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Harsh aftertaste?

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minime

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Hi folks! First post here ... looks like a great forum.

I brewed a nut brown ale a couple of weeks ago, and bottled today. I've been tasting over the last couple of weeks, and again today, and it's pretty darn tasty stuff (always amazes me how homebrew tastes pretty good even when it's warm and non-carbonated :)

But I'm getting a slight harsh, bitter aftertaste and I'm trying to figure out where it came from. I noticed it when I tasted right before pitching the yeast, and it's been decreasing in intensity but still there. My trusty, venerable Dave Miller's Homebrewing guide lists the following possibilities:

1. High fermentation temperature (mine was 67 degrees)
2. High hop rate, overboiling hops (60 minute boil, relatively lightly hopped)
3. Poor water supply (I used bottled water)

So I'm kind of stumped as to what caused this. I was using pellet hops, it was hard to tell how fresh they were at the store. Smelled OK though.
If it matters I did a full boil (usually brew all-grain but I was lazy this time and did an extract batch). I use an immersion chiller and I'm pretty careful about removing trub.

Anybody ever have similar trouble?
 

McKBrew

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Give us a good description of your recipe and someone can probably troubleshoot it for you. One bit of advice is that after three weeks in the bottles, it'll taste alot different than it does today, and the problem you describe might be gone.
 
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minime

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Yeah, maybe I should just wait a few weeks and see - thanks for the advice.

The recipe is Saunder's Nut Brown (from Papazian):

6.6 lbs muntons pale syrup
1.5 lbs 40 L crystal malt
2.5 oz chocolate malt
2.5 oz roasted barley

1.2 oz styrian goldings (pellets, 4.2%, 60 mins boil)
1.2 oz styrian goldings (pellets, 4.2 %, 15 mins)
0.5 oz kent goldings (pellets, 0 mins boil)
0.25 oz Cascade (plugs, 0 mins boil)

The grain was a "tea bag" for 30-40 mins at 150 F.
Like I said, I did a full boil using bottled water. The cascade smelled so good I dropped in a little extra :) , but still less than 0.5 oz. I used a liquid yeast, one of the london or british styles from White Labs.
In the primary for 2 weeks, I didn't bother with a secondary (too eager to drink it ...)

Thx again!
 
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minime said:
Yeah, maybe I should just wait a few weeks and see - thanks for the advice.
Yep, that's exactly what you should do. A "few weeks" isn't nearly long enough to pass judgment on your brew. You'll be shocked by how much better it is in another few weeks.
 

BierMuncher

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All of my beers have nearly an "astringent" bitterness to them for several weeks after kegging. Let those bottles continue to condition until properly carb'd, then allow them to cold condition for at least 2-3 weeks before serving.

Hops bitterness will mellow pretty steadily after a few weeks. Cold conditioning will help.
 
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minime

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Cold conditioning could be a problem ... I don't really have any facilities for that. I'll have to pick up an old fridge eventually.
Thanks everybody for the advice!
 

lpdean

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I was going to ask a question along these same lines. I am still waiting on my first batch to fully mature. I tasted at bottling and it had a very harsh/bitter after taste. After two weeks in the bottle the harsh/bitter end taste has greatly diminished but is still noticeable. The beer is drinkable but I am hoping it gets even better with a little more aging.

Would I be right in thinking that the bitter aftertaste is not an infection? Since it is lessening with age.
 

Yooper

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lpdean said:
I was going to ask a question along these same lines. I am still waiting on my first batch to fully mature. I tasted at bottling and it had a very harsh/bitter after taste. After two weeks in the bottle the harsh/bitter end taste has greatly diminished but is still noticeable. The beer is drinkable but I am hoping it gets even better with a little more aging.

Would I be right in thinking that the bitter aftertaste is not an infection? Since it is lessening with age.
Bitter aftertaste would not be indicative of an infection. If it persists, it usually has to do with too-high steeping grain temperature or with overly hopped beer with a harsh hop variety.
 

BierMuncher

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If it improves a bit after a week...it'll improve a lot after three weeks.

When I taste my beer early in the keg...that bitterness level tells me how long I'm going to need to wait before it's "tap time".
 

BrewDey

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I've found that lots of the time it tastes worse after 1-2 weeks in the bottle than it does right out of the bottling bucket (flat). Seems like it takes another couple of weeks for the yeast to finish carbing it up, and soaking up all the bi-products-then the intended flavors really come through and it's carbed as well.
 

Donasay

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Is it like sucking on an old tea bag? is it like vinnegar? depending on the taste of it there are plenty of explanations.
 
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