Author Topic: Beer dumb phase  (Read 1328 times)

Offline yso191

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Beer dumb phase
« on: May 17, 2016, 03:56:30 AM »
I've been noticing that my APAs and IPAs go through a dumb phase after they are on tap.  Just to head off questions, my routine is to ferment for a few days then ramp the temp up gradually and let that sit for a couple of days, dry hopping for 2 days then cold crashing, for a couple of days.  After which I keg and force carbonate for a week or so.  So all in all this process typically takes the better part of a month before I think about tapping the keg.

Then when I do taste it, it usually tastes acceptable but 'acceptable' isn't.  For example, I brewed a single hop IPA with Idaho 7 hops Feb. 15.  It was reasonably good, but I was underwhelmed.  As a consequence it has been languishing for some time.  Until this weekend.  Now I find it quite good.  As I said, this seems to be a well established pattern - at least with my beer.  So is it something I am doing or not doing, or is this typical?

It could be that my darker beers go through the same phase, but I intend to drink them later, so I haven't noticed it as much with them.
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Offline Adamg8504

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Re: Beer dumb phase
« Reply #1 on: May 17, 2016, 10:43:35 AM »
I have noticed this with my beers as well.  Most often then not, after 2-3 week of being on tap (my fermentation/carbonation schedule is similar to yours), they change...usually for the better.

I am not sure what it is exactly that changes or why it changes, but it does.
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Offline tommymorris

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Re: Beer dumb phase
« Reply #2 on: May 17, 2016, 01:17:50 PM »
I think 2-3 weeks in the keg is just normal conditioning time. Gravity is pulling out unwanted particles and yeast. Chemical reactions are dealing with some off flavors.

My beers are generally good after a week in the keg, but peak after 1-2 more weeks. Usually the changes  in this timeframe are subtle but for the better.

Offline HoosierBrew

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Re: Beer dumb phase
« Reply #3 on: May 17, 2016, 01:29:54 PM »
I think 2-3 weeks in the keg is just normal conditioning time. Gravity is pulling out unwanted particles and yeast. Chemical reactions are dealing with some off flavors.

My beers are generally good after a week in the keg, but peak after 1-2 more weeks. Usually the changes  in this timeframe are subtle but for the better.


+1.  A couple weeks of cold conditioning improves my beers quite a bit. Even when they look fairly clear going into the keg, some yeast and other sediment always drop out.
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Offline klickitat jim

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Re: Beer dumb phase
« Reply #4 on: May 17, 2016, 02:35:50 PM »
I think 2-3 weeks in the keg is just normal conditioning time. Gravity is pulling out unwanted particles and yeast. Chemical reactions are dealing with some off flavors.

My beers are generally good after a week in the keg, but peak after 1-2 more weeks. Usually the changes  in this timeframe are subtle but for the better.


+1.  A couple weeks of cold conditioning improves my beers quite a bit. Even when they look fairly clear going into the keg, some yeast and other sediment always drop out.
Agreed. Usually I keg and put it in a controlled chest in the shop to carbonate. Even if it sits there a month, the action of moving it to the kegerator in the house kicks up some dust and its usually not at its best for a couple more days.

But... if you are going to share it, show it off, enter it... this is not a problem because you just enjoy it as is until it hits that peak, then bottle what you need. I see it as a benefit of kegging, where you are more "locked in" with bottle conditioning

Offline pete b

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Re: Beer dumb phase
« Reply #5 on: May 17, 2016, 02:47:44 PM »
I'm new to kegging but have found that when I get to the last beer its just right. :'(
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Offline dilluh98

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Re: Beer dumb phase
« Reply #6 on: May 17, 2016, 02:51:04 PM »
This isn't too dissimilar to bottle conditioning. I've learned not to even waste a 12oz bottle to check at 1-2 weeks. The carbonation is usually good but the beer is typically helped by a bit more time. Three weeks seems to be the starting point of good carbonation plus the beer tasting significantly better. 3-6 weeks at room temperature in the bottle is the peak period for most normal/low gravity ales, depending on style of course. If any remain at room temp after 6 weeks, I stuff as many as possible into the beer fridge and squirrel one or two in the back of the closet to see what happens to it long term.

I've also noticed that the longer the bottles sit in the fridge, the better they are. I can never seem to keep them in the fridge very long though.  ;)

Offline Phil_M

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Re: Beer dumb phase
« Reply #7 on: May 17, 2016, 02:52:02 PM »
I'm new to kegging but have found that when I get to the last beer its just right. :'(

That's typically been the case for me as well. However, the two beers that I've fined with gelatin weren't that way. They got to their "peak" a little earlier IMO, about a week before the keg kicked instead of a day.
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Offline reverseapachemaster

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Re: Beer dumb phase
« Reply #8 on: May 17, 2016, 03:17:41 PM »
I wonder if lagering the beer for a few days after cold crashing would skip this phase by getting a cleaner beer into the keg.
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Offline udubdawg

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Re: Beer dumb phase
« Reply #9 on: May 17, 2016, 03:24:39 PM »
I include a few weeks of cold conditioning into the timing of almost every beer I make.
got some Zombie Dust on 4/21, bottled the previous day.  Mediocre.  Now, after a few weeks in the fridge?  Noticeably better.

