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Old 07-25-2009, 07:08 PM   #1
wahpedal
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Default Rookie question about bottle aging

I'm new to homebrewing - only have two solo batches under my belt. The first batch I made was from the Brewer's Best Red Ale Kit, just to see if I could do it properly before moving on to my own recipes.

After 1wk Primary/2wks Secondary/2.5 wks bottled, we gave the stuff a try. Appearance, mouthfeel and drinkability are very good, but in my opinion, it really has almost no flavor. I'm disappointed that it has very little taste. That being said, my BMC buddies like it...

My question is, if it has no flavor now, would it really benefit from bottle aging? My understanding is that the aging lets the flavors mellow and sort of come together, but if it doesn't have taste up front, will it develop over time? I'm going to save a couple anyway to see what happens, but it seems to me that I'm better off drinking it now to make room for something better...

My first thought was to blame the kit, but maybe it's my fault because I tweaked it slightly by adding Bramling Cross hops to the Willamette that it came with - perhaps they canceled each other out??

Any ideas or help would be appreciated. Thanks.

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Old 07-25-2009, 07:15 PM   #2
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Hops don't cancel each other out....

If your beer doesn't taste like "anything" yet, then it is still green.....just check back in a couple weeks...they will improve with time.

You didn't tell us anything about the beer, like it's original gravity, or even what kind it is...that's more important that how long you had it in primary or secondary.

Gravity and storage temp are the biggest factors in carbonation and conditioning times...

Stouts and porters have taken me between 6 and 8 weeks to carb up..I have a 1.090 Belgian strong that took three months to carb up, and to more importantly lose the hot alcohol taste.

More info can be found here....Revvy's Blog, Of Patience and Bottle Conditioning.

Time is a brewer's friend.

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Old 07-25-2009, 07:30 PM   #3
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The recipe is copied and pasted here. All my gravity numbers jived with theirs and where I keep the beer for fermentation/bottling is in a dark, interior, windowless room in the basement that has a relatively steady temperature of 68 degrees. I looked at the temp every day and it never went lower than 67 or higher than 71. It's encouraging to think that it will only get better. My job takes me away from home for a few months at a time, so I won't have any problem keeping my thirsty and curious hands off of it.


RED ALE*
Yield: 5 gallons

Starting Gravity: 1.042 - 1.045
Final Gravity: 1.008 - 1.010
Alcohol by Volume: 4.0% - 5.0%
Hop IBUs: 35 - 40

INGREDIENTS (INCLUDED):

3.3 lbs. Plain Light Malt Extract
2 lbs. Plain Light Dry Malt Extract
12 oz. Crushed Crystal Malt 60L
1 oz. Crushed Black Patent
1 each Grain Steeping Bag
1 oz. Willamette Hops (Bittering) 60 min
1 oz. Willamette Hops (Finishing) 10min

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Old 07-25-2009, 10:02 PM   #4
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Also, make sure the beer isn't below about 40f cause that will just freeze your taste buds... That's why your BMC friends like it, they don't know what beer tastes like...

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Old 07-25-2009, 11:33 PM   #5
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What the others in this thread said.....I see your timeline (5.5 weeks) as being pretty compressed. Time is your friend. Taste a bottle a week, I think you'll be pleased with the wait.

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