Author Topic: Aging or Getting Used To a Flavor?  (Read 785 times)

Offline tomsawyer

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Aging or Getting Used To a Flavor?
« on: January 22, 2011, 03:24:07 PM »
It seems that I always start out a keg with a crticism or two.  Then as I drink along, it starts getting better and better.  The latest was a pils style, the first few beers had a hint of diacetyl (in spite of a generous rest) and was slightly sweet.  Now I'm halfway through the keg (3gal to start with) and its really growing on me.  This beer had a three week lager (including an unintentional freezing) and was super clear right out of the gate.  Now the diacetyl seems to have subsided (if that was what it was) and the beer is just wonderful.

This happens with a lot of different styles so I'm wondering if its just me becoming accustomed to the new flavors.  Not complaining, just wondering why this is the case.  I've read that other people can tell when a keg is starting to kick when it really tastes great.  Is it aging/clearing or just pyschological?
Lennie
Hannibal, MO

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Re: Aging or Getting Used To a Flavor?
« Reply #1 on: January 22, 2011, 03:26:56 PM »
Is it aging/clearing or just pyschological?

How long is a piece of string?  Could be either or both, but I understand exactly what you mean.  I've never been able to come up with a definitive answer for myself.
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Offline euge

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Re: Aging or Getting Used To a Flavor?
« Reply #2 on: January 22, 2011, 09:59:39 PM »
I don't filter, clarify or pasteurize and my beer changes as the keg level drops. Often, I don't like those last few glasses as much as the first part of the keg. Some are phenomenal though. ;)

I do the criticism thing too. ;D Youth hides some defects in beer IMO. Character flaws can emerge too as opposed to smoothing out over time.
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Offline tschmidlin

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Re: Aging or Getting Used To a Flavor?
« Reply #3 on: January 22, 2011, 11:28:42 PM »
Another thing to consider - diacetyl is volatile, that's why we can smell it.  As you drink the keg there is more headspace, so more space for volitized diacetyl, so less in the beer itself.  I have no idea if the level would drop enough to be noticeable, but maybe . . . especially if it's close to a threshold level.  But maybe not.
Tom Schmidlin

Offline tomsawyer

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Re: Aging or Getting Used To a Flavor?
« Reply #4 on: January 23, 2011, 06:14:36 AM »
Another thing to consider - diacetyl is volatile, that's why we can smell it.  As you drink the keg there is more headspace, so more space for volitized diacetyl, so less in the beer itself.  I have no idea if the level would drop enough to be noticeable, but maybe . . . especially if it's close to a threshold level.  But maybe not.

Novel theory.  I make 3gal batches so my kegs have some head space from the beginning.  I do purge briefly to remove air when I initially carb up.  I typically serve without additional pressure, just bump the pressure when it gets low.  So maybe it takes time and some O2 coming back out of the beer to bring out the diacetyl.  Thats plausible for the pils but I don't think it explains every situation.  But maybe some strings aren't the same length.

I don't filter, clarify or pasteurize and my beer changes as the keg level drops. Often, I don't like those last few glasses as much as the first part of the keg. Some are phenomenal though. ;)

I do the criticism thing too. ;D Youth hides some defects in beer IMO. Character flaws can emerge too as opposed to smoothing out over time.

I haven't known many beers to get worse ovr time, even those best served young.  The only thing I can think along this line is having a weizen drop clear.
Lennie
Hannibal, MO

Offline benjspain

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Re: Aging or Getting Used To a Flavor?
« Reply #5 on: January 25, 2011, 02:32:15 PM »
One thing to concider is that "accidental freezing."  I don't think that it could cause diacetyl alone to enhance,  however if a good portion of your beer is ice that means that a good portion of it is concentrated beer.  If you started off drinking concentrated beer then it could be a little stronger than you were expecting.  As it thawed it became watered down to normal levels and tasted closer to what it should. 

Ben the Brewer

Offline kerneldustjacket

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Re: Aging or Getting Used To a Flavor?
« Reply #6 on: January 25, 2011, 04:30:51 PM »
Is it aging/clearing or just pyschological?

Yes it's true...as you age your beer gets better.  ;D
« Last Edit: January 28, 2011, 04:46:18 PM by kerneldustjacket »
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Offline dean

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Re: Aging or Getting Used To a Flavor?
« Reply #7 on: January 25, 2011, 05:12:14 PM »
It is a strange thing... knowing the keg is going to blow just by the taste of the beer, usually better imo.  Probably is psychological... knowing you won't be able to critic it again soon?