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Old 02-09-2012, 03:18 AM   #1
Camride
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Default Just tasted my first home brew

First off I was impatient with this brew. I know, bad thing, but I kinda wanted to start out that way so I could taste what it's like when you don't do it right.

So I made the Midwest Supplies Irish Red extract kit, left it in primary for 12 days (FG was stable 2 days in a row at 1.014) and bottled it. I tasted one 3 days after bottling (yep, impatient) and it was partially carbed and while I could finish it, it did not taste good. Now it's a week into carbonation and I tried another one. At this point the carbonation is just about perfect but the beer still doesn't taste terribly good. It's kind of sweet and has almost an alcohol like taste. It's not terribly strong, ABV came out to just a hair over 5%. It tastes like it has some potential but not like it'll ever be great.

The couple of questions I have is how much of this will clear up over time? I know time heals all with beer, I guess I can just throw one in the fridge every few weeks and see how they're turning out. It probably fermented a little warm as I didn't initially realize that fermentation ran warmer than ambient so it was sitting at about 68-69*F ambient during fermentation. I'll also definitely leave it in primary for 3 weeks from now on, I still had some yeast rafts hanging around the top and a few made it to bottles. I'm definitely using a strainer as I move to the bottling bucket next time.

But this is great, I'm definitely hooked. I'm doing a Belgian Trippel next that I'm going to let age for a bit and then turn around and do an IPA. I might start doing partial mashes but I don't think I'll be doing AG anytime real soon.


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Old 02-09-2012, 03:27 AM   #2
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I wouldn't strain the beer, it will add a crap ton of O2. That's really bad for the flavor you can get a cardboard like flavor.

Yep give it time in the bottle even if you have to sock it away for a couple of months. Brew a few more batches and you will not be to worried about the first one. Probably fermenting with an ambient temp around 64 to 65 would be better but it does depend on the yeast strain......some can do fine at the warmer end of the scale.


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Old 02-09-2012, 03:28 AM   #3
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Grats on your first homebrew and welcome to the addiction! I'd wait 3-4 weeks and you'll see a major improvement in your beers taste. More time in primary and temp control will do miracles as well. Good luck!
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Old 02-09-2012, 03:29 AM   #4
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It will keep getting better and better as each week goes by. And then it will be gone. Brew up a couple of batches, it will help with the impatience thing.
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Old 02-09-2012, 03:31 AM   #5
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I did that same kit for my first brew about two years ago. I too was impatient. It took about 8 weeks from the brew date to taste good. Unfortunately, by that time I only had about a 6 pack left. Sounds like you have spotted your issues and can correct them on your future batches.
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Old 02-09-2012, 03:32 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Camride
First off I was impatient with this brew. I know, bad thing, but I kinda wanted to start out that way so I could taste what it's like when you don't do it right.

So I made the Midwest Supplies Irish Red extract kit, left it in primary for 12 days (FG was stable 2 days in a row at 1.014) and bottled it. I tasted one 3 days after bottling (yep, impatient) and it was partially carbed and while I could finish it, it did not taste good. Now it's a week into carbonation and I tried another one. At this point the carbonation is just about perfect but the beer still doesn't taste terribly good. It's kind of sweet and has almost an alcohol like taste. It's not terribly strong, ABV came out to just a hair over 5%. It tastes like it has some potential but not like it'll ever be great.

The couple of questions I have is how much of this will clear up over time? I know time heals all with beer, I guess I can just throw one in the fridge every few weeks and see how they're turning out. It probably fermented a little warm as I didn't initially realize that fermentation ran warmer than ambient so it was sitting at about 68-69*F ambient during fermentation. I'll also definitely leave it in primary for 3 weeks from now on, I still had some yeast rafts hanging around the top and a few made it to bottles. I'm definitely using a strainer as I move to the bottling bucket next time.

But this is great, I'm definitely hooked. I'm doing a Belgian Trippel next that I'm going to let age for a bit and then turn around and do an IPA. I might start doing partial mashes but I don't think I'll be doing AG anytime real soon.
Wow, this sounds like my first brew about a year ago. Also a Midwest except it was a honey bee ale. Turned out to be 6.5 percent because I added an extra two pounds of honey. Tasted ok. Legged it and took about a month to drink. It got a little better if I recall. Anyway a year later and I,ve
Upgraded to all grain after about 20 batches of extract and mini mashes. Have done four so far and it keeps getting better.
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Old 02-09-2012, 03:35 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by KaiserBierMann
Grats on your first homebrew and welcome to the addiction! I'd wait 3-4 weeks and you'll see a major improvement in your beers taste. More time in primary and temp control will do miracles as well. Good luck!
It's not an addiction. Okay maybe it is. Yeah. Never mind I agree with you. I enjoy inviting people to brew day and spreading the joy.
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Old 02-09-2012, 03:38 AM   #8
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The "alcohol like taste" may well be fusel alcohols, or "higher alcohols". That would be consistent with the elevated fermentation temps you almost certainly experienced. Good news is the fusels will diminish substantially over time. It may take a while. If you could put this beer away and forget about it for some time (months, not weeks), you might be very happily surprised. My first "rocket fuel" beer was a Belgian Dark Strong Ale that was undrinkable at 6 months. At about a year it was very good. I still have a few bottles left now, at 24 months, and they're excellent.
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Old 02-09-2012, 03:52 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Pilgarlic View Post
The "alcohol like taste" may well be fusel alcohols, or "higher alcohols". That would be consistent with the elevated fermentation temps you almost certainly experienced. Good news is the fusels will diminish substantially over time. It may take a while. If you could put this beer away and forget about it for some time (months, not weeks), you might be very happily surprised. My first "rocket fuel" beer was a Belgian Dark Strong Ale that was undrinkable at 6 months. At about a year it was very good. I still have a few bottles left now, at 24 months, and they're excellent.
Good to know. My biggest question then is how do you guys keep your fermentation temps consistent? The garage won't work as the temp varies too much. I had it in the coolest spot in the house, I don't have anywhere else I can really put it. I've thought about picking up a cheap fridge to put in the garage, but that's going to take some major re-organizing to get that to fit...
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Old 02-09-2012, 04:26 AM   #10
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Do a search for "swamp cooler". Its basically a bucket of water with frozen bottles in it and an old shirt over your carboy or bucket to wick up cold water that lowers the temp of your fermenter. I'm in Arizona and my house does not ever drop below 75 and my first brew has a strong cider flavor as a result of the hot ferment and why I now use this method. It works until you can get a spare fridge with a temp controller. You can also search "son of fermentation chamber" which a lot of people go with. Hope this helps!


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