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-   -   Advice on Brew #1 (http://www.homebrewtalk.com/f39/advice-brew-1-a-359490/)

larryhytail 10-07-2012 07:51 PM

Advice on Brew #1
Did my first ever brewing. Used a Caribou Slobber extract kit from NB.

I think brew day was successful. The NB kit came with a nice video and I read up on various things here and in other internet locations before having a go. I may have pitched a bit warm, and did manage a boil over on my first hop addition to give me some extra clean up, but all in all, it went well.

I used a primary for three weeks, no secondary and bottled with the proscribed amount of priming sugar.

As I am new to this, I decided that I would sample the flat beer at week 0 (bottling day) and then open a beer each week and sample. I expect the brew to "peak" at about 4 weeks of bottle conditioning, but I plan to keep a bunch bottle conditioning so I can see how the samples progress over about a 8 - 10 week period.

At week 0, the warm, flat beer definitely didn't satisfy my taste buds, but there weren't any horrible flavors either. Just flat, warm and uninteresting. Maybe a bit of a bitter aftertaste. Smells like beer.

At week 1 (today), I pulled a random bottle. To my pleasant surprise, I popped the top and got a health hiss as gas escaped. I poured the light brown brew and got a head on the pour which dissipated quickly with no lacing. This brew was also warm. I tasted it and was disappointed. I didn't taste much flavor at all. It was almost like carbonated, alcoholic water. No bad flavors, but a strong lack of good ones too. Smells like beer.

As info, I did not buy a hygrometer yet - but I will for Brew #2, so I can't give OG and FG.


1) If, indeed, the beer ends up mostly tasteless, what are the most possible things that I could have done wrong? I added all ingredients as specified. After the boil over I may have done a much more "mild" boil out of fear, not a hearty rolling boil. Could that effect things? I have a bigger pot coming for Brew #2.

2) Should I be cooling my beers before each taste test? Would that be better? I don't know why I didn't think of doing that today (???). Do you usually do your sampling warm or cold?


deepcdan99 10-07-2012 07:59 PM

If you normally drink your beer warm, test warm. You will never know what it taste like cold until you chill a bottle. I always throw one in the freezer for half hour or so to chill it down a bit before I taste em. Even if it's not carbonated, cold flat beer is better than warm flat beer. Without knowing your gravities, unable to tell why u have watery flavorless beer. Could have been too much water to begin with. I wouldn't worry about it too much now. Chill a bottle, taste it, might be great cold!

larryhytail 10-07-2012 08:03 PM

I think I'll start sampling warm and cold to see what I can learn from that. I figured Brew #1 would be more of a chemistry experiment than anything else.

deepcdan99 10-07-2012 08:07 PM

Any brew you can drink is a success in my book.

azmark 10-07-2012 08:08 PM

proper carb and proper temp can greatly effect taste. unless you want to drink them all warm why not test cold. also many reccomend 3 days in the fridge.

jonmohno 10-07-2012 11:58 PM

Pitch near fermenting temps, keep between 60- 68 fermentation temps , I like low 60's temps. You will find your beer will change with time.So have patience and give it a few more weeks,maybe more depending how they taste.Drink em cold,chill one down a few days,but I often chill one to test in the freezer for 30-40 min.Your beers can benefit from longer chilling times. Once they are carbed and conditoned- which can be a few weeks or month or two.

beerman0001 10-08-2012 09:42 AM

This beer starts to come into its own after a few months.

duboman 10-08-2012 01:22 PM

Generally speaking beer will begin to be it's best around the 3 week mark in the bottle although bigger beers may take longer. All beer, IMO should be at least chilled to cellar temps if not the fridge as this helps get the CO2 into suspension in the beer instead of sitting in the head space of the bottle which may cause gushers once fully carbonated. Most likely your warm, flat, uninteresting beer needs more conditioning time and then a few days in the fridge and it will improve.

Beer-lord 10-08-2012 01:57 PM


Originally Posted by beerman0001 (Post 4479505)
This beer starts to come into its own after a few months.

+1 Mine (all grain) has only been in the keg for 3 weeks and it changes each week I try it. Somewhat like a stout, it's best after 5-6 weeks. It's pretty smooth and sessionable.

dkeller12 10-08-2012 03:00 PM

As a fellow Noob to the brewing hobby/obsession I thought I would add some of my experience. I brewed a Brewers Best English Brown Ale for my first batch. I had very little issues during the brew day. I bottled after two weeks when I had 3 constant FG readings. As all Noobs do I was impatient on waiting on sampling my brew so I tried some at week one. I also thought it tasted watery and lacked flavor. I waited another week and tried it again after 48 in the refrigerator. Much to my surprise my brew was much better. I am now just past the three week mark and the beer is excellent. Only time will tell as to whether your beer will condition and become better. Just relax, give it time and unless something was totally fouled up, you should be enjoying you brew in another couple weeks.

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