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Old 10-21-2011, 01:49 AM   #1
mthelm85
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Default What happened to my beer???

So here's the deal:

I brewed an English IPA back on 09/17 and transferred it to secondary 09/25 where it sat for 2 weeks. I then added 1 oz. of dried whole East Kent Goldings and let it sit for 1 more week. When I bottled it on 10/14 the sample I tasted was delicious. It didn't taste green at all and I was pumped about this beer.

I just cracked open the first bottle today (10/20) and it tastes like sh&t. It tastes super, super green and is all around the nastiest beer I've ever brewed, by far. I know that it's too early (the beer has quite a bit of carbing up to do) but I've done this before and I've never been disappointed like this. I'm puzzled by the fact that the sample on bottling day was fabulous and didn't taste green at all, but after 6 days in the bottle it tastes like a completely different beer. I've never had this happen before. Usually, if my beer tastes really good on bottling day, it tastes really good as soon as it's carbed.

I'm thinking that dry hopping at the very end was a bad move and that I should have dry hopped it the first week of secondary and then removed the hops and let it age for 2 more weeks.

I'm also thinking maybe the EK Goldings I got were sh&t. Here's why: this is the first time I've ever used whole hops and I was really disappointed when I cut open the bag and smelled them. The pellet hops I'm used to using always smell really, really strong and really, really fresh but these dried hops just didn't smell that potent and they didn't smell like the EK Goldings pellets I am used to working with.

A few things to keep in mind: this is my first IPA, my first time dry hopping and my first time using whole hops.

What did I do wrong? I know the beer is going to get better, I'm not that much of a noob, but I've brewed enough now to know that this one's never going to be a good one. It will be drinkable, but it won't ever be a really good beer. I know time heals just about everything but I've got my process down pat. For a bigger beer like this I usually do 1 - 2 weeks primary and then 3 - 4 weeks in secondary and as soon as the beer carbs up it's always good right from the start. I never have to let it sit in the bottles for 3 weeks or whatever other people say that the "rule" is.

Here's the recipe:

Malt
9 lbs. Maris Otter
1 lb. Simpson's Medium Crystal
.75 lbs CaraPils

Hops
1 oz. Chinook (11.7% AA) 60 mins.
1 oz. EK Goldings (5.8% AA) 20 mins.
1 oz. EK Goldings (5.8% AA) 10 mins.
1 oz. EK Goldings (5.8%) 5 mins.
1 oz. whole, dried EK Goldings dry hopped in secondary 1 week prior to bottling

Yeast: Wyeast 1335

OG 1.069, FG 1.018, IBU 59, BU:GU ratio .86, SRM 11

I was going for a simple malt bill to really let the EK Goldings shine and, as I mentioned above, I thought I had nailed it when I tasted a sample on bottling day but now this beer is just a disaster.

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Old 10-21-2011, 03:00 AM   #2
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Just from what I read, it sounds like you fermented it really long. I'm in Florida though and fermentation takes much less time since the temp is hotter. I'm at about 76-78 degrees. I'll see what I can pull this winter though...

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Old 10-21-2011, 03:11 AM   #3
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If it tastes green it probably is.. Hoppy beers can take longer to bottle condition. It sounds like everything else was fine - wait at least a week, chill down the beer for a good 48 hours then compare. I wouldn't worry about the hops unless they smelled cheesy.

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Old 10-21-2011, 03:16 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mthelm85 View Post
I know that it's too early (the beer has quite a bit of carbing up to do) but I've done this before and I've never been disappointed like this.
Sounds patronizing but truly you need to let this beer get to good beer before you freak out and that takes a little more time. 2 weeks and it will taste..well you know.
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Old 10-21-2011, 01:30 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cshamilton View Post
If it tastes green it probably is.. Hoppy beers can take longer to bottle condition. It sounds like everything else was fine - wait at least a week, chill down the beer for a good 48 hours then compare. I wouldn't worry about the hops unless they smelled cheesy.

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They didn't smell cheesy they just didn't smell the same nor did they seem to be as potent as the pellets I'm used to. I ate one and it didn't really have much taste either which is strange because I've eaten hop pellets and they are super bitter. I think next time I'll use pellets for my dry hopping and I'll do it the first week of secondary and not the last week.
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Old 10-21-2011, 01:33 PM   #6
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Sounds patronizing but truly you need to let this beer get to good beer before you freak out and that takes a little more time. 2 weeks and it will taste..well you know.
Well I guess I'm freaking out because I, like most new brewers, went through this when I first started brewing about a year ago but once I started aging the beer in bulk before bottling, I never had a beer that wasn't good as soon as it carbed up. As I mentioned in my post, this beer's not even close to being fully carbed but it shouldn't taste green after a 3 week secondary.

What has me stumped is the fact that it didn't taste green on bottling day but after 6 days in the bottle it tastes super green. I guess it's because there is new fermentation going on as the yeast eats the priming sugar but I don't know why that has changed the hop character of the beer. I guess I'll have to wait and see.
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Old 10-28-2011, 10:39 PM   #7
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Update?

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Old 10-29-2011, 02:20 AM   #8
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"green" is a pretty subjective flavor descriptor. Hard to say what could be wrong.

I will say that you didn't have a problem by dry hopping too late. A week is a normal amount of time for dry hopping. Maybe slightly short, but not dangerously short, IMO

If the hops didn't smell right, then that would come through in the finished product, especially for dry hops. There are varying opinions, but I feel that pellets are often more fresh-seeming to me. I hate leaf hops unless they grew within my property lines.

Of course, a little bit of time could go a long way. My IPAs get best after a few weeks of cold and carbed. Maybe it was just the hops plus uncarbonated flavor you were tasting, but it sounds like you've brewed enough to understand uncarbonated flavor and probably extrapolate how that could effect an IPA, even if you've never made an IPA before.

I am interested in an update, too, though I suspect it might not be good news if no update has followed in so long.

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Old 10-29-2011, 04:11 PM   #9
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Check my other post, here. I don't know what the deal is, but it's driving me nuts. I swirled one around for about 15 - 20 minutes and then let it sit for a while so it was flat and warm and the off flavor that I was calling "green" almost completely disappeared. If I stick one in the fridge and pour it when it's nice and cold this flavor that I can't describe for the life of me is really predominant and makes the beer undrinkable. If I swirl it around until it's flat, the beer tastes great. I'm really at a loss. The consensus seems to be that it's just green and that "greenness" isn't noticeable when it's carbonated but I'm not really convinced. I decided to leave the beer alone and I'm not going to try one for 2 more weeks to see what happens. I'll update the other thread that I linked to as soon as I do. Thanks for the advice guys.

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Old 10-29-2011, 04:33 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Pyroholic View Post
Just from what I read, it sounds like you fermented it really long. I'm in Florida though and fermentation takes much less time since the temp is hotter. I'm at about 76-78 degrees. I'll see what I can pull this winter though...
Please don't give advice like this. First of all, your fermentation temps are way too high...and that's not a good thing. Sure your ferments will happen faster, but you are freaking your yeast out. Secondly, his fermentation schedule was fine, despite the fact I don't agree with doing a secondary, but that's besides the point. I think that you are the one that needs the lesson of fermentation time and lengths my friend.
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