My first brew tastes like...

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lazyhophead

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Hello chicks and dudes,

So my first home brew was an AG IPA that went well I think... I had a friend with me who is an old school home brewer helping along the way.

My intention was for it to be a hoppy IPA style brew... Hopped it vigorously with cascade for the entire boil using about 5 ounces total.

Here is my question:

After about 9 days of fermenting I racked it into a secondary tonight. I poured myself a glass to try it out and I gotta say..

...It tastes like pure alcohol. Moonshine, even.

Is this normal? Will it work itself out in secondary and bottling?

Because right now it tastes like a hoppy moon shine, and that is NOT what I was going for.


I used 13 lbs of pale 2 row and a pound of DME if that helps. (5 gallons)
 

tonyc318

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How much yeast did u pitch? And what temp did u ferment at? Probably one of two things. U didn't pitch enough yeast or the temp has high. Alcohol flavors usually come from stressed out yeast. So tell us what temp u fermented at and what your O.G. Was and what u did for yeast? Pitch a pack of dry yeast? A smack pack? Make a starter?
 

AleFred

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Sounds like you got fusels, longer chains of ethanol that taste like solvents, it's more than likely due to lack of fermentation temperature control or under pitching. Happen to my first brew too.. Fermented a 1.07ish IPA in June when ambient temp was 80 give or take
 

tonyc318

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Is that the temp of the room or of the wort? Was it swinging from 62-70 ish in the first 3-4 days? Swings in temp will cause off flavors by stressing the yeast.

Also, if the room or area you fermented in was 70 at times, the beer got up to 75-80 during active fermentation and that will cause the "alcohol" flavor.
 
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lazyhophead

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Is that the temp of the room or of the wort? Was it swinging from 62-70 ish in the first 3-4 days? Swings in temp will cause off flavors by stressing the yeast.

Also, if the room or area you fermented in was 70 at times, the beer got up to 75-80 during active fermentation and that will cause the "alcohol" flavor.
Okay, this is good info. The room itself was usually around 70. The wort was usually around 62-66 anytime I checked it.

I don't really have a great place in the house to leave it that doesn't get that warm... does it hurt it to leave it in a shed or something where it's getting down into the 30's?

It may be too late for this brew, but for future beers I mean.

Also, will the alcohol flavor ever die down with age?
 

snowtires

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I bet Its gonna taste awsome when its all done and ready to drink. I tasted my first IPA at 5 days and puked a little in my mouth. It turned out wicked awsome. Thought i tasted fusels but false alarm.
Cheers
 

Ogri

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The most crucial period is the first few days from the time of pitching the yeast.
Depending on the yeast you are using, you should aim to keep temp of the wort down in the lower temp range suggested for that strain of yeast. Temp range for S-05 is from 59-72f, IIRC, so if you can stay down low to mid 60s you're good.

After the first week or so you can let the brew come up to room temps as a little more heat at this time will help the yeast finish up the clean up, or, conditioning phase.

Bottle conditioning for at least three weeks until carbonated but longer will definitely have a positive impact on the flavours. There's no guarantee that fusels will disappear from longer conditioning but the harshness will diminish to a certain extent.

Having said this, don't worry too much. It'll more than likely be a drinkable brew in another 5 or 6 weeks time and the next one you brew will be better:ban::mug:
 

Ogri

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Three weeks from bottling try throwing a bottle in the fridge for a minimum of 24 hours, more if you can, then taste that. If it tastes good chuck a few more in the fridge and try leaving for a week in there, see the difference that makes. If the first one doesn't taste good give it another week and try the 24 hour fridge step again. Keep on doing the same until you either start getting good tasting beer,,,,,,,,,,,,, or you run out:drunk::tank::fro:
 

duboman

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Besides all the great advice already stated remember you are tasting a beer that's only 9 days old, not conditioned and not carbonated and as mentioned having a few off flavors. IMO, 9 days to rack into a secondary is just too early and you should have waited another 5-14 days to let the beer clear and the yeast to finish cleaning up:)

Be patient, give it time and it'll be better!
 

Erich8

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I currently have an IPA conditioning in my primary.. It will be two weeks this Saturday and I am going to go ahead and dry hop in the primary for an additional 5-7 days. I took an FG reading a couple of days and grabbed a sample out of it. And it was very hoppy, it had a pretty bitter finish on it as well. The nose was very citrusy. Overall I was satisfied with what I was tasting and can only imagine how good its gonna be with the additional week or so plus bottle conditioning. Best of luck to you!
 

tonyc318

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duboman said:
besides all the great advice already stated remember you are tasting a beer that's only 9 days old, not conditioned and not carbonated and as mentioned having a few off flavors. Imo, 9 days to rack into a secondary is just too early and you should have waited another 5-14 days to let the beer clear and the yeast to finish cleaning up:)

be patient, give it time and it'll be better!
+1
 
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