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Old 08-25-2012, 11:57 PM   #1
goofiefoot
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Default Strange Discrepancy in 10-Gallon Arrogant Bastard Batch

I brewed 10 gallons of Arrogant Bastard in early June. The batch fermented in my 13-gallon plastic fermenter for 12 days, then I transferred it to 2 cornies. I didn't have incredibly high hopes for the batch, since the hops I used were old (kept in freezer, but over a year), my mash was at a higher temperature than expected, and my fermentation chamber was on the outs, so my fermentation temp may have been higher than expected.

I put both kegs on CO2 and began sampling from the first keg about 1.5 weeks later. Right away, it wasn't terrific, but was drinkable. I figured it needed more time. I continued to "sample" on and off, and ultimately emptied the first keg. By the end of the keg, the beer was better, but still not terrific. A little astringent, a little cidery, but you got the general idea of the Bastard.

A couple of days ago, I switched over to the second keg. Not only is the flavor completely different, it's actually pretty bad. By bad, I mean BLAND. Very little bitter, almost no hop or malt character. My wife took a sip and said it tasted like cold coffee, which probably best describes it.

I'm at a loss. I've been brewing 10-gallon batches for a while, and have never had such a difference between kegs. If the flavor in the second keg were different, I'd probably chalk it up to an infection, but I don't know of any bugs that strip beer of its flavor.

Any ideas?


Batch info:
24# 2-row
3# Special B
1oz Chinook each at 60, 45, 15, whirlpool
2 pks Nottingham

45-minute recirc mash at 149° (ended up closer to 156° by the end)
60-minute boil
Fermented at about 68-72° for 12 days

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Old 08-26-2012, 06:55 AM   #2
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Originally Posted by goofiefoot View Post
Any ideas?
Have you considered an exorcism of your domicile and all brewing equipment? Clearly your brewery has been seized by poltergeist!

Only other idea I can think of is a infection in the 2nd keg.
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Old 08-27-2012, 02:59 AM   #3
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Have you considered an exorcism of your domicile and all brewing equipment? Clearly your brewery has been seized by poltergeist!

Only other idea I can think of is a infection in the 2nd keg.
That's about what it feels like! Any thoughts on what sort of infection might be the culprit?
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Old 08-27-2012, 08:11 AM   #4
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No idea. I'd sanitize everything, boil lines, etc. and chalk it up to a one-off. If it crops up again do some digging. Honestly you're describing something weird. Fwiw I mentioned kegs it could have and probably would have been a difference/sanitation issue in the one carboy or something.

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Old 08-27-2012, 02:31 PM   #5
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I think that ale, especially really hoppy ale doesn't get better with age. You probably had all the nice but volitile flavors gone by the time you got to it. The bitterness would remain from the hops, but other beneficial characteristics will be on their way out.

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Old 08-27-2012, 03:42 PM   #6
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When racking, it would be nearly impossible to get the same exact consistency/mix of beer and trub/solids into each batch. The same thing you are describing comes up on the board almost every week, and typically it is someone who basically racked in such a way that one of the kegs contained virtually trub free beer from the top part of the fermenter while the other contained the more dense beer from the bottom of the fermenter, which obviously would have a much different blend of yeast and proteins than the top part of the beer where almost all of the yeast and proteins have settled out.

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Old 08-27-2012, 07:05 PM   #7
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Interesting. I guess I've been lucky in that I've never had this problem with any of my other 10-gallon batches.

Is the solution to simply stir the contents of the fermenter? Maybe do a intense cold-crash to really settle the trub and hope that I don't stir up too much junk for my transfer? Bummer to lose 5-gallons of beer, though.

To Northcalais' point - these had virtually no age to them, as I brewed in June. I would understand the theory if I brewed June of last year.

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Old 08-27-2012, 07:14 PM   #8
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I have a conical that I use to move beer in to my two (2) COrney Kegs and I cannot say that in the last five years I have ever noticed a big difference betewwn the two kegs... So it seems unlikely to me to be the issue bUT I will monitor it the future just to see....

If the beer is just flavorless, no bad tastes, use it to blend in with another batch at Bottling or Kegging... don't waste it.

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Old 08-28-2012, 12:33 AM   #9
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To Northcalais' point - these had virtually no age to them, as I brewed in June. I would understand the theory if I brewed June of last year.[/QUOTE]


I would hate to see the contents of your fridge. "Sarcasm"

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Old 08-28-2012, 01:31 AM   #10
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Quote:
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I would hate to see the contents of your fridge. "Sarcasm"
Touché.
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