I know NEIPA's are finicky especially when bottling. It's fully possible the beer oxidized and produced diacetyl but I took much more robust steps to prevent this this time around and my first NEIPA is still better. Here are some possible reasons in my mind:
The beer has been bottled for 1 week as of tasting. It's 8.15%abv.
1. Fermenter to bottle too quickly. 4 days after fermentation, I added the first dry hop. 5 days after, the second dry hop. 5 days later, bottling. So, it was in the fermenter just roughly 2 weeks before bottling, which makes it a possibility that the yeast did not have time to clean up after itself.
2. I'm not sure if this would contribute but I pitched a whole vial of white labs vermont ale (conan) yeast in just 3.5 gallons of wort
3. This time around, to avoid stuck tubing during bottling, I put my dry hop additions in a small paint strainer bag (sanitized) weighed down by marbles (sanitized) but I tied a small rope to it and let it dangle in the wort, the top of the rope outside the bucket lid, with the bucket lid sealed around. However, I'm thinking a small gap could have been created where the rope came out, allowing a bit of oxygen to enter.
4. Infected equipment possibly? My equipment always has a slight ale smell to it but I wash and sanitize it well. The beer does have a slightly sour or acidic taste but 3.5% of my grain bill was acid malt and the beer is really young still. However, I did add starsan to a spray bottle, but in tap water that was from the week prior's batch. I checked the ph and it seemed okay. However, it is possible the starsan lost potency and did not do what it was supposed to. But, after only 1 week? Not sure.
5. The beer is too young. As I mentioned above, the beer has been bottled for 1 week only. It's a double IPA and may need more bottle aging. It is possible the yeast in the bottle could clean up that diacetyl flavour.
Those are my thoughts. Can anyone weigh in with their own thoughts?
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I thought these big NEIPAs were meant to be drank very young?
I thought NE style IPA's were supposed to be drunk extremely fresh, so I'm a bit confused as to why this one isn't too drinkable. I'm thinking of Heady Topper that is at a similar ABV and is so much more pungent and enjoyable. I'll sample another one in another week or two. I guess with bottle conditioning, you never know.
One thing I'll start paying more attention to is fermentation temperatures. I usually let it ferment in my basement storage room on the concrete floor in a plastic fermentation bucket. The ambient temperature down there is always around 20-22C. I did get a wine fridge that chills up to 14C so I figured I could give that a try some day. With big beers like this that might initially go wild in terms of fermentation, I was thinking that the initial 3-5 days could be spent at a cooler temp only to ramp it up to around 20C after that initial spike. Would this result in a smoother final product?
I'll keep updating this thread as the beer ages.
Nothing strange happened during the brew day or fermentation. I ever managed to get a less hazy beer since I dry hopped with hop pellets in a paint strainer bag weighed down by marbles and was able to remove the green hoppy muck.
I did not control fermentation temp for this one, but I've taken steps to begin doing this. The fermentation bucket was on the concrete floor in my basement storage room. It never gets higher than 20-22 in there, at least I don't think. It is possible that this yeast made the temps go wild in the fermenter.
I do have an ipa that I'll be trying this weekend that was fermented during our crazy heat wave last month. At some point it was 26-28 in the room it was fermenting in (oops). However, when I bottled it, it smelled like an intense passion fruit ipa and did not taste bad. I guess I'll see. I'll also try another one of this double IPA to see if it has mellowed out a bit.