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Old 09-27-2008, 06:31 PM   #1
Kungpaodog
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Default Why has my beer changed so much from day 8 to day 12?

I'm still learning what to do with my beer and at what times, so I think I've been a little early on some steps. I've been tasting my beer at different points just to get an idea of what's happening with it (my first batch ever). I opened a bottle of my kit pale ale three days after bottling just to see what it was doing (I know this was too early, just a test), and of course it was off. Too sweet, almost like malt liquor. Blech.

I then chilled a couple bottles and opened drank them with a friend eight days after bottling, and it was great! It had a little chill haze, but wow! Yummy! Lots of hop flavor, fairly bitter the way I like it, and nice and crisp! Great!

So last night I had some more friends over and I chilled a few more for us, and it still tasted pretty good, but the bitter bite had mellowed out considerably (This was 12 days after bottling). I even asked the guy who had the eight day beer with me, and with no prompting he immediately said it was far less hoppy. I don't think this is because of differences in bottles since we all sampled a few last night, and the batch seems to have a consistent flavor from bottle to bottle.

It's still a pretty tasty beer, but will any of that bitterness come back? Anything I can do with my next batch to prevent this? Is this even a problem? Why did I lose so much flavor after 4 days?

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Old 09-27-2008, 06:39 PM   #2
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I think it's a great idea to drink your beer at different stages to see what happens, how it changes etc. But not on your first batch man!! Brew a new batch, let it age....see what you think. Then, after a couple more batches do the same tests. You are experimenting way too soon, and you will never get to taste a properly conditioned beer at the rate you are going.

Patience is everything. Experiment when you know what you have actually brewed after aging.

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Old 09-27-2008, 06:41 PM   #3
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What temp did you chill them to? Chilling can deaden a lot of the hop character in your beer. It'll come back as it warms though. Try one at room temp and I bet you'll find the hop character to be much more assertive.

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Old 09-27-2008, 06:53 PM   #4
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Gnome: thanks, good tip. I come from the world of science, so I like to keep a close eye on all my "experiments", which is why I've been testing it as it ages.

Eddie: I'll try one a little warmer, thanks. I think I only chilled the ones last night for about 3 or 4 hours, whereas the ones at eight days were chilled for 24 hours. Maybe that's the variable I'm missing?

I don't know for sure, but I've got to believe that my kitchen fridge that I chilled them in is somewhere around 38 degrees F.

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Old 09-27-2008, 06:57 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kungpaodog View Post
Gnome: thanks, good tip. I come from the world of science, so I like to keep a close eye on all my "experiments", which is why I've been testing it as it ages.
So you obviously understand the need to have a control sample.

But really, with beer, you need another couple of control samples. Patience, friend

Edit: You can't rely on the last bottle of the batch to be your control sample. Carbonation can vary too much to rely on one bottle. You really do need an entire batch for a control.
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Old 09-27-2008, 07:31 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Laughing_Gnome View Post
But not on your first batch man!! Brew a new batch, let it age....see what you think.
Easier said than done.
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