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Never dump your beer!!! Patience IS a virtue!!! Time heals all things, even beer!

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TyTanium

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when you taste that last bottle that sat 3-4 weeks before you chilled it you will wish you had more. Just saying...... :drunk:
IMO the bolded part is relevant...doesn't matter how long it sat.
 

Seedly

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My dont pour it out story happened 4 weeks ago.

I had a Belgian Golden that I was making with a few pounds of peaches out of our back yard.

<snip>

Oh and the beer? Its in my fridge right now. Not a hint of window curtain to it, although sadly the peach didnt come through very well (note to self: next time puree, dont slice). Im not going to say that its the best brew I ever made, but other than the lack of peach it came though exactly as Id hoped.

So, lessons learned:
- Window curtains are for hanging on windows, not brewing. Get good gear and use it as intended.
- Murphy loves the unprepared. Have a backup plan.
- In addition to being patient and loving, the wife is usually right. Especially when you want to react out of anger.
- Puree, dont slice.
- Dont Dump it Out!!
Follow up on this story. I recently entered a competition (Big Beers, Belgians, and Barleywines in Vail, CO) with a Barleywine that I was really proud of. As I was filling out the forum, I thought, "What the hell, why not enter this BSGA as well. Its only $5 and wouldnt that be a hell of a story if it won something?"

Sadly, it didnt win. However, it did score a 40.5!! :rockin: The separate scores were a 42 and 39. As far as Im concerned, landing squarely in the "Excellent" category on my first comp with my second all-grain brew is pretty damn awesome. The one judge who said "This is a well built beer and I suspect its not your first shot" made me laugh out loud. If only he knew...

Oh and the barleywine I was so proud of? 26.5 with comments like "a somewhat boring beer" and "nothing is off, but nothing really stands out".

I really want to brew this again but I am have one problem...

...the one recipe item I cant find a substitute for is burn window curtain...
 

grem135

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IMO the bolded part is relevant...doesn't matter how long it sat.
actually it does. Time lets the flavors blend. Try holding a bottle out of your fridge for at least 2 months just for fun then fridge it for at least a week to get the co2 in the beer. You will be surprised of the difference
 

grem135

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You agree that 6-8 weeks is optimal? Two months to bottle condition? Why?
Where did you come up with 2 months? I said 3-4 weeks bottle condition. (previous post said 2 for a test) Unless its a high gravity beer then yeah it could take 6 months or more.
 

TyTanium

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moscoeb

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grem135 said:
Where did you come up with 2 months? I said 3-4 weeks bottle condition. (previous post said 2 for a test) Unless its a high gravity beer then yeah it could take 6 months or more.
You missed his point/joke.
He was saying regardless of the beer and age, whenever you finish the last one, you will wish you had more, because it's all gone.
 

TyTanium

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actually it does. Time lets the flavors blend. Try holding a bottle out of your fridge for at least 2 months just for fun then fridge it for at least a week to get the co2 in the beer. You will be surprised of the difference
Have you done this? I have, for hundreds of bottles. I'm usually surprised by the lack of difference.

I'm not saying aging doesn't do anything, of course it does. Just saying that if one waits 3-4 weeks by default, one could be missing out on 2-3 weeks of enjoying one's beer.

And yes, as Revvy says, some beers definitely take longer to carb. Not debating that. But IME that's the rare exception and not the rule. For most of my beers, 1-2 weeks is perfect. The marginal benefit of an extra week (or month) are minimal, and even detrimental in some beers (hefe, hops)
 

homebrewdad

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Follow up on this story. I recently entered a competition (Big Beers, Belgians, and Barleywines in Vail, CO) with a Barleywine that I was really proud of. As I was filling out the forum, I thought, "What the hell, why not enter this BSGA as well. Its only $5 and wouldnt that be a hell of a story if it won something?"

Sadly, it didnt win. However, it did score a 40.5!! :rockin: The separate scores were a 42 and 39. As far as Im concerned, landing squarely in the "Excellent" category on my first comp with my second all-grain brew is pretty damn awesome. The one judge who said "This is a well built beer and I suspect its not your first shot" made me laugh out loud. If only he knew...

Oh and the barleywine I was so proud of? 26.5 with comments like "a somewhat boring beer" and "nothing is off, but nothing really stands out".

I really want to brew this again but I am have one problem...

