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Caribou Slobber No Flavor

Brewed up an extract batch of Caribou Slobber 2 weeks ago. Tasted the wort before I put it into the primary fermenter and it tasted great with robust caramel and chocolate flavors!

Today I racked it off into the secondary fermenter and again tasted a sample. I was extremely disappointed, what happen to all the flavor? It was like drinking water.

I plan to leave it in the secondary fermenter for 4 weeks before bottling. I’m hoping the flavor improves and I just got a bad sample, any opinions out there?

Moose Drool is one of my favorites, currently CS is a long way off. hope things improve :frowning:


evaluating beer before its done (including carbonated) is tricky, because you need to be trained to have your palette ‘riff’ on what you just tasted to your brain. Carbonation adds carbonic acid to the beer, which helps elevate the flavors on your palette, bulk up the mouthfeel and add some dryness. So when evaluating flat beer, you need to have tasted enough flat beer to know what the flat beer will taste like once carbed. You probably were tasting a lot of the malt sugars when you evaluated the wort, which themselves elevated the specialty malt flavors, and of course (hopefully) fermented out by the time you tasted the flat beer.

I like to think that after +/-75 batches, along with sensory analysis/judge training/judging, I can tell whether an incomplete will be good and what it will taste like. Sometimes, though, I just can’t. My good friend, on whose system I brew quite often, and with whom I have brewed some comp-winning beer, still cannot evaluate a beer at all until it is being pulled from the keg.

Wait a few weeks, package the beer, then wait a few more before judging it.

Just curious, and not to open a can of worms, but why did you rack the beer off the yeast? Following the instructions?

Thanks for posting your insight, having only been brewing for a year, I have a lot of learning to do. Yes I racked from the primary to a secondary after 2 weeks because at this point in my learning process, I follow instructions.

However, I am thirsty for opinions and would always enjoy hearing others. I started with a 1.051 OG and when I racked to the secondary, activity had stopped. My gravity going into the secondary was 1.01, not adjusted for temp which was 69.

Instructions call for 2-4 weeks in secondary, I plan to go as close to the 4 weeks because my limited experiences tends to lean toward more time equals better taste and clarity. But like I said, I am still learning, opinions welcomed.


Larry- I’m going to agree with Pietro(nothing surprising there).
Unless you messed something up, and with what you posted so far it doesn’t look like it, that recipe is just great. I’ve done it twice, the extract version both times, and my notes on the last one says “Definitely keep this one in the rotation”.
Be patient my friend. At 3-4 weeks after bottling this one is perfect. People do say that it’s actually better than Moose Drool, although living in Maine, I’ve not had M.D. to compare. :cheers:
Oh edit- Your SG is definitely at FG, so if you want to bottle it earlier than 4 weeks, you should be good. Give her a week or so at cold crash temps(30-45*) and she’ll clear up nicely.

[quote=“LarryZ”]Thanks for posting your insight, having only been brewing for a year, I have a lot of learning to do. Yes I racked from the primary to a secondary after 2 weeks because at this point in my learning process, I follow instructions.

ok that was my suspicion. In all likelihood, it shouldn’t hurt anything, but the debate about the benefits of ‘secondarying’ rages on most homebrew forums. Most kits include it as a clarification step so homebrewers that bottle and may not have temp control/ability to cold crash can get clearer beer. ‘Secondary’ is actually kind of a misnomer because fermentation is rarely occurring once the beer is transferred.

The point that most against ‘secondarying’ will make (I am in this camp) is that it really has no practical benefit and you have more to lose by potentially oxidizing the beer with an autosiphon/racking cane than you have to gain by having it sit in a different vessel, particularly when the same good things will happen by leaving the beer in the primary for the entire ferment before packaging.

20 years ago, homebrewing yeast strains were not as tolerant of beer’s pH and alcohol, and they would autolzye more easily, where the cell walls to rupture all kinds of organic yeast ‘guts’ leak out into the beer, and make it taste meaty and revolting. This is likely why it is still included in kits.

No Homebrew SWAT teams will rappel into your windows if you choose to continue to rack before packaging, but I would encourage you to at least try not doing it for a batch and see if you like the results. I will acknowledge that there has been some research that cites benefits of getting the beer off the yeast before dry hopping.

Best of luck with the Caribou-

Thanks everyone, for offering your expertise, opinions, and experiences. I absorbed each one like a sponge. Since I am an avid MD fan, I was hoping CS would be a good twin and thus a brew I would enjoy brewing continuously.

Concerning the secondary fermenter debate, I will definitely try your suggestion on future CS brews to do as you say, compare the results. I am always wondering if the oxidizing debate is a little over stated too? But, I will research, try and compare as you offered because at this stage in the game, I don’t have the knowledge or experience to draw from so I value others suggestions and opinions.

Should the SWAT team come repelling through my window, I hope they are beer drinkers:)



There is so much information out there - I advise you to be careful. Everytime I’m ready to research a new technique or anything its so easy to get bogged down. Best advice: Time is your friend. Patients and neglect-fullness is OKAY in homebrewing, leaving that beer alone in the primary is going to pay off big. Not to step in to make the debate but just from my personal experience, I’ve left beers in primary ranging from 4 weeks to 4-5 months and yet to have a infected beer or meaty taste. My miss-shots have mostly been with carbonation.

Relax, don’t worry - have a homebrew!

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