Offline blair.streit

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Re: Beer dumb phase
« Reply #10 on: May 17, 2016, 03:33:04 PM »
I wonder if lagering the beer for a few days after cold crashing would skip this phase by getting a cleaner beer into the keg.

I've observed this pretty clearly when fermenting "extra" wort in my 1G glass jug. There's a significant difference between what I would normallyconsider "clear beer" 24 hours after cold crashing versus leaving it cold for 3 more days. I'm always hesitant to do this in my primary fermentor due to oxidation concerns, but I'd be interested in hearing what others have experienced.

As for conditioning, I agree with what Jim and others said above. I like drinking the keg down to that "sweet spot" and then bottling any that I want to archive, enter, etc.

I have noticed that my 2.5G kegs don't take quite as long to condition as their 5G brethren (with the same beer). I'm still torn on whether I would attribute this to a sheer volume issue, or if it's just the simple fact that my 5G keg is twice as tall as my 2.5G. I lean more towards the height just due to my experience with settling samples in hydrometer jars versus short, fat glasses. A sample in the short, fat glass always settles out much faster than in a tall, skinny hydrometer jar.

I find that I can accelerate the conditioning process with gelatin, but that only seems to contribute "some" of the flavor differences I expect. Others you just have to wait for....

Offline beersk

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Re: Beer dumb phase
« Reply #11 on: May 17, 2016, 03:58:11 PM »
I think 2-3 weeks in the keg is just normal conditioning time. Gravity is pulling out unwanted particles and yeast. Chemical reactions are dealing with some off flavors.

My beers are generally good after a week in the keg, but peak after 1-2 more weeks. Usually the changes  in this timeframe are subtle but for the better.


+1.  A couple weeks of cold conditioning improves my beers quite a bit. Even when they look fairly clear going into the keg, some yeast and other sediment always drop out.
Agreed. Usually I keg and put it in a controlled chest in the shop to carbonate. Even if it sits there a month, the action of moving it to the kegerator in the house kicks up some dust and its usually not at its best for a couple more days.
This is why, ideally, I'd have twice as much or more spaces for kegs than taps in my kegerator.

I think once the beer clears coming out of the tap, it's starting to taste how it should. You can have a beer be clear going into the keg (if you cold crash, etc), but it won't be clear in a week if you tap it. Some haze will form, some of the yeast will drop out, muddying up the clarity and flavor. Once it clears, that's when it's good. Usually that's in the 3-4 week range for me.

Quote from: Phil_M
That's typically been the case for me as well. However, the two beers that I've fined with gelatin weren't that way. They got to their "peak" a little earlier IMO, about a week before the keg kicked instead of a day.
I've noticed this too. They taste thin at the end of the keg. I've stopped using gelatin (yet again) and am just going to let time being cold do its thing.
« Last Edit: May 17, 2016, 04:00:43 PM by beersk »
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Offline brewinhard

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Re: Beer dumb phase
« Reply #12 on: May 17, 2016, 04:51:25 PM »


Quote from: Phil_M
That's typically been the case for me as well. However, the two beers that I've fined with gelatin weren't that way. They got to their "peak" a little earlier IMO, about a week before the keg kicked instead of a day.
I've noticed this too. They taste thin at the end of the keg. I've stopped using gelatin (yet again) and am just going to let time being cold do its thing.
[/quote]

I was going to mention this observation. Usually the very last beer (or two) of the keg, while good, has seemed to thin out a bit in body.  I was wondering if this was due to the extended "lagering" phase this portion received or what?

Offline goschman

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Re: Beer dumb phase
« Reply #13 on: May 17, 2016, 05:13:41 PM »
Interesting topic. I have noticed the same thing as the OP especially with my APAs for some reason. Everyone always says to drink hoppy beers fresh however mine seem to be better after a few weeks. I use very simple grain bills however it always seems to take weeks for the hop and malt profile to come together. The aroma does dissipate a bit but overall the beer is better. I don't seem to notice this phenomenon with the other typical ale styles that I brew other than maybe kolsch.
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Offline denny

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Re: Beer dumb phase
« Reply #14 on: May 17, 2016, 05:24:37 PM »
It's as simple as differing tastes and differing beers.
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