Originally Posted by kombat
I brewed this back in January, as had a very vigorous fermentation even though I kept the temperature in the low 60's. I just kegged it last night. When I tasted my gravity sample, it tasted somewhat "hot" and harsh to me. My calculated ABV is 6.4%, so I'm not sure if what I was tasting was due to the higher-than-normal alcohol content, or if I might have some fusel alcohols present. The fermentation was vigorous enough to suggest it may have produced some off-flavours, but I fermented at the same temperature as all my other ales (basement, in a plastic pail full of water, covered with a wet t-shirt).
Has anyone else detected somewhat "harsh" flavours in this recipe initially? Will this age out? Will the CO2 help it mellow? Is this normal for this recipe?
I brewed this back in January too. I left it in primary for 3 weeks, bottled from there, and let them carb for 3 weeks before trying one. ABV was 6%, and after 3 weeks the beer didn't quite taste right, and there wasn't really any head to speak of. I might have described some of the flavors as "harsh", the beer certainly didn't ahve the smoothness I typically enjoy from a porter. I had to kind of force it down.
After the 4th week, I tried another one, it had the faintest head, maybe 1/8-1/4", but the flavors were remarkably improved. I had one yesterday afternoon, at the 4-week + 2-3 day mark, and while the head is still small, the flavors are now great. Quite a remarkable change from 10 days ago.
I'm still hoping that the beer will develop more head, but it isn't flat and is really enjoyable to drink as-is. I will probably add a small amount of carapils next time I brew it.
So in summary, I wouldn't worry, just let it rest a bit longer and it should turn out fine.