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Old 03-23-2006, 02:55 PM   #1
xpoc454
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Default Brewers best altbier taste

I made a batch of German Altbier from a Brewers Best extract kit about 4 weeks ago.
Ive made quite a few different types of BB kits and had no problems.

This batch I didnt have the 5 ounces of priming sugar that came with the kit so I purchased a 3 lb bag of priming sugar (corn sugar) from a winery/brew store.

I measured it out on my cheap little Kmart scale and it actually looked like a lot more than normal but that was probably because of how it was being presented.

I was afraid, if anything, it may be over carbonated, but I just test a bottle.
They are pretty much flat. I poured the beer from a height to induce some foam and got barely a covering of the surface.

The beer is a little rough for my tastes, but Im not sure if that is how it is suppose to taste because Ive never made this kit or had a german altbier before.
I would say it has quite a bitter taste to it.

I dont understand why they havent carbonated. The beer in my opinion at least, doesnt taste sweet. But that may be being covered up by the bitterness?

I would assume if the priming sugar was used up at all, there would be more carbonation. So Im kinda stump and looking for answers.

First of all,
The bottles are stored in a cooler on the flloor , not in the basement.
This location usually gets the bottles carbonated in 7 days.
There have been no temperature changes worth mentioning.
I did 5 ounces of sugar for the 5 gallon batch.
The priming sugar was from a homebrew store and was labeled priming sugar.
This is the first time Ive used non kit priming sugar.
I didnt use any kind of clarifiers on the secondary.

So my questions are.

Anyone have an idea what a german altbier should tate like?

Is there any way I can prove tom myself that the priming sugar just hasnt got fermented to cause carbonation?

thanks for any help


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Old 03-23-2006, 03:01 PM   #2
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how long has it been since you bottled? and what's the ambient temperature where the bottles are being stored?


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Old 03-23-2006, 03:13 PM   #3
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just give 'em 2 weeks at least...it sounds like the way you poured probably lost any carbonation you had, you should decant slowly down the sides of the glass if you have little carbonation, stirring up a big head doesnt mean much.

as far as the taste, all i know is altbier are BITTER, like 50 ibu's. They are not supposed to have alot of hop aroma but ive seen gold medal recipe's that were dry-hopped. They shouldnt be 'rough' at all. They are old school german ales, but being german im sure they are anything but rough...a friend of mine is from dusseldorf and as she puts it in her broken english "they are really good".
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Old 03-23-2006, 05:43 PM   #4
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I just about always order altbiers when in Germany. I can't define the taste, but I will say that my tastes run to bitterish, hoppy ales. I agree with Bjorn's friend's opinion - they are really good tasting.
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Old 03-23-2006, 06:46 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by xpoc454
The beer is a little rough for my tastes, but Im not sure if that is how it is suppose to taste because Ive never made this kit or had a german altbier before.
I would say it has quite a bitter taste to it.
I haven't had a true alt yet , but I have read a frew things about them.

The bitterness is supposed to be high, but not lingering or harsh. One (credible) source suggests that during the primary fermentation the hop resisns should be removed and that you want to use low alpha aroma hops for bittering (Tettnang, Spalt). Avoid Perle, as it has a rather harsh bitterness. The hops should be added before the hot-break happens.

Again, I haven't brewed one according to these instructions yet and are just repeating what I read on a German board.

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Old 03-23-2006, 07:01 PM   #6
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Ok I double checked, I bottled on Feb 8. Which means the last time I tasted it , it was in the bottle for 5 weeks.

The temperature is 70 degrees and has been ok for over 10 batches or more.

Would the bitterness of the beer hide some of the residual sweetness that has to be in the beer if its not carbonated?

I poured the beer nice and slow before and not noticing carbonation, tried to force some of it. There wasnt any carbonation accept for a tiny bit.

What is the longest has any one waited and seen carbonation occur?
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Old 03-23-2006, 07:30 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by xpoc454
Would the bitterness of the beer hide some of the residual sweetness that has to be in the beer if its not carbonated?
i don't think 3/4 cup of priming sugar in a 5-gallon batch would be detectably sweet.....
maybe your priming sugar wasn't mixed very well into the beer before bottling, so you might have variably carbonated bottles...? i assume you batch primed, right...not individual scoops of sugar into each bottle....?
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Old 03-23-2006, 07:45 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lou
i don't think 3/4 cup of priming sugar in a 5-gallon batch would be detectably sweet.....
BTW, I can usually taste the seetness of the priming sugar.

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Old 03-23-2006, 08:52 PM   #9
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Yep I measured 5 ounces of sugar boiled it and put it in the bottom of the bottling bucket. Siphoned the beer on top of this , which usually mixes it fine. Then bottled it.
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Old 03-23-2006, 08:56 PM   #10
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I can definitely taste the priming sugar. I always grab a sample before combining beer and priming sugar (a sample of the beer, that is...), because I can't easily evaluate the flavor after adding the priming sugar.


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