Thanks goes out to Derek Brown, the Head Brewer at Tin Whiskers Brewing Co. in St. Paul for this tip. Derek was nice enough to share this tip with me and I would like to share it with you as I have found it a very useful tool in my brewing tool box.
Have you ever kegged or bottled your beer only to find out that there is something just a bit off about the brew? Some flavor that just doesn’t seem quite right? The beer tastes good, but there is something there you just can't put your finger on.
As a home brewer, knowing when your beer is ready to package can be challenging. Many times we package our beer too early while it still has flaws that could be corrected by conditioning time. Basically if we had left the beer on the yeast a little longer the yeast would have most likely cleaned these off flavors up.
Most homebrewers are not experienced enough, or have not had any training in evaluating their beer. This is where Derek’s tip comes in.
Derek recommends when trying to determine if the beer is ready to cold crash or package to take a tulip glass, fill it half full of the beer, cover it, and let it stand in a hot water bath for 20 minutes. Swirl the glass and then uncover and get your nose in there. If you still have any compounds in the beer that can cause off flavors like Diacetyl or Acetaldehyde the aroma will burst out of the glass. If your nose picks up these off aromas then leave it on the yeast longer and then test it again. Sometimes a few days to a week is all the yeast need to clean it up.
Patience is not a virtue with many homebrewers but time and patience can be your friend when it comes to letting yeast do their work and clean up after themselves.
Derek was nice enough to share the recipe for Tin Whiskers Flip Switch IPA and allow us to put it into a kit. Stop by the store to pick one up. Be sure to stop by Tin Whiskers Brewing Co. and check out their great lineup of beers. Homebrewers are always welcome!
Cheers to making better beer!