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Old 01-21-2011, 12:05 AM   #1
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Default Very strong alcohol taste to beer

I tasted a Scottish/belgian style ale the other day 1 mth after brewing. It is suppose to be about 8% abv, so I thought it would take longer to age, but, I tasted it anyway and it tasted very strongly of alcohol, almost spirit like, and not much else. I am thinking the beer will take another month or so to age, but is this something that is common with young, highly alcoholic, beer? It is my first batch so I don't know what flavors a young beer might have that can mellow out with time. Is this heavy heavy alcohol flavor a note that mellos over time or does that indicate something wrong with the beer


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Old 01-21-2011, 12:07 AM   #2
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What temperature did you ferment at?


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Old 01-21-2011, 12:10 AM   #3
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Yes, the strong alcohol taste should mellow out with sufficient aging. Some times this flavor can be produced by fermenting too warm, especially early in the fermentation. To avoid it, or minimize it in the future, try fermenting towards the lower end of the fermentation range for the yeast you are using. Keep in mind that the temperature in the fermentor can be 5-10*F higher than the ambient temperature too.
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Old 01-21-2011, 12:11 AM   #4
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That's why beers need to age....
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Old 01-21-2011, 12:13 AM   #5
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I fermented at ~68 deg for 5 days in the primary, then I moved to a secondary for 11 days. They were both in a dark, relatively large, interior closet in my house where the temp should have stayed relatively stable. I am now aging in a keg in the same closet, it has been in the keg about 2 weeks when I tested it
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Old 01-21-2011, 12:14 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Revvy View Post
That's why beers need to age....
That's what I was thinking but I have no experience on what flavors mellow out over time
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Old 01-21-2011, 12:16 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by shoestealer17 View Post
I fermented at ~68 deg for 5 days in the primary, then I moved to a secondary for 11 days. They were both in a dark, interior closet in my house where the temp should have stayed relatively stable. I am now aging in a keg in the same closet, it has been in the keg about 2 weeks when I tested it
Okay, just wanted to make sure it wasn't sitting next to your furnace or something. What the others have said is correct. For a big ale like that, count on a lot longer than 1 month. A lot of strong scottish ales get aged for a year or more.
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Old 01-21-2011, 12:20 AM   #8
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Wow, I hope it doesn't take that long. More aging is what I thought though, but I was worried that my beer just sucked
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Old 01-21-2011, 12:32 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by shoestealer17 View Post
I fermented at ~68 deg for 5 days in the primary, then I moved to a secondary for 11 days. They were both in a dark, relatively large, interior closet in my house where the temp should have stayed relatively stable. I am now aging in a keg in the same closet, it has been in the keg about 2 weeks when I tested it
Only 5 days? Most people leave the beer on the yeast for about 3 weeks to let the yeast clean up the higher "fusel" alcohols you're probably tasting (and esters and other off-flavors). In fact, a long primary is usually better than a short primary, then secondary in my opinion.
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Old 01-21-2011, 12:38 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rocketman768 View Post
Only 5 days? Most people leave the beer on the yeast for about 3 weeks to let the yeast clean up the higher "fusel" alcohols you're probably tasting (and esters and other off-flavors). In fact, a long primary is usually better than a short primary, then secondary in my opinion.
From what I've read that's a highly debated topic, some say that leaving it over 3 weeks produces off flavors. Does the secondary not clean up some of those things


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