Home brewing in Connecticut Discussions - CT Beer Trail

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Franken-Beer Might be Getting There

Awful camera work and lighting, but you can see the carbonation that was developing.

Franken-Beer has been bottle conditioning (in bottles and in the Tap-A-Draft) for about a week and a half now, so I figured I'd stick a bottle in the fridge and give it a try to see how the beer was maturing. If you recall, I tasted a some of the beer as I siphoned it out of the secondary into the bottles and it was a little sweeter than I was hoping for...

So far, I'm not overly impressed. It's much more sweet than I wanted it to be. I'm hoping the bottle conditioning followed by some fridge time changes things a little along with some natural carbonation. For now, I'll just wait and see. I plan to let the beer carbonate for 2 weeks in the same air conditioned room the primary and secondary sat in. Then, I'll just move the whole lot to the fridge.

Well, it's definitely beer folks... I had my doubts...

I'm pleased to say, Franken-Beer IS in fact beer, and not just dirty brown water... After letting the beer condition for a little bit, there has been some noticeable improvements. It's still malty, but the saccharine quality has begun to mellow just as I had hoped. It's not there yet though, and I'm hoping a little more time will yield a better tasting beer with proper carbonation. I'm fine with malty, because, the original intent of an Oktoberfest inspired Ale would lend itself to a malty beer...

The German style is most often characterized by a medium to full body, a malty flavour balance, a wide range of colours, and a clean dry finish, though wide variations are notable amongst German breweries marketing Märzen. Amongst these variations are colors ranging from pale to dark brown.

I'm not so sure about the dry finish, but I suppose the wide color range makes the makes my beer acceptable, although I think a lighter more orange/amber color would have been better. On the positive side, this is the clearest beer I've ever made, even if my poor photography doesn't make that abundantly clear. Click on the blurry image on the right for a better idea of how clear it is. I guess everyone was right about the magic of the secondary.

This video, again poor quality, gives a better impression of the clarity.

The bottle I tested had some carbonation in it, but again, yeast haven't had enough time to do their thing yet. All things in good time I suppose. With that said, I wonder if I should let it bottle condition a little longer than 2 weeks before plopping the batch in the fridge. I'm not sure another half a week will be enough time to right all the wrongs I've found in this brew.

What do you think? how much longer should I give it before I stick it in the fridge?


  1. I'd definitely let it sit for awhile before putting it in cold conditioning - you want to make sure you get them all properly carbonated. Best way to tell is just let them sit, and every week pop one open and give it a taste - good carbonation will do wonders to rounding out the beer's taste, and I bet you will be pleasantly surprised. Either way, remember - us homebrewers ALWAYS drink our mistakes! :)

  2. Thanks Jim,

    I do plan on testing it once a week to see how it's maturing before cold conditioning it... The only issue is, I leave town in a few weeks, and hoped to share a portion of it before hand during my upcoming promotion party at work... (The rest will be shared with Kenn and any of the guys that were there the day of brewing...) But if it's not ready, it's not ready...

    Yep, I will indeed drink it, even if it is a mistake...

    Oh, by the way Jim, there's a brew fest in Hartford tomorrow night, I'm going to meet the distributor who is heading it up. He's going to help me with my event. If you're bored, come on out. Shoot me a message if you want details...

  3. Aww man, I'd love to come, but I'm off to Virginia after work - weekend getaway with a couple of friends. Never fails - whenever I have something planned, a beer festival pops up. Let me know how it turns out!!

  4. Hi there. In your posting you made the comment that your brew tasted a little to sweet. With my own experence I have found that if the wort is bottled to soon the yeats don't have a chance to consume the fermentable sugars. Leftover sugars will remain in the brew as it turns to beer in the bottle. If you refrigerate the beer soon after bottling the conditioning will be stunted and slow down dramaticaly. Hence the sugars are not consumed and your beer tastes sweet. The big problem is that if you allow the beer to condition at cellar tempretures the live yeast in addition to eating up the extra sugar added to aid carbonation will continue to ferment any residual sugars left over from a partially fermented wort. In short your beer will end up being over carbonated, or worse, explode!

  5. Brock, thanks for the comment... I think, in this case, the flavor issues, and the low carbonation thus far, indicate not enough yeast, and perhaps some scorching issues... Not sure though.


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