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-   -   Ruined bottled beer in heat wave? (http://www.homebrewtalk.com/f14/ruined-bottled-beer-heat-wave-206557/)

Tall_Yotie 11-17-2010 04:05 AM

Ruined bottled beer in heat wave?
So, I have some good homebrew, and then there was a heat wave, 100+F. I didn't think about bringing the beer into the fridge.

And the BIG hurt, is that I have some Westvleteren12 and 8 which stayed out in the heat.

Could this kill my beer? I opened one bottle a month afterward, and it is a bit bitter and foamed over when I opened the bottle. Smelled right, but tasted really off.

Need to know if that beer is toast, especially the Westy. Hopefully not.

Chemiker 11-17-2010 04:15 AM

Can you give some more details?

What kind of beer?
What do you mean by "flavor was off"?
How long before the heat wave did you bottle?
How long was the heat wave?

I have had a heatwave of 90+ degrees while a pale ale was in secondaries and it turned out fine. I've also had a belgian that foamed like crazy when opened, but was okay. From what I've seen/read, the yeast that are produced and active during bottle conditioning aren't going to change the flavor of the beer.

As far as the Westy - you should send me some; I'll tell you if it's good or not :D

Tall_Yotie 11-17-2010 04:27 AM


Belgian ale, is in bottles, off flavor is just a bitter taste.

Cracked a Westy right now (is my birthday), it too was rather bitter, stuck on the tongue. Not a hops bitter, just general bitterness, and lacked the depth of flavors it used to have. That was a Westy8 down the drain (argh!). Cracked a Westy12, same thing, not as strong of a bitter note but still there, and sticks to the tongue.

Giving details mostly on the Westy because that is what I am most concerned about. I guess I should have stored in all in a cooler place.

Would folks think this will stick with the brews, or should subside back out with time? I know with a beer if it initially has an off flavor that it can go away with time, but not certain about ones that show up after bottling.

Chemiker 11-17-2010 04:43 AM

I've not heard of a beer going bad and getting more bitter. What are your IBUs? If they're high for the style, it would taste bitter. Aging will help this.

My guess - and it's just that - is that all of your beer is fine. I'd get a second opinion if it were my brew. I tasted "flaws" in my dubbel because I was so concerned over mistakes that I made while brewing, but it ended up getting great marks in a competition.

EDIT: I don't know what aging will do in a fridge. My guess is that it will slow the mellowing process. I age my beers under my house at 65F

Tall_Yotie 11-17-2010 04:46 AM

I am also getting the flavors from "commercial" beers as well is the thing. It tasted fine, then a month later after the heat wave I got the sour/bitter off flavor. I would say it is more sour than bitter.

Again, it was fine before. Just now it has taken on these tastes.

jfr1111 11-17-2010 02:21 PM

My guess is that you might be tasting things that are not there knowing that a heat wave struck. Have somebody that you trust the palate tase the beers without saying that there is anything wrong with them and get their opinion. I have a friend who brought back some Gueuzes from Belgium after 3 weeks in Egypt (and another 8 months of lugging them around): the temperature swings were crazy and the beer was often left in hostels in plain light. He was sure they were ruined.

We tasted the five bottles on a 6 month period and all of them were fine except for one wich had taken a slighty skunky, dusty flavour. Might have already been there (it's Gueuze after all). Commercial beers are handled roughly all the time, even high end imports and most of the time we are none the wiser when sampling them.

bknifefight 11-17-2010 02:56 PM

Your house/apartment hit 100*+? Man, I would look into an air conditioner.

Tall_Yotie 11-17-2010 03:21 PM


Originally Posted by jfr1111 (Post 2411925)
My guess is that you might be tasting things that are not there knowing that a heat wave struck. Have somebody that you trust the palate tase the beers without saying that there is anything wrong with them and get their opinion....

Both my wife and I detected this. We didn't go into tasting the beer thinking it was dead from the heat. But after a taste, we both noted the new off flavor.

We cracked open a home brew, a Westy8, a Westy12, and a Rochefort10. All had that terrible sour taste.

So, there goes 4 Westy12's, 4 Westy8's, and 7 Pannepots (with a special reserve in there). Still will hold onto them, check back on new years perhaps to see if it hasn't fixed itself with time.

I am surprised that no one else has had this issue.

I now know to toss them in the fridge in the heat, but living in the Bay Area of CA in September I was not expecting the heat, and I was out of town when the big wave struck. Crap, there goes a lot of expensive beer.

jfr1111 11-18-2010 12:10 AM

:( I hadn't thought you had so much good beer go bad on you. I can understand your frustration.

There's always the possibility of yeast dying from the high heat and imparting an off flavour to the beer. Do you have any commercial pasteurized beer that has the same symptoms ?

Tall_Yotie 11-18-2010 12:45 AM

Yeah, reapply pissed. I was saving those for special occasions. At least we had one for our 1 year anniversary before it went sour (the beer, not the marriage).

The Rochefort 10 went bad as well. That is as commercial as I get for the beers that were out. I talked to the LHBS guy, and when I said heat wave, he asked if they got soured. Apparently this is a common problem with heated beer.

Well, guess this means I need to work on those clone recipes!

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