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Old 06-25-2009, 03:13 AM   #1
jasonsimoneau
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Default Color change after bottling

I've read a ton of posts regarding bottling and aging. I had a porter in primary for 8 days and 2 1/2 weeks in secondary. I bottled 2 weeks ago tonight and opened the first one up to taste and make sure carbonation was happening. There was a slight "pssssssst" sound after opening, so I know that carbonation is happening. The beer didn't taste very good and was pretty flat still - it had a sweet citrus like taste to it. It was nothing like a porter. I will let it age another 2 weeks and I'm sure it will be fine. However, my main concern is that when I poured it from a bottle to a glass the top of the bottle was a nice dark brown but the bottom was a golden brown color. Is this just normal aging stuff or do I have a problem here?

6.6 lbs. Plain Amber Malt Extract
8 oz. Crushed Crystal Malt 60L
4 oz. Crushed Chocolate Malt
4 oz. Crushed Black Patent Malt
1 oz. Cluster Hops (Bittering)
1/2 oz. Willamette Hops (Finishing)
5 oz. Priming Sugar
1 each Beer Yeast

This kit is a Robust Porter from Brewer's Best (LD Carlson).

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Old 06-25-2009, 12:25 PM   #2
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I've often seen the same thing in my fermentor, especially after racking to secondary. In those cases, it was suspended yeast that is slowly falling out of suspension; the beer above the yeast looks much darker (because less light is being reflected by the yeast). My guess is that you're seeing the same thing in your bottles, and that is likely what is contributing to such a strange flavor.

They just need more time.

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Old 07-04-2009, 02:58 AM   #3
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OK.....so another 8 days later I opened another one because I can't keep from obsessing about it (first batch nerves). The beer was pretty much a consistent color from the top of the bottom to the bottom (so that cleared up), but the citrus taste is still very present (there were cluster hops in the kit for the flavoring hops). Plus, there wasn't any more carbonation in this bottle than the one 8 days ago. It has now been 22 days in the bottle and no head and a light "pssssst" sound when opening the bottle. I did swirl the bottles 7 days ago to try to re-suspend the yeast.
Since it's a porter, I assume it needs a couple more weeks. Can I count on the citrus taste from the cluster hops being reduced? Looking back, I didn't let it boil violently - just a nice even boil. Is that maybe my problem? Sorry for all the newbie questions - I just want my first batch to turn out so I'm more confident in my next one.

BTW - this is a great site!

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Old 07-14-2009, 02:36 AM   #4
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The beer has now been bottled for 26 days and I put 2 in the fridge after 24 days. I cracked one open tonight and there still isn't much carbonation, but I'm not too worried because I know stouts and porters can take 6-8 weeks to carbonate. However, the citrus taste is mellowing out, so that's great. At least the beer is now somewhat drinkable - although it's still green. Has anyone had this happen to them with cluster hops?

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Old 07-14-2009, 02:41 AM   #5
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Besides the ~4 weeks of being bottled, how long ago was brew day??

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Old 07-14-2009, 03:00 AM   #6
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How fast your beer carbs will depend on temp. The rule of thumb is at least *ahem* AT LEAST 21 days at 70*F. If you are below that it will take longer. I often find they need more. But you should be carbed up by now; not pouring warm will help. Getting consistent carbonation through bottle-conditioning is not easy, one of the advantages of kegging is that it's much easier to carb consistently. I don't keg though because of all the extra equipment you need to buy and keep track of and keep clean etc. etc; I also just like brown bottles with no label.

As far as your citrus taste: Do yourself a flavor and hide a sixer of those porters someplace you won't see it for at least six months. Beer will mellow and blend during conditioning-- The more complex the flavor profile of a beer, the longer these changes can take, but the more pronounced they can be. Porters usually age gracefully.

I know its your first batch, brew another one quick so you don't drink all your porter! I have a porter (ok it's a fairly impoerial porter) that I brewed early last fall (big dark roasty beers are a great place to use up leftover ingredients) and would have rated sub-mediocre after a couple months conditioning. It has been in the basement since then and it's absolutely phenomenal. Seriously, save some.

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Old 07-14-2009, 12:09 PM   #7
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As for the brew day, I don't remember the exact day. However, I do know it was in the primary for 10 days and in the secondary for 2 1/2 weeks. When I tried my first bottle after 2 weeks in the bottle, I couldn't even drink it. It smelled like a porter but the citrus taste was so bad I couldn't even think about drinking it. Things are much better now, but the carbonation is sure taking it's time.

My wife is expecting soon, so I've had to keep the house cooler than we normally do since she is so uncomfortable. The bottles have been kept at around 68. I have a furnace room with a de-humidifier running in it that is warmer, so I think I'm going to move the bottles down there for a week or so. Then I'm going to take goplayoutside's advice and put 6-10 bottles away. I have a red ale from Brewer's Best that I'm about ready for, so I'll get going on that soon. Thanks for the responses!

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Old 07-14-2009, 10:12 PM   #8
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Perhaps one of the hops you received were not labeled correctly. I see no references to 'citrus' like flavor or aroma for either variety.

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Old 07-14-2009, 11:09 PM   #9
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Anything's possible. I can't smell a citrus aroma at all from the beer - it's just in the taste. But, it has gone away significantly in the past few weeks. I'm going to move the bottles tonight in the warmer room to help increase carbonation (hopefully). Thanks for the help!

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Old 07-15-2009, 12:07 AM   #10
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I brewed this kit for my first beer also. 3 weeks in primary, then bottled. I had decent carb after one week, and good to go after two. (FWIW all my beers - 6 batches bottled so far- have carbed up in two weeks, and I have them in my 65-68 degree basement.)

As to the taste, I didn't have anything as bad as you, but it had, and still has some kind of "bitter" taste at the end, and it has been in the bottle for almost 2 months now. Mouthfeel is good, head is fine, smells good - it just doesn't taste quite right. I only made 2 Brewer's Best kits (the other was their hefeweizen). I then began looking at the recipe section here and made beers from that. That way I was sure all of my ingredients were fresh. I did 6 extract beers and have done my 2nd AG last weekend. First AG will be ready to bottle at the end of this week. I can't wait to see how it will turn out.

Bottom line. Give it more time - what can it hurt. Research the recipe database, find something you like and go from there. Don't get discouraged. Remember RDWHAHB .

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