Safe time to taste?

Being a new brewer (2 batches thusfar, 1 conidtioning in bottles, 1 fermenting as I write), I am wondering when I have a safe window to taste a batch. Can I get a true measure of how well my fermentation process is going before transfering/ bottling or is it best to wait until it has fully bottle conditioned. Also, are there any health risks in tasting beer during this process? Any and all input is welcomed and greatly thanked.

As a new brewer too, 2 extract bacthes, first all grain batch still fermenting, I was not able to wait more than one week in the bottle before I “had” to pop one open to sample.

It tasted just fine, I’m still alive and still drinking some of that first batch. My palette is not so refined that I can recall that first one compared to what I’m drinking now but I’m assuming it has 'mellowed" somewhat. I may have to start taking some notes on those early tastings at some point but not sure I’ll ever be that analytical unless I really botch a batch. :cheers:

Provided you’re careful with sanitizing, taking samples is always safe. That said, I usually only take a sample when I really need to. I take a gravity reading before racking or kegging, and I always taste that sample (you shouldn’t try to return gravity samples anyway, so may as well drink them). If I’m doing something like adding spices I might taste samples periodically to see how the flavor is developing. Actively fermenting beer isn’t going to taste right, so I wouldn’t bother until you’re pretty sure fermentation is done.

As far as bottled beer goes, I almost always crack open a bottle after one week. Its rarely fully carbonated yet but I usually get a good idea what its going to taste like.

I’ve never really felt the urge to sample my beers before they’re done. Seems like tasting them would open you up more to risks of contamination than health risks.

I also generally take a drink about one week out. I’ll generally use one clear bottle per batch and 2-3 green bottles to inspect the beer for anything funky.

I also generally take a drink about one week out. I’ll generally use one clear bottle per batch and 2-3 green bottles to inspect the beer for anything funky.[/quote]

I really like this idea. Sigh, guess I have to go to the LHBS… :wink:

[quote=“Hoppenheimer”][quote=“s2y”]I really like this idea. Sigh, guess I have to go to the LHBS… :wink: [/quote][/quote]Buy a couple 1L generic club soda bottles and you can not only keep an eye on the carbing beer’s clarity but also gauge the extent of carbonation for the batch.

I always take a hydro reading one week into ferm. Just completed a test of the Dundalk Irish and tasted the test tube. Other than flat, it was wonderful. I always drink/taste my first Hydro sample after OG. Thought it was a tradition and a BEER is a terrible thing to waste. Though it will mature considerably, I can still get a read on flavors. Good or Bad. If it taste “good” it will only get better. If its “bad”, I wouldnt be so optimistic.

Yes to the soda bottles. And you should be able to pick up some clear Corona bottles at the bar/restaurant. Maybe even a co-worker?

If you ran across some free green bottles they would be OK. I wouldn’t buy them. 8)

Thanks for all the feedback. Definitely helps to have those tidbits of information and now I can put them into practice with relative ease. Again, thanks.

Took a second gravity ready today after 11 days in the primary. i’m still alive

You understand you will go blind drinking homemade alcohol?

I prefer to mess with it as little as possible. I take OG reading on brew day, and FG on bottling day.

In between, I don’t touch it. I check the airlock every day to gauge activity, or if in a glass carboy Ill take a look at the activity. I like to monitory temps, but I’ve never had to adjust.

I taste a sample on bottling day - whatever was leftover at the end.

The most recent batch I did I cracked a bottle open a week into it and the beer was pretty good, but had some maturing to do. I was surprised how much the flavor evened out after just another week.

Granted, now that I have enough beer on stockpile, I don’t mind waiting!

The last time someone told me I would go blind doing something I liked I ended up doing it probably twice a day for years with no ill effects :lol:

Im a newbie as well and ive tasted my brew from primary 12 days after pitching yeast with no problems.Like some1 else posted i would keep it sanitary with clean and sanitized equipment.As far as i know the only thing that may happen from drinking it while it is actively fermenting is getting gas.From the experiences ive had not even the littlest bit of gas.I say go for it if you are Curious George. :cheers:

when I made my first batch of beer (Dunkelweisen ), I sampled the wort I used to test using the hydrometer. The beer had a metalic taste to it. After I kegged it,evertime I had a glass of beer, I tasted that metalic taste. Not sure if it was in the beer or in my head. My son didn’t care for it too much but didn’t say he noticed this weird taste. The flavor was not at all like what I thought it would taste like. So I quit tasting the test samples.
Like stompwampa, I don’t mess with it until time to keg. I bought a refractometer to do my testing. After force carbing, and letting the keg sit for a few days to get nice and cool, then I will have a glass of beer and determine if I like it.