Author Topic: First beer taste  (Read 5812 times)

Offline FLbrewer

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First beer taste
« on: May 18, 2013, 10:30:03 AM »
How often to beers taste good right at bottling? My (first) american wheat has been in primary for 2 weeks and taking a sip today while bottling was not awful, but seemed to be lacking some sweetness. It smelled like beer though!
« Last Edit: May 18, 2013, 01:11:21 PM by flbrewer »

Offline jamminbrew

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Re: First beer taste
« Reply #1 on: May 18, 2013, 10:48:00 AM »
Carbonation will help to bring out flavors and aromas that aren't detectable beforehand. Being chilled also lends a slight difference to the flavor. Wait until it is ready to render a final decision...
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Offline majorvices

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Re: First beer taste
« Reply #2 on: May 18, 2013, 11:46:08 AM »
What does beer thought smell like?  :P ;)

You will get to a point where you can almost render final judgment on flat beer out of the primary, but it may take several batches.
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Offline fmader

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Re: First beer taste
« Reply #3 on: May 18, 2013, 05:59:29 PM »
I stopped tasting beer prior to bottling. Warm, flat beer tastes bad.

Some beers will be great after 2 or 3 weeks in the bottle, while others will mature nicely and will be excellent after 6 months.
Frank

Offline klickitat jim

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Re: First beer taste
« Reply #4 on: May 18, 2013, 07:10:24 PM »
Good job! It will be awesome when done

Offline erockrph

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Re: First beer taste
« Reply #5 on: May 19, 2013, 05:42:51 AM »
Generally I find that hoppy beers give you a good picture of how they're going to be right out of the bottling bucket. Other beers are tougher to get a read on. My last brew was a small saison that kinda worried me while it was flat, but once it carbed up it turned out great.
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Offline Joe Sr.

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Re: First beer taste
« Reply #6 on: May 20, 2013, 07:34:29 AM »
All of my hydrometer samples go into a cup for tasting.  I think you can get a very good sense of how the beer will turn out.  There are definitely some changes in flavor from carbonation, chilling, and aging but after enough sampling you can get a sense of what those might be.

At the least, tasting it before bottling will let you know if you've got any major problems.
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Offline majorvices

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First beer taste
« Reply #7 on: May 20, 2013, 12:45:25 PM »
I stopped tasting beer prior to bottling. Warm, flat beer tastes bad.

Some beers will be great after 2 or 3 weeks in the bottle, while others will mature nicely and will be excellent after 6 months.

IMO a good brewer needs to taste beer all the way through the process, from wort to glass.
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Offline nateo

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Re: First beer taste
« Reply #8 on: May 20, 2013, 04:12:21 PM »
IMO a good brewer needs to taste beer all the way through the process, from wort to glass.

I agree, although if you're not very experienced, you don't really know what you're tasting. But the only way you get experience is by tasting it a lot. So I'd say do it, but don't freak out if the beer doesn't taste great when it's warm and flat.
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Offline AmandaK

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Re: Re: First beer taste
« Reply #9 on: May 20, 2013, 06:17:09 PM »
I stopped tasting beer prior to bottling. Warm, flat beer tastes bad.
I'm going to have to disagree here. I always taste throughout the process.

I also have a Nelson Sauvin that I've been drinking the hydrometer samples from at 90* and flat. It's damn good and I can't wait to drink it cold and carbonated.
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Offline fmader

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Re: First beer taste
« Reply #10 on: May 20, 2013, 07:11:03 PM »
Ok, apparently I'm ignorant of the benefits of tasting beer throughout the process. Please educate me.

I used to taste throughout, but I really dislike it all until the final product... Which then tastes very good. I would work myself up over pre-finished product tasting to the point where I quit doing it.

Thanks for feedback
Frank

Offline The Professor

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Re: First beer taste
« Reply #11 on: May 20, 2013, 07:48:24 PM »
IMO a good brewer needs to taste beer all the way through the process, from wort to glass.

Keith is 100% correct both on the quoted statement and his earlier one:  after you have a number of brews under your belt (a belt which, I can say from 4 decades of experience, will be incrementally larger in size after a time) you'll be able to taste a brew in late or end-stage primary and suss out what it will be like when it hits minimal maturity.   

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Offline klickitat jim

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Re: First beer taste
« Reply #12 on: May 20, 2013, 09:49:38 PM »
No experience needed. The first brew I brewed, I tasted the box that the kit came in and knew exactly how it would turn out. Then,  it actually turned out exactly as I knew it would. Never had a lesson

Offline jeffy

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Re: First beer taste
« Reply #13 on: May 21, 2013, 04:32:22 AM »
No experience needed. The first brew I brewed, I tasted the box that the kit came in and knew exactly how it would turn out. Then,  it actually turned out exactly as I knew it would. Never had a lesson

So it tasted like cardboard?
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Offline majorvices

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First beer taste
« Reply #14 on: May 21, 2013, 05:46:07 AM »
Ok, apparently I'm ignorant of the benefits of tasting beer throughout the process. Please educate me.

I used to taste throughout, but I really dislike it all until the final product... Which then tastes very good. I would work myself up over pre-finished product tasting to the point where I quit doing it.

Thanks for feedback

Well, for one if there's diacetyl you can take steps to fix that before packaging. Sulfur, too. By tasting throughout the process you can pin point where something may be going wrong. I once had a beer that got burned on an electric element (electric kettle). Obvious smoke character in the beer, think ashtray. I tasted it coming out of the fermentor and had no idea at first what it was. Pedio can be smoky and rank, so I thought it may have been an infection. Had I tasted the cool wort I would have known right there and then not to even bother filling the fermentor. But what ended up happening was I brewed it again and had the exact same problem and only then pin pointed that my element was too close to the bottom of my kettle and was scorching. Would have been much better off had I just tasted the wort and dumped it without pitching the yeast in the first place, let alone take up two weeks in the fermentor, then wasting another brewday/batch ingredients.

I can taste a beer coming out of the fermentor and tell by taste or smell if I should even bother to rack it to bright. I can taste it and tell if I should bother to harvest yeast. Plus, if I taste it and it is good fresh from fermentor I can tell if there was a problem (like oxidation) picked up after fermentation.

Just knowing your beer from start to finish is important to craft in general. Knowing what is happening at every stage. Why would you rely on anything else but taste (and smell) for that? I can understand where you are coming from on saying that you get worried if there is an off flavor, but IMO you are better off learning how to taste the beer right out of the fermentor. It's part of mastering the craft - in my opinion, of course.
« Last Edit: May 21, 2013, 06:05:35 AM by majorvices »
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