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Old 01-23-2013, 04:53 PM   #1
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Default Green beer vs Brewery

I started homebrewing probably 4 years ago. With all of that experience, I am probably worse than you would think. I go through brewing spurts for various reasons, but want to make it a more consistant hobby.

I brewed my first all grain this past weekend and am optimistic about the results.

My question:

Why do my beers taste awful untill bottle conditioning for around 6 months or so, but micro brewery beer's taste great?

Will force carbonating, or keg conditioning improve results?

Thank you all!

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Old 01-23-2013, 04:56 PM   #2
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I feel like i should clarify. I am not debating breweries have better equipment and brewers. But, how do they bypass the "green" period?

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Old 01-23-2013, 05:03 PM   #3
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Six months is a very long time. What style of beer are you brewing? Big abv beers and beer with spices tend to take a long time to condition usually. I haven't heard of anyway around that. If your brewing a regular abv beer it usually takes about 3 weeks to bottle condition or as soon as its carbonated completely. There would be no need to do this for beers like pale ales or ipa's unless its an imperial ipa or something like that. Over time you lose some of the hop aromas so the sooner you drink that style of beer the better.

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Old 01-23-2013, 05:09 PM   #4
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style can be a factor, but what is your process? Do you make/use yeast starters? Do you have temp control? How do you come up with your recipes-are they experimental or are they "tried and true"?

I would say that packaging is most certainly NOT a major factor in why your beer is green for 6 months....and what are you calling "green" exactly?

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Old 01-23-2013, 05:14 PM   #5
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A good healthy pitch of yeast, good aeration of wort when pitching, and superb temperature control during fermentation will get you good beer pretty quickly. Most home brewers make trade-offs that still get good beer but taking more time at doing so. Do you really want to spend hundreds or thousands of dollars to get fast turnaround or are you willing to wait another week or 2?

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Old 01-23-2013, 05:36 PM   #6
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Good questions, I dont know where to start. I guess by "green" I mean bottled beers whose flavor has not evolved enough to agree with my pallet, usually takes 4-6 months for my crappy beer.


One example is a brewer's best Oktoberfest partial mash kit. When i pitched the dry yeast packet it came with, i read that it should be lagered. Well, I put it in my basement in hopes that it would be cold enough, but truthfully, it probably had a combination of cold/warm days depending on my furnace usage. So, no temp control at all. This beer tasted....watery, with a sweet aftertaste. The hops came across like a tea, not like a beer if that makes sense. But fast forward 1 year to now, and It is actually an interesting beer to drink. It has somewhat of a "Cold-eez" aftertaste, but not overwhelming, still a little on the sweet side, and just a tad watery.

Come to think of it, that is a common taste in my beers.

One of my first brews was an all extract strawberry blonde. It was awful, but ended up pretty darn tasty.

Should I put more effort into the yeast and temperature control?

Currently I have a brewer’s best Whisky barrel stout in secondary (dry packet yeast). The temp has been maintained between 62-65 degrees. I also have an AG toasted oatmeal stout in primary , I used an ESB yeast smack pack in it. Same temp range.

I used about 3 gallons of Poland springs water in my partial mash kits, my AG is all City water.

Thanks for the interest and attention friends.

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Old 01-23-2013, 05:41 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Brewmance View Post
Why do my beers taste awful untill bottle conditioning for around 6 months or so, but micro brewery beer's taste great?

Will force carbonating, or keg conditioning improve results?

Thank you all!
If your beers take 6 months to condition, then no, kegging won't help at all.

What will help is better yeast health. By that, I mean everything associated with healthy yeast: optimum pitching rate; optimum pitching temperature; and optimum fermentation temperature.

Good water is important too, but "bad water" won't condition out. Since your beer is pretty good after a lengthy conditioning, that points to yeast health and not other things like water or ingredients.
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Old 01-23-2013, 05:51 PM   #8
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You guys are like little homebrew yoda's. It is incredible that you were able to hone in and identify my issue so fast.

Many Many thanks.

What do you recommend for temperature control and yeast pitching? What is an acceptable varience?

I have been impatient and pitched yeast at say 80 instead of the recomended 70 degrees. I did not fathom that would alter my beer's taste, but now know I need to research my little yeast friends.

Should I avoid dry yeast packs?

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Old 01-23-2013, 06:05 PM   #9
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Should I put more effort into the yeast and temperature control?
Yes and yes. Yeast is often times, IMO, the most underrated part of beer brewing by new brewer's (or one's that brew but don't really do much in terms of learning the craft, no offense I was there, more on that later). You heat the water, steep/mash some grain, boil some wort, add some hops, sanitize some stuff (hopefully) and the hard work is done. Now the magic yeast will take care of the rest by hungrily eating up all the sugar and pooping out wonderfully good beer. Or something like that.

I know this because this was me for four years. Pitching one package of wyeast into a barleywine, doing an Oktoberfest at 65*, leaving packages out on top of the oven while it's baking, you get the picture.

Just basic yeast management will help. Pitching rates, checking dates and a simple swamp cooler for protecting against temp swings can help a bunch. Doesn't need to be a fancy new temp controlled fridge and a science lab for yeast management (although those are cool!) but just some simple steps towards ensuring that the most important thing you put into your beer is healthy and plentiful.
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Old 01-23-2013, 06:09 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Brewmance View Post
You guys are like little homebrew yoda's. It is incredible that you were able to hone in and identify my issue so fast.

Many Many thanks.

What do you recommend for temperature control and yeast pitching? What is an acceptable varience?

I have been impatient and pitched yeast at say 80 instead of the recomended 70 degrees. I did not fathom that would alter my beer's taste, but now know I need to research my little yeast friends.

Should I avoid dry yeast packs?
Check http://www.yeastcalc.com/ or http://www.mrmalty.com/ for pitch rates.

A simple swamp cooler should work for temp control but the most important period is the first day or so so make sure you pitch at the lower end of the temp spectrum. Check Wyeast or White labs website for that info if using those.

Dry yeast is fine, at least some of it. I like using the basic stuff and have had good results Safeale 04 and 05 for english and american styles. Those also come in big packets with more yeast cells than the liquid stuff.
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