...the one recipe item I cant find a substitute for is burn window curtain...
Epic.
 

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I have a batch of spiced pumpkin ale that is pretty overpowering and not quite what I want it to be, I'm going to leave it for a couple months after reading this thread- thanks Revvy!
 

grem135

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Have you done this? ................ The marginal benefit of an extra week (or month) are minimal, and even detrimental in some beers (hefe, hops)
I have, not purposefully until my last beer though. I brewed a Witbier last spring that I was not fully satisfied with, it was ok just not what I expected. I left 6 boomers on the shelf and finally put them in the fridge about 2+ months ago and tried 2 of them last week. All I can say is amazing! Taste, mouthfeel, carbination,head is creamier and longer lasting with good lacing.
I can't say that for the brown ale bottled a week before though, it was my first brew and had a sharp off flavor that hasn't mellowed out much.
I have also noticed an improvement in my scotch ale from 3 to 4 weeks.

I understand you want IPAs young but im not a hop head and have not brewed any.
 

hoppyhoppyhippo

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I'm about to realllllly test this. My Brother and I brewed an ESB I want to say last September or August maybe, and it was terrible. So we're gonna see if this is true, but I think we're infection city.
 

Jbird

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I dumped an apple cider last summer. I was new to it but it was just not what I thought. Maybe I should have just let it sit in the bottle for a month and see. It was a 2 gallon batch so I wasn't out much other then my time.
 

PhelanKA7

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I have, not purposefully until my last beer though. I brewed a Witbier last spring that I was not fully satisfied with, it was ok just not what I expected. I left 6 boomers on the shelf and finally put them in the fridge about 2+ months ago and tried 2 of them last week. All I can say is amazing! Taste, mouthfeel, carbination,head is creamier and longer lasting with good lacing.
I can't say that for the brown ale bottled a week before though, it was my first brew and had a sharp off flavor that hasn't mellowed out much.
I have also noticed an improvement in my scotch ale from 3 to 4 weeks.

I understand you want IPAs young but im not a hop head and have not brewed any.
Interesting. I had always thought Witbiers did not age well at all. I will have to hold onto a few bottles I recently brewed and see how they hold up a few months from now when the weather heats up.
 

Boerderij_Kabouter

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I can't say that for the brown ale bottled a week before though, it was my first brew and had a sharp off flavor that hasn't mellowed out much.
I have also noticed an improvement in my scotch ale from 3 to 4 weeks.
Wait, wait, wait.

Just so we have this situation straight; you are basing your opinion and responses on two beers? Seriously? Why would you be posing advice to others on such a limited sample. Offering your experience is fine, but to tell me or anyone else that I am wrong is crazy talk.

I am sorry, but 3 weeks is a ludicrous time frame for so many reasons. Yes, if you have not paid close attention and controlled various aspects of the brewing and fermenting process, three weeks may help. But if you have done a good job of controlling variables, the difference between 10 days and three weeks should be indistinguishable. Significant aging is awesome for some styles, but tell me the last time you noticed a two week difference on a good beer (Old ale or other style with appropriate aging)?

I understand the idea of this thread is for screwed up batches; when you have messed up fine, leave your beer around and maybe it will mellow out and be palatable. That is your individual preoperative. But this three week tripe is ludicrous.
 

hoppyhoppyhippo

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Yeah, my ESB was too far gone.

It tasted a little better today than before. But in this ESB the S stood for Sour. We still have some bottles so I'll keep tabs on it but I have a severe doubt that it will be better.
 
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I have a batch of spiced pumpkin ale that is pretty overpowering and not quite what I want it to be, I'm going to leave it for a couple months after reading this thread- thanks Revvy!
My 2nd batch ever, one year ago was a 'Winter Spice' that I added WAYtoo much mulling spices to. Practically undrinkable then, but now after a year in the bottles it's mellowed out pretty nicely. Not my favorite, but it is OK. Still have about 10 bottles left that may even be gone by next winter!
My 3rd batch was an overcarbonated Honey Ginger Wheat with 1/2 lb of ginger root. Now that is another story. Works well as a stomach tonic, but not much of a beer.:drunk:
 

grem135

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Wait, wait, wait.

