar, I don't use granulated, I always get brewing sugar. I know it's more expensive, but you will notice the difference. I also use brewing enhancer, again more expensive but well worth it. I also use a water filter when filling up from the tap.

If I'm brewing lager ( not very often ) as I'm a stout/ale man. I ferment it at a lower temperature 11-15c.
 

Callumbo

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One thing to add to the long list so far is your brewing bucket.

I had the same problem as you until someone suggested that the brewing bucket takes a little while to get "worn in".

Took me about 4-6 brews until the twang was gone. Bit annoying considering it's advised to get new buckets every 2 years do to scratches and general wear and tear
 

foxbat

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I use none, or occasionally very small amounts of white sugar in my otherwise all-grain brews, with no ill effects when I do use it. However... for the first time in many years I decided recently to follow to the letter a recipe in a well-known HB book. It called for 770g of sugar and blow me it has the twang which I last tasted in a cheapo kits from decades ago. Don't know if it will fade with time but I ain't following anyone else's recipe ever again.
Not surprised about this, in fact if it's the well-known book I think it is then a significant number of the recipes call for white sugar. In my personal opinion sugar is nothing but a cheapener/colouring agent (when they use invert) in commercial brewing and has no place in a quality AG homebrew.
 

strange-steve

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Not surprised about this, in fact if it's the well-known book I think it is then a significant number of the recipes call for white sugar. In my personal opinion sugar is nothing but a cheapener/colouring agent (when they use invert) in commercial brewing and has no place in a quality AG homebrew.
I disagree, sugar can play a very useful role in some beer styles, particularly Belgian beers. Ever had a Westvleteren, Rochefort, Westmalle, Orval, Chimay, St Bernardus? All excellent beers, all brewed with sugar.
 

louis macneice

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I disagree, sugar can play a very useful role in some beer styles, particularly Belgian beers. Ever had a Westvleteren, Rochefort, Westmalle, Orval, Chimay, St Bernardus? All excellent beers, all brewed with sugar.
Or for that matter a pint of Harvey's Best...contains sugar and flaked corn and tastes wonderful!

Cheers - Louis MacNeice
 

Pawlo7671

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I will probably get corrected here but i'm pretty sure that if your water tastes ok from the tap then your good to go, you only need worry about the chemistry of your water if your doing all grain as it affects the mashing process ( starch conversion to sugar ) now if your brewing from a can or extract ( Dry malt extract or liquid malt extract ) then the mashing process has already been done for you.

Now, keep temps at around 19 - 21c dont use table sugar, use brewing sugar or DME or a combo of both. Sanitize, sanitize and then sanitize.
Lighter beers don't hide off flavors all to well, try brewing an IPA, Stout or Bitter, get your brewing process right with these beers before doing lighter styles.

Perseverance is the key, don't give up and soon you'l be a brewing god .... like me :mrgreen:
 

Grizzly299

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Homebrew "twang" is usually caused by a combination of several issues, often associated with the novice brewer, and is hard to pin down. It is often wrongly attributed to the use of can kits and ingredients like sugar. I think the association comes from the fact that this is where people start brewing and it's where mistakes are made.

Here are some ideas to help you out;

Your beer is too young - Adopt a fermentation and conditioning schedule that is appropriate for your setup and beer style. Less control over your brewing process may mean longer periods of conditioning are necessary.

2-2-2 is a good "rule"( rule implies it's set in stone, when it really isn't) to start with. Two weeks fermentation, two weeks carbonation/conditioning , 2 Weeks cool conditioning. Try it and adjust as necessary to get the results you want with your system. Many brewers are able to achieve good results in less time simply by brewing lower abv beers and beers that are best consumed young.


Your tap water has chlorine - Phenols in your beer combine with chlorine to create chloramine. It tastes a bit medicinal, or can present as a plastic like taste when burping. Treat by adding 1/2 a campden tablet per 23 litres to your water before brewing. Allow to dissolve fully and stand for an hour or so before mixing with the contents of your kit.

Oxygen - You're splashing your beer too much when bottling or transfering to a secondary. Oxidised beer can develop a number of off flavours. Minimise splashing, waterfalls or anything that churns your beer once it has fermented.

You are Fermenting too warm - Lots of homebrew kits generalise about temperatures and don't stress the impact that fermentation temperature can have on flavour. Usually it's a strong fruity flavour, leading to harsh alcohol as temps get higher.

Be sure to distinguish between ambient room temperature and actual fermentation temperature. Your Fermenting wort can easily be 2°C or more higher than room temp. So when you think you're sitting pretty, you are actually overshooting and getting too hot.

Cleanliness - Keep everything clean and free from dirt and debris, as well as sterile.

Make sure that you thoroughly rinse off any chlorine based cleaning products. No-rinse sanitisers are ideal, but only for equipment that is free from soiling/debris.


That should be enough to keep you going and help you to refine your process.
 

Ale

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Homebrew twang has been attributed to
- using table sugar
- using liquid malt extract rather than grain
- cheap kits
- not enough conditioning
- use of tap water
- yeast used
So take your pick :-?
I would add cleaners like VWP and plastic bottles have been blamed for it as well.
 

terrym

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I would add cleaners like VWP and plastic bottles have been blamed for it as well.
Maybe.
But I use both and don't notice the 'twang' on a consistent basis.
If I were to blame anything it would be use of some liquid malt extracts, which may be in cheap kits or as it comes. I don't do cheap kits as a rule but have been using unbranded LME from HBC in recent extract brews,and have noticed a bit of a twang which disappears after about 8 weeks conditioning. I am intending to use other LME on some future extract brews to compare to see if its the HBC LME that is the problem.
And as far as mains water is concerned, mine is OK to drink and doesn't smell, so it comes straight out the mains tap into the FV, without any treatment whatsoever, so I don't think any twang can be attributed to that in my case since every brew gets the same source of water.
However if you are using water sourced from a header tank (as in a domestic hot water system) there's no knowing what's in it! :-o
 

Linalmeemow

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I think the "twang" is just how LME (and to a lesser extent DME) based kits taste. I found all of the canned kits I did had a very obvious flavour; this flavour was still there but less obvious when I started doing partial mashes with DME, but now I've moved over to AG it's completely disappeared. No other changes in water, FV or any other variable. I think it's the process of dehydrating and rehydrating the malt extract that causes the flavour.
 
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