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Mgsk816

Flat sweet tasting beer

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I brewed my first batch for 2 weeks at around 70 degrees in a drak room. I tasted it and it tasted like flat beer. I bottled it and let it sit for a week in the same room at the same temp. after a week the bottles were really firm so i put them in the refrigerator for 24 hours. I opened one and tasted it, but it tasted sweet and didn't produce any head, and it didn't taste like it had any carbination. There was some gunk at the bottom of the bottles so I figured that it was good to go from everything that I have read. If i let them sit in the refrigerator for a few more days will the sweet taste go away, and will there be more carbination?

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Let them sit outside the fridge for another 2 weeks.  Let the yeast warm up and start doing their clean up work.  Then back in the fridge.

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Typically, after being bottled for 1 week you will have a pretty young-tasting beer. My schedule is to leave freshly bottled beer upstairs in a dark, laundry room closet for 2 weeks and then move them downstairs where they sit until consumed. Generally speaking, somewhere around 3 weeks from the bottling date you are going to have a decent idea of your carb levels and all-around taste. That said, I usually drink new beers at weekly intervals to see how everything is coming along and that gives you an idea of how beer matures and how much an extra week will do for. Some beers will continue to get better over time while some should be consumed within a couple of months. You can do some reading on beer styles and their longevity.

I am guessing your first batch was something like the Classic American Light (CAL)? If so, I would not expect too much out of it for taste or for head retention. I was happy that my first batch (CAL) was properly converted to beer but quickly started looking into ways to improve upon things like head retention, mouth feel, and taste. Also, IMHO, the CAL isn't a really good refill to gauge your future experiences but is good enough to get you started.

Welcome & Good Luck!

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Most of us around here recommend 4 weeks at room temp after bottling. I know it's hard to wait that long on your 1st batch but it's worth it.

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3 - 4 is the rule I follow and most often recommended on the forum.  3 weeks fermenting, 4 weeks carbonating / conditioning at room temp.

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Yes, it is strange but there is that moment at somewhere from 4-6 weeks where it suddenly tastes so much better. I still have some Christmas Spiced ale from last Jan, and Dark Forest Stout ( also Jan 2014) which now has a very powerful raspberry aroma and the stout bitterness has moderated enough.

So I advocate more bottles and keep that LBK fermenting constantly

The original instructions I saw when I first got Mr Beer a couple of years ago saying you can have beer in 2 weeks was a bit optimistic. Yes, you can get a carbonated beer-like beverage using 1 wk ferment, 1 wk carbonate. Now Mr B is saying 2 weeks min to ferment, and even the CAL that gets the bad rep. after 4-6 weeks in the bottle does taste much nicer than after 2 or 3.

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Most likely needed more time fermenting - give the next batch a full three weeks and it will not be so sweet. Sweetness can be unfermented malt. Also, as pointed out, let it carbonate and condition a full 4 weeks, even longer for higher gravity beers. Beers, like children, need time to develop and mature. Take all the bottles out of the fridge and let them sit a few weeks at room temperature.

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Awesome thank you for the tips. I took them out of the fridge and will let them sit another couple of weeks before trying one again. Its really hard to wait. I guess when it comes to beer its true what they say, patients is a virtue.

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Patience is a virtue, patients only if you're a doc :lol:

The KEY here is BUILDING YOUR PIPELINE. I have no patience. Waiting 7 weeks kills me. When I started this hobby about 30 months ago, I didn't know about 3-4, I fermented too warm, and I drank them too soon. Once I had a pipeline I never looked back. I never taste a beer earlier than 7 weeks (well, maybe by a day and only if it's a new brew), because I have plenty to choose from. At one point I had 17 different beers to pick from, I am now down to 11. By the way, in a heavy drinking week I drink 6 beers - the entire week. Most weeks is 2-4. Figure out your consumption, then figure out how often you need to brew to feed that consumption, and you're golden. I brew every three weeks and then at some point I take a break. Then, when I need to, I brew every three weeks again.

Right now I'm planning for a family event at Christmas where I suspect I will go through 3 cases or so. So I'm planning which of those brews will be decimated and brewing my first batch this Friday (I bottled one today). I will then brew again on 12/19. Then again around 1/9. Each time 5 gallons, i.e. two cases. So by late February I will have added six cases, probably drank 4 in total, so be up by 2.

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You can also take a look at my pipeline - you can see the dates I brewed - similar idea to RickBeer but I make the 2 gal kits, and always have 1-4 fermenting depending. I probably drink 1x 750 ml a day but my daughter takes some too. It took me a while to get the bottles - I use mainly the Mr B. PET.

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Building a pipeline is the best way to allow the brews the time needed to condition and not go crazy with the waiting

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Yeast is a living organism and I'm convinced the stuff has a mind of its own.  What I've found the short time I've been brewing is that beer is ready when it's ready.  The first beer I brewed was the Pilsner that came with my Mr. Beer kit.  I sampled a bottle after seven weeks following the 3-4 four rule and if you had asked me for an opinion of the quality of beer Mr. Beer makes I would have said "crappy".  The beer tasted more like champagne - it was light bodied, highly carbonated with a fruity taste.  It tasted nothing like beer.  Then wholla - 11 days later I try a bottle and the stuff had suddenly turned into beer.  And good beer at that.  The champagne/fruity taste was gone.  The body was much fuller and it just tasted like a good quality beer.  So, in the case of the Pilsner it took 8/12 weeks to make a decent beer.  The Oktoberfest, on the other hand, was drinkable at 6 weeks.  Like I said, beer has a mind of it's own and is ready when it's ready.  Sample a bottle after 6 weeks and then each week thereafter and find the sweet spot.

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