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Old 01-30-2014, 03:05 PM   #1
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Default First brew a little off

We'll I put a couple bottles from my first attempt in the fridge. I let them get cold for a couple days. Last night I tried one. It was strong, it's a brown ale so I understand some bitterness. This just has a strong alcohol taste and is more bitter than I expected. I moved it to a secondary and it's been sitting in bottles for 3 weeks. Do you think a little more time in bottles will calm it down? It also isn't as carbonated as it should be, almost no head. Is there any way to get it more carbonated or just deal with it the way it is? It was my first attempt and I learned a lot. When I bottled I didn't fill them all the way and that's more than likely the cause of the flat beer.


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Old 01-30-2014, 03:14 PM   #2
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How warm did the beer get while fermenting. To hot might give the beer an alcoholic bite.

Age will mellow the flavors but it might not lessen the bitterness, depending on the source.

You should not fill the bottles all the way when filling. About an inch of space at the top is proper. Look at any commercially bottled beer. They are never completely filled.

You might just need to wait longer for the beer to carbonate properly. That is, if you primed correctly.

Make sure your glasses are clean and do not use dish soap. The anti-spotting agents in them will kill the head on your beer.

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Old 01-30-2014, 03:15 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sefrayser View Post
We'll I put a couple bottles from my first attempt in the fridge. I let them get cold for a couple days. Last night I tried one. It was strong, it's a brown ale so I understand some bitterness. This just has a strong alcohol taste and is more bitter than I expected. I moved it to a secondary and it's been sitting in bottles for 3 weeks. Do you think a little more time in bottles will calm it down? It also isn't as carbonated as it should be, almost no head. Is there any way to get it more carbonated or just deal with it the way it is? It was my first attempt and I learned a lot. When I bottled I didn't fill them all the way and that's more than likely the cause of the flat beer.


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Ingredients ? Grains-yeast-adjuncts ?
Method ?
OG-FG ?
Time in fermenter; primary and secondary ?
Amount of priming sugar ?
Method of adding the priming sugar ?

All temperatures involved, boiling, fermenting ( 1 and 2 ) carbonating and conditioning. ?

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Old 01-30-2014, 03:16 PM   #4
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If you didn't use a bottling wand,& fill the bottles all the way to the top,then you might've gotten too much head space. That can give less carbonation come fridge time. With the bottling wand,letting it fill to the top,then pulling the wand out will leave the perfect head space for that bottle style/size by way of volume displacement. Did you let it get down to FG before racking to secondary? How long in secondary? I leave mine in primary till they settle out clear or slightly misty before priming & bottling. That is to say,reaching FG,then giving it another 3-7 days to clean up by products of fermentation,then settling out clear or slightly misty as it does so. That usually cleans up a lil bit of off flavors. The strong alcohol taste usually comes from fusel alcohols that come from higher initial ferment temps.

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Old 01-30-2014, 03:19 PM   #5
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It was a brewers best English brown ale. It stayed in primary for 6 days at 69 degrees. Then racked to secondary for 11 days at same temp. I then mixed 3 oz of priming sugar and racked to bottles. I only had aprox 4 gallons of product. It sat in bottle for 3 weeks.


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Old 01-30-2014, 03:21 PM   #6
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I used a bottling wand, just didn't fill all the way. It was at fg when I moved to secondary.


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Old 01-30-2014, 03:31 PM   #7
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6 days in primary is ok if you got a healthy yeast pitch of the proper amount. Then let it clean up & settle out clear or slightly misty in secondary. The beer, whether in primary or secondary,needs some clean up time to allow the yeast to eat their fermentation by products. sometimes,in secondary,they don't do this so well,for whatever reason. Also,at 6 days,the trub & yeast at the bottom will not have had much time to compact on the bottom,giving more claear beer to bottle or keg. That's one of the reasons that patience is a virtue in brewing. And next time let the wand fill all the way to the top,then lift up an inch or two to close the pin valve on the tip before withdrawing the wand. This will give the proper head space by way of volume displacement.

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