Weekend Bottling

Discussion in 'Beer & Ale' started by homebrew & bbq, Oct 29, 2007.

  1. homebrew & bbq

    homebrew & bbq Smoking Fanatic

    This weekend I bottled a batch of German Altbier... 50 bottles.

    It had sort of a sweet taste to it, even before adding the priming sugar. It had been fermenting for 17 days at room temperature. I just used the materials in the Brewer's Best kit.

    So for those of you who do homebrewing, is there something I should have done differently? Is this sweetness a normal thing at the bottling stage?

    I noticed the same kind of thing with a porter, but the sweetness disappeared after a few weeks in the bottle. Any insights would be appreciated. [​IMG]
  2. payson

    payson Meat Mopper

    Did you take a gravity reading prior to bottling? Sweetness can often indicate under attenuation. 17 days should have been adequate but yeast can be weird. For what it's worth I'd always check the gravity prior to bottling although I know many don't. It's also a good way to taste a bit prior to bottling.
  3. richtee

    richtee Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    Alt...or "old" style typically has a bit more sweetness... or maltiness due to a relativly high malt content. I would not worry yet, as you mention it very well may smooth out a bit during bottle fermentation. After 17 days, I'd imagine the primary ferment was done, BUT... I have done batches that seem to "stall". A bit of agitation to the fermenter and they have taken off again for a day or two. If this is the case, listen for little explosions...[​IMG]
  4. jocosa

    jocosa Meat Mopper

    How did your OG/FG line up with the predicted gravities in the instructions?

    That will help figure out if you are, indeed, under attenuated - and we can give a few tips to help out.
  5. homebrew & bbq

    homebrew & bbq Smoking Fanatic

    OG was 1.042. FG was 1.016.

    The guidelines in the kits said OG 1.044-1.048; FG 1.008-1.014. So I was a little outside of both ranges.
  6. jocosa

    jocosa Meat Mopper

    Still, that's not bad and really doesn't hint at under attenuation... the priming sugar isn't meant to add any sweetness, simply to add another bit of fermentation to create the carbonation...

    Sounds like you're on track... [​IMG]
  7. homebrew & bbq

    homebrew & bbq Smoking Fanatic

    Thanks for the feedback. I'm pretty new to brewing. This is my 6th batch and the first one with any actual grain involved, so I've still got a lot to learn. Thanks for letting me know that this brew is more or less on track.
  8. ted

    ted Fire Starter

    I agree that you're not off to much on your attenuation, 1.016 is not bad, but it is noticable in a beer that starts at 1.042. Alt beer isn't necessarily sweet, but it is malty, which a lot of people associate with being sweet. If it is underattenuated, it may end up with a slightly higher carbonation down the road as the yeast in bottle eats up the residual sugars left from fermentation. I don't know what yeast you used, but dry yeast sometimes performs better, ie more thoroughly, when it's been rehydrated and I've always made sure when using dry yeast to pitch about 14 gr of yeast. This assures that there is enough yeast to complete the fermentation.
    All in all, you did fine, no matter, it will make beer!! And probably darned good beer at that!
    Oh, one last thing, if you make an Alt again, after fermentation, try giving the beer a week or two in secondary at about 50-55ºF to give it a pseudo lagering stage, the cool conditioning will really round out that brew!!!
  9. richtee

    richtee Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    Hmm A "nouveau Alt" LOL... interesting!
  10. homebrew & bbq

    homebrew & bbq Smoking Fanatic

    I haven't ever done a secondary fermentation. Is that simply syphoning the wort/beer into a new fermenter?

    At this point in time I don't have the facilities or equipment to put a 5 or 6-gallon bucket or carboy in that cool of place. But maybe somewhere down the road... [​IMG]

    Thanks for the help! [​IMG]
  11. ted

    ted Fire Starter

    Yes, secondary is simply moving it to another fermenter, similar to breweries moving beer to a bright tank. I've heard of people doing lagering in bottles, so maybe after the beer is carbonated, chill some real cold for a week or two then sample and see how they are compared to ones you did not do that to.
    Anyway, I'm sure its going to be darned good beer either way!!
  12. deejaydebi

    deejaydebi Smoking Guru

    Sounds goood to me Ted! Nothing to worry about.

    Let it sit for a few weeks at room temperature then throw a few in the fridge for a few days it will be good stuff! That's one of my favorite brews! It won't be sweet when it's done. Nice dark malty ale, smooth not bitter, almost nutty overtones, very enjoyable IMHO!

    Don't forget t let us know what you think when you try it!
  13. winemaster

    winemaster Fire Starter

    One other thing to note is that If using a Plastic Primary Fermenter, If your on about your 5th to 8th batch and are starting to notice a cidery sweet beer, it could be the by-product of Beer Stones forming in your Fermenter that you cant see and most Sanitizers cant remove them..
    You need to Clean with either B-Brite or Straight A which are both Active Oxegen Cleaners.

    Cheers Dan

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