Just so we have this situation straight; you are basing your opinion and responses on two beers? Seriously? Why would you be posing advice to others on such a limited sample. Offering your experience is fine, but to tell me or anyone else that I am wrong is crazy talk.
actually I listed 3 beers and it was the Witbier that longer aging really helped. I believe it fermented to warm. I didnt mention another beer that also improved a lot(brewed in july and I didnt like it at 2,3 or even 4 weeks bottle condition)
Those 2 fit the thread.
If I said anyone was wrong, opps. But based on my brews, several threads here and my brew buddies that have been doing this LOTS longer than me I let my bottles condition 4 weeks (or more if needed).
I'm just not in that big of hurry to drink all my beer.
BTW The Scotch Ale is great and was very good at bottling time even. So guess i should not have mentioned it here.
 

grem135

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Interesting. I had always thought Witbiers did not age well at all. I will have to hold onto a few bottles I recently brewed and see how they hold up a few months from now when the weather heats up.
I have heard that too and was pleasantly surprised. Mine was feremented to warm so YMMV
 

homebrewdad

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throwin in the towel. I'm dumpin my Raspberry Wheat........it'll be 6 weeks in the bottle and it's not getting better.I need the bottles as I have other beer to bottle this weekend ......
Your beer, do what you want... but six weeks in the bottle is nothing. Fruit beers commonly take longer to "get right".
 

Pappers_

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Your beer, do what you want... but six weeks in the bottle is nothing. Fruit beers commonly take longer to "get right".
That is true for traditional Belgian fruit beers or sours, but not for light and easy to drink styles like a typical raspberry wheat. I brewed a cherry wheat last summer that was ready,including bottle conditioning, in about four weeks. These styles are typically best when they are fresh.
 

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throwin in the towel. I'm dumpin my Raspberry Wheat........it'll be 6 weeks in the bottle and it's not getting better.I need the bottles as I have other beer to bottle this weekend ......
is the only problem the carbonation? i seem to remember a discussion about that.
 

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Yeah, my ESB was too far gone.

It tasted a little better today than before. But in this ESB the S stood for Sour. We still have some bottles so I'll keep tabs on it but I have a severe doubt that it will be better.
Sour is likely an infection, which will get worse with time, not better.
 

homebrewdad

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Sour is likely an infection, which will get worse with time, not better.
I can go along with this. If sour is the flaw - and its actually sour, not tart, not sharp, not unexpectedly fruity - then yeah, you may well be looking at an infection.
 

Homercidal

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Your beer, do what you want... but six weeks in the bottle is nothing. Fruit beers commonly take longer to "get right".
Um, I don't drink them, but from what I understand fruit beers (excepting the high gravity ones) are best enjoyed fresh. Generally stronger beers are better after they have mellowed out a bit. Having mostly to do with the alcohol content.

What is it about a fruit beer that makes them take longer?
 

hoppyhoppyhippo

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Sour is likely an infection, which will get worse with time, not better.
It was my hunch all along that it was infected. Basically the bucket it fermented with was stained so I'm sure there were some wild yeast living in there that didn't get sanitized away. Needless to say my brother is using that now as a weeding/gardening bucket.
 

homebrewdad

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Welp, I always preach to my kids to own your mistakes, so I'm gonna own this one.

Not sure where I got the idea that fruit beers took longer, but two different guys who really know what they are doing have called me on it. Clearly, I have misunderstood something, here, and was talking out of the incorrect orifice.

Let the record show that I did not know what I was talking about on this issue!
 

TyTanium

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By use of evil magic, I am enjoying a beer after 6 days in the bottle. I know proven science says that the carbonation I am enjoying isn't possible or real, but it tastes delicious and fresh all the same...
What devilry is this. I wanted to call your BS and tried one after 5 days in the bottle. What the heck. Great carbonation and solidly delicious. 1.090 grain to glass in 2 weeks.

Yes, I'm sure it'll change with conditioning, but this ridiculously fresh in-your-face hopped beverage I just enjoyed has been better than anything I've let age.
 

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So i opened my first bottle of the batch that sat in the fermenter for 5 months. It turned out awesome! 2 and a half weeks in a bottle and perfect carbonation! patience is a virtue and of course....NEVER DUMP YOUR BEER!
 

homebrewdad

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Update...just opened up a bottle of my Raspberry Wheat after moving some of the bottles to a warmer part of the house. I'm getting carbonation, but there is no head. Now what?
Define what you mean by carbonation but no head.

Do you get bubbles when you pour, but they disappear?

