Fist batch done(ish)

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tspilker

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So last week I cracked open my first bottle of homebrew and saw that it still needed time to condition. That was day 9 or so (home brew shop told me 10-14 days for condition, but I was anxious). Today being day 14 I decided to crack another open and see how it was doing. It was slightly more caebonated, however, a vigerous pour yielded no head, it still lacks a decent amount of CO2 buildup. I drank the glass however. I have some thoughts on it's taste.

It was woody and bready. The woodiness wasn't bad. It is a porter, and it had a definate smokey nature to it. The breadiness didnt bother me and I ruled it off as a yeast flavor that might work its way in in time. However, the problem that I had which I crdited to lack of carbonation last week when I tried it was a lack of refreshing bitterness to it.

Its a porter, and I generally dont like hoppy beers. This was a noboil kit, it had "hop extract" in it. My LHBS told me to add extra malt extract with it to make a 5-gallon batch, however, I feel like I should have hopped it as well, like the hop extract in the noboil kit wasn't enough to go around.

I also think i may not have mixed my priming sugar enough which is why I am having low CO2 issues. However, I haven't had any bottle bombs, maybe I just need to give it 4-6 weeks to even out. Other than my speculation on mixing priming sugar, I feel like I made it pretty well. I kept a good eye on the temperature during fermentation, I was sanitary, I was very cautious not to infect it, I made sure to check the OG reading at day 7, then waited 3 days to check again and see that it had indeed remained at 1.011 so I didnt have a bottle bomb situation on my hands.

I feel like my LHBS rushed things in their instructions, so I will let this batch hang out as a casually twiddle my thumbs and enjoy some commercial micros.

Next batch I will most certainly do an extract and use REAL hops. As for this one, I will most likely have some buddies over and try and get some headaches off of it so I can reclaim my bottles in time for my next batch.


Also, I spent my Sunday afternoon reading threads here... and I wish I was deeper into this hobby. I plan to some day... but man, you guys are awesome, I am glad to be here.
 
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Three weeks in the bottle is recommended. It will get better tasting over time as well.

Often people either do 1 week in primary, 2 weeks in secondary and 3 weeks in bottles. Or leaving it for 3 weeks or more in primary then 3 weeks in bottles.

What you did by checking that the OG hadn't changed over 3 days was a good technique. I would advise at that point either leaving it in the primary for at least another week (3 preferred) or racking into a secondary for that period.

This allows the yeast to do a little cleanup of certain byproducts and time for you beer to condition and clear.

Welcome to the hobby and the forum!
 

KatoBaggins

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Welcome. Time is a funny thing to beer. I've had a few really mediocre beers turn in to really good beers with the magic of time. If you don't like it now, just put in the back of your brew closet or the back of the fridge and forget about it for a while. You might be surprised. But please do use real hops next time. I think you'll see a big difference.
 

Matt Up North

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Also, don't worry about this beer not being 100% what you want. As long as you are happy with the results and are interested to brew another batch is what matters. My first beer was awful in hindsight, but it tasted good enough that I brewed again and again and again.

By the way, while waiting for the beer to turn out start brewing your next one. That way when you are drinking the last bottle of this first one, the second one should be nearly ready. That was the key to my success, I brewed three beers before the first was gone.
 

SumnerH

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Also, don't worry about this beer not being 100% what you want. As long as you are happy with the results and are interested to brew another batch is what matters. My first beer was awful in hindsight, but it tasted good enough that I brewed again and again and again.

By the way, while waiting for the beer to turn out start brewing your next one. That way when you are drinking the last bottle of this first one, the second one should be nearly ready. That was the key to my success, I brewed three beers before the first was gone.
+1 on this. I brewed 3 before the first one was ready.

Once you get a few in the pipeline, then you can be brewing every 2-3 weeks but also have a new beer ready to sample at that point so you're not tempted to rush things.
 

Matt Up North

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Also, then you learn the basic steps to producing a beer consistently. I knew imediately that I needed to take my mash tun off the burner to dough in so that I could heat up my sparge water. I missed my volume and realized that you need to have enough hot water on hand. I cleaned up while boiling and realized that you need to sanitize your fermenter at the same time for ease sake. Finally, invest in a wort chiller as soon as you possibly can as it will make life so much easier.
 
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