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Old 01-06-2012, 02:52 AM   #1
Germ79
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Default Tasting during fermentation

Ok, first-timer question here.

My lovely wife got me a Coopers DIY kit for Christmas and I began the lager that came with the kit Monday. It's looking great so far and my understanding is that I shouldn't be testing the SG again until day 6, but when I do, am I able to taste it? I wasn't sure when it was safe to try.

In a separate note, am I correct that if I begin testing the SG daily on day 6, once it is the same 2 days in a row, it's time to bottle?

Thanks so much for your help!

J

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Old 01-06-2012, 02:59 AM   #2
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I think 6 days is way too soon, however it will not harm you at all.

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Old 01-06-2012, 03:00 AM   #3
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The beer is safe to taste at any point in fermentation; I actually recommend for beginners to take more samples than they really should, so you both learn how the fermentation goes (speed of gravity change) as well as the taste. You can learn what a beer is going to taste like in its future by tasting it early on, like chili before it has cooked down for hours.

So yes, it is safe to taste, but early on it might not taste like much, but rough and sweet.

Technically once you get the same reading 2 days in a row (I would suggest testing, skipping a day, then testing again, as a small change might not be noticeable in 24 hours), but it is suggested to give the beer 2 weeks MINIMUM in the fermenter, recommended 3 weeks. Even if fermentation is done, this lets the brew condition and clean up; flavors meld together, and the proteins and yeast drop out to give you a clearer beer.

Summary:
Taste it, learn it.
Give it a couple weeks to ferment and condition.
Bottle, give it a few weeks to carbonate and condition.
Brew again!

Oh, and welcome to the hobby and the forums! Ask any questions you have, and glad to see that you have the one tool that answers 90% of beginner questions (and 50% of intermediate questions); the hydrometer.

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Old 01-06-2012, 03:10 AM   #4
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Whenever you draw off a sample to check gravity (Do NOT place the hydrometer in your wort, draw off a sample with a wine thief or turkey baster) - you're "supposed" to taste the sample after checking the numbers...

never return the sample to the fermenter.

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Old 01-06-2012, 03:17 AM   #5
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Thanks for the advice, guys! I'll shoot to leave it in there for 2-3 weeks.

Tasting the samples sounds like a good idea! If I do that, do I have to make sure the beer is clear of debris? I've noticed the tap now has "gunk" in it, so do I have to clear that out first (draw a sample and dump it before taking a sample to measure and taste)?

Thanks!

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Old 01-06-2012, 03:17 AM   #6
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Just remember to keep everything sanitary. If you overcheck and don't keep to sanitation procedures, you may introduce bacteria into your brew.

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Old 01-06-2012, 03:28 AM   #7
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I got the Mr beer kit for christmas and asked for the midwest 5 gallon. So I am a bit skeptical. This is my first time, but love good beer and wont drink a domestic crap beer. Kind of a beer snob and never looked into home brew until a few months ago.
So I started my first batch of standard octoberfest and added a cup of honey for abv boost. I just poured a shot after one week of fermenting and i literally coughed it was so bad. It was extremely yeasty and foggy. I like my beers foggy, but that was undrinkable. Is that just because it needs another week in the mr beer keg, and it is normal for it to be that yeasty and disgusting after a week. It has been in a closet around 69 degrees. Also used brita water instead of spring water. Thoughts....

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Old 01-06-2012, 03:33 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Germ79 View Post
Thanks for the advice, guys! I'll shoot to leave it in there for 2-3 weeks.

Tasting the samples sounds like a good idea! If I do that, do I have to make sure the beer is clear of debris? I've noticed the tap now has "gunk" in it, so do I have to clear that out first (draw a sample and dump it before taking a sample to measure and taste)?

Thanks!
I've eaten hop pellets. I've eaten grains. I've taken a taste of malt extract. I've chugged the yeast that end up at the bottom of the bottle. And I've certainly drank plenty of water. Therefore, I have consumed every single thing that goes into a batch of beer, and am no worse for wear. None of the "gunk" is going to hurt you.
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Old 01-06-2012, 03:37 AM   #9
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too much yeast will give you gas, but it's just part of the hobby

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Old 01-06-2012, 03:50 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Germ79 View Post
Thanks for the advice, guys! I'll shoot to leave it in there for 2-3 weeks.

Tasting the samples sounds like a good idea! If I do that, do I have to make sure the beer is clear of debris? I've noticed the tap now has "gunk" in it, so do I have to clear that out first (draw a sample and dump it before taking a sample to measure and taste)?

Thanks!
Don't touch the tap. Don't use a measuring cup either. Get a wine thief or use a turkey baster that has been sanitized. Stick it in from the top of the bucket.
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