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BrewChump 06-18-2012 09:23 AM

First Brew, what tastes am i looking for in a "green" brew
Hi all again

Well, I have my first ever batch bottled. Its 8 days old now, and in keeping within some of the reading I have been doing it seems like its important to taste/smell/play with the brew at different stages to get a feel for how it tastes at differt times to help understand the process better.

Its just a flat out Coopers Lager Extract concentrate mix with the recommended Coopers "Brew Enhancer" kit(Just a 1kg pack of different mixed sugars). Question is, what flavours/aroma/fizz/other am i going to be looking for at this point?


billl 06-18-2012 01:10 PM

Do you mean it has been in the bottle 8 days, or it is 8 days since you brewed?

The "green" flavor is a tartness. Depending on how long it was in the primary, you may or may not taste any of it. It should smell like beer. If it has been in the bottle 8 days, it might have some light carbonation. Most of mine take 2 weeks to carbonate, but some take 3 or more.

wait... just reread your post and it says "lager". Did you attempt a lager for your first beer or did you use some light ingredients and ale yeast?

gr8shandini 06-18-2012 01:42 PM

The term "green beer" gets misused a lot here. "Green" refers to beer that has gone through primary, but is not yet conditioned. It's still got some intermediate by products that the yeast will consume - usually diacetyl (an oily slickness to the mouthfeel and/or butterscotch / buttered popcorn taste in large amounts) and acetaldehyde - (the tart, green apple flavor). If you used an ale yeast and had decent temperature control during fermentation, the conditioning phase only lasts 2-4 days after primary fermentation is over. If you used a lager yeast, you'll probably still have some sulfur compounds that the lagering will take care of given enough time.

A lot of the posts I see here refer to a beer as "green" then go on to talk about esters (fruity flavors), phenols (banana, clove), fusel alcohols (rotgut vodka), or simply yeast bite (like sourdough bread). With the exception of the yeast bite, these flavors probably aren't going away unless they're at very low levels to begin with. If your beer is clear after the conditioning period is up, it'll taste like a warm flat version of what it'll taste like when it's done.

So, assuming you used an ale yeast, what should you be tasting after 8 days in the bottle? Beer. Lack of carbonation will probably leave it with a watery mouthfeel and it may seem less bitter than you expected. Otherwise, it should pretty much taste like the final product.

goodsuds 06-18-2012 02:01 PM


Originally Posted by billl (Post 4180780)
wait... just reread your post and it says "lager". Did you attempt a lager for your first beer or did you use some light ingredients and ale yeast?

The Cooper's Lager is really just an ale that is hopped to taste like a lager. It uses their ale yeast. Unfortunately their instructions are terrible and say you can bottle it as soon as 1 week, and it's ready to drink after a week in the bottles. They also say that temps as high as 76*F are okay (their yeast is a bit more tolerant, but that is way too hot).

OP - if you still have it in the fermenter leave it there for at least 2, preferably 3 weeks, and avoid temp spikes. Otherwise, if you have it bottled I would leave it for at least 2 weeks at room temp before refrigerating it and drinking it. I recently started brewing and started with this kit. If I brew this again I'll be sure to keep the temps low and consistent and wait patiently before bottling and sampling. I too sampled mine every week to taste the difference as the beer matured, but the result was just a bunch of beer missing once they started tasting good after 5 weeks in the bottles.

BrewChump 06-18-2012 02:51 PM

Its 8 days in the bottle.

As far as yeast goes, would have a bloody clue. Just whatever came with the pack in the foil sachet. TBH didnt realise there was so many types. But it is my first ever home brew and I have alot to learn.

Hey Goodsuds, cheers for that info. Yeah, after reading here it seems the claimed 4-6days in the instructions in the fermenter is a bit of BS. Unfortunatly I left it for the full 6 days thinkin i was doin alright but it seems anoth week would have been better again. Anywayz its in bottles now and as expected it tastes crappy, hollow and watery. So I hope this flavour will improve while its sitting around in the bottles, otherwise im gonna toss it as it tastes rubbish atm.
I had a uneducated guess higher temps would make it ferment quicker an d better, unforunatly this is not true so my entire 6 days at near max recommended temps has probably done it a dis-service. So leaving it for atleast another 5 weeks is the go by the sounds of it. Cheers champ.


gr8shandini 06-18-2012 03:48 PM

Definitely don't dump it yet. If "hollow and watery" are your only problems at this point, you'll probably have a pretty good beer once it's carbonated. High fermentation temps are only a problem if they're causing off-flavors.

If you like the process and want to learn more, I'd suggest reading through www.howtobrew.com . There's a hard copy version that's got slightly newer information, but I don't know if that's available in Oz.

BrewChump 06-19-2012 02:42 AM

Cheers Gr8shandi, that link looks good for a read.

Well it seems like the brew just has to sit for an extended time and hopefully its gonna mature up ok. Im not expecting miracles, its a can mix after all, but im hoping to have atleast an ok drinkable brew. Plan is to do a few of these to make sure i got the basics set, then hopefully i'll be setup properly and i can have a crack at partial extracts and the like.


BrewChump 06-23-2012 02:32 PM

Well, against advice I have gone and tried the brew 2 weeks in. TBH, fricken glad I did, its tasting great and im gettin stuck into it right now. Pretty sure it'll still get better by what people say, but its very drinkable at this moment in time. Good head on it, flavour has filled out heaps compared to the first week when I tried it. TBH, for a first brew that I thought would be a typical first time round failure, it has come up A1:mug:

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