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Old 09-05-2005, 01:40 PM   #1
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Default Conditioning a big beer

My Wounded Thumb Wheat is a pretty big beer. It started out at about 1.085 and got down to about 1.010 after about a month in the primary (didn't have a secondary until this weekend). I've bottled it, and now I'm wondering what to do with it. Should I leave it in the closet for a week then put it in the fridge and forget about it for a few months? Should I give it more than a week in the closet?

The wort was very strong and a bit sweet (because I was chincy on the hops). To do over again, I'd have racked to a 2nd, dry hopped for a couple of weeks and then bottled, but that time has passed.

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Old 09-05-2005, 02:59 PM   #2
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Chincy on the hops, huh? They're so cheap!

I'm not going to beat you up on that point. You know what you'd like to do next time to improve what you got this time. That's called experience. Good for you.

What you could do is search what beers you have left (in bottles) and combine (I mean when pouring into a glass) a more bitter one with this sweeter batch. This would balance both beers and make them more palatable. In essence you'll have twice the beer when combining.

I'd wait at least the first week and give one a try. If it is carbonated enough then I would refridgerate it all and allow it to age there. Give one a try in about 2 weeks and another in a month.

As I've said many times before....whenever you do these things you need to take notes. Write down the date and what it is you are doing/did as well as why you are doing what it is you are doing/what you're looking for and the results you got.

Yes, brewing is a science project, but just like a reporter you need to identify the 4 W's:

WHEN - date

WHERE - not so important unless you are in your wife's kitchen on electric heat versus your own in the basement on gas

WHY - the results you're looking to achieve - good beer, as well as how closely your beer meets the style standards. In my mind, you should be judging your own beer as if you had to enter every batch into a contest.
How would your beers stand up? It is here you have to be honest with yourself. Would you serve a beer to guests that you yourself would not drink? Sure, we've all made beer the didn't quite make it. It's OK for us, but not something to share. When you make something to brag about then THOSE are the beers you share. The others become your lawn mower beers...good, but nothing special. Even if you had 5 batches of so-so beer you should restrain yourself from sharing until you get that one great one, unless your friends do enjoy it. You should let them be you judges. You just have to ask each one to be BRUTALY honest and tell them they won't hurt you feelings, etc, then learn from the comments.

WHAT - is the general processes used like the prep work such as how many pounds of malt, your yeast starter, measuring out hops etc. HOW will be used for the more minute steps you did)

...and the 1 H:

HOW - you did it, the process you did, step by step. This way if you did something wrong and you tried to repeat it and it doesn't turn out it should be obvious what went wrong.

You need to record as much as you can think of.

Now I'm going to get people to agree and disagree with my process, but that's fine. This is just MY process, you can adapt it for your own purposes.

Life's too short to drink bad beer (but we all do). True, but next time you'll know how to make it better.

Good luck.

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Old 09-05-2005, 03:09 PM   #3
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Good answer.

The batch I made yesterday is Number 4, and it's the one I'm hoping to be my first really good beer. I'm being extra pacient in hopes that spending a few extra minutes here and there will pay off in the end.


Thanks for the answers and I'll let you know how it goes.

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Old 09-05-2005, 08:56 PM   #4
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Don't be surprized if a 1.085 O.G. beer takes longer than a week or two in the closet to carb.

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Old 09-05-2005, 09:39 PM   #5
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No Such Thing As A Bad Beer If You Brewed It Yourself.

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Old 09-05-2005, 11:48 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cap46
No Such Thing As A Bad Beer If You Brewed It Yourself.
I'd like to agree with you one that, but...there's a lot of BAD HB out there. I've sampled it.

I agree with Rookie in that it should take longer than 1 week to improve a high altitude brew, but testing along the way will provide you with a better review.

We're all here behind you (just in case there's an explosion...)...
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Old 09-06-2005, 02:50 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by homebrewer_99
I'd like to agree with you one that, but...there's a lot of BAD HB out there. I've sampled it.

I agree with Rookie in that it should take longer than 1 week to improve a high altitude brew, but testing along the way will provide you with a better review.

We're all here behind you (just in case there's an explosion...)...
I'll give it 9 days before I chill the first bottle. That's just enough time for a good first sample.
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Old 09-06-2005, 03:21 AM   #8
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You don't have to chill it. Just open, pour and sample.

If the carbonation is right enough for you then refridgerate the batch.

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Old 09-09-2005, 04:45 AM   #9
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Good beer should be tasted at warmer temps. don't be afraid you will like what you drink. I try not to put any good ales in the refridge drink from basement around 60. Seems to be better taste then when I have to put in fridge and it's all about taste.

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Old 09-09-2005, 05:37 AM   #10
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True. I sample all my beers warm. I lived in Europe for 9 years.

I just got done brewing batch #15 for this year. I know it's past midnight and I have to go to work at 7.

I was up til 2 AM last night and got up at 6. Too many beers last night.

Now my wife is out of town and my girlfriend is...oops, sorry, I thought I was writing my memoirs.....ramble...

Time to say nighty-night.

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