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Old 06-07-2014, 06:18 PM   #1
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Default End-Of-Conditioning Question

Recently brewed a Cal. Common from an extract kit. Because the instructions were so vague re: ferm temp, conditioning time/temp, I asked on here and then did the following: after FG, cold-crashed/cleared for 5 days in fridge, bottled, then let condition at around 65-68F for 3 weeks. Someone recommended that at the end of 3 weeks, put it in the fridge for a week, so that's where it went last night.

Meanwhile, before sticking it in the fridge, I couldn't resist popping one for a taste. Well-carbed, pronounced floral/citrus aroma; great color, mouth-feel, head and retention. But that's about where the positives end. The best I can say for the taste at this point is that it was 'tolerable', but maybe a little "green-ish"? And quite bitter on the south end of the palate, which surprised me since this is the kit where, because of an availability issue, the company substituted Cascade hops for the traditional Northern Brewer (of course, I didn't know this until I got the kit home and open and the brew pot already started). Since Cascade is roughly half the AAs of NB and more of an aroma hop, the bitterness is surprising.

So, any chance a week in the fridge might mellow it out a little? Or should I take it out and keep it at room temp? Or is it too late? I was looking forward to having some at our Father's Day gathering next week, but not the way it is now. Obviously, I'll have to try another at the end of next week.

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Old 06-07-2014, 06:25 PM   #2
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Keep 'em at room temp to condition another week or two, then chill and try another bottle. It's probably just a little green right now.

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Old 06-07-2014, 06:26 PM   #3
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Leave'em in the fridge for another week. I do that with my hybrid lagers.

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Old 06-07-2014, 07:19 PM   #4
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So, do I ...

"Keep 'em at room temp to condition another week or two, then chill and try another bottle. It's probably just a little green right now."

Or do I ...

"Leave'em in the fridge for another week. I do that with my hybrid lagers."

???
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Old 06-07-2014, 11:09 PM   #5
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OK,here's what I do,particularly with my hybrid lagers. Let them carb & condition at room temp for 3-4 weeks. Then two weeks fridge time as a substitute for the lagering process.

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Old 06-07-2014, 11:45 PM   #6
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Didn't mean to muddy the waters.

Typically, when I have a beer that's a little green, I keep it at room temp to let the yeasties do their thing and clean up some more. But I only brew ales. Since you're dealing with a hybrid, the lagering stage is more appropriate.

BTW, the 3 weeks bottle-conditioning period is usually just a ballpark figure. Some beers are ready sooner, some take longer.

In any case, it needs more time. Don't give up on it.

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Old 06-08-2014, 04:13 PM   #7
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I concur with the general feeling here that it needs more room temp time. Going to give it at least another 2 weeks (some full grain recipes I've read say 4-6 weeks cool room temp aging) and then into the fridge for at least 2 more. Not in any kind of a hurry. I was just hopeful it would be drinkable by next week. "Drinkable" though is a poor substitute for "delightful", which I know it will been when it matures. Thanks for all the input. I'll check back in a few weeks and let you know. Give up? NEVER!

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Old 06-24-2014, 02:01 AM   #8
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CAL. COMMON UPDATE: I let the beer condition at room temp for another 2 weeks and then stuck it in the fridge. I tried another after it chilled down, and man is it good! It finished at 4.2%. Great color, head retention, smooth, a little citrusy up front, but a bitter finish. A great thirst-quencher. Not a style I thought I'd like at first, but it's growing on me. Can't wait to get serious about this batch in 2 weeks!

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