My First Batch

It kinda sucked. But hell with it, this is an art form. Learn and try again.

I used the Nukey Brown Ale kit from NB and followed the instructions to a T with one exception. After I put it in the secondary I dropped in a couple of vanilla beans sliced down the middle.

When I was transfering to the secondary I liberated some to taste. Of course it was warm and flat but still it had a pretty good brown ale flavor. I should have just left it alone but I thought it would be nice to try a brown ale with just a little vanilla.

Anyway, two weeks later I bottled it, and after another two weeks, aside from a little too much vanilla it also had some off flavors and tasted a bit spoiled, let’s say. I can’t really identify the flavors but my best guess is the vanilla beans carried in some ambient yeast or bacteria. Also it didn’t carbonate much and was a bit cloudy.

Any thoughts on what went wrong? I realize you can’t diagnose my beer accurately from that limited description, especially without tasting it, but maybe you have some ideas.

So, dumping the whole batch and trying again, this time a black IPA.

As Luke Skywalker would say: “Noooooooooooooo!!!”

Don’t dump the batch!! Send them to me instead! :smiley:

Two weeks bottled is WAY too early to tell how it will turn out. Carbonation and flavor profile will take 3-4 weeks to settle in. This is especially true in beers with secondary flavor additions. Give it another 2 weeks at 70 degrees, the carbonation will more than likely be just right, and the vanilla should settle in pretty good by then too. Example, I did a Christmas brew several years ago with spices (nutmeg, cinnamon, etc), it was “okay” until about 2 months later when it was freaking marvelous!

Obviously I don’t know your entire process, but it is pretty rare that additions going into secondary bring nasties that can take hold of the beer. By then there’s enough alcohol and dominance of your pitched yeast to keep those buggers at bay.

the beans may not be (and probably were not) your culprit. putting otherwise clean organic matter into an otherwise fermented 2ndary GENERALLY won’t f anything up. i vote wait and try another next weekend. would you gain anything by dumping them out???

Also the cloudiness could drop out when you refrigerate your bottles.


You have done all the hard work. Let the beer sit for 2 more weeks. Then put a 6pk in the fridge for 3 days. THEN try one.

Alright, I tried it again today after about 7 weeks in the bottles. Actually it’s not bad. Still a little cloudy but the taste is good. Not a prize-winner but quite drinkable. As some of you predicted the vanilla taste is much more subtle. Strangely in looks and tastes more like a mild IPA than a nut brown ale but maybe that’s what you get with the Nukey recipe. It’s supposed to be a bit hoppier than a typical nut brown.

Bottom line, I’m not going to dump the batch. I’ll pass some of it around to get opinions.

I’m still going to start my Black IPA this week, so I’ll have a lot a beer. Damn, I’d better stop gabbing and get drinking.