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Old 11-18-2009, 02:46 AM   #1
atyeastIgothops
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Default My first batch :-)

I just made my first batch of beer. I made an IPA from a Brewers Best Kit. It has been in the primary for almost 3 days and is fermenting nicely. From some of the reading that I have been doing many people recommend letting my IPA sit in the primary for 2-3 weeks after fermentation. After that, prime the beer and bottle and wait another 2-3 weeks. Or, I have read, I can put it in a secondary for an indeterminate amount of time.

Here's my dilemma....I am so freakin excited about my first batch of beer. Yesterday I sat on the floor of my dining room and ate my breakfast literally just staring at the lock bubbling like crazy. I want to drink this stuff....BAD. But, I also want to exert some patience and get the best possible experience from my first batch.

So, if I wait and am patient....what difference will I reasonably taste and see in my beer? I don't know enough about the brewing process to know what differences I will see and taste.

Thanks for your insights!

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Old 11-18-2009, 02:50 AM   #2
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just wait until you have a glass carboy - you won't be able to take your eyes off of the churning fermentation. Addictive to watch it.

You will definitely taste a difference between your beer when it's still 'green' and when it has matured. Go ahead and taste it early, but wait the proper amount of time to consume the bulk of it. you'll see what I mean.

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Old 11-18-2009, 02:53 AM   #3
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Welcome to the hobby/OBSESSION my friend. If you ate dinner sitting beside your carboy watching fermentation then you are gonna be in this hobby a loooong time

For an IPA, you definitely wanna let it age a while before it hits it's prime. That said, try some at 3 days in the bottle. Try some at a week. Try some more at 2 weeks. Try it after a month. You will be amazed at the differences time in a bottle will do

Hey guess what? You are now a BREWER my friend! Congrats!

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Old 11-18-2009, 02:55 AM   #4
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it's hard to put into words for me, but there are a ton of changes that happen in the beer over time. visually, you'll see what the head/carbonation look like, lacing, etc, color should stay the same. taste-wise is more of an experience based thing... it's hard to describe what happens to beer as it matures for me, but trust the collective knowledge on this site that it definitely gets better with age. flavors meld, new flavors appear, hops change, texture changes... you'll see. i know it's tempting to drink the first batch right away and if you get a good, healthy fermentation, an IPA is nice relatively fresh, but at least let it carb all the way (maybe a bottle here and there before 3 weeks are up to see how it changes), and save a few for a month later and you will learn a lot. enjoy!

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Old 11-18-2009, 04:10 AM   #5
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Thanks, everyone.

So, if I am reading correctly, the combined wisdom so far would be to let the IPA sit in the primary for 2-3 weeks AFTER fermentation. Then, bottle it. Then, wait another 2-3 weeks.

Correct?

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Old 11-18-2009, 04:13 AM   #6
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Believe me, it'll get easier. I've got ten gallons of amber ale ready for the kegs, but am just too damned lazy to do it. And I have an unused tap in my kegerator as of today. It'll taste great when i finally get around to it, cause it'll have plenty of age.

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Old 11-18-2009, 10:56 AM   #7
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I made the same exact kit for my first beer. It was in primary for 2 1/2 weeks total and then I bottled it. I was lucky enough to be out of town for the following two weeks and it was AMAZING when I finally cracked into it.

Maybe go out and treat yourself to a 12-pack of something fancy to hold you over. I'm currently brewing my second batch now while I have plenty of the first so that the wait is easier while I'm drinking what I've brewed.

Congrats on your first batch!

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Old 11-18-2009, 12:29 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by atyeastIgothops View Post
Thanks, everyone.

So, if I am reading correctly, the combined wisdom so far would be to let the IPA sit in the primary for 2-3 weeks AFTER fermentation. Then, bottle it. Then, wait another 2-3 weeks.

Correct?
That's the way to get relly good beer. You can drink it anytime you want, it just won't be so good. Since it's your first batch, I'd suggest having a beer every to or three days after you bottle it so you can get a feel for how it changes. After a few batches and tasting at every point in the process (gravity samples, for example) you'll start to get a good feel for how a beer will end up at a certain time. IPAs will usually taste pretty disgusting at bottling time unless you like flat beer. Don't worry, it will get better!

The trail through this hobby/obsession is a long one with many forks going in tons of directions. Welcome to the first brew of the rest of your life!
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Old 11-18-2009, 01:04 PM   #9
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haha, I know the feeling man. I just bottled my first batch last Thursday and I'm DYING to try one of them. Try putting the fermenter where you can't see it. My bottles are carbonating in a closet. When I had them in the dining room I stared at them every time I walked through there and it killed me not to open one. I'm gonna try to hold out at least until Thanksgiving.

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Old 11-18-2009, 01:12 PM   #10
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Yep, welcome to the obsession!

No doubt, the toughest part about brewing is waiting to open that first bottle. Give it time, and let your beer finish. Think about it this way. No matter how good a loaf of bread might be, you wouldn't want to dive into it while it is only half-baked. Your patience will be rewarded.

That said, you would not be the first brewer to pop a top on a bottle before it is done.


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