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Old 06-20-2012, 11:49 PM   #1
mmarty1
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Default Curious about flavor change during carbonation

Hi, I recently brewed an bottled a Brewers Best American Amber kit and all went great through the fermentation. It started and stopped at the correct OG and FG reading per the instructions. I left it in the main fermenter for 3 weeks then moved it to a bottling bucket for immediate bottling. At this point I noticed that it had a pretty bitter taste that wasn't' expected since I wasn't doing an IPA or heavily hopped beer. So I waited 4 days and popped a bottle open after putting it in the refrigerator for a few hours, yes I know I'm supposed to wait 2 weeks to complete the carbonation but i wanted to know what it would taste like early. It had little carbonation yet but the bottle did make that cool sound when i popped the cap. I noticed to a lesser extent that the beer still tasted bitter. I was wondering if this is a result of the hop pellets that came with the kit, instead of real hop leaves these dissolve into the beer, I'm wondering if that adds more bitterness. Is it possible this will smooth out over time and this is just what a young beer tastes like? I think in some of the threads I've seen a young beer referred to as green, can anyone explain what that means?

I don't mind getting links to other posts but my search results weren't what I was looking for. Maybe need better search terms for this topic

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Old 06-20-2012, 11:55 PM   #2
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First off, the beer's green (young), that's all. Second off, pellet hops no more 'dissolve' into the wort than whole hops do.... in fact, they're the same thing, the hops are just ground and pelletized to make pellet hops. Third, it's green beer.... that means it's young. Wait 3 weeks or so, then chill one for two days, not hours, and try again. It'll be tasting a lot better at that point.

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can i drink this? I mean. Im gunna. But is it fine?
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it's not a barley wine. it's an ale.
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Old 06-21-2012, 12:18 AM   #3
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First off, the beer's green (young), that's all. Second off, pellet hops no more 'dissolve' into the wort than whole hops do.... in fact, they're the same thing, the hops are just ground and pelletized to make pellet hops. Third, it's green beer.... that means it's young. Wait 3 weeks or so, then chill one for two days, not hours, and try again. It'll be tasting a lot better at that point.
Thank you for responding, that's what I thought but it really puts my mind at ease knowing its just young and that's the way it's supposed to taste. I have another batch but not from a kit that I'm going to brew this weekend and just wanted to avoid any problems if I had some issue other than green beer. 3 more weeks won't be so bad since this message board has really kept me busy with all the great topics, so waiting on my beer to be ready is really going by pretty quickly.
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Old 06-21-2012, 12:21 AM   #4
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Thank you for responding, that's what I thought but it really puts my mind at ease knowing its just young and that's the way it's supposed to taste. I have another batch but not from a kit that I'm going to brew this weekend and just wanted to avoid any problems if I had some issue other than green beer. 3 more weeks won't be so bad since this message board has really kept me busy with all the great topics, so waiting on my beer to be ready is really going by pretty quickly.
You'll be surprised how much a beer can change in just a few weeks. I usually wait 4-5 weeks after bottling, but that's a lot easier once you get your pipeline going.
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can i drink this? I mean. Im gunna. But is it fine?
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it's not a barley wine. it's an ale.
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Old 06-21-2012, 12:32 AM   #5
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Patience, grasshopper!

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Old 06-21-2012, 12:33 AM   #6
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Honestly, three weeks (not two) at 70 degrees is the baseline for normal gravity beers. Four days? It's nowhere near carbed/ready.

On top of that, the beer is horribly green.

I know you are excited. I know that you want to enjoy your beer. But I am telling you, the best skill a new brewer can learn is not recipe formulation, it's not sanitation, it's not even temperature control - it's patience.

If you rush it, the beer will taste bad, you'll go post to a message board, you'll get frustrated. You'll end up drinking multiple bottles of beer that isn't ready, and you'll spend hours trying to diagnose off flavors that don't actually exist.

