Just drank my first homebrew...

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Well-Known Member
Jan 17, 2008
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Long Island
... and first off, whoa! I made beer! Awesome!

But there are problems. But before I tell them, let me say that it's young, and I know time does solve many. I bottled it 9 days ago, after it had spent 13 days in primary (and on bottling day, it tasted amazing!). It's only been in the fridge since this morning.

I should also note that I expected some degree of wateriness, as my OG was 1.046 (a bit below the 1.050-1.055 range from the kit). While straining the hop pellet gunk out of the wort, I think I threw away a fair bit of actual wort emptying the strainer, which may explain it.

Anyway, it's rather seltzerish. It tastes that way, and the bubbles seem larger than normal (though still quite small), and no head formed, just bubbles. The not-quite-right and seltzery carbonation is overpowering the flavor.

Also, the flavor's off. It's supposed to be an IPA (Brewer's Best), but it tastes more like Bass Ale. Not very fresh Bass Ale, either. What might have caused this? Could it be sanitation? Or light? It's in brown bottles, and blinds are over the windows, but it does see some artificial light.

I guess my question is, will time markedly improve it? Is this a common problem for a young beer, or is it skunked?

(By the way, I just belched, and the beer-belch gas tasted great. Seriously. What gives?)
and keep it in the fridge at least 24 hours...48 is better. it needs to get cold first, then it needs to dissolve the additional CO2 in the headspace of the bottle to 'properly' carbonate.

otherwise it wants to come out of solution very quickly.

its also possilbe you over carb'd a little, if you didn't have a full 5gallons at bottling time.
it happens. the fact is, you made beer, and you're learning/experiencing the process.
the more you 'practice' the better your beer gets, as you refine your techniques and learn new tricks and information.
Thanks for the responses! I wasn't expecting it to be perfect this early, but the flavor wasn't there, and I was a bit concerned.

It doesn't really seem overcarbonated. Undercarbonated, more likely, in my very much inexperienced opinion. The bottle didn't "pop" all that much (though certainly enough to notice), and the bubbling wasn't aggressive, and as I said there was no head.

In fact, now that I think of it, it was a lot like the beer at/near the end of a keg (a bar keg, anyway, which isn't empty a few hours after tapping it, as was usually the case at college), when there isn't as much carbonation, but what carbonation there is somehow imparts a strong seltzery flavor to it.

Fortunately, I put 2 bottles in the fridge, so I can and will take malkore's suggestion and wait until Sunday to open the other one. And regardless of the result, I won't be too concerned unless it's still like this in 2-3 weeks.
I know it's hard to wait, but you want to give it at least 10-14 days, preferably 3 weeks in the bottle at fermenting temps to carbonate and condition some. You will be amazed at how different the beer tastes.

Those other two bottles in the fridge will have a more consistent carbonation from the CO2 dissolving into the beer, but you've almost stopped the yeast from carbonating and conditioning. Toss a few more in the fridge after another week. :mug: Until then, brew another batch this weekend!
Yeah, give it time. Three weeks is often cited as the time you need to wait, but in my limited experience I find the beer is better after six weeks. I guess beer batches often disappear before they get too old, but for educational purposes I try to set aside a few bottles to age, to see how the beer changes over several months.
I'm just finishing up drinking a batch of that exact kit that I made about 2 1/2 months ago. It tastes fantastic now!!! It was horrible 1 1/2 months ago. And I agree that it is an awefully dark beer for an IPA. The seltzer taste you are describing sounds like priming sugar and incomplete carbing to me. Leave the majority of those bottles alone for the next 3 weeks, and you'll be very glad that you did.