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rightwingnut

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I was becoming disillusioned with extract brewing...My first batch tasted...drinkable, full of flavor, but not a great, desirable flavor. Let it sit some more...still...too strong, odd, bitter fruitiness. Second batch tasted at racking...same. Third, my porter, tasted at bottling...pretty good. Well, the first batch has been in bottles for 5 weeks. I'm drinking it tonight, and I must say it has gotten better...mellowed out just like everyone said. I know I'm an impatient man...I want results NOW. I know that's not compatible with homebrewing, but once I get my feet wet, I'll mellow out...I already have. Still, I'm going all-grain ASAP. Anyway, just felt like sharing my renewed hope in homebrewing. And anyone who's feeling what I was..."maybe this isn't gonna produce anything great...", relax, wait it out, try again...it's worth it!
 

Uncle Fat

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rightwingnut said:
I'm an impatient man...I want results NOW. I know that's not compatible with homebrewing, but once I get my feet wet, I'll mellow out...I already have. Still, I'm going all-grain ASAP. Anyway, just felt like sharing my renewed hope in homebrewing. And anyone who's feeling what I was..."maybe this isn't gonna produce anything great...", relax, wait it out, try again...it's worth it!
The old saying "Relax, don't worry. Have a homebrew" really is truer than most would believe. I had a similar experience with my first partial mash. It all got better with a little time in the bottle.

You're right that you'll mellow out in time too (just like your beer). Brewing really helps adjust your attitude. I used to check the air lock for bubbles every day in hopes that my beer would be ready to bottle. Now I check it on Saturday. If it's not ready.... I don't even think about it for another week. All grain might just relax you a bit too... Nothing like a 6 (or more) hour brewing process to let you kick back a bit.

And look on the bright side... If you made wine, you'd have to wait a few years before your product began to live up to it's potential.....
 

Janx

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My solution to not being patient (I'm not): Make far more beer than even I and my 6'4" beer-guzzling brother can drink. We just can't keep up, so by necessity, beer is allowed to age appropriately in the secondary or in the keg.

So, an easy solve...make more beer! :D Cheers!
 

Tophe

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I know what ya mean rightwing, I just bottled my 3rd batch and it tasted pretty good , but my second batch tastes pretty bitter and not real desirable, but its only been bottled for a week. I decided, i"ll just be patient and give it a couple more weeks before I put anymore in the fridge . q
 
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Janx said:
My solution to not being patient (I'm not): Make far more beer than even I and my 6'4" beer-guzzling brother can drink. We just can't keep up, so by necessity, beer is allowed to age appropriately in the secondary or in the keg.

So, an easy solve...make more beer! :D Cheers!
I came to this very same realization as well. I have 2 batches that have aged nicely finally. Yet I only have one additional batch just bottled and a second in the primary. It is time for another seconday for sure to keep "stocked".

To the initial comments though of rightwingnut however. Is he only assuming that going all-grain would somehow make it better faster? I.e. you have the same aging time window as the rest of us yes?
 

Janx

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All grain is better than extract at any given age. So, yeah, it'll be better young, but it'll be better still when it has a bit of time. All-grain just makes better tasting beer, especially if you use liquid extract.

YMMV.
 

Janx

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I should add, I think extract brews have more off-flavors that need to be aged out than do all-grain brews...so there are fewer flaws that you have to age out with all-grain IMO.
 
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rightwingnut

rightwingnut

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I have no illusions that all-grain will be faster, just better tasting. My impatience isn't what worried me...the flavor of my extract brew did.
 

ESPY

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So, if bottle aging has that much of an impact on flavor, then I guess the only real benefit to kegging is eliminating all of the time and hassle of bottling, right? Do those who keg still wait several weeks for proper aging?
 

Janx

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I age in the secondary. Bottles need to age in order to carbonate primarily, and secondarily for flavor.

Yes, the primary reason for kegging is to avoid the hassle, to not have yeast in your beer, and to have better conditioning (carbonation) because you have more control.

I sometimes tap my kegs mere hours after filling them. If it sits around in the keg, it's just because I have a lot of beer. Cheers! :D
 

Uncle Fat

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ESPY said:
So, if bottle aging has that much of an impact on flavor, then I guess the only real benefit to kegging is eliminating all of the time and hassle of bottling, right? Do those who keg still wait several weeks for proper aging?
I do half and half.... I keg into 2 different kegs. I force carbonate one, and naturally carbonate the other one. By the time I'm done with the first keg, the second is ready to go. The half that naturally conditions in the keg has always been better for me. If you follow Janx's advice and brew more than you can drink, you can always have a keg or two naturally conditioning. Then when you're ready for them.... they're ready for you.
 

Janx

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That's interesting. What do you like better about the naturally carbonated keg? Do you serve it with CO2 pressure or with some sort of beer engine?

I never bother with that, but I am curious. I like the conditioning you get from CO2, but no matter how you go, letting it sit around for a while after conditioning seems to make beer better.
 

harleysilo

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So, will the ability to "age" continue after carbonation, or does this need to be completed prior to carbonation (either force or natural)?
 

Janx

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The "aging" part can take place any time. It's really just to allow hop flavors to mellow and that "green" taste to diminish. I think there is much more need for it with extract brews than all-grain. My beers are usually quite drinkable after about 3 weeks, but because I make so much beer they get to sit around a bit more. And that does seem to improve things (within limits...beer doesn't need to age for months or anything...it's a fresh product).

In a keg, it's kind of nice to let it sit around under pressure for a few weeks not so much to age the flavors, although this will occur, but to allow the conditioning to get really nice. The quality of the bubbles seems to get better if you let it sit in the keg chilled for a week or two as opposed to shaking it and drinking it right away.
 
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