Drinking First Beer...Something Went Wrong.

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bizzle

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Started drinking my first beer...a Sierra Nevada Celebration Ale Clone.
Left in primary for a week and secondary for two (dry hopped with cascade the whole time) and bottle with 1 cup dextrose (bulk primed) for 3 weeks (followed the 1-2-3 rule from this forum)

It didn't carbonate fully, I made the mistake of not mixing while bottling...but it tastes sorta sour at the end. Is this because I may have left it in the secondary dry hopped for too long? I want to note that after a week in the primary I bottle one for two weeks and drank it carbonation was great and the beer was actually really good. Any thoughts on my weird tast...btw this forum is great and has helped kill many hours at work!!
 

Kingsbrew

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Did you check the gravity after the one week in primary? Are you sure it had completed fermentation? You don't want to take the beer off of the yeast until you know for sure it is finished. The yeast will do some cleaning up at the end.

While you are learning it is best to take gravity readings two days in a row. If it doesn't change then primary fermentation is done.

I usually leave my ales in primary for two weeks.
 
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bizzle

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I didn't check the gravity in the primary, the bubbles had stopped and so I just moved on. Do you think it had anything to do with the time that the dry hopping happened. It tasted good after a week in the primary and two in the bottles.
 

JMG680

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I would not think it was the time it was being dry hopped. I have dry hopped for longer without any problems. I know my first beer did not taste right, or the next, but the third was wonderful.

I am sure someone here will be able to tell you what may cause a sour taste, but I would not think the that only 2 weeks being hopped would cause it.
 

Sithdad

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I didn't check the gravity in the primary, the bubbles had stopped and so I just moved on. Do you think it had anything to do with the time that the dry hopping happened. It tasted good after a week in the primary and two in the bottles.
One of the biggest mistakes new brewers make is that they use the airlock as the sole indication that fermentation is complete. The airlock allows CO2 to safely vent from your bucket/carboy preventing O2 and airborne bacteria from entering your beer. The airlock can let you know that fermentation is occurring but nothing more. As you have learned the is not an indicator that the yeast are finished. Here is where your hydrometer comes into play. By taking a reading before you pitch your yeast you measure the amount of sugars your wort. Then, 2-3 weeks later, you take another reading to determine how much of the sugar has been consumed by the yeast. If you don't own a copy of How to Brew, by John Palmer, I suggest you pick it up. The information contained in that book is invaluable and will help you prevent mistakes like this. There is an online version that contains some of the information from the book. Here is a link to the fermentation page.

When I first started I left my beer in primary for 2 weeks, since that what the directions said. The beer was ok until one batch where I bottled it a tad too early and the beer was over carbed and had a slight bite to it. Since then I leave them in primary for 3 weeks, checking gravity around 2 weeks, allowing the final week for the yeast to clean up. Sometimes this causes the gravity to drop slightly lower sometimes it doesn't. Then it's off to bottle and condition for 3 weeks, minimum. When you prime your beer place the sugar solution in the bottom of your bottle bucket and rack onto it, allowing the beer to swirl. This will cause the beer and sugar solution to mix without you having to touch it. If you need to mix it, do so GENTLY. Now is not the time to add O2 into the beer because it will oxidize the beer and cause it to go bad. I just finished a batch that I made over the summer and it was the best bottle of the batch. So, if you can manage to leave it alone 1-2 months conditioning is better. But I know that's asking a lot.

Hope this helps. Get out there and buy those ingredients and brew another batch. As long as you learn from your mistakes you can only get better.
 

Revvy

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First off, beside what sithdad said. There's a simple reason they aren't carbed and don't taste quite right yet.

You didn't do anything wrong....They're Just not really ready yet.

The 3 weeks at 70 is only a "suggestion" or rule of thumb for low to average grav beers....below 1.060...But each beer is different and the gravity the longer it takes.

And a celebration clone is not a small beer. It's going to need some more time.

Read my blog Of Patience and Bottle Conditioning, for more info...

Secondly you can't really brew good beer by arbitrary "rules of thumb" like the 1-2-3 rule.


