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Old 02-03-2010, 07:06 AM   #1
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Default off-flavor Porter questions *UPDATE*

OK, my BB Robust Porter has been in the bottles for a tad over 7 weeks at this point.

I tried one the other night, and to me it still tastes a little green. Not bad, but not nearly as good as I'd like. Is that unusual after 7 weeks? Does it just need more time?

Some things to remember:

This is the 5 gallon batch that I got into the fermenter then realized that I had left out the 1/2 lb. of de-bittered chocolate malt in the steep. N00b (with a buzz) that I am, I then ran the D-BCM through my coffee maker (I know - shoulda done it on the stove top) until I had another gallon of wort to add to the fermenter (6 gallon batch total), which I did as soon as it cooled. Due to numerous circumstances (including a severe bout of pneumonia), it had to sit on the trub for 5-6 weeks, but I don't think that has anything to do with it. Everything in the process got a good long skinny-dip in the Star-San bucket, so I don't think there's any issue with contamination. The batch had a VERY vigorous fermentation - to the point I thought my airlock was going to go projectile.

The one thing I'm worried about is the temperature of the wort produced through the coffee maker. Would a 1/2 lb. of malt to a gallon of water at ~190°-205° produce enough tannins to really effect the flavor of a 6 gallon batch? Will a darker malt release more tannins than a lighter one? If so, is there anything that can be done at this point to attenuate the off-flavor (short of putting a pansy-a$$ lime in my beer)?

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Old 02-03-2010, 12:42 PM   #2
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The coffee maker technique definitely isnt ideal, 190-205 is definitely too hot for grains. And that wasnt really producing wort, since chocolate malt is a specialty grain. You should have just steeped it at 150F, but I think you realize that.

What was the rest of the recipe?

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Old 02-03-2010, 12:48 PM   #3
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Heathen... Lime a porter? :-p

If it's not astringint, I don't think it was what you did to the grain. Think of astringent as bitter beer face.

If it's high gravity, it could still taste young. If it carbed slowly at the lower range of the yeast, it could still taste young.

Other things that come to mind: did you pitch at too warm a temp? Could you be tasting fruitiness instead of youngness?

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Old 02-04-2010, 07:10 AM   #4
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Heathen... Lime a porter? :-p

If it's not astringint, I don't think it was what you did to the grain. Think of astringent as bitter beer face.
Could be, but it isn't really bitter.

Quote:
If it's high gravity, it could still taste young. If it carbed slowly at the lower range of the yeast, it could still taste young.
Not really HG (~5%, IIRC), and the carb temp was right at 68-70 F the whole time.

Quote:
Other things that come to mind: did you pitch at too warm a temp? Could you be tasting fruitiness instead of youngness?
Pitch temp was less than 75 F. Definitely not fruity.

I have tasted this same flavor in other micro brews, but never in a porter. Usually in an amber or a brown.

I figure I'll give it another couple of weeks and try it again to see if it smooths out. I'm not saying it isn't drinkable, just not what i was hoping for. This might wind up being an end-of-the-binge specialty...
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Old 02-04-2010, 01:01 PM   #5
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Is there an ingredient in it you haven't used before?

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Old 02-05-2010, 07:36 AM   #6
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Is there an ingredient in it you haven't used before?
No, just what came in the BB Robust Porter kit. I'm thinking it's still green, even after 8 weeks in the primary and 7 weeks in the bottles. I know porters take a lot longer to mature than a lot of other beers, but I figured 15 weeks it should be ready to go. Maybe not??
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Old 02-05-2010, 04:21 PM   #7
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I was wondering if maybe it was a hop variety you haven't used before. That's kind o hw I discovered I don't like Cascade and why I don't like a lot of APAs.

If you went straight from primary to bottling, I can see it taking 7 weeks or more to loose all it's greenness.

When I was going from primary to bottling, it generally took 6 for my stouts or Scottish ales to taste right. If I gave it two or three more weeks and it was even better.

If you start using a secondary, you will likely be able to cut the two or three extra weeks off the process.

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Old 02-05-2010, 04:32 PM   #8
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I think my porters aren't that great at 7 weeks. I think you should forget about them for another 7 weeks. Drink one then and you will be really really surprised and say "damn that's good!" Also, just curious what yeast did you use?

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Old 02-05-2010, 04:35 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Beernik View Post
I was wondering if maybe it was a hop variety you haven't used before. That's kind o hw I discovered I don't like Cascade and why I don't like a lot of APAs.

If you went straight from primary to bottling, I can see it taking 7 weeks or more to loose all it's greenness.

When I was going from primary to bottling, it generally took 6 for my stouts or Scottish ales to taste right. If I gave it two or three more weeks and it was even better.

If you start using a secondary, you will likely be able to cut the two or three extra weeks off the process.
I'm not sure what you are saying here exactly. Are you saying that it will take beer longer to lose its green-ness if it is in the bottle than if it was racked to a secondary?

Although this might be true, its important for the OP to remember that not matter what the procedure the only thing that will cure green beer is TIME. If your beer is green at 7 weeks it needs more time. Period.

If the OP posted their recipe, then we might have an idea of when he can expect his beer to be mature. I'm guessing that if he did a Robust Porter is might need some time, esp if it included roasted malts.

The prevailing wisdom around here is that its good to let your beer sit in the fermenter to age, as opposed to rushing them into bottles. Whether the beer sits in primary or is racked to a secondary is still hotly contested. Personally, I don't bother with a secondary (waste of time, fermenter, etc). Autolysis is a myth.
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Old 02-05-2010, 04:37 PM   #10
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I did the BB Robust Porter as well. I left it in the primary for 4 weeks then bottled. After 4 weeks in the bottle they tasted great! They are going on 8 weeks in the bottle and I only have 10 left but I haven't noticed much of a difference between 4 weeks and 8 weeks. As an expirement, try this kit again while steeping the grains properly and see if there's a difference.

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