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Old 08-12-2011, 09:14 PM   #1
ledzeppelin295
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Default Alcoholic-tasting "bite" in the finish of my first homebrew

Hey everybody - just drank my first brew the other night! I posted a while back about a possible infection, but you all quite rightly reassured me, and thank you for that.

My beer turned out fairly well. It's a Munich Helles that I brewed as an ale in a secondary. Smells great, good light brown color, decent taste. My only issue is with the finish. The aftertaste finishes with an alcoholic-tasting "bite" that's somewhat unpleasant (to me, at least). Are there others who have had this type of problem? Is there a easy fix for my next batch, or do I just need to keep experimenting?

Overall, though, I had a great time brewing and I can't wait to get started again. Very glad I picked up this hobby/obsession. Happy brewing!

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Old 08-12-2011, 09:17 PM   #2
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Recipe?

What was your pitching temp and fermentation temps?

What yeast did you use? Need more info.

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Old 08-12-2011, 09:20 PM   #3
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You may be sampling it a bit early. How long did you let it ferment, age, etc?
Most likely you just need to wait a week or two to let it mellow (this is truly the hardest part of brewing).

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Old 08-12-2011, 09:29 PM   #4
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what is the ABV?

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Old 08-12-2011, 09:37 PM   #5
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The alcohol bite could be fusel alcohols, a sign that your fermentation temperature was too high. If that's the case, you can fix it by making sure you keep your fermentation at around 68°F next time.

It could also be that you're just sampling too early. A lot of harsh flavors will mellow out in time. 3-4 weeks in primary and then another 3-4 weeks in bottles is my usual schedule.

But I'm just speculating. If you can give a few more details in response to some of the questions here, we can get a little more specific.

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Old 08-12-2011, 11:52 PM   #6
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I used a Brewer's Best Munich Helles kit. Ingredients were 3.3lbs Pilsen LME, 3.3lbs Munich LME, 4 oz Honey malt, 4 oz Vienna malt, 8 oz Carapils, 0.5 oz bittering hops, 0.5 oz flavoring hops, and lager yeast.

Pitched my yeast when the wort was about 60 degrees (give or take). Had the wort in the primary fermentor for 13 days, racked to my secondary for 13 more days. Bottled, and tried my beer 18 days later. All of this took place in my basement - I don't know the exact temperature, but I believe it stays at about 65-70 degrees all the time.

The ABV is about 5% solid. I know that this is a lager yeast and supposed to be a lager beer, but the recipe claimed that I could ferment my beer as an ale (because I didn't have fridge room) as long as I allowed the beer some additional time to ferment.

Hope that helps. And hope that as time goes on, the beer mellows out. Any more suggestions with the info I provided?

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Old 08-13-2011, 12:11 AM   #7
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Lager yeast at room temperature tend to be not that great. If you ever are in that position again, use a clean well attenuating ale yeast for better results.

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Old 08-13-2011, 01:29 AM   #8
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Fermentation temp too high. I think it's happened to everyone. Dodge any yeast if you can't keep it within a reasonable range of it's capabilities.

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Old 08-13-2011, 03:29 AM   #9
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Double post

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Old 08-13-2011, 03:31 AM   #10
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They seriously should not even sell lager yeast in the newb kits. It's a disaster waiting to happen. Or they should at least put a warning label like cigarettes. If you can't keep fermentation temps down around 50*F, don't use lager yeast. If you do not know how to calculate proper pitch rates, do not use a lager yeast. You hate to hear about good ingredients not making good beer. Something like US-05 or Nottingham would be a MUCH better option with this kit. Next time...

The good news is that some of the harsh alcohol flavors might fade wih aging. The damage is done and nothing to do but see if it gets better with time. In the meantime start planning your next batch. Make it an ale though.

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