Maybe a dumb question but....

Discussion in 'Beginners Brewing Forum' started by No Outlet Brewing, Feb 3, 2020.

  1. No Outlet Brewing

    No Outlet Brewing New Member

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    why is it that my homebrews continue to evolve (some for the better, some worse) over time in the bottle while professionals and taprooms get it to taste just the way they want it to right away? I am assuming that since I am bottle fermenting with live yeast, that is the cause of the changes in taste profiles over time. It seems that most of mine hit their best flavors after about 6 weeks in the bottle but have had some taste great after only about two weeks and then seem to go downhill as they age. I know that more specific info based on recipes could answer this easier but I'm just asking in general terms. Would moving to kegging and force carbonation make the flavors more stable/consistent over time? Sorry if this is such an amateur question.
     
  2. Megary

    Megary Well-Known Member

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    Definitely depends on beer style. IPA's are a great example of a beer style that tastes best fresh/new and they don't age all that gracefully because hop aromas and flavors fade out. At least on a homebrew scale.
     
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  3. No Outlet Brewing

    No Outlet Brewing New Member

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    A recent example would be I split a batch of Porter and flavored half with peanut butter and the other with blueberry extract from brewer's best and they tasted great after two weeks once they were carbed up a bit. Then a couple weeks later, they both had a strong plastic/chemical aroma and taste. Fast forward another 4 weeks and those off flavors and smells have gone away from the PB and are becoming more faint in the Blueberry but the flavor of the BB has faded too. Any guesses to the cause of these off flavors or was the beer just too green? But if that's the case why did they taste great right away?
     
  4. Steve SPF

    Steve SPF Well-Known Member

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    I kind of by-passed bottling and went straight to cask/keg for just this reason. I just got a bottling gun and can now bottle from kegs once the beer has carbed up and everything has settled out so I'm left with a stable end result in bottles.

    I'm not an expert here by the way, pretty new to this brewing caper myself so this is only my limited experience.
     
  5. Nosybear

    Nosybear Well-Known Member

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    Sources of the flavors and effects you describe: Plastic/chemical: Chlorophenols, most likely, perhaps just regular phenols. Chlorophenols come from using chlorinated tap water, whether from chlorine gas or chloramines. Their development is independent of whether the beer is kegged or bottled. If they're regular phenols, I'd suspect some kind of infection. The fading flavors are most likely from oxidation, especially since you mention the flavors were better fresh. Berry and fruit flavors are notorious for fading, particularly delicate flavors like blueberry. I've bottle-conditioned my beers from the start and have just started to keg. In fact, I intend to make a test of the beers kegged and bottled using sound test methodology - a triangle test - with my homebrew club.
     
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  6. BarbarianBrewer

    BarbarianBrewer Well-Known Member

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    I don't think this is a dumb question. In fact I think it is an excellent one! However, I think that comparing home brew results to a commercial brew is a bit of apples and oranges. As a home brewer the ultimate goal is to make good beer. A professional brewer has a lot of expensive tools and people, whose job it is, to monitor & adjust their beer because in addition to making good beer they have the goals of making the beer that is stable, consistent and profitable. So just make the best beer you can at the time and learn from your successes and failures.
     
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  7. No Outlet Brewing

    No Outlet Brewing New Member

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    I do use treated city water that has gone through a charcoal filtration system. Not sure if this will remove Chlorophenols or not. If not, is there any simple, cost effective way to remove them short of installing a RO system or buying water?
     
  8. BarbarianBrewer

    BarbarianBrewer Well-Known Member

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    Campden (sodium or potassium metabisulfite) tablets do a good job of quickly removing chorine and chloramide from water. And they are pretty inexpensive too. A quarter tablet for 5 gallons is all you need.
     
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  9. Mark Farrall

    Mark Farrall Well-Known Member

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    The other big difference is number of attempts. The commercial brewers do it so many more times than we do. It's interesting going to a new brewpub, thinking the beer is ok and then going back there a year later and seeing how much better they are. One really good brewer down here freely admits how clueless he was when he started, but he's taken it seriously from day one, brews often and is really putting out good and interesting beer now.

    There's a few things you can do to bring on a beer that needs a little bit of age, but generally they're just releasing it when it's ready. For some that will be 1-2 weeks, others 6-12 months (assuming they have understanding shareholders that will let them treat the beer properly).
     
  10. Craigerrr

    Craigerrr Well-Known Member

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    You are going to have successes, and you are going to have failures, there are so many variables, and there is so much science in play. Maybe stick with a fairly simple recipe, and perfect your process. I have been at it for two years, and am still working on consistency. Not sure how many batches you have done, but it sounds like you are fairly new to the hobby. Brewing is cooking, no one became a chef after a few months in the kitchen.

    On top of that, take any "mistakes" or less than desirable batches, and try to learn from them. I am personally still doing that...

    Cheers, and good luck with future brews!
     
  11. No Outlet Brewing

    No Outlet Brewing New Member

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    Sorry, a couple more questions. When is the best time to add the Campden tablets? While bringing mash water up to temp or during the boil? Should all water be treated, both mash and sparge water? Thank you.
     
  12. Nosybear

    Nosybear Well-Known Member

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    Before mashing. I add the metabisulfite when I'm prepping the mash water. And yes, treat both.
     
  13. Craigerrr

    Craigerrr Well-Known Member

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    DEFINITELY BEFORE
     
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