I brewed a full wort extract beer on the 21st of April and I have gathered together information in this post that brings you through from the end of fermentation to the first few tastings. This should give you a good idea of the post fermentation process that I follow but also I hope it will show how the taste of a beer develops over a pretty short period of time.
This was an extract recipe that I brewed on the 21st April, recipe can be found here. Ordinarly I would transfer my pale ales to secondary in order to either dry hop them or if I feel that they need a little more time to clear. However with this beer I was so happy with how it tasted and looked that I transferred straight from primary to keg after 10 days. It looked very clear and tasted really nice, with the cascade and amarillo hops working really well together. I think one of the main reasons this beer has turned out so well is that is was the first time that I made an extract beer using a full wort boil. This allowed me to be very precise with measurements and as a result I hit my original gravity (1048) and final gravity (1012) right on the mark (see pic to the left which shows final gravity reading). After transferring to my corny keg I allowed this beer to condition at room temperature for one week, it was given two days in my keggerator thus allowing the beer to drop to serving temperature before being force carbonated. It was force carbonated at about 20psi for three days initially and this was reduced to 15psi for the fourth day. So the results for the first taste test on the 13th May?