Head retention is often a problem with your glassware. If you are using many detergents to clean yur glasses, head just melts away.
 

Channel66

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Define what you mean by carbonation but no head.

Do you get bubbles when you pour, but they disappear?

Head retention is often a problem with your glassware. If you are using many detergents to clean yur glasses, head just melts away.
Also if you used dish soap to clean the bottles, the residual soap will kill the head before it forms.
 

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Brewed an Octoberfest back in August, been periodically opening them with most being cidery (2nd brew ever for me). Had a 6 pack in my mini fridge and decided to open one this past Thursday. And it was surprisingly good. The cider flavor was gone and it was a pleasure to enjoy. Gave one to the wife and she really enjoyed. Really thought this was a loss and I was just a terrible brewer (may still be true) but time seems to cute the evil.
 

homebrewdad

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Brewed an Octoberfest back in August, been periodically opening them with most being cidery (2nd brew ever for me). Had a 6 pack in my mini fridge and decided to open one this past Thursday. And it was surprisingly good. The cider flavor was gone and it was a pleasure to enjoy. Gave one to the wife and she really enjoyed. Really thought this was a loss and I was just a terrible brewer (may still be true) but time seems to cute the evil.
Nice.
 

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New brewers, and those who have ever dumped a beer, or contemplated dumping a beer come pull up some chairs, Uncle Revvy has a story he wants to tell you....It is a tale that teaches some important lessons...

1)Never give up on a beer.

2)Never dump a batch unless it has mold or other noticeable signs of infection confirmed by a brewer with more experience than you. Or if it tastes, as Evan says, "like Satan's anus."

3)Always see your bottled beer through the complete conditioning/carb process....And if it still taste "funny" give it a couple more months.

4)Never ever panic about making mistakes and ruining your beer.

5)Never ever believe that you beer is frail, weak or easily "damaged." It really is hard to ruin your beer, no matter what bonehead n00b mistake you may think you made...

6)Have patience....have Patience...have Patience....

7)Give the yeasties the props they deserve, never doubt them, and Never Ever Rush Them!!! Let them do the job they are made to do...and let them see that job through til the end...(That means leave them at least a week beyond fermentation to clean up...or like me, leave it for 3-4 weeks.)


So here's the story...

Once upon a time, on April 7th to be exact, I brewed a batch of my house amber ale, a simple extract with grains recipe that tastes dead on like Bell's Amber Ale.

I pitched it with a batch of Pacman Yeast that I harvested from a couple bottles of Shakespeare Stout.

On April the 8th we had a surprise heat snap during the day while I was at work. I hadn't yet set up any summer temp control. My loft faces West....When I left for work it was in the low 40's....But with the sudden heat snap, when I came home in the Evening it was 88 degrees in my loft....Think about this....I pitched my yeast the afternoon before, and when I came home the ambient temp of the loft, with the thermostat located right next to my brew closet read 88 degrees during the most crucial period of fermentation, the first 12 hours.

Remember fermentation is thermo elastic...it gives off heat during fermentation...so if the outside surface of the bucket was reading 88...consider that the fermentation temp was another 5-10 degrees higher inside the bucket...The mid to upper 90's are definitely not Ideal temps for ale yeasts...

Yeast at too high a temp produces all matter of off flavors.

Add to the fact that I was not necessarily using a "clean" strain of pacman like out of a smack pack....this was bottle harvested, and since I don't have a "clean room" lord knows what could have been growing along side the pacman.....But either way growing from a couple slugs of yeast, into a large starter...even slowly is going to mean that there is a greater potential to have greatly more stressed yeast, than from a tube or smack pack....

Stressed Yeast can also produce off flavors...

So 3 weeks later when I went to bottle it I noticed a taste that could best be described as "bubblegum." Definitely NOT the post fermentation taste of other versions of this beer.... I couldn't taste the delicious Cascade hops, I couldn't taste any caramelness of the malts....I only tasted bubblegum.....

OK kids....don't be shy...How many of you would have either dumped this batch....Or at least started an "is my beer ruined" thread? Uh huh...come on I know there's at least one of you....Ah, there....Thanks for being brave and acknowledging it...look at all the others who now stuck their hands up....

So what did I do? I went ahead a bottled it....Did I taste it after one week? NO....Two? Uh uh....Did I open one after the third week? You bet your sweet aunties panties I waited three weeks before even opening a single bottle....

