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Just tasted my first home brew

…and (not to pat myself on the back), I’m very, very pleased! Thank you all so much for your help and guidance.

But, I have some questions too.

Here it is. It looks NOTHING like the golden American Wheat listed here. It tastes, somewhat, like Redhook’s Wit beer or maybe a mix between it and their ESB. It tastes great, but doesn’t make my taste buds say “Oh, a wheat beer”.

Don’t get me wrong, I like my brew. This has slightly exceeded my expectation, but is what I’m seeing/tasting the limits of my brew process? (2.5 gal boil, ferment at 70*, etc.). Or am I just over thinking all this?

By doing a concentrated boil, you’ll end up with a darker beer than someone who boils down to 5 gallons. Do as big of a boil as possible and be sure not to scorcth the extract.

Make sure you give it a full 3-4 weeks after bottling to fully appreciate it. All the flavors tend to marry at about that time.

So, this is a normal looking wheat beer for a 2.5 gallon boil? Will that color change as it ages a couple of more weeks (not that I care). The recipe said 2 weeks fermentation, 2 weeks bottle condition. I let my ferment for 15 days and today is the 12th day conditioning. So, in the next week or two should it taste more like a wheat beer?

On a side note, I cleaned my ferment and bottling buckets after I bottled, but they still have a bit of a “beer smell” (it doesn’t smell bad if that helps). Is this normal for those buckets? I am going to clean them again (and sanitize) before my next batch anyways, but just wanted to know for the sake of knowing.

Thanks for the quick replies.

The color will not change over time. The flavors tend to mellow a bit. I am not a huge wheat beer person, but what is it you were expecting that is so different? Color, Clarify, flavor?

Your bottles and carboys will smell like beer for the rest of their lives

[quote=“560sdl”]The color will not change over time. The flavors tend to mellow a bit. I am not a huge wheat beer person, but what is it you were expecting that is so different? Color, Clarify, flavor?

Your bottles and carboys will smell like beer for the rest of their lives[/quote]

The only thing I was expecting (more like hoping) is the beer tasted good, which it does. I want to think I’ve done everything right because of that, but the flavor and color of the beer made me question myself. They’re just curious questions at most and thought I would ask in case you and others had ideas on what to do different next time I brew.

Good to know my buckets are so supposed to smell like that. I’m looking forward to my next batch. I may shoot for the Slobber or Nukey Brown next round along with the Belgian Trippel I mentioned in one of my earlier posts.

On another note, did you guys feel like this after tasting your first home brewed beer? I have to say I’m pretty ecstatic right now. Is this a sign of me dumping more money into this hobby? LOL!

I was thrilled with my first, and pleased with most since. The color thing depends on a lot, and your 2.5 gal boil made it darker. Do give it a little more time in the bottle, and it will taste better.
I don’t think much about color now, but I am pleased when they are right. Bigger boil makes lighter color, in general.

Mainly, congrats - it tastes good and that’s what is important!

It looks pretty cloudy. Did you wait for the yeast to settle out in the bottles? Did you pour carefully, leaving the yeast in the bottle? I know I was impatient with my first, it may need a bit more time to reach its peak. That said, you said it tastes good, so its a success. Congrats, and brew some more.

I wouldn’t worry about the color, it can be hard to make lighter beers look right with all extract. Full volume boil helps, but don’t sweat it.

Also, american wheat beers don’t necessarily scream “wheat beer” with their flavor. They tend to be lighter body than all barley malt, but that’s the major difference. If you were expecting something like a german hefe, you need to use german yeast.

Ya mon, and ecstatic is a great word for it! Welcome to the obsession!! FWIW, I’m drinking basically the same thing (same extract; I change around the hops and yeast) and even though I did a full boil, it’s basically the same color. I’ll try snapping a pic, but I’m not sure how to get them in here. If you wanted that banana/clove like a Hacker-Pschorr, next time use weihenstephan yeast. I love it.

You’re probably over thinking it. If the beer is good, you’re doing good.

A larger boil and/or a late extract addition will help with lightening the color.

Personally, I usually ferment around 68 at the highest. Make sure that’s the temperature of the beer, not the ambient temperature.

As others said, the beer will only get better with time. Be sure to save a few!

Thanks guys!

I’ve bottled conditioned for 12 days. I’ll do my best to save a few, if I can. It does taste that good to me now, I won’t know what to think if it’s just going to get better 2-3 weeks from now.

I don’t think any of my beers have hit their peak before 3 weeks. Usually it’s longer.

The best way to save beer is to brew far more than you can drink :cheers:

You are making me jealous… my first has a while yet. Racking to secondary this weekend, then bottling two weeks after. But even without having had one yet, I’m itching to start my second batch.

It’s an American Wheat, right? If you’re expecting it to taste like a german Weizen (banana/clove) you won’t get it. Those flavors primarily come from the yeast strain used. Wheat itself has a fairly neutral flavor. Somewhat crisp, a little bready.

From personal experience I tried to rush my first batch. I was so dissapointed that I snuck a bottle to NB Milwaukee and forced aperson there to tell me what I did wrong. I told him he didn’t have to taste it, but I could see his hesitation as he took a sip. I quote “It’s not terrible, it just needs time”. It was actually quite good after a month in the bottle.I’ve never had a beer go bad due to age, but I’ve had alot that were much improved after 3 months in the bottle than two weeks.

And consider leaving it in the primary the whole time, rather than racking. I am a firm believer that leaving it on the yeast cake improves the beer also - no science there, just anecdotal comment, but the yeast do a little clean up after the party is over. Also, be sure to check final gravity! A light wheat was done in 2 weeks, most likely, but let your beer tell you when it’s done, not a calendar…

Congrats on your first batch and keep improving your approach. You can make the beer you want, if you are diligent.

I’ve been brewing for about 9 months now and have batch 12 a Whiskey Barrel Stout in the secondary and batch 13 an Octoberfest in my Lagering freezer. My first batch was an Irish Stout and I wasn’t sure how I’d like it. After 2 weeks it was pretty good, after 4 weeks it was really good and then it was gone. I saved two bottles to taste on it’s one year anniversary. I’ve saved two bottles of every batch.

If you don’t have one get a beer fridge. If you like lager get a freezer and a digital thermastat. I brew two or three times month to make sure I have plenty on hand to let the new beer age for at least 4 weeks.

If you haven’t already done so, join a local homebrew club and start brewing with some like minded people. There is wealth of knowledge out there.

My next step is to make the jump to all-grain brewing.

I haven’t been here in a while, so thought I would post an update.

My beer seems to have mellowed a lot more the past few weeks, but still has a bit of a bite to it. Does it taste better since my last post on this thread? Oh yes, but I was wondering if that bit of a bite I’m still experiencing is due to it being an extract, or how I brewed it (partial boil, etc.). This is my first batch, so I don’t expect it to come as close as someone that’s brewed the same thing, but with a (lot) more experience.

I plan on getting this recipe again, but not anytime soon. There’s other flavors I want to try (got a nut brown in primary now). Good thing is, I’ve noticed there’s a 1 gallon version of this kit so I may try that to see if I get a different result. I think it’s safe to say I’m all in on this hobby.

On another note, I’m a huge Fat Tire fan. That’s probably my current favorite commercial beer. Is it a safe bet to try the Phat Tyre kit sold here? I don’t expect it to be exact (especially with my skills), but is it good enough to purchase? I’m tempted to try it to be honest.

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