IPA first batch notes/questions

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dlprice45

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Hi,

This is my first thread but I've been obsessively reading the forum for a few weeks now. I've had my first ever batch of beer in bottles for two weeks now, an extract IPA kit from True Brew, and I tried a few during the Super Bowl yesterday. I know many will say to leave it two more weeks to be fully mature, and I will, but let me ask a couple questions.

One, the kit came with wood chips to lend an oak flavor, which I guess is a British IPA thing as most American IPAs don't go for that. I put them in the primary fermenter and left it for 3 weeks at 70 degrees before bottling (a good week+ longer than the instructions called for). Well, now I think the oak flavor is overdone, there is a bitter oaky aftertaste, almost astringency that I don't associate with hops. I think it's the wood. Is it overdone because I left it in primary longer than instructions called for? Will that oak bitterness fade with some more time in the bottle, or is it likely there to stay? I'll definitely leave the chips out next time.

Two, I think I overcarbed it. I used the whole 5 oz. priming sugar on a batch that actually came out to about 4.5 gallons after gravity readings and trub loss. Next time I will use a priming calculator and less sugar. I bottled a lot of the batch in swing-top bottles, so if I uncapped and then recapped the bottles to release some CO2 pressure, would that help? Or just RDWAHAHB?

Regardless of these issues, the beer is drinkable and I will quaff all of it, but I've learned some good lessons and that's what it's all about. Thanks for your input.

David
 

bobbrews

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If you're making an oaked IPA, lightly toasted oak "chips" usually go in the secondary (not the primary) until the flavor is where you want it to be; probably a week or two. It is not really a British or an American thing.

Regarding the carb level, I personally wouldn't uncap and recap. Let them be, or when drinking, swirl the beer in your glass a bit more and longer than usual. Lesson learned for next time.
 

stpug

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Yes, the oak should mellow and blend better given a little time. A couple weeks should help; a month or more would do wonders.

You will likely be in the realm of belgian beer carbonation (3.0-3.3) with that amount of corn sugar to batch size - not a terrible thing. You can either leave it as bobbrews suggests, or uncap/recap to release a little carbonation. Since they are swingtops it should be easy and fast to do all bottles. Or, just leave it :D
 
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dlprice45

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Thanks guys. As for putting the chips in secondary, the kit instructions (notorious for being wrong, I know) said to put them in primary before pitching yeast, so that's what I did. I'll give them more time and see what happens.

One other thing I noticed, I used big 1-liter swing tops to bottle most of the batch, with the remainder going into regular 12-oz bottles. Well, the bitterness is more pronounced in the liter bottles than it is in the 12 ozers, which is interesting. I guess the bigger bottles need more conditioning time than the little ones?

I also discovered that with the 1 liter bottles, those are better for times when you have at least two other people drinking with you because you need to pour the entire bottle all at once. Otherwise you risk mixing up too much bottle yeast into any beer that you don't pour. I drank a glass that had a good amount of yeast in it, and had the beer farts all night. Next time I'll just do a few 1 liters and the rest 12 or 22 oz.
 

MattsFlyShop

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OK, I think I maybe Screwed Up, when I was brewing another APA/IPA we accidentally added the Kit's (4) oz of hops at the beginning of the boil, (2oz) each of Cascade and Northern Brewer... I was supposed to put the Cascade in at the end on my boil, but OOOPS! so, being that I used my Flavoring Hops as bittering, I went ahead and used an additional ounce of Cascade for the 10 minute steep... I plan on a Simcoe dry Hop (1-2)oz... now... what am I in for? is this brew going to be palatable?
 

unionrdr

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It's gunna have a goodly amount of bitterness,that is sure. But since they were flavor hops,the AA% won't be as much as a normal bittering hop would.
 
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If it's too bitter, age a month. If after a month it's too bitter, age the rest another month. Keep going until you're happy. Take notes :) Aging also changes most of the other flavors too, so the results aren't always improving in a beer, but I find you almost always get something tasty eventually.

I've make "oak-aged vodka" before just for funsies. Takes 2 years of aging for it to get really tasty. The bottle is now 7 years old and I think it's finally peaked.
 

stpug

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OK, I think I maybe Screwed Up, when I was brewing another APA/IPA we accidentally added the Kit's (4) oz of hops at the beginning of the boil, (2oz) each of Cascade and Northern Brewer... I was supposed to put the Cascade in at the end on my boil, but OOOPS! so, being that I used my Flavoring Hops as bittering, I went ahead and used an additional ounce of Cascade for the 10 minute steep... I plan on a Simcoe dry Hop (1-2)oz... now... what am I in for? is this brew going to be palatable?
You should start your own new topic rather than posting this as a reply in this thread. You'll get more individualized help this way AND it's courteous to the original poster so that advice/recommendations are not mixed.
 

MattsFlyShop

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stpug said:
You should start your own new topic rather than posting this as a reply in this thread. You'll get more individualized help this way AND it's courteous to the original poster so that advice/recommendations are not mixed.
My apologies
 

MattsFlyShop

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clevernonsense said:
If it's too bitter, age a month. If after a month it's too bitter, age the rest another month. Keep going until you're happy. Take notes :) Aging also changes most of the other flavors too, so the results aren't always improving in a beer, but I find you almost always get something tasty eventually.

I've make "oak-aged vodka" before just for funsies. Takes 2 years of aging for it to get really tasty. The bottle is now 7 years old and I think it's finally peaked.
Sounds pretty good, how dark is it?
 
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