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MichaelL

Four weeks in the bottle, time to try the ESB

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It was with some trepidation that I popped the cap on the first bottle of the ESB.  A few weeks ago, I posted that, in the pre-bottling taste test, I was disappointed as some off flavors seemed to have crept in.  Monday was the four week mark, so I put two (of the 12 22-ounce bottles) into my beer fridge, leaving the rest to continue to condition.  Tasting the first today, I was pleasantly surprised.  The color is perhaps a bit dark for the style, but the taste is nicely hoppy and quite good.  I am impressed.  Knowing how these beers improve upon longer conditioning, I am looking forward to letting this one develop over time.  Very good stuff ... 

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and now the hook is set! welcome to the obsession. ;)

The hook was set long ago ...  :)

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Was this your won recipe or the MB ESB Seasonal?

This was the ESB Seasonal.  I've posted elsewhere on these forums about my experience with this particular beer, from the wonderful hop aroma of the HME, through the disappointment of tasting the beer pre-bottling, and now to the euphoria of tasting the results after seven long weeks of waiting.  What a roller-coaster ride!  

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Imo until you've brewed the same brew several times, to build up some familiarity. The pre bottling tasting carries no meaningful information about the final brew. It's more like part of the learning curve. So, I tend not to worry if I am less than pleased with the FG sample of a new brew. 

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I agree, pre-bottling tasting is a total waste of time. I don't do it.

 

That's what I get for posting before morning coffee.  I meant that tasting the wort, before fermentation, is a waste of time, it all tastes very similar.  I always taste the sample I draw for my hydrometer reading.  While it's flat and warm, it does let you know that the flavor isn't off, like from an infection, and that it seems to be what you expected.

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Just to clarify, I only taste pre-bottling to make sure that fermentation is complete (and a very small taste at that).  Since I don't use a hydrometer (at least, not yet), all I'm looking for is the non-sweet flat beer flavor.  All of the other MrBeer products I've brewed simply tasted like flat beer (well, the Staggerback Stout gave a hint of the glorious flavor that would develop over the conditioning process).  The ESB exhibited some flavors I had not experienced before, hence my concern.  

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I would get a hydrometer (and buy two since they often commit suicide) when you next buy equipment.  It's invaluable in determining that your fermentation is done, and in computing ABV%.  While some profess to not caring what their ABV is, it was eye opening to me to see my Mr. Beer refills coming in around 3.1% before I added LME.  Nearly everything I brew now is over 5%, some over 6.

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That's why I went refractometer.

I thought refractometer is only good for wort gravity, not beer gravity.

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I got a refractometer but I don't use it for the FG.  Only the pre boil gravity and the OG. I brew mostly AG so I don't want just "close enough", but like the song said; different strokes for different folks. That's the great thing about this hobby. No matter how you go at, it the end result is the same...Ale

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