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Kayos 02-19-2011 02:42 AM

What Does "Young Beer" Taste like?
My last three batches have had a strange off-flavor - metallic, maybe bitter? You can really tell in the aftertaste and after a good burp. It seems like it mellows with age (a little), but I really don't remember previous batches tasting like this, even early.

I just pulled my first pint off my new kegging system, and it has it also. It's only 4 weeks after brew day, so it's young, I know. Is this "young beer" I'm tasting, or do I need to check other things?

One more thing....I used OLD hops in this one. They are probably 2 year old Hallertau as my bittering and fresh Goldings for flavor/aroma.

I thought since they were for bittering, the Hallertau would not bitter if they were bad and it would be cloying - it's not at all. It smells great, too.


Deuce 02-19-2011 02:47 AM

What temp and yeast strains have you been using. Also, are you using tap water? This sounds like a water or fermentation temp problem.

Kayos 02-19-2011 03:27 AM

Tap water, yes. 3 different yeast strains. This one is WLP002. My water profile is OK. I have RO, which I used to use, but I read RO was a no no. Thoughts on RO? Temps have been 65-75.

One ESB, one wheat beer and one Munich based beer (like a fall ale) All AG's.

What ferm temps would cause this, high or low? I could go back to RO (now that you say that, I think it was better before I changed to tap), but where I live north of LA Calif., our water tastes OK - not like the mountains, but OK. Here is a link to the water profile - http://www.valenciawater.com/quality/QualityReport.asp

Pretty standard without any glaring chemicals.

jitteringjr 02-19-2011 05:58 AM

It is probably acetaldehyde. Would you describe the taste as green apples? To me it tastes bitter, but not like a bitterness caused by hops but more astringent.


My brown ale still has it and it is taking a long time to attenuate the acetaldehyde. I also used WLP002 for that one. I know some yeasts are more prone to produce it, but I couldn't give you a list. Maybe this yeast is more susceptible.

One thing you can do is give it a couple weeks in the secondary at colder temps like 50F to help condition it. I normally use a fermenting fridge for this, but with my brown ale, I couldn't because my wee heavy scotch ale was in there, so I am sure this is adding to the situation.

I am interested in which yeast you used for your wheat beer. I used WLP300 for my dunkelweizen and although it has only been bottled for 2 weeks, I am getting acetaldehyde pretty strong.

As far as RO goes, it is great if you are trying to exactly duplicate a water profile. With RO you remove everything and then add the minerals in the correct proportions to match the profile of the region your beer is famous for. If you are using RO and not adding back minerals, that is not good. Yeast need minerals such as calcium, zinc, magnesium .etc. You can call these minerals the yeast's vitamins.

Kayos 02-19-2011 03:17 PM

Hmmmmm. It's possible. I had it in the primary for almost a month. The munich beer still has a small taste of it 6 months after bottling and I actually had to dump the wheat beer after 4 months because it was so strong. I have the keg of ESB (newest one with the off flavor) in the fridge to carb. As far as RO, I have no idea what to add since my water profile shows what 'I think' it should. I am comparing it to what Jamil's chart shows and nothing stands out.

The flavor is really weird....no me it's like licking metal braid or maybe rust. My wife says like licking a nickel.

what would I add to RO to make regular, good water? Could I just buy mountain spring water?

Could it be my old aluminum pot?

samc 02-19-2011 03:55 PM

RO water IMO is fine. I do add some minerals, most notably Gypsum & Calcium Chloride. Read the Sticky on Water in the Brew Science forum section, in which AJ Delange lays it out in simple terms. However I brewed many a fine beer using RO water before I knew about adding minerals, which certainly improves the beer. You can of course screw up a beer if you don't know what you are doing with mineral additions, in which case straight RO is better.

What are you using to clean your kegging system? Also investing in a sanitary filter for you CO2 line is a cheap safeguard against impurities from the gas tank (think rust, etc.) http://www.williamsbrewing.com/IN-LI...ILTER_P440.cfm

Kayos 02-19-2011 04:03 PM

This is my first keg I've ever done and the 3rd beer with this off-flavor. That is a cool filter and I actually have one in my cart for my next order.....

chapa 02-19-2011 04:14 PM

I have had the same problem, with that flavor, and I think its my bottling bucket. I've also considered some of my mash tun fittings, that have been recently switched out, but mine seems to happen after bottling. I never would notice the off-flavor before(pre/post-ferm). Maybe its an equipment thing. Does your alum pot have any cracks or anything? How about your racking cane? Could that be the source? Have you been soaking in PBW or Oxiclean before sanitizing?

Kayos 02-19-2011 04:30 PM

I agree - I don't taste it before carbonating. It can't be bottling bucket, though because I didn't use one this time to keg!

New racking cane and tubing this batch, alum pot is for boiling, so cracks shouldn't really matter. I do have brass fittings. Next batch will be on my new keggle. I'm going to change out my mashtun braid, too. This sucks.....

Kayos 02-19-2011 07:13 PM

Posted my water profile to the science section of the forum and it sounds like that's the problem. Super hard water and very high in Na. I'm going to try diluting it with RO water something like 5:1. We'll see.....

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