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Old 12-03-2006, 02:55 PM   #1
hoplobster
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Default First batch woes

Hi everyone, I'm new to this site and I recently made my first batch and I have some questions. I'm not sure if it's infected or not, but it's not tasting too hot just yet, maybe I'm just over worrying...

I made a Porter using a recipe from howtobrew.com and yes, I have read that site religiously and followed his instructions to a t. Grains were steeped at 165 degrees for 30 min. as instructed... Anyway, here's the recipe copied from the site:

6 lbs. of Pale Malt Extract (syrup)
1/2 lb. of Chocolate Malt
1/2 lb. of Crystal 60L Malt
1/4 lb. of Black Patent Malt

1 oz of Nugget (10%) at 60 minutes
3/4 oz of Willamette (5%) at 40 minutes
1/2 oz of Willamette (5%) at 20 minutes

I fermented in a 6.5 gallon carboy for two weeks, at 65-68 degrees, the wort was cooled in an ice bath to 70 after about 30 minutes, didnt do a secondary... bottled exactly after 14 days, siphon was done using an autosiphon and bottled with 3/4 cup corn sugar that was boiled in a pint of water. Sanitation was achieved by using Iodophor at 1table spoon/5 gallons of water as reccomended.

It has been one week today since bottling, carbonation is good and there is a thin yeasy layer on the bottom of the bottle as I expected. The problem is, the beer tastes very dry and has a kinda powdery mouthfeel and it's a little bland. Am I worrying too much? I know it's still kinda young, but I had thought it was be decent after a week. On howtobrew.com it said this condition can be the result of steeping the grains too long, but again, I followed those instructions to a t and steeped them at 165 for 30 minutes... so I am stumped!

Bottles have been stored in the same dark area where it was fermented and temperatures are a consistent 65-68 degrees. I tested a bottle after chilling it over night in the fridge.

Any ideas on what went wrong? Is there even anything wrong? Should I let them condition more before sampling? Should they condition in a differnet location?

Thanks in advance!

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Old 12-03-2006, 03:07 PM   #2
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I'd let it set another week or two. I doubt you're infected, unless you're getting nasty off flavors or seeing stringy stuff.

According to ProMash, 6 lbs of LME should get you an OG of 1.042 in a 5 gallon batch, and I doubt if the steeped grains gave you much extra gravity. Maybe it just fermented out really dry.

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Old 12-03-2006, 05:05 PM   #3
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I've made Palmer Porter & it is rather dry and a little bland, just the way you describe it. It's not bad mind you. I like my porters a little sweeter and probably will stick to the Rogue Mocha Porter clone in the future.

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Old 12-03-2006, 07:48 PM   #4
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Doesn't sound like a problem yet to me. Give it some more time and see how it tastes in a few weeks to a month, it'll get better as it ages. I've had some brews be downright undrinkable in the first week and then be excellent later on.

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Old 12-04-2006, 01:57 AM   #5
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I bought some pre-packaged corn sugar for priming and this just hit me... is it possible to "over prime" the beer and if so, during conditioning, is it possible for the second fermentation to "eat up" flavors? My LHBS sold a 5 oz bag or sugar and, unless I've misread, 4 oz by weight should be the standard amount of sugar to prime with.

Just a theory, but, is it possible that the second fermentation in the bottle could have eaten away some of my flavor and left me with a dry, flavorless beer?

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Old 12-07-2006, 11:19 PM   #6
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With a porter you need to sit tight and let it mellow. try one a week and you will see how it changes with time. I even had an amber that really mellowed and turned outstanding and I had already thrown out the recipe I used thinking it sucked. So dont give up. Give it a while.

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Old 12-08-2006, 02:37 AM   #7
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Default Wait it out

With all the brews I have done, I have found the flavor improves significantly with time. I used to try to wait 2-3 weeks before starting to drink but I noticed the last few beers of the batch always tasted the best. now I don't seriously sample (other than at bottling) until 4-5 weeks in the bottle.

Homebrewing teaches patience (although it can be a tough first few batches while you learn it) I'd say wait it out...

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