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Old 02-10-2009, 05:52 PM   #1
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Default What a difference one week made...

I was excited and nervous about trying my first batch of beer and cracked open a bottle after what I thought had been 3 weeks. It still looked cloudy but was sufficiently carbonated, with bubbles rising from the beer itself. Woohoo! Then I tasted it...

Well, it kinda tasted like beer, like beer mixed with a little bit of vomit. The smell wasn't bad, it was just a tinge of yuck when it passed the palate. I tried a second bottle, maybe the first one wasn't sanitized properly, same thing I ended up dumping it out. I was seriously disappointed. After all, it had been in there 3 weeks right? As it turned out, I had gotten my dates mixed up and when I checked the calendar it had only been in the bottle 2 weeks.

Fast forward a week and a half later and it's delicious. The 'vomit' taste is completely gone. The flavors are slightly more complex and it's refreshing to drink. Each day when I crack open a new bottle it tastes even better. I've had to keep myself from polishing off the lot of it, I'm saving some for a friend that's coming into town to visit.

I've probably read here on these boards a hundred times to be patient, that green beers improve with age. Now that I've experienced that first-hand I've gone from having a little bit of faith to being a true believer.

So to everyone on here waiting to try their first batch,

Relax, don't worry, WAIT 3 WEEKS IN THE BOTTLE, then have a homebrew.

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Old 02-10-2009, 05:56 PM   #2
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Every beer is a little different. If you brew a big belgian you'll need a lot longer than three weeks before you start to get into the sweet spot. OTOH, some beers will start to lose their flavor after ten to twelve weeks. YMMV

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Old 02-10-2009, 05:58 PM   #3
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I was about to post that recently too. My bottles are about 5 weeks from
brew day and MAN have they developed. I tasted them one week after
bottling for a carb check and they were meh...

One week later, another carb check and they have head, the flavors all
mellowed together and taste cohesive.

It really was surprising how much better it tasted.
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Old 02-10-2009, 08:51 PM   #4
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I've found it also helps a lot to leave the bottles in the fridge for at least 48 hours before opening.

My first brew was a scotch ale, but I used too much hops (recipe was for early extract addition, partial boil. I did not alter the hops, but I did late extract addition full boil. Learned later that each of those is worth a reduction of about 25% of your bittering hops... oops). So I had too much bitterness already, and then I opened most of the bottles I tried after 24 hours or less of chilling.

Result was even more bitterness from the suspended yeast. Tried one yesterday that I'd left in the fridge for four days and it was almost perfect. Still too bitter from the hops, but definitely drinkable. Luckily, my father-in-law loves that brew, so even though I'm not a big fan, I feel encouraged to keep trying. Not that I would've given up for one mistake anyway... Damn addicting hobby, this is
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Old 02-11-2009, 01:15 AM   #5
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My greatest homebrewing challenge is lack of patience. I brewed an alt a little while ago. After two weeks, it was pretty good. After 6 weeks (with two bottles left) it was spectacular.

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