Author Topic: Just tasted my very first brew. Could use some thoughts.  (Read 3175 times)

Offline metron-brewer

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Re: Just tasted my very first brew. Could use some thoughts.
« Reply #15 on: March 15, 2012, 07:43:33 PM »
Nice job keeping notes. Keep it up, you will go back and look to see what you did, what you want to "tweek". Read-Read-Read, Brew-Brew-Brew. My experience as others is your beer will mellow with age and will develop better flavors. Keep at it, it's worth it.
Also check out the Northern Brewer forum, another great place for information.
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Offline darren

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Re: Just tasted my very first brew. Could use some thoughts.
« Reply #16 on: March 16, 2012, 11:33:25 AM »
A similar thing happened to me not too long ago.  While it may well be young beer or that the style is too hoppy for your tastes, I would point to the PBW.  The stuff is MAGIC in taking off labels.  However, there is not sufficient water flow that makes it into the bottle in the dishwasher to rinse out the PBW residue.  I learned this the hard way.  I bottled two batches of beer in PBW-contaminated bottles, and they all have a coarse bittnerness (which is different from a hop bitterness) that will never go away.  It's due the caustic chemicals and just won't age.  Incredibly frustrating.

Next time, rinse the bottles 3-5 times (at least) in hot running water after taking the labels off.  Then maybe give them a soak in a pot full of fresh water just for good measure.

An alternate theory is that you squeezed your grain bag and potentially introduced dusty husk material into the beer that made it astringent. 

I vote for PBW in the bottles. 

Offline garc_mall

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Re: Just tasted my very first brew. Could use some thoughts.
« Reply #17 on: March 16, 2012, 11:46:33 AM »
A similar thing happened to me not too long ago.  While it may well be young beer or that the style is too hoppy for your tastes, I would point to the PBW.  The stuff is MAGIC in taking off labels.  However, there is not sufficient water flow that makes it into the bottle in the dishwasher to rinse out the PBW residue.  I learned this the hard way.  I bottled two batches of beer in PBW-contaminated bottles, and they all have a coarse bittnerness (which is different from a hop bitterness) that will never go away.  It's due the caustic chemicals and just won't age.  Incredibly frustrating.

Next time, rinse the bottles 3-5 times (at least) in hot running water after taking the labels off.  Then maybe give them a soak in a pot full of fresh water just for good measure.

An alternate theory is that you squeezed your grain bag and potentially introduced dusty husk material into the beer that made it astringent. 

I vote for PBW in the bottles. 

I haven't heard of this, but it makes some sense.

On my back porch, I have a large 35 gallon plastic storage container that I put about a half cup of cheap bleach in. I fill it up with the overflow from my wort chiller, and just soak bottles in there until I remember to pull them out. Quick rinse with tap water, and they get thrown into an oven, 350 for 15 minutes, turn off the oven, and an hour later I bottle. I have never had any issues with chlorophenols or any other off flavors since I started this schedule. I got the idea out of Charlie Papazian's book.
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Offline gsandel

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Re: Just tasted my very first brew. Could use some thoughts.
« Reply #18 on: March 16, 2012, 12:22:50 PM »
+1 on Patience being almost (distant 3rd, perhaps) as important as sanitation (and cleanliness) and yeast management.

I find a slightly different experience with green beer (especially APA) is that my beer loses flavor and aroma as it ages and clears and the bitterness asserts itself over the flavor in the three to five weeks post fermentation.  I also believe that most of my beers taste much better after this 3-5 week period.
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Offline ynotbrusum

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Re: Just tasted my very first brew. Could use some thoughts.
« Reply #19 on: March 16, 2012, 01:21:57 PM »
I don't want you to feel pressured, but look into a wort chiller.  Getting your wort down to a pitchable temperature as quickly as possible is something that will improve your beer greatly - late hop additions that aren't cooled quickly have all that much more time to become bittering additions.

Good Luck and welcome to the hobby/obsession/lifestyle - I have found no other pursuit to be so collegial and fun work to do.


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Offline netsteel

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Re: Just tasted my very first brew. Could use some thoughts.
« Reply #20 on: March 17, 2012, 11:49:56 AM »
Update: I tried another sample yesterday at the 10 day mark. What an improvement. The bitterness has mellowed quite a bit since the first sample, only lingering a bit on the back end. The flavor has improved nicely, and the clarity has improved as well. I'll keep testing samples over time to see how it changes. Patience...
I didn't use PBW (still don't know what it is) so that wouldn't be a problem. I used the dishwasher to sanitize, which seemed to work well. It was easy, too. I pulled the bottles out 1 at a time right before filling.

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Offline gmac

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Re: Just tasted my very first brew. Could use some thoughts.
« Reply #21 on: March 17, 2012, 01:19:48 PM »
Glad to hear it's getting better.  Time seems to make beer better.  I bet the last bottle will be amazing.

