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Old 01-10-2013, 01:45 PM   #1
FluffyMuffins
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Default First Brew Problems and Second Brew Ideas

Hi, this is my first time posting so forgive me If I break any rules.
I have two questions. I just finished my first beer, a whiskey barrel stout, and it seems to be a bit bitter at the end. It tastes fine right until it gets to the back of my throat. What could cause this? It is certainly still drinkable, but this just annoys me a bit.

My second question is about my next beer. My father's friend does bee keeping and has given me 2lbs of honey to put in my spring beer. What is an other ingredient I can put with that? I was thinking maybe tea? Or some sort of berry?

Thanks!

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Old 01-10-2013, 04:59 PM   #2
tjwor
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For your first- Bitterness in beer typically comes from hops. What was your boil addition schedule on the beer? Also when it comes to beer involving whiskey it typically gets much better and flavors mellow out with time. Many kits involving bourbon barrel brewing ask for 6-month conditioning times. There may be some off flavors that you are picking up now that will be completely gone a few months from now, problem is leaving the beer that long without drinking it!

As for additional ingredients, there are tons of different things you can add to the beer to change the flavor, and many ways you can go about using it. Put it into the boil, put it into the secondary, put it in at bottling are the main ways it is done, and they will alter the flavors greatly. As you are a new brewer (as am I as well) I would suggest looking at some flavor extracts and do some reading about the different times to introduce them to determine what is best for the flavors you want to achieve. You can add real fruits or berries to the beer but they usually don't impart strong flavors into the beer. Another common addition is coffee, and there are tons of ways to go about adding it as well.

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Old 01-10-2013, 05:40 PM   #3
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It's very hard to say what happened without knowing what kind of recipe you used and what steps you took. I'll give you as many things to consider as I can think of.

Your water profile may be wrong for this style of beer. As I understand it, water hardness and PH in one extreme or the other can affect the quality of your beer. If you brewed several different recipes of a similar style and always had this problem this is what I would blame. You can get a water report from your city and can compensate for hard/soft water or high/low ph with brewing salts.

A thin mash (>2 quarts water of water per pound of grain) can dilute the enzymes and slow conversion of starches to fermentable sugars. You will end up with a drier beer with a higher ABV.

Mashing at too low of a temp (<150 degrees F) yields a thinner bodied, drier beer.

You may have added too much hops, hops with too high of a alpha acid percentage, or added the hops too early for this style of beer.

You might have kegged/bottled too early. If you added adjuncts like oak chips or cubes, the flavors they added may need additional time to mellow. Just because a beer is done fermenting doesn't mean it should be consumed yet. Some beers ales can take a couple months to taste good. This would be my best guess of what you're experiencing.

check out How to Brew by John Palmer for info. http://www.howtobrew.com/intro.html

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Old 01-10-2013, 06:04 PM   #4
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IMO If your doing a wheat beer or Belgian style, honey pairs pretty well with orange peel and coriander.

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