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Old 05-01-2009, 03:29 PM   #1
ewtotel's Avatar
Apr 2009
Dayton, Ohio
Posts: 28

I hear a lot of talk about beer being too "green." The problem is, I have no idea what "green" tastes like.

I had a couple batches with a funny, almost "green apple" flavor in them, and one of my friends said it could be a product of incomplete fermentation. I replaced the kit yeast with a package of yeast from my local supplier on my last batch. I just opened a bottle after two weeks in the bottle (I know, perhaps a bit early, but I wanted a taste soooo bad) and it's much better, but still has a very, very faint sour apple flavor.

Does this sound like the "green beer" flavor? If not, can someone describe what the green beer flavor tastes like?


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Old 05-01-2009, 03:41 PM   #2
andre the giant
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May 2005
Southeast Missouri, USA
Posts: 539
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For me, green beer usually tastes unbalanced. The hop flavor may be too strong, or beer may be too malty, or too sweet. There may be an astringent taste or tart taste from the yeast that hasn't settled. As the beer ages, these characteristics mellow out or change slightly.

That being said, the first 21 batches I brewed were kits which featured a pouch ofliquid malt extract. It seems like most of the batches came out with a faint apple type flavor as you describe. At other times, it tasted like the extract had been carmelized a bit. I eventually blamed the extract, since the flavor went away when I switched to all grain brewing. I may have been wrong, who knows.

So... when you are stirring in extract, be sure to pour it in slowly, and make sure it doesn't settle to the bottom of the kettle where the heat from the burner may cause it to scorch and caramelize. Also, some yeasts can produce tart flavors.

Regardless, give it time, if the flavor is faint, it will most likely fade as the beer ages.
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Old 05-01-2009, 04:22 PM   #3
lowlife's Avatar
Jan 2009
Posts: 654
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Green beer- I can describe it but in reality you should experience it yourself. Drink one beer every week after brewing (or just a hydo samples worth)and you will notice the changes that occur.

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Old 05-01-2009, 07:46 PM   #4
Matt Up North
Jul 2008
Santa Rosa, CA
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I totally agree with lowlife. Green beer is something that can be described, but has to be experienced. Green is harsher and more vibrant. Once it has had time, it really mellows and comes together as beer. My stouts are really bitter coffee at first and mellow like a nice dark chocolate over a month or so.
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Old 05-01-2009, 07:50 PM   #5
Oct 2008
Foster City, CA
Posts: 112

+1 to the previous comments. I like to drink one bottle every week after bottling so I can see how it develops. Keep doing this and the changes will amaze you. The best description I can give to "green beer" is that it just tastes "empty". Where you expect some body underneath the initial flavor ... it just ain't there. It typically develops over time, unless your recipe is lacking.

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Old 05-01-2009, 07:52 PM   #6
Jul 2008
Columbus WI
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Green Apple is SORT of a start. But yea - it's not a 100% description.

It's sort of something that does not taste BAD but . . . young. Probably what a lot of people say "it has that home brew flavor" meaning who ever brewed it is drinking it 3 weeks from bottling.

ewtotel - you are on the right track. Once you get more batches in your belly and you can see how a beer develops over time you will know what green means
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Old 05-01-2009, 07:53 PM   #7
Jan 2009
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I think it has a lot to do with the style of beer too.I agree with the posts above especially with darker beers.What Iv'e noticed with lighter ones(blondes/browns etc.)Is not only the taste but the mouthfeel is waaay low.Almost watery.

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Old 05-01-2009, 07:55 PM   #8
Oct 2007
Conover, North Carolina
Posts: 163
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From howtobrew.com, chapter 21 in the book.

A flavor of green apples or freshly cut pumpkin; it is an intermediate compound in the formation of alcohol. Some yeast strains produce more than others, but generally it's presence indicates that the beer is too young and needs more time to condition.

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Old 05-01-2009, 07:57 PM   #9
Post Hoc Ergo Propter Hoc
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Dec 2007
"Detroitish" Michigan
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I agree with everyone else, BUT I will add, that many new brewers who describe grean beer have use green apple in their descriptions. SO that is can be a valid descriptor for one of the off flavors that will fade with bottle conditioning.

You will also find some more descriptors if you scroll down to all the similar threads in the "similar threads" box below.

Basically if the beer is less than about 2 months in the bottle, and just doesn't taste right to you, 99% of the time the beer is indeed green....and if you go back in another month or 6 or a year you will usually find that your beer now is amazing...that's why we say never dump a beer you don't like, unless it is truly infected...because most "off flavors" taste inthe first few weeks, are not really off but byproducts created during fermentation, and since the yeast are tenacious and clean creatures, given enough time they will consume that stuff...plus CO2 in solution for awhile seems to have a similar effect of mellowing out the flavors..

Besides the threads below, here's a couple of mine...

Revvy's Blog-Of Patience and bottle conditioning.

This is sort of an extreme case..

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Old 05-01-2009, 08:00 PM   #10
StunnedMonkey's Avatar
Aug 2008
Fort Wayne, IN
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Honestly, as with most things the best descriptions are visual.

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