Hello, noob here with some inquiries for you more experienced folks. I'm about to brew my third batch, trying to make an all grain super hoppy IPA. First batch is drinkable, but just meh.. nothing to write home about.
Second batch, I made some changes to the recipe and temperature control. it came out of the fermentor after two weeks tasting exactly how I wanted!
hit both gravities on the nose and all the hop bitterness/flavors/aromas were there. Here I am 17 days after bottling, not fully carbonated yet, but cracked one open and it's gone from a beautiful golden yellow, to a sickly brown color. It tastes even worse than the first batch, and most of the hoppiness is gone
Something is wrong with my bottling process.
I suspect that too much oxygen got to it because I get a little bit of the old book/cardboard flavor, but would that cause such a dramatic change in color? How does oxygen exposure affect hop flavor and aroma? I find the auto-siphon to be really awkward and frustrating and think that's where I may be introducing oxygen. Brewing again tomorrow and switching from a glass carboy to a plastic Big Mouth Bubbler, with a valve on the side so I can more easily transfer to a bottling bucket. (not to mention the cleaning and weight conveniences)
How important is it to let bottles dry after sanitizing? I'm using Star San.
How else can I minimize oxygenation during bottling besides deleting the siphon, avoiding splashing, and covering the bottling bucket?
Has anyone else had this dramatic change in color after bottling and what was the cause?
Maybe the yeast is too stressed out? I had a super active fermentation and a sample taken after one week was at FG and tasted great, but left it for anther week for secondary because 'that's what you do', plus acetaldehyde paranoia. Pitching two WLP001 packets for OG of 1.065. Is it unheard of to bottle after one week of fermentation? Could the bottle conditioning just serve as secondary fermentation?
I suppose there is a chance that its not oxygenation and could be infected, but I am super careful about cleaning and sanitizing. I would LOVE to switch to kegging and force carbonation, but my current available space and funds will not yet allow for it. I'm temped to try bottling straight out of the fermentor with some of those priming tablets, thus deleting the whole transfer to a bucket with corn sugar priming solution thing, but that seems dramatic, and I'd probably end up a bunch of hop gunk in there.
I could ramble on, but that's worst of it... what do you all think?