Equipment Glossary Acknowledgements

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Section 1
Brewing Your First Beer With Malt Extract
Section 2
Brewing Your First Extract and Specialty Grain Beer
Section 3
Brewing Your First All-Grain Beer
Section 4
Formulating Recipes and Solutions
19 Some of My Favorite Beer Styles and Recipes
20 Experiment!
21 Is My Beer Ruined?


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Chapter 21 - Is My Beer Ruined?

(Probably Not)

This phrase has got to be the most frequently asked question by new brewers, and usually the answer is "No." Depending on the cause, it might end up with an odd flavor or aroma, but you will still be able to drink it and chalk it up as another lesson on the way to brewing that perfect beer. Although a lot can potentially go wrong with a batch, most problems arise from just a couple of root causes. If the recipe was good and you used quality ingredients, there are three main culprits: poor sanitation, bad yeast or the wrong temperature. Most problems become noticeable once the beer is in the fermentor and nothing (or something weird) is happening. Let's examine some common symptoms and their possible causes.

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Is My Beer Ruined?
(Probably Not)
Common Problems
Common Off-Flavors
Real Beer Page

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Appendix A - Using Hydrometers
Appendix B - Brewing Metallurgy
Appendix C - Chillers
Appendix D - Building a Mash/Lauter Tun
Appendix E - Metric Conversions
Appendix F - Recommended Reading

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All material copyright 1999, John Palmer