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Old 05-21-2008, 03:32 PM   #1
killerhertz
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Default Alcoholic taste in pale ale

Last night I opened up a bottle of my pale ale, the 2nd beer I've brewed so far. It tasted... alcoholic and a bit harsh. The flavors overpowered the hops and malt flavors.

About a month ago, the first times I tasted it (several bottles) it was really good. I even shared it with some friends and received praise. I stopped drinking it to work on other beers and see if it the flavors of the pale ale changed much with time. Turns out they got worse :/

We had some really hot weather a couple of weeks ago where my condo got up to 80 degrees w/o the AC on. I store the beer on the floor in dark garbage bags or lower cabinets to keep the temperature more stable. Could they have gone bad in the bottle from the change in temperature and excessive heat? I read that high temps can produce fusel alcohols during fermentation, but does this somehow apply to bottle conditioning? The carbonation sugars should have been consumed by now since I brewed it about 2.5 months ago.

*wishes he had a basement*

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Old 05-21-2008, 06:23 PM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by killerhertz View Post
It tasted... alcoholic *
I thought that was the idea!

Sorry dude I couldn't lay off that one.

Anyway back to your question:

The main enemies of beer are heat, oxygen and light. So yes it's possible that excess heat caused the off flavor.
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Old 05-21-2008, 07:13 PM   #3
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I mean it's harsh, as if bad vodka was poured in there.

I would think that 80 degrees isn't too bad for beer. If commercial beer is transported in tractor trailers, I'm sure the bottle temperature changes quite a bit.

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Old 05-21-2008, 10:01 PM   #4
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How does the specific gravity compare to what it was when you bottled? It's possible that the high temperatures re-activated the yeast and they converted some of the residual sugars.

Bad storage and transportation are two big problems in distribution. Craft beers suffer more, sooner than BMC.

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Old 05-22-2008, 02:31 PM   #5
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Yeah I thought of that. I looked back at my gravity measurements and they looked fine. My est OG was a bit off because I probably topped off with a bit too much water. Anyway:

Est Original Gravity: 1.053 SG
Measured Original Gravity: 1.048 SG
Est Final Gravity: 1.016 SG
Measured Final Gravity: 1.012 SG

I decided to try another one last night and my observation was that right after opening and out of the fridge the beer had that burning/alcohol overtone. As the beer warmed and/or was exposed to air, this flavor went totally away and the taste I remembered returned.

Any ideas?

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Old 05-22-2008, 04:07 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by killerhertz View Post
I mean it's harsh, as if bad vodka was poured in there.

I would think that 80 degrees isn't too bad for beer. If commercial beer is transported in tractor trailers, I'm sure the bottle temperature changes quite a bit.

The vast majority of commercial beer is pasturized so all the yeast is dead. So there's no yeast to restart. Also most all commercial beer is force carbonated so there's really nothing much for any yeast to eat as opposed to natural carbonation where you add sugar for the yeast to eat up.

The sugar, active yeast and high temp. seem like an invitation to off flavors to me.
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Old 12-08-2008, 04:42 PM   #7
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I'm having this same problem.
I know that "cellaring" at a lower temperature can help remove off flavors like fusel alcohol, but what constitutes "lower"?

I moved mine from my 73 degree bedroom (where I think the flavors took hold) to my 69 degree closet (far from a radiator).

Is this just wishful thinking?
Would it have to be colder to do any good and reverse any damage?

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