I brewed a Graff and am experiencing a rubbing alcohol taste. Conventional knowledge says that rubbing alcohol aftertaste is usually caused by fusel alcohol caused by too high a fermentation temp. I'm pretty diligent in my temperatures during the active part of fermentation so I am not convinced that is it.
I bottled last night and drank what was left from the hydrometer and what was left in the bottling bucket. Probably 8oz worth. Today I have a hangover!!!! Well I did have a glass of good wine with dinner but seriously....did my Graff just give me a hangover! Or could this be a weird coincidence?
Here is how things went down:
Followed the Graff recipe here:
- I rehydrated the US-05 yeast and allowed the slurry to cool a bit before I pitched it.
- Pitching temp of the wort was 64 degrees.
- Aerated by aggressively shaking the carboy for a few minutes.
- I used a wet towel to keep the fermentation temp at around 68 degrees. Not room temp, actual fermentation temp. Maintained this for about 3-4 days.
- Had a very aggressive fermentation, requiring a blow-off tube.
- Let it sit in the carboy for 4 weeks.
After active fermentation the Graff was subject to swings in room temperatures. We heat with wood so the house tends to have a hot-cold cycle. Generally the Graff stayed between 68-72. A few times when I misjudged the weather and got big fire going in the stove the Graff would get up to 76 but only for a few hours. Also when we went away for a few weekends and the house was allowed to cool the Graff got down to 57.
I'd like to think that I didn't overheat the Graff.....what do you think? Are the slow but wide temperature fluctuations causing me grief?
Also, the OG of the graff was 1.064. At three weeks it was 1.009 but needed to clear a bit more. At 4 weeks it was done clearing and settled in at about 1.007.
When I bottled it last night I noticed a slight rubbing alcohol aftertaste. It isn't ruined but its noticable. Today with my hangover-type headache I'm wondering how the fusels got in there.
What do you think? Is there a major flaw in my methodology or do I have an infection?