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Old 06-23-2011, 02:49 AM   #1
grace1760
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...and good beer.

My first batch (kolsch) has been in bottles for 12 days, conditioning at about 65-66 degrees in the basement. I went down there tonight to check on my Agave Wit, which has been fermenting for 4 days (that seems to be chugging along nicely, although it would appear the blow-off tube was not necessary even though the OG was 1.062 - kit called for 1.066 - and I used a starter, my first time doing so). I couldn't help but take a peek at one of my kolsch bottles. It looks like it really cleared up nicely! Even in the brown bottle I could see through the beer very easily. I know it's not a traditional kolsch-style, since I didn't use the right yeast and my ferm temps were in the low 70's, but I think it will be good nonetheless. I brought a bottle upstairs...you know, to admire and fawn over. I KNOW it is probably not finished conditioning and will benefit from extra time...but I really want to stick in the fridge for a couple days and crack it open. But if I do I may just be setting myself up for disappointment because of the fact it's not ready yet. It's my first batch, I think I'm allowed a little impatience, as long as I remember that the beer will only improve.

Also, I DO have a question, although unrelated: I'm getting ready to brew the AHS ESB kit. I didn't get any yeast with it, because I was planning on picking up the liquid yeast at my LHBS for the style. On my last visit, I picked up an extra packet of US-05 to keep on hand. Now, I'm not sure if I should make an extra trip to pick up one of the styles that are recommended, or if I should go with the one I have? They recommend Wyeast London ESB 1968 or Munton's Premium Gold Ale Dry Yeast. Thoughts?
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Old 06-23-2011, 02:52 AM   #2
lumpher
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i'd go with the 1968. us-05 won't give it the character it needs, and 1968 is a favorite of many of us for esb's
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Old 06-23-2011, 11:55 AM   #3
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Your first brew is the hardest one to wait for.

For my first several brews I did taste one at 2 weeks, and then again at 3 weeks in the bottle. I proved to me that they do get better with more time in the bottles. If you want to try one go ahead and see how it tastes, then you will know what young beer tastes like.

Get a good pipeline going and it gets easy to just let them mature.

 
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Old 06-23-2011, 12:11 PM   #4
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True that. The folks on here preached that to me when I first came back from wine to beer. I always waited 3 weeks to put'em in the fridge for 4-6 days. My latest,a pale ale with a bit of Bavarian flair was my 1st to be bulk primed. Not only that,but it was carbed & good at 11 days flat in the bottles! By the next week,it'd gotten better. This after 29 days in primary.
It's cool that I wound up with an APA out of Australian,English,German,& Czech ingredients. But it looks & tastes like an APA,basically,save for the fact that I used smooth,spicy hops. They're getting spicier in the bottles with o2 caps as we speak.
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Old 06-23-2011, 02:01 PM   #5
badhabit
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I like US-04 on my english styles.

 
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Old 06-23-2011, 02:05 PM   #6
kanddr
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Go ahead and taste the beer at 12 days! Will be optimal yet? Nope, but taste it with that knowledge and then taste one per week for the next few weeks and then you can taste how the aging process works. Just dont set your expectations very high for this first one and you may be pleasantly surprised.
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Old 06-23-2011, 02:19 PM   #7
unionrdr
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I know I was! At 11days,my APA had a rich,German style head on it,good malty spice flavor. Beautiful golden amber color,so I dubbed it "Sunset Gold" ale. Even pouring slowly down the side,it wants to make great head. Pics in my gallery.
I'm going to make this one again,but this time I'll make an IPA out of the same recipe. To beers with one recipe is good to me.
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Old 06-23-2011, 02:44 PM   #8
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Man, you are making me want to taste your beer!

And I'd get a better yeast for that ESB than US-05. It's a great yeast, but an ESB calls for an English Yeast if you want to do it right.

 
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Old 06-25-2011, 11:46 PM   #9
grace1760
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kanddr View Post
Go ahead and taste the beer at 12 days! Will be optimal yet? Nope, but taste it with that knowledge and then taste one per week for the next few weeks and then you can taste how the aging process works. Just dont set your expectations very high for this first one and you may be pleasantly surprised.
Well, you were right. I cracked open my very first homebrew this evening, after 15 days in the bottle (conditioning at about 63 degrees). I was surprised at how well carbed it was; not much head on it, but the carbonation was there. I know this will improve over the next week or two. The clarity in the bottle (before I chilled it) was great - very clear. When I pulled it out of the fridge however, it was pretty cloudy. I'm wondering if this is chill haze? I notice that as I got towards the end of the glass, it seemed be clear up a bit again. Is there any way to deal with that? The taste was okay, it may have a bit of what I've heard referred to as "extract twang" to it. It finished with a slight sour/astringency flavor...almost like bitterness but perhaps not as sharp. I hope that too fades/mellows over the next few weeks. I'm refraining from grading my first effort until I can taste a fully conditioned final product in another week or two.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Homercidal View Post
And I'd get a better yeast for that ESB than US-05. It's a great yeast, but an ESB calls for an English Yeast if you want to do it right.
I picked up the WL02 English today. A new LHBS just opened up near me, and they have not stocked the Wyeast yet. I asked if I needed to make a starter and he said it wasn't necessary. Does anyone recommend otherwise? I made a starter for my last batch and it was a breeze (and kinda fun).
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