First brew bottle conditioning question

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New Member
Jan 20, 2008
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Hi all! I'm happy to have found this site (I hope not a month too late!)

I made the Cincinnati Pale Ale recipe in Palmer's great book.

A few questions:

Its been in bottles about 3 weeks now, and it has a slight cider taste. Is it still a little green? I siphoned by mouth from the fermenter to the bottling bucket so I got to taste the strong apple flavor of the new beer. Its far less severe than that, does it just need more time?

I had put a few bottles in the fridge/cooler for a party (ok, about a case), and we drank about 12. I pulled the rest out of the fridge and put them back in the cases to condition longer. Will they continue to improve?

And, as I was preparing the sugar water for the bottling bucket, I ran out of table sugar and mixed in some confectioners sugar. According to the boxes, confectioners sugar is just finely ground table sugar. I had the weight per Palmer's book - any issues here?

Fermentation temps were between 64 and 69 F, if that matters...

Thanks in advance! Cheers! --Rob

3 weeks is the minimum time(in my opinion) for drinkability of homebrew.
it gets better as it ages and some off flavours should mellow.
cidery taste is usually too much sugar instead of malts but according to the recipe you would have used all malt extract.
for next time use dextrose for priming not table sugar to avoid any chance that was the culprit
It may dissipate with time, my guess is the table sugar is to blame. Also, in the future, DO NOT use your mouth to start the siphon, that is just begging the beer to get infected. Invest in an auto-siphon!
Considering that the taste was present at bottling before the priming sugar had been added, it's highly unlikely that the sugar is the culprit. The small amount of sugar used in priming will not result in off flavours. To me, it sounds like your beer just needs some more conditioning time.

Confectioner's sugar usually contains an anti-caking agent such as corn starch. Using it will probably have a deleterious effect on the clarity of the beer, but shouldn't affect the flavour.
Thanks for the comments! After looking around here an auto siphon is now on my list for the next batch - although giving up that delicious mouthful of "new" beer will be tough! I am actually glad I got that taste though - I can see how much it changed in the bottle over the last few weeks - and its reassured me that the slight cider bite that I've got isn't from the priming sugar or bottling.
How warm was the fermentation? I had my first two brews fermenting in warm weather (80's) and they both have cidery tastes. I'm going to dump them out. I'm confident that the high temp was the cause for the cider.
I siphoned by first beer by mouth. It tasted a little tart when I bottled it, and two weeks later it was dry and sour - boo. I hope you didn't spoil the batch as I did, but grab a auto-siphon either way, they're definitely worth the 10 dollars!