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Just tasted my first batch

I have a couple questions. I brewed a recipe that was supposed to be a clone of Manny’s Pale Ale. I won’t lie to you all… I had Manny’s Pale Ale in Seattle about a year and a half ago. I can’t remember wtf it tastes like exactly (ha) but I do know what I brewed isn’t ‘grassy’ enough. When I had MPA I remember thinking to myself that it had to have marijuana in it.

So for some reason it seems to be over carbonated. I don’t know if it’s that I used 2/3 cup of table sugar and there wasn’t exactly 5 gallons or what. I do know that the beer shouldn’t be as bitter as well. I can’t tell if it’s the over carbonation that’s making me perceive more bitternes or what…

Basically my main question is do any of you that use table sugar for bottling, use a smaller amount than the 2/3 recommended?

I’m almost 3 weeks through waiting to bottle the IPA (my second batch). Although my first batch is totally drinkable and pretty darn good, I’m actually hoping the IPA is way better. I’m also hoping it doesn’t turn out AS carbonated. I’m going to definitely cut down on the sugar at bottling.

Go to this site: http://hbd.org/cgi-bin/recipator/recipa … ation.html and there you can find out exactly how much to use. I’ve used it will great results. When using it, its been almost exactly 1/2 cup for IPA’s.

I personally prefer 4oz of corn sugar for 5 gallons of beer if I’m bottling for almost any style. I don’t follow the style guidelines when it comes to volumes of C02 because I don’t like highly carbonated beer.

Use the link posted above then weigh out what you need. As with baking and cooking using dry volume measurements can be variable at best. You can get a cheap kitchen scale for under $20. Great for weighing out hops and such as well.

for your bitterness/carb question - try letting it sit in the open glass for a little while, let the carbonation wear off a little. i do this with some commercial beers because, i too, do not like overcarbed beer. also i like some beers to be warmer than my fridge

Time may be your friend here…I’ve had beers I didn’t particularly like at first…but after a couple additional weeks in the bottle mellowed out and became excellent…the bitterness of your beer may well mellow with time…if you have the patience to let it sit for a while (that’s the hard part)! Cheers! :cheers:

Thanks for the replies. I’ll definitely check that site out. It’s been 3 weeks since bottling and I’ve only burned through a six pack so far. There should be plenty of beer that sits around for the next month or so.

I think more important than carbonating to style (and that is farily important), is to correct for the amount of residual carbonation in your beer. The calculators do this, you just have to enter the maximum temp your beer saw while the yeast were still making CO2. If you have a fairly cool ferm temp, you might not need to add significantly less than 4oz of sugar. In some cases 2oz will be enough (British ales).

I’d never count on a kit to exactly match a commercial beer, a beeer is as much about process as it is recipe.

[quote=“tom sawyer”]

I’d never count on a kit to exactly match a commercial beer, a beer is as much about process as it is recipe.[/quote]

You are right. Not that it matters but this was not a ‘kit’ per say… Just a recipe I found online (funny that my first try wasn’t a kit…). It included a 60 min oz of Summit, 15,10 and 5 min small additions of Cascade and then an oz of Cascade dry hopped. I’m wondering if I got more IBU’s than was called for considering I used an ounce and a half of first year homegrown Cascade hops for the late additions? I thought that would help get me the grassy flavor I was looking for but I probably should have used the whole hops in the DH vs late addition.

When I smelled the Summit hop pellets when I added them to the beginning of the boil I just knew I was on the right track aroma-wise but that funky taste/smell didn’t come out in the finished product. Maybe I should have used some late or maybe even DH’d with them instead of the Cascade.

I’m totally new at this so I don’t even have a clue about what flavor profiles the yeast would give. Thames Valley is what it called for. Maybe that is some of what caused the yeasty/salty/bitterness I’m getting from this 3 weeks in the bottle beer.

Again, don’t get me wrong… the beer is lovely in it’s own right. I do enjoy drinking it and there’s absolutely nothing wrong with it at all. Just different that what I expected… but what do I know really ha! I do know I’m addicted to everything about making your own beer now and thats all that counts. I’ll figure some of it out over time!

Thanks for all the help people.

Often, when carbonation comes in too high for a new brewer, it is a combination of the added bottling sugar, plus residual sugar in the beer getting fermented in the bottle because it was bottled before fermentation completed fully. Did you check your final gravity prior to bottling? Even though you fermented for three weeks, if the yeast stalled, it might not have completed fermentation.

I actually only fermented for a two weeks and a day or so… That could very well be the cause as well. It was my first batch and I have no patience. I transferred from the bucket to the secondary after only a week and saw quite a bit of activity in the carboy. Not to mention there was a ton of sediment left in the carboy as well. This second batch that hasn’t been bottled yet is getting it’s time to do what it needs to do. I’m hoping it turns out better and I’m sure it will.

And be sure to keep the beer temp within the temp range identified by the manufacturer for that specific yeast, typically lower to middle of the range for the best tasting beer. When fermentation is very active, the beer temp will be generally at least a few degrees warmer than the ambient air temp of the room/chamber it is fermenting in, so keep the room temp lower than the desired beer temp typically after the first 12 hours, for the next few days. Then to finish the beer, brewers will often ramp up a couple degrees, still within the stated temp range. Yeast like to improve performance with an even, or slightly increasing temp. They don’t like to go down in temp very much.

good luck with your new hobby, which I can tell you can easily become an obsession! :cheers:

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