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Old 05-22-2011, 06:52 PM   #1
deerbelac
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Default my first beer!!!

I bottled my first brew yesterday, so yay for me, right?

I do, though, have one question: I tried a sample of it, expecting to basically taste flat beer, but that's not what I tasted. I'm new to the idea of critically tasting beer (in the past, it's always just been "I like this beer" or "I don't like this beer as much") so I'm not sure what I was tasting, or really how to describe it. It didn't taste bad, per se, just a little bit off. I've seen people talk about new beer tasting "green"; can someone give me a few more details as to what that really means?

The lighting isn't great, but here's a picture of the sample I used for my FG reading. I call it Winter Is Coming Autumn Ale:

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Old 05-22-2011, 06:55 PM   #2
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Congrats!

Green beer can mean a lot of different things. It can mean "yeasty". It can mean "sharp" (like too bitter). It can mean "unbalanced". It can mean... "this doesn't tasted as good as it will in 5 weeks but I can't describe the exact reason why". It can mean "strong alcohol flavor".

There are other posts about this too: http://www.homebrewtalk.com/f39/newbie-q-what-does-green-beer-taste-like-62340/

It's something that you'll understand more with practice. Taste your beer throughout the process and see how it changes!

Enjoy!

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Old 05-22-2011, 06:56 PM   #3
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Oh - small tip: get a smaller container to use for your gravity measurements. No need to use an entire bottle's worth to measure the gravity

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Old 05-22-2011, 07:01 PM   #4
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Making beer is a lot like cooking. There are certain things that taste better with Age. For example a batch of chili always tastes better after a day or two, so the flavors can blend and balance out.

Beer is the same. i always tastes a lot better after it has had enough time to balance out.

The hardest part about brewing is not making the beer, it is learning the patience required to make good beer. Waiting a full three weeks in the fermenter and then another three weeks in the bottles can seem like an eternity for the new brewer. It gets easier if you have a good pipeline going.

Get another fermenter, or even better two more. With three you can let a brew sit for three weeks and still brew every week if you want.

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Old 05-22-2011, 07:02 PM   #5
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Based on your previous posts it looks like you brewed on the 7th? I'd say it is very early and if you haven't tasted anything that tastes really bad just wait. I usually wait a good month before critically tasting my beer. In the mean time, see if there are beer tasting classes in your area. A lot of times you can find this at places like Total Wine and More, community colleges, maybe your home brew club or LHBS.

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Old 05-22-2011, 07:02 PM   #6
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How long was it in the bottle? "Green" is basically a term used for "young" beer that isn't carbonated yet,or not fully. Also,it tastes like it hasn't been out of the fermenter too long. Flavors are a little light,not very malty,hops may be light or a little harsh. It takes a minimum of three weeks in the bottle for average gravity beers to age & carbonate. Then,into the fridge for 5-6 days to get rid of the chill haze,compact the settling yeasts,etc. It'll be crystal clear again,& aged enough to taste good. But more time at 70F or so to age a couple more weeks can be better,depending on style.
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Old 05-22-2011, 07:19 PM   #7
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Yeah, I only tasted it because I had some to taste. I used that much because i work in a chemistry lab, and the smallest cylinder we had (that I could "apprehend") that's big enough is 250mL. So, I got it for free.

Anyway, thanks for the help. I'm leaving it alone, obviously, for a couple 2 or 3 weeks, and we'll see what happens.

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Old 05-22-2011, 10:53 PM   #8
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Whelp, I just tasted my first brew (Belgian White) today as well!

After about 6 days in the bottle, we refrigerated it for 2 days. We only put one bottle in the fridge to "taste test" as we were told to do to see how the flavors change.

Wow. I'm pretty excited. The beer was already fully carbonated. There was a small amount of head that went away fairly quickly, but the beer itself had bubbles all through it.

So, first impressions. There's a pretty strong banana flavor going on. Not in a bad way at all, but it's the most forward flavor I taste. A little bit of yeastiness is in it still too. Other than that, it has an almost creamy finish, and it is high drinkability.

I can't wait to see how it mellows and grows with age.

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Old 05-22-2011, 11:32 PM   #9
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I just cracked open a bottle of my first beer, an Irish Red, after only 8 days carbonating. I was looking to get a feel for what 'green' means as well. The beer tasted like an Irish Red was actually very good. It was not very carbonated though, as expected. Looking forward to first weekend in June to crack open a fully carb'd beer. My fully carb'd beer.

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Old 05-23-2011, 02:31 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by onipar View Post
There's a pretty strong banana flavor going on
That's typical of certain yeast strains when fermented at high temps. If it turns out to be a flavor you don't like, try lowering the temp a bit next time.

Congrats to all who posted about their first beer! Very exciting.
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