I brewed a 1554 Clone recipe I got from Homebrewtalk. I just pulled the first pint off the keg and it does not seem right.
First, the aroma smells lightly of a damp sponge or a roadside used cigarette. The taste matched that with an undefinable flavor that wasn't bitter . . . but it simply didn't taste good. My wife declared it undrinkable. I have not purchased a bottle of 1554 to compare it. This was my first schwarzbier.
1. Does anyone know the aroma I speak of (and yes, I know I am asking people over the internet who can not smell it themselves)? It is not butterscotch, DME, or a rancid smell so I still think my process was clean. As well, it sat in secondary for 4 weeks and showed no signs of contamination.
2. I noticed one small but possible error. The recipe called for debittered patent malt . . . but I did not request that from the LHBS so I may have 'bittered' patent in there. Would 4 oz make that large of an aroma/flavor difference between the two in a 5 gal batch? Is that what I am smelling/tasting?
I hit 8 points low on my OG but I don't think that would aid in the off-aroma or off-flavor -- if anything I would think a weaker beer would take away from these issues.
I realize this is a shot-in-the-dark but I wanted to learn from this if any of you have some thoughts.
P.S. I am already working on the OG issue -- I am dialing in my Brewsmith 2 assumptions which explained the weaker OG.