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Old 01-02-2013, 07:19 AM   #1
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Default Most common homebrew "off flavor"

I live in a homebrew island so I have no experienced brewers that I know of to help me out in person.

What is the most common off flavor that is made when homebrewing? I have made some beers that taste great out of the fermenter and then get a distinct flavor that hits the back of your palate and is present in a burp right after you take a drink. I also just got the same flavor in a 6pack of Hop Wallop from Victory. Pretty disappointing in any case.

Thanks!

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Old 01-02-2013, 12:32 PM   #2
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Here's some:

Oxidation - can be perceived as a papery or wet cardboard taste, or as a sherry-like flavor.

DMS - can be perceived as a corn like flavor.

Tannins - harsh astringency

Acetylaldehyde (spelling?) - may be perceived as a green apple flavor, puckerish

Chlorine or chloramines in water can lead to plastic-like flavors.

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Old 01-02-2013, 02:06 PM   #3
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Common Off-Flavors

In my own experience, I've found phenolic infections to be the most common - usually from poor bottling sanitation.
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Old 01-02-2013, 05:52 PM   #4
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Thanks Pappers , but I have read all the literature and can define the flavors, but my tasting experience just does not resonate with the "____ like flavors". I was looking more for what AmandaK gave. Thanks AmandaK!

Anyone else want to chime in?

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Old 01-02-2013, 07:33 PM   #5
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I find these are the problems (in order) and likely causes:

Astringency - too high pH on sparge
Oxidation - poor process or stale extract
Phenols - chlorine or too high fermentation temperature
Diacetyl - weak pitch, stuck fermentation or infection
Acetaldehyde - stuck fermentation or too high fermentation temperature

This is based on my experience judging, where oddly, we get the best and the worst, not much in between.

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Old 01-02-2013, 08:32 PM   #6
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Oh, I forgot to add something to my OP, namely, does my description fit with any of your understandings of off flavors?

"I have made some beers that taste great out of the fermenter and then get a distinct flavor that hits the back of your palate and is present in a burp right after you take a drink."

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Old 01-02-2013, 08:40 PM   #7
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If you happen to keg, carbonic acid can bite a bit if the beer has been over carbonated. I don't remember if it hits the back of the palette or more of a harshness that burns your mouth and nose.

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Old 01-03-2013, 12:07 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mwsenoj View Post
Oh, I forgot to add something to my OP, namely, does my description fit with any of your understandings of off flavors?

"I have made some beers that taste great out of the fermenter and then get a distinct flavor that hits the back of your palate and is present in a burp right after you take a drink."
No, not really. You're going to have to be more specific when you say, "a distinct flavor". Without being there and trying it, I have no idea what that could be. Can you read that link I posted and try and describe it from there?
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Old 01-03-2013, 03:11 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AmandaK View Post
No, not really. You're going to have to be more specific when you say, "a distinct flavor". Without being there and trying it, I have no idea what that could be. Can you read that link I posted and try and describe it from there?
Yes, you need to try to describe the flavor. Using Amanda's link will give you a good start, or just use your own experience. Like a lot of things in life, naming your experience is important - what are you tasting?
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Old 01-03-2013, 03:20 PM   #10
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The number 1 off flavor I taste is esters from beers fermented too warm.

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