Forget about this beer for at least a couple more weeks, then put a bottle or two in the fridge for a couple days before you think of drinking one. Go buy some new craft beer, or start brewing a new batch. Quit drinking it before it's done, and you'll be so much happier in the long run.

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Old 06-21-2012, 03:42 AM   #7
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Patience, grasshopper!

LOL good stuff!
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Old 06-21-2012, 03:47 AM   #8
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Honestly, three weeks (not two) at 70 degrees is the baseline for normal gravity beers. Four days? It's nowhere near carbed/ready.

On top of that, the beer is horribly green.

I know you are excited. I know that you want to enjoy your beer. But I am telling you, the best skill a new brewer can learn is not recipe formulation, it's not sanitation, it's not even temperature control - it's patience.

If you rush it, the beer will taste bad, you'll go post to a message board, you'll get frustrated. You'll end up drinking multiple bottles of beer that isn't ready, and you'll spend hours trying to diagnose off flavors that don't actually exist.

Forget about this beer for at least a couple more weeks, then put a bottle or two in the fridge for a couple days before you think of drinking one. Go buy some new craft beer, or start brewing a new batch. Quit drinking it before it's done, and you'll be so much happier in the long run.

Thank you too homebrewdad, I knew it would be green from my reading i just wanted to see what green tasted like. Then it was bitter so i just kinda wondered if that's what green meant. I'm not touching the rest of it for at least two weeks! I just went to the Brew Festival in St. Louis this weekend so I have a bunch of new micro breweries to visit too. I do have another batch to brew for this weekend, kinda a Bass Ale clone. Quite a bit to keep me not thinking about the beer downstairs in boxes.
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Old 06-21-2012, 01:33 PM   #9
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Just clarify, young beer isn't bitter. Bitter beer is bitter - and that bitterness certainly comes from the hops. Pellet hops provide more bittering per ounce than whole hops - not a lot, but some. The recipe you brewed is around 30 IBU. That should taste bitter. They IPA style starts at 40 IBU, so it isn't IPA bitter, but the bitterness should be evident.

Young beer often has a tart or sour taste completely separate from the normal bitter taste. That taste is just a yeast byproduct and will go away. It goes away faster if you leave it in the primary, but it will go away in bottles as well eventually.

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Old 06-21-2012, 02:20 PM   #10
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Just clarify, young beer isn't bitter. Bitter beer is bitter - and that bitterness certainly comes from the hops. Pellet hops provide more bittering per ounce than whole hops - not a lot, but some. The recipe you brewed is around 30 IBU. That should taste bitter. They IPA style starts at 40 IBU, so it isn't IPA bitter, but the bitterness should be evident.

Young beer often has a tart or sour taste completely separate from the normal bitter taste. That taste is just a yeast byproduct and will go away. It goes away faster if you leave it in the primary, but it will go away in bottles as well eventually.
This is technically correct - but if you are a new brewer, green beer "tartness" might well be described as bitterness.

Green beer can be watery, bland, bitter, have a harsh alcohol taste, or be funky in several interesting (often unpleasant) ways. Subtle flavors are often muted or completely nonexistent in a green beer.

For some documentation on how a recent beer of mine progressed with age, check these two links to my blog - tasting at four and six weeks, then at eight weeks. It's like a totally different beer.

Your beer probably won't take as long as mine did to mature, as mine was 8.4% ABV, but you get the idea.

And yeah, you do have enough IBU there to make the finished beer have noticeable bitterness. That's not a bad thing, it's just the way that beer might be. I'm a malty guy, so I personally prefer beers with minimal noticeable bitterness, but to each their own (no hop bombs for me!).
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Check out the priming sugar calculator and the beer calorie calculator.

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Lagering: Swarthy Satyr (traditional bock)
Bottled: Royal Goblin (Hoppy Hobgoblin rendition), Treasure Type "T" (oatmeal toffee stout), Enchantress (big Irish red ale), Frostfire (Oktoberfest), Thundersmoke brown ale
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