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Home Brew Forums > Home Brewing Beer > General Beer Discussion > Off taste in many of my homebrews
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Old 12-06-2010, 02:04 AM   #1
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Default Off taste in many of my homebrews

I've been brewing for about 2 years now and have made about 6 different beers. I've noticed in several of my beers, the same undertone of an off flavor. The beer still tastes good, but it's the same flavor from beer to beer. I've made an IPA which was had only the faintest of this taste. Then a farmhouse ale and a dunkelweiss beer, neither of which had this flavor, or at least the Belgian yeast overcame it. It's the first holiday style ale, the brown ale and now the Porter (modeled after Deschutes Black Butte porter) and it has that darned taste! Here are the things I think that could cause this taste:

1. temperature fluctuations in brewing - but stays in the 65-75 degree range
2. malt extract - i've heard people say this can cause beers to taste the same
3. yeast - but i use high quality yeast and I keep it refrigerated
4. dead yeast - but i use a secondary fermenter and I separate the wort from the sludge

Does anyone know what I'm talking about and have any ideas on how to get this flavor from coming back in most of my amberish ales?

Please help!

Thanks,

Rog-o-matic

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Old 12-06-2010, 02:18 AM   #2
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Can you describe the taste?

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Old 12-06-2010, 02:20 AM   #3
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Number 1 jumps out at me right away. If that's the beer temperature, 75 is too high. If that's ambient temperature, it's probably WAY too high. One of the effects of a too-high fermentation temperature are off-flavors. These can make even very different yeast strains and ingredients have a similar fruity flavor or even "band-aid" flavor.

What about your water? Have you used tap water for all of them? Chlorine or chloramines in the brewing water can cause a "sameness" in taste.

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Old 12-06-2010, 02:22 AM   #4
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If you are brewing extract, are you getting fresh from a local home brew shop?

all of my early beers tasted really similiar. I was doing kits that sat on a shelf in the store. I figure the malt was all old. I think this is why extract gets a bad name. I have a buddy in denver who brews extract that kicks butt. He gets all his in bulk from a place that goes thorugh it fast.

Is the liquid 75 is hot for most yeast, and if that is the air temp, your wort can be fermenting 5 to 10 degrees warmer.

I would check quality of ingredients (try a kit from brewmaster's warehouse or austin home brew) and CONTROL THAT FERMENT TEMP. Put the bucket in a rubbermaid tub with water in it and use frozen bottles of water to keep it even.

And yoop answered above me, she has pictures of how she controls temps, great simple system.

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Old 12-06-2010, 02:23 AM   #5
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I agree with Yooper. The temperature of your fermenting beer can be 4-8 degrees higher than the ambient temperature. If a beer calls for a fermentation temperature of 68, I usually set my thermostat in my cooler to 62-63F.

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Old 12-06-2010, 02:54 AM   #6
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I would say the temp is to high and for those beers I would be making at least a 2L starter to make sure I had plenty of good healthy yeast. Stressed yeast can cause poor fermentation and off flavors

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Old 12-06-2010, 03:00 AM   #7
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I might add that if you are making partial boil extract batches you may be gettign some carmalization and concentration from the smal boil volumes. If you can bump your boil size up or go full boil that may help.

I also echo the temp concerns, not only is the 70's too high that range is to significant. During fermentation you want it to stay in a slight range of flucuation. It is bad for the yeast to flucuate in an uncontrolled manor more than a couple degrees. They will stress and create off flavors.

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Old 12-06-2010, 03:06 AM   #8
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Let me guess you are using Star San or Iodophor....

Forrest

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Old 12-06-2010, 03:12 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Austinhomebrew View Post
Let me guess you are using Star San or Iodophor....

Forrest
Would this cause an off flavor if used in the recommended concentations?
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Old 12-06-2010, 03:21 AM   #10
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Quote:
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Would this cause an off flavor if used in the recommended concentations?
That is the key. A lot of people think that if a little sanitizer is good then more is even better. People eyeball iodophor or add it until it has a certain color. There are no rinse dilutions but a lot of the off flavors people have is because of these sanitizers. That and old extract from a can.

I reccomend using a sanitizer that will not leave an aftertaste such as one step or cleanitizer. Or really make sure that you have a no rinse dilution. Any sanitizer that will leave a taste I usually hit it with fresh water just in case.

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