I'm not a huge fan of kits.  I'd suggest get some DME (diastatic malt extract) and make your own instead of using a kit.  6 lbs of DME, some appropriate hops (suggested by the good folks on the forum) and a yeast you like and you've got your very own recipe for making something just as good as a kit but it's all yours.  Or, use a kit.  But either way brew again...soon!  You'll find you are out of beer faster than you could ever imagine.

For me, the advice on fermentation temps that you've already gotten was by far the best advice I received.  Makes a tremendous difference in the taste of the beer.  Plus, as you get used to hoppier, craft brew style beers I am willing to bet what you find bitter now is going to seem sort of tame in 6 months.  Experiment, experience and learn from everything you do.  Find something you like and do it again and again until you can do it in your sleep and then you can make subtle changes that make it even better.  Spend time on the forum, ask for advice, listen to Canadians ;), make lots of beer. 

By the way, you may hold the record for the longest non -BFI post ever.  Not sure what I mean, hang around you'll find out.

Offline alcaponejunior

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Re: Just tasted my very first brew. Could use some thoughts.
« Reply #22 on: March 17, 2012, 02:49:46 PM »
I got a wort chiller and I can't imagine how I ever tried to cool wort with ice.

Great thread and awesome first post man! 

Offline hokerer

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Re: Just tasted my very first brew. Could use some thoughts.
« Reply #23 on: March 19, 2012, 10:47:10 AM »
I'd suggest get some DME (diastatic malt extract) and make your own instead of using a kit

And here I'd always thought DME was "Dry Malt Extract" as opposed to LME which is "Liquid"  :) :)
Joe

Offline denny

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Re: Just tasted my very first brew. Could use some thoughts.
« Reply #24 on: March 19, 2012, 11:04:35 AM »
I'd suggest get some DME (diastatic malt extract) and make your own instead of using a kit

And here I'd always thought DME was "Dry Malt Extract" as opposed to LME which is "Liquid"  :) :)

You are, of course, correct.  It's been years since I've seen diastatic malt extract.  The problem was that it kept fermenting in the cans and they'd blow up.
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Offline morticaixavier

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Re: Just tasted my very first brew. Could use some thoughts.
« Reply #25 on: March 19, 2012, 11:15:15 AM »
I'd suggest get some DME (diastatic malt extract) and make your own instead of using a kit

And here I'd always thought DME was "Dry Malt Extract" as opposed to LME which is "Liquid"  :) :)

You are, of course, correct.  It's been years since I've seen diastatic malt extract.  The problem was that it kept fermenting in the cans and they'd blow up.

you can still find diastatic malt extract powders at healthfood stores sometimes.
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Offline gmac

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Re: Just tasted my very first brew. Could use some thoughts.
« Reply #26 on: March 19, 2012, 11:56:58 AM »
I'd suggest get some DME (diastatic malt extract) and make your own instead of using a kit

And here I'd always thought DME was "Dry Malt Extract" as opposed to LME which is "Liquid"  :) :)

Could be.  I thought it was dry too but i read diastatic somewhere so i figured I had been wrong all this time.  Either way i'd get some and make some more beer. 
Nobody ever told the OP was PBW was and I don't use it so I'm not gonna guess because I don't want to be wrong twice in one thread.  I prefer to be wrong once in many threads.

Offline garc_mall

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Re: Just tasted my very first brew. Could use some thoughts.
« Reply #27 on: March 19, 2012, 12:27:53 PM »
PBW = Powdered Brewery Wash

Its great for cleaning stuff. I use it on carboys, brewpots, and all my small accessories. Just let it soak for a couple hours, pour out, wipe down, and done. I have heard oxyclean works as well. It is made by the same people who make star-san, which is a great no-rinse sanitizer that I also use.
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Offline denny

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Re: Just tasted my very first brew. Could use some thoughts.
« Reply #28 on: March 19, 2012, 12:30:39 PM »
PBW = Powdered Brewery Wash

Its great for cleaning stuff. I use it on carboys, brewpots, and all my small accessories. Just let it soak for a couple hours, pour out, wipe down, and done. I have heard oxyclean works as well. It is made by the same people who make star-san, which is a great no-rinse sanitizer that I also use.

Oxiclean works very well.  In my side by side tests, I think PBW works a bit better and is definitely easier to rinse.
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Offline morticaixavier

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Re: Just tasted my very first brew. Could use some thoughts.
« Reply #29 on: March 19, 2012, 01:16:25 PM »
If I recall correctly 5-star designed it for Coors. it's a mild caustic cleaner and can be somewhat irratating to the skin and mucous membranes (in powder form it burns the eyes and lungs fairly unpleasantly)
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