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Old 10-26-2011, 01:09 AM   #1
mthelm85
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Default Beer tastes good BEFORE bottling, bad after..???

So this has happened to me twice now and I just don't get it. The first time was with a Saison and this time it's my IPA. Coincidentally (or not?) these are the only two light colored beers I've made so far. My stout, scottish ale, brown ale and dubbel all turned out fantastic. I tasted both the Saison and the IPA on bottling day and was really excited because they both tasted great. Sadly, after carbing up, they both ended up tasting horrible. It's the same flavor with both beers and I can't describe it. The beer tastes good at first but finishes with this nasty aftertaste that is really pronounced when you exhale. Yes the flavor fades after a few weeks so most people will just say it's green and I should give it more time and with the Saison I believed that. However, it just doesn't make sense that the beer would taste great on bottling day but horrible after carbing up. It shouldn't happen. My other beers tasted great before and after they were carbed but these two tasted great UNTIL they were carbed. Anybody had a similar experience? What could this be?

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Old 10-26-2011, 01:11 AM   #2
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I've had this happen. It could be how you clean and sanitize your bottles, as well as how well you clean your bottling bucket. Do you take the spigot apart after each use?

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Old 10-26-2011, 01:41 AM   #3
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I've had this happen. It could be how you clean and sanitize your bottles, as well as how well you clean your bottling bucket. Do you take the spigot apart after each use?
I run my bottles through the dishwasher on high heat and then I give them a 1 minute soak in Star San, then let them dry on the dishwasher racks for 30 - 40 minutes. I soak my bottling bucket in Star San but I don't take the spigot apart. I do let all of the Star San drain out through the spigot though.......it's really frustrating because the flavor doesn't match any of the common off flavors and it's not noticeable AT ALL before bottling. It's only after carbing up that the beer tasted bad and it's only happened with the two light colored beers I've brewed. All of my other beers have turned out excellent. The only flavor I can think of that is remotely similar is like a nasty, cheap ass malt liquor (Colt 45 comes to mind) but I haven't had any **** like that since high school so I can't really remember.
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Old 10-26-2011, 01:45 AM   #4
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You have either a sanitation or oxydation issue.

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Old 10-26-2011, 01:58 AM   #5
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I run my bottles through the dishwasher on high heat and then I give them a 1 minute soak in Star San, then let them dry on the dishwasher racks for 30 - 40 minutes. I soak my bottling bucket in Star San but I don't take the spigot apart. I do let all of the Star San drain out through the spigot though.......it's really frustrating because the flavor doesn't match any of the common off flavors and it's not noticeable AT ALL before bottling. It's only after carbing up that the beer tasted bad and it's only happened with the two light colored beers I've brewed. All of my other beers have turned out excellent. The only flavor I can think of that is remotely similar is like a nasty, cheap ass malt liquor (Colt 45 comes to mind) but I haven't had any **** like that since high school so I can't really remember.
Take the spigot apart and give it a good cleaning and sanitation after each. My problem went away after I started doing this. Think about it, if you have a tiny bit of bacteria you are spreading it into every single bottle and adding sugar for it to eat.......
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Old 10-26-2011, 02:02 AM   #6
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You have either a sanitation or oxydation issue.
I think I can rule oxidation out for a number of reasons. First, the beer tastes great on bottling day and then 7 days later it tastes completely different and off flavors from oxidation don't show up that quickly. Second, I take great care in transferring my beer and I do it the same way with every batch so if it were oxidation from my process, it would show up in every batch.

I also am skeptical to diagnose it as a sanitation issue because I go to great lengths to sanitize my bottles and bottling equipment. As I mentioned, the bottles go through a full cycle of the dish washer on high heat (high heat wash, high heat dry) and then I give them a Star San bath after. I only let them dry for 30 minutes or so, so there is always a little bit of Stan San foam left in the bottle when I fill it. My bottling equipment gets soaked in Star San for about 30 minutes and my priming solution is obviously boiled just prior to dumping it in the bottling bucket.

Again, I've done every batch the same way and I did 3 batches in between the Saison and the IPA that turned out fantastic.
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Old 10-26-2011, 02:04 AM   #7
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Take the spigot apart and give it a good cleaning and sanitation after each. My problem went away after I started doing this. Think about it, if you have a tiny bit of bacteria you are spreading it into every single bottle and adding sugar for it to eat.......
Good idea, I will definitely do that.
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Old 10-26-2011, 02:05 AM   #8
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I think I can rule oxidation out for a number of reason. First the beer tastes great on bottling day and then 7 days later it tastes completely different and off flavors from oxidation don't show up that quickly. Second, I take great care in transferring my beer and I do it the same way with every batch so if it were oxidation from my process, it would show up in every batch.

I also am skeptical to diagnose it as a sanitation issue because I go to great lengths to sanitize my bottles and bottling equipment. As I mentioned, the bottles go through a full cycle of the dish washer on high heat (high heat wash, high heat dry) and then I give them a Star San bath after. I only let them dry for 30 minutes or so, so there is always a little bit of Stan San foam left in the bottle when I fill it. My bottling equipment gets soaked in Star San for about 30 minutes and my priming solution is obviously boiled just prior to dumping it in the bottling bucket.

Again, I've done every batch the same way and I did 3 batches in between the Saison and the IPA that turned out fantastic.
You can't really say you go through great lengths to sanitize your bottling equipment if you don't take apart and clean/sanitize the spigot. I strongly suggest giving this a try and I can't stress this enough.
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Old 10-26-2011, 02:14 AM   #9
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You can't really say you go through great lengths to sanitize your bottling equipment if you don't take apart and clean/sanitize the spigot. I strongly suggest giving this a try and I can't stress this enough.
Advice taken. The spigot will be coming apart now every time. But......if the flavor was from an infection would it mellow out with time? Whatever this off flavor is, it definitely mellows significantly after 3 weeks. At week 1 both beers were undrinkable but by week 3 they were drinkable, but the off flavor still nips at my tongue. I would think that off flavors from infection wouldn't subside so quickly, would they?

After this happened with the Saison I just thought that the beer was green and the green flavor just wasn't noticeable until the beer carbed up a bit. I bottled the Saison early (it was my 3rd batch so I still hadn't learned my lesson at that point) but the IPA was in secondary for 3 weeks so it shouldn't taste green. At the same time, I did a 1.045 brown ale that was in primary 1 week and secondary for 2 weeks and after 7 days in the bottle it was fantastic.
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Old 10-26-2011, 02:14 AM   #10
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I have a Scottish Ale that tasted delicious on bottling day, but after three weeks carbing up was flavorless. Not nasty, just no real flavor, and thin. Three weeks later it is very tasty. Well balanced with good body. The only thing missing is that hint of smokiness that I enjoy in a Scottish ale. Thinking of adding some smoked or peated malt when I brew this again. I also had a cider that was foul after carbing. It had a bitter finish, with hints of nail polish and roadkill. I thought it might be a dumper, but an old cider man told me to give it some time. A year later and I'm sad to say that I only have ten bottles left. Good cider!

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