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eurc51

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I just tasted my first batch and there is definitely one or maybe more than one flaw, but I'm not sure what's wrong. First off, the beer is 4 days post bottling. I know it's early, but I couldn't wait. I plan to give the rest of the bottles a few more weeks. Also, I didn't chill the beer first, so it was room temperature.

The color and the body of the beer look great - nice copper color and it's clear, not cloudy. The head looks like it could support a dime. So, it looks great. The first few tastes convinced me that I got extremely lucky and brewed a good IPA. It sort of reminded me of Mojo's IPA. But, after a few ounces I started to notice something in the finish. I tasted something on the sides of the back of my tongue. It's hard to describe - definitely bitter, but also slightly medicinal like rubbing alcohol.

Any ideas what went wrong with this malt extract IPA?

Thanks,

Ersin
 

Yooper

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Just from your description, two possibilities come to my mind. First is, did you ferment above 68 degrees? Higher fermentations sometimes give you some "fusel" alcohols. The other thing is either chorine in your water, or using bleach to sanitize.

I think if you wait two or three more weeks, though, it'll taste just fine. I bet right now you're just tasting young "green" beer.
 

FlyGuy

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Yep, high fermentation temps are the likely culprit, especially if you underpitched and/or didn't aerate. Very common problem that is easily fixed in your next batch.

Try letting that beer age for a month and try it again. It may improve somewhat if you are lucky.
 

TexLaw

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It just sounds green to me. My young beers usually have a harsh bitterness that fades after a couple weeks or so. I've also had some batches that had that same alcoholic flavor, even though I fermented them at optimal temperatures under temperature control. It also faded after a couple weeks.

In other words, give it a couple weeks or so and see where you are. :)


TL
 

9/9

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I am going to jump in here with a n00b question.

When you talk about the fermentation temp, are you talking about the room temp, or the temp in the fermenter? Because, fermentation raises the temp a few degrees, right?
 

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Yes, it's best to have a thermometer strip on your fermenter and keep an eye on that temperature. Room temperature isn't indicative of what the temperature is inside.
 

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YooperBrew said:
Yes, it's best to have a thermometer strip on your fermenter and keep an eye on that temperature. Room temperature isn't indicative of what the temperature is inside.
Unfortunately, I thought you might say that. I think that the stout we have in the primary has been a bit warm (around 70F). Oh well, live and learn, I guess. :mug:
 

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warped04 said:
You could do what HB99 said:
Well, I am not going to stress about it until it finishes fermenting and I get a taste of it. This is only our second batch, so we don't expect anything too amazing just yet.
 

Kai

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I've found that harsh alcohols and unpleasant-style bitterness mellows out a lot in the first month, and continues to improve for as long as any of my batches have lasted. Relax!
I'm also impressed that your beer was carbonated and clarified four days into bottles. I wish mine did that.
 

Danek

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I've had beers taste pretty unpalatable after a couple of weeks - especially when I've late-hopped heavily - but after a month or so they get way, way better. Give it more time and I bet it'll age beautifully.
 

Soulive

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9/9 said:
Well, I am not going to stress about it until it finishes fermenting and I get a taste of it. This is only our second batch, so we don't expect anything too amazing just yet.
:off:

Way to go Lifetime Supporter right off the bat :rockin:
 

jmiracle

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The only big beer I've done (an extract Robust Porter that started around 1.070) had a similiar taste for about a month after bottling.
 

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Soulive said:
:off:

Way to go Lifetime Supporter right off the bat :rockin:
Yeah, I figured I would have had a hard time getting going without this site and, even if I stop brewing, this site is great for a lot of people.

I don't make a lot of money (I am a public school teacher, after all), but I don't mind passing some along here. :D
 

Melana

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I've noticed that every time we do a hoppy IPA it needs a few 'extra' weeks in the bottle after the initial wait (3 weeks) to really smooth out and taste the best.
But... we're new at this (about 25 batches in) and do not have the vast experience that the veteran brewers here have.
 
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eurc51

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Thanks for all the feedback and I'm glad to hear that my IPA may improve with age. I think I know how to correct the problem for the next time, but just want to confirm.

First off, I kept my thermostat at a constant 67 F, hoping to maintain at least 65 F. But, I do remember the strip thermometer reading closer to 70 and 72. Next time, I'll keep the house cooler. What temp should I be trying to achieve on the thermometer strip...65F?

I think that my bigger problem was my wort. I let the wort stand until I thought it was less than 90F, but I didn't use a thermometer and I didn't actively cool it. It was probably pretty warm when I pitched the yeast. Next time, I will cool it and I'm going to snag one of those thermometers from the chem lab at school.

Thanks,
E
 

EamusCatuli

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Now im no expert, however, I have had some temp. problems myself! I always set my thermostat to about 65F and monitor the gauge on the outside of the fermenter. I found if you want better consistency in your fermenter's temperature with your house/apt temperature you should keep your primary off the ground, as the ground is naturally a little bit cooler. However, if you find that you're getting too hot then the floor is an option:D ! From what I have heard getting too cold (lower 60's) wont hurt your batch, but may suspend the yeast. Its the hotter temps ( upper 70's) that will tamper with your flavor. Just watch and wait, there are many techniques to get to that perfect temperature. :ban:

Oh, and 65 sounds just fine!
 

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eurc51 said:
Thanks for all the feedback and I'm glad to hear that my IPA may improve with age. I think I know how to correct the problem for the next time, but just want to confirm.

First off, I kept my thermostat at a constant 67 F, hoping to maintain at least 65 F. But, I do remember the strip thermometer reading closer to 70 and 72. Next time, I'll keep the house cooler. What temp should I be trying to achieve on the thermometer strip...65F?

I think that my bigger problem was my wort. I let the wort stand until I thought it was less than 90F, but I didn't use a thermometer and I didn't actively cool it. It was probably pretty warm when I pitched the yeast. Next time, I will cool it and I'm going to snag one of those thermometers from the chem lab at school.

Thanks,
E
I think your assessment is correct. Next time actively cool the wort down to 70º at most, preferably 65º. And keep the fermentation temp lower. 72º is too warm for most (not all) ales.
 
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