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Home Brew Forums > Home Brewing Beer > Fermentation & Yeast > Back from a long break, last beer has been in the primary 10+ months...
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Old 02-04-2011, 02:47 PM   #1
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Default Back from a long break, last beer has been in the primary 10+ months...

Hello, all! As the title says, for various reasons I haven't done any brewing for about a year. I have a Dopplebock that has been in the primary for around 10 months. I had pitched it onto a cake of Wyeast German Ale yeast which I had used to brew another beer, so some of the yeast is probably around a year old in actuality. It's been in my basement, in the dark, since then at temperatures between 55-70. I finally went and took a sample of it last night to see how it had fared over that time, and I noticed a bit of an odd aftertaste- a bit of a rubbery taste. I can only assume that this taste is from dead yeast.

My question is whether or not this sort of taste flaw can be aged out of the beer (aka, is it worth bottling,) or is this one a lost cause? I know from experience that flat beer usually doesn't taste all that great before bottling/carbonation anyways, but this beer is hardly green and this is the first time I've noticed this sort of aftertaste in any of my beers.

My Welches wine and sweet mead that have also both been sitting neglected in the basement, on the other hand, are both fantastic

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Old 02-04-2011, 03:00 PM   #2
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Interesting...you might be the exception that proves the rule that autolysis is more a boogie man than a real problem. I've tasted samples of beer that have undergone forced autolysis, and the word I would have used was meaty. Kind of like chicken soup broth. Maybe that is akin to your rubber?

Anyway, it is hard to say that this is actually autolysis and not some other kind of staling reaction. In any case, I would definitely give this beer a good long lagering before I made a decision. I suspect that autolysis proteins would drop out of suspension if given enough time, and plenty of other possible nasty tastes would as well. Keep us posted!

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Old 02-04-2011, 03:09 PM   #3
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Yeah, I was pretty surprised when I tasted it to be honest. I left two other beers in the primary for nearly as long before due to another extended bout of laziness/low interest, and they were some of my best beers! I'm not sure if the taste is meaty really...rubbery is the best description I can give, and it took me several sips to really place it. The beer just tasted a little "odd," or "off" at first. I had my wife taste it too, and she said it was pretty good at first, only to say a few minutes later that the more she tried, the less she liked it.

I was already pretty much planning on bottling it anyways, just to see what would happen. I'm planning on stopping by my LHBS tomorrow to get some fresh yeast for bottling. I can definitely provide feedback, and I'm hoping more people can chime in. To science!

Also, I guess this gives me more of an excuse to get off my behind and brew some new stuff...the stash is getting low, and it looks like this one may not be a drinker yet for a while.

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Old 02-04-2011, 03:40 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MalFet View Post
Anyway, it is hard to say that this is actually autolysis and not some other kind of staling reaction.
Now that I think about it, this is a possibility too. The airlock got low at least once...not entirely dry, but it may not have been completely airtight. I've always read that oxidation gives a cardboard taste though...that wasn't what I was tasting. I guess I could call it a "stale" taste though.

Well, once I rack the beer, if the yeast cake smells like death, then that may help to answer my question
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Old 02-04-2011, 03:42 PM   #5
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It's always tough with the tastes. I've definitely gotten better understanding off flavors as I've gotten more experienced, but only to a point. Sometimes, two flavors will combine to make something totally different. Maybe rubber = bandaid + cardboard

Lagering does wonders, and this seems like better than average opportunity to do that. Who knows, I wouldn't be surprised if this ends up the best beer you've ever made.

Anyway, welcome back!

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Old 02-04-2011, 03:57 PM   #6
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Thanks, it's good to be back

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Old 02-04-2011, 06:00 PM   #7
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Quote:
Maybe rubber = bandaid + cardboard
I was thinking the same thing. Did you use normal tap water without dechlorinating it? Also what kind of vessel did you have it in for the 10 months? Carboys and buckets will let oxygen in over time.
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Old 02-04-2011, 06:05 PM   #8
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I use tap water filtered through a Brita filter. It's been sitting in a better bottle this entire time.

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Old 02-04-2011, 07:15 PM   #9
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It very well could be autolysis. I have heard the taste described as rubbery before, but have never tasted it myself. I would listen the the above advice and lager it if you have that ability. That's probably about the only thing that you could do to get rid of the taste... or put it in a secondary and dry hop the holy hell out of it.

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Old 02-04-2011, 08:21 PM   #10
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Yep, I think I'm going to bottle it and forget about it for a while. I don't have a lagering fridge, but it can stay in my cellar at least.

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