What do you think I found? A perfect beer? Or more Bubblegum?

Yep...bubblegum it was....Both in taste and smell...After all that was a hot fermentation, or maybe the yeast WAS screwed up....I'll never know WHAT exactly went wrong....

But I didn't give up on this beer....back in the brew closet it went...A few weeks went by while it sat dark and forgotten in my closet...Until a few weeks back, maybe mid june, when my pipeline hit a crucial low...

I dug the bottles out of the closet and started drinking them....They were less bubblegummy...but still the taste was noticeable...It didn't make you want to hurl...but it just wasn't that great a beer...but I drank them all over the ensuing weeks, til my other, better beers came online...Soon the bad beer was long gone and forgotten...

Or so I thought....

Friday after bottling a batch of beer, I was shuffling my storage closet around, bring beers that will be ready soon to the front...And grabbing a few different bottles to chill up for the weekend...To my surprise there was one bottle with the code for the bubblegum beer on the cap.

It went into the fridge with the rest of them.

Tonight when I got home I reached in the fridge and grabbed the first bottle I could see without reading the caps, and cracked it open and had a long after work draw.....

It tasted dead on like my Amber Ale...So good I had to make sure it wasn't from the batch before the bubblegum batch. But no...it was indeed the bottle I had dug out of the back of the closet on Friday...

It tasted beautifully of Caramel malts and had the crisp bite of cascade hops...It tasted and smelled like it should have, maybe even better than all the other batches of it (perhaps because of the pacman yeast)....I could have submitted it for competition, I may not have placed but I wouldn't have had to hang my head in shame either...

It had amazingly transformed, thanks to our friends the yeasties into a crystal clear, and clean tasting beer, exhibiting no off flavors, no hint of any bubblegum...no hint of high fermentation/fusel alchohols...

It was simply delicious beer!!!!!:tank:

People I can't stress this enough...Do not dump a beer because it doesn't taste good right away...even after 3 weeks...just stick it aside, let the yeasts keep swimming around cleaning up their messes (both in the carboy and the bottle) let the Co2 in the beer do it's thing as well helping the "Volatile chemicals break down into more benign ones, and longer protein chains settle out."

Or like spaghetti sauce and chilli, let the flavors marry and balance out...

You will be surprise at the magic that happens when you get out of the way...

The sad ending of the story is that the old saying is true;

That "the best beer in any batch, is the last one...":(

So stick at least one beer of every batch aside, no matter how bad it was, or how dissapointing, put a date on the bottle...and one day, 6 months or a year down the road, chill them down...and savor the magic!

You won't regret it.


:mug:

(Story time is over, kiddies, it is time for Ale and Cookies! And if you like this story, then Prost the thread, so more people can read it, and maybe together, we can help stamp out the alcohol abuse that is prematurely dumped beer!)

Edit There's an update to THIS beer here, Revvy's further adventures with this beer. It wasn't gone.

If it wasn't for you, I would have never gotten to taste the better half of my incredibly bitter ale. I was so close to pouring the whole thing down the drain, thats when I read this! After secondary and 4 weeks of bottle conditioning it was bitter like hell and no signs of carbonation. 6 more weeks and the bitterness has mellowed drastically! And now I can even see the bubbles rising to the top! :) Few more weeks and I should be having a tasty beer! Thank You
 

Remmy

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Never dump is right. I'll brew another batch if need be and wait for my initial batch to get itself together!
 

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This gives me hope for my very flat and very sweet beer bottled in the closet right now. I mean I wouldn't dump it, who would do such a thing? But at the very least I'm going to let it do it's thing for a couple of months.:D
 

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I have to give my 2 cents, I had a pumpkin beer that I accidentally dropped the racking cane on the floor, forgot to wash it off, and put it back into the beer while transferring to secondary. At the time the beer tasted great! However as luck would have it, it turned sour and not very good. Definitely got some bugs in there. School and work took over, I forgot about it and about 4 months it started tasting like a pretty good sour beer. So I am still leaving it alone (been 7 months thus far) and it's getting better and better.

My second experience was that I had a very large beer (11.5% ABV) that started to taste like soy sauce. So I ended up re-pitching some champagne yeast just to bottle it and get it out of my secondary. Ultimately, now there is no sign of soy sauce! Not even a little bit. Took a while (3 months or so) but I waited it out and it got lots better (with a little help probably from the yeast friends!).
 

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