In Mr Wizard's colum in BYO awhile back he made an interesting analogy about brewing and baking....He said that egg timers are all well and good in the baking process but they only provide a "rule of thumb" as to when something is ready...recipes, oven types, heck even atmospheric conditions, STILL have more bearing on when a cake is ready than the time it says it will be done in the cook book. You STILL have to stick a toothpick in the center and pull it out to see if truly the cake is ready.....otherwise you may end up with a raw cake....

Not too different from our beers....We can have a rough idea when our beer is ready (or use something silly like the 1-2-3 rule (which doesn't factor in things like yeast lag time or even ambient temp during fermentation) and do things to our beer willy nilly, like moving it too early, or thinking our beer is going to be drinkable at 3 weeks....but unless we actually stick "our toothpick" (the hydrometer) in and let it tell us when the yeasties are finished...we too can "f" our beer up.

Give your beers some more time, and you'll find that they will be just fine.
 

dpittard

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In Mr Wizard's colum in BYO awhile back he made an interesting analogy about brewing and baking....He said that egg timers are all well and good in the baking process but they only provide a "rule of thumb" as to when something is ready...recipes, oven types, heck even atmospheric conditions, STILL have more bearing on when a cake is ready than the time it says it will be done in the cook book. You STILL have to stick a toothpick in the center and pull it out to see if truly the cake is ready.....otherwise you may end up with a raw cake....

Not too different from our beers....We can have a rough idea when our beer is ready (or use something silly like the 1-2-3 rule (which doesn't factor in things like yeast lag time or even ambient temp during fermentation) and do things to our beer willy nilly, like moving it too early, or thinking our beer is going to be drinkable at 3 weeks....but unless we actually stick "our toothpick" (the hydrometer) in and let it tell us when the yeasties are finished...we too can "f" our beer up.

Give your beers some more time, and you'll find that they will be just fine.
Another great bit of information from Revvy!
 

jspence1

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I'd expect that after three weeks you don't have to worry about your fermentation not being finished, unless it was cold. The longest any of my beers has gone has been 10 days (that I've actually checked) and that's in the winter when my basement is 60F. I normally just primary for 3-4 weeks and then keg.

If you racked on top of your priming sugar your bottles just need more time as it was likely mixed up well. If you added it after racking you might want to consider moving the bottles to a location where if some of them are over primed an exploding bottle will do little damage.

As far as the sour taste is concerned you might just be overly critical of your beer as well, if your anything like me. I made a pumpkin beer that I find I thought was sour that nobody else picked up on even when asked. perhaps you expected a different result and your mind is picking out the difference from what you expected.

Give it some more time it will definitely improve in another month
 

Revvy

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As far as the sour taste is concerned you might just be overly critical of your beer as well, if your anything like me. I made a pumpkin beer that I find I thought was sour that nobody else picked up on even when asked. perhaps you expected a different result and your mind is picking out the difference from what you expected.

Give it some more time it will definitely improve in another month
A lot of time if the co2 hasn't yet been total absorbed into solution (another byproduct of sampling too early) it is perceived as a sourness. Same with astringeny/tea like. Both are often just a byproduct of "green beer." And will go away with more time in the bottle, as mentioned in my blog link above.
 

jspence1

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oooooo if I could only type witty I'd have some sort of rebuttal for that. you and your stupid "blog".......now I have to read it, and damn I'm lazy that's almost like work
 

rico567

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I completely endorse what "Revvy" has said in his posts above. If there is an aspect to homebrewing that isn't emphasized enough in most books and other formal instructions on the brewing art, it's that there is no substitute for time. The yeast and the other processes involved won't be hurried, and while the impatience to taste one's recently brewed beer is perfectly understandable (I certainly experienced it, particularly when I started brewing!), that desire won't make it ferment or condition one bit faster.
I recommend the art of the pipeline: get enough bottles and enough inventory built up, and it becomes far easier to wait until all the planning and work becomes.....beer.

Again, read: https://www.homebrewtalk.com/f35/revvys-tips-bottler-first-time-otherwise-94812/#post1030387
 
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bizzle

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I really want to thank you all, now I guess I have to learn patience...I will get the pipeline going and next time make sure to rack on top. Read all of the links, great information. Thanks again all!
 
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