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whitefoam 01-13-2013 07:33 AM

Watery beer at bottling time
 
Hi,

It's my first homebrew. I'm brewing an Amber Ale. When I racked the beer from the primary bucket to the secondary carboy, I took a sample and it tasted good (I could taste the flavors of the grains.) However, at the time of bottling, I took a sample of the beer after priming in the carboy (and waiting for half an hour) and tasted it only to discover that it lost its flavors and tastes watery.

I had racked the beer after 7 days from the primary bucket to the secondary carboy by attaching a sanitized tube to the spigot and putting the other end into the carboy. I followed the instructions to prime it and bottle it after 10-14 days (I waited 13 days).

I'm quite surprised to have discovered the loss of flavors. I was wondering if something went wrong when I racked to the secondary. Perhaps oxygen was introduced or bacteria? Or could the dextrose-water mix I added made it lose its flavors? I read that bacteria causes a sour flavor and oxidation results in a wet cardboard flavor, neither of which is my case. And the dextrose solution was only 1 cup with 4.5 oz of dextrose. What could cause the loss of flavors?

I'm a newbie so I did mess up a few things. First, I didn't take the gravity readings. I just followed the instructions for the times specified for how long to ferment, when to rack, etc. The instructions didn't mention gravity readings.

Second, I misread the instructions of the sanitizer (Io-Star) and I rinsed my equipment with hot tap water after sanitizing. I also used hot tap water for the sanitizing solution instead of lukewarm/cold water. Well, this is a lesson learned for next time, but I hope this not going to ruin my first batch. At least, now I know that next time I can do better. :)

Pontiac_Guy 01-13-2013 10:32 AM

Bottle it. Wait three weeks. Enjoy it.

Carbonation is what gives beer the good mouthfeel.

Ricochetbrew 01-13-2013 12:01 PM

Don't worry. It sounds like you racked the beer properly so there shouldn't bee to much oxygen exposure. Additionally while rinsing off the sanitizer was a mistake it seems you did not get a bacterial infection. In most cases tap water will not lead to infections. When I first started I was an extract only brewer and I added straight tap water to my wort to reach 5 gallons and my desired OG. I never had a bacterial infection. You still need to be diligent in your sanitation procedures however don't worry.
Additionally I have often worried about flavor consistencies in samples of green beer. However as the above poster stated once your beer is carbonated this watery taste and feel will most likely go away and the beer will have full flavor.
Good luck on future brews.
Ryan

emjay 01-13-2013 12:21 PM

Have to agree. Finished beer often tastes and feels thin and lacking when it's still flat. Putting some bubbles in your beer will do wonders.

thood6 01-13-2013 04:16 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by emjay
have to agree. Finished beer often tastes and feels thin and lacking when it's still flat. Putting some bubbles in your beer will do wonders.

+1 rdwhahb

whitefoam 01-13-2013 08:40 PM

Thanks for your encouragement! I will wait a few weeks and see what happens!

Btw, I did take one gravity measurement when I racked the beer to the secondary, and it read 1.0. However, I didn't take the OG before pitching yeast and at the end. I'm curious next time to take this reading at the beginning to see the difference.

Ricochetbrew 01-13-2013 09:16 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by whitefoam
Btw, I did take one gravity measurement when I racked the beer to the secondary, and it read 1.0. However, I didn't take the OG before pitching yeast and at the end. I'm curious next time to take this reading at the beginning to see the difference.

The gravity should be a 4 digit
# like 1.012 or something like that. Original gravities can be low like 1.035. Or higher than 1.100. Yours should be somewhere below 1.020. Check the hydrometer again and see what your gravity is. If you can't find it remember to look on the dipstick for that 4 digit # when to sample before you bottle.


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