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Old 08-25-2008, 04:25 AM   #1
bobbrewster
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Default First bad batch...

About 4 months ago I brewed my first beer. It was a Sierra Nevada clone which I really messed up but it turned out great. I added all the hops at the beginning of the boil instead of following the schedule. I didn't cool the wort and waited about 9 hours after the boil to pitch the yeast. Only fermented for a week then bottled. Was only in bottle for a week before I started drinking. All this and it was still an excellent beer. I've made about 10 other batches of various styles that also turned out great since then. My last batch was another Sierra Nevada clone. I thought I would try it again now that I'm more experienced and know all the right and wrong ways to make extract beer.(thanks to this site) I used the same recipe as last time except I did everything right this time. Followed hop schedule, cooled wort to <80F in 15/min, aerated wort, pitched yeast, primaried for a week, secondaried 2 weeks and bottled 3 weeks and guess what... It tastes and looks like absolute DEATH! What the hell!!?? It tasted and looked fine before I bottled it! Used 5 ounces dextrose like always, everything was clean, ETC...!!!??? Now it's hazy, has vomit looking chunks floating around and tastes like NyQuil and vomit!!!??? The only thing I can think of is infection of some sort but I don't know how... Well I'm going to go use these bottles for target practice now. Anyone have this problem before?

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Old 08-25-2008, 05:48 AM   #2
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Let it age out. Those chunks are most likely yeast. You could of picked something up on the way to secondary or bottling.. Just let it go another month, then check!!! Beer+Time=better beer(sometimes)

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Old 08-25-2008, 06:17 AM   #3
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According to "How to Brew"

Medicinal
These flavors are often described as mediciney, Band-Aid™ like, or can be spicy like cloves. The cause are various phenols which are initially produced by the yeast. Chlorophenols result from the reaction of chlorine-based sanitizers (bleach) with phenol compounds and have very low taste thresholds. Rinsing with boiled water after sanitizing is the best way to prevent these flavors.


Do you use bleach as a sanitizer? If not, it sounds like you are tasting phenols which will clear up with time (hopefully).

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Old 08-25-2008, 02:20 PM   #4
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Now it's hazy, has vomit looking chunks floating around and tastes like NyQuil and vomit!!!???
Hmmm. I don't know what you were planning on naming that brew, but I'm guessing you'll want to rethink it. Vomitus Maximus or Ipecac Pale Ale or something.

I agree with the others that at this poing I'd just let it sit in the bottles for several weeks before tossing it out. Assuming you have the space to store them I mean. You never know, it may turn out OK and you've already bottled it so there's no additional labor or expense involved.

That said, NyQuil and Vomit doesn't really seem like a good springboard to an award winning brew. But who knows? Report back in a few weeks.
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Old 08-25-2008, 02:31 PM   #5
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Don't go shooting all your beer just yet! Let them hang out for a bit and see if the terrible flavors settle out.

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Old 08-25-2008, 10:15 PM   #6
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Yes, I was kidding about the target practice thing. I just don't understand how the first beer I made was so good with all the screw ups and short fermenting/aging times. Come on, two weeks vs. six weeks!!! WTH!!?? Yes I use powder bleach packets to sanitize but I always (just as I did with the first batch) rinse three times with hot water and once with cool water after I sanitize. It's something else.....???? Thanks for the input. You guys are hilarious! Thanks, Rob

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Old 08-25-2008, 10:51 PM   #7
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Hmmm. I don't know what you were planning on naming that brew, but I'm guessing you'll want to rethink it. Vomitus Maximus or Ipecac Pale Ale or something.
Gotta be Happy Jack's Undrinkable Ale.

And you never know. Read the sticky on never throwing out beer. It's amazing what age will do to your beer.

My stout tasted faintly of chocolate when it finished fermenting, but by the time I bottled 2 weeks later that flavor had gone away completely and it simply tasted like... stout... And that was with me screwing up both the hops and the hops schedule. The bitterness is right on, but there's no flavor or aroma hops at all due to me loosing the recipe and winging it (my first PM too, though the mashing instructions I already had and had memorized)
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Old 08-26-2008, 02:51 AM   #8
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Originally Posted by bobbrewster View Post
About 4 months ago I brewed my first beer. It was a Sierra Nevada clone which I really messed up but it turned out great. I added all the hops at the beginning of the boil instead of following the schedule. I didn't cool the wort and waited about 9 hours after the boil to pitch the yeast. Only fermented for a week then bottled. Was only in bottle for a week before I started drinking. All this and it was still an excellent beer. I've made about 10 other batches of various styles that also turned out great since then. My last batch was another Sierra Nevada clone. I thought I would try it again now that I'm more experienced and know all the right and wrong ways to make extract beer.(thanks to this site) I used the same recipe as last time except I did everything right this time. Followed hop schedule, cooled wort to <80F in 15/min, aerated wort, pitched yeast, primaried for a week, secondaried 2 weeks and bottled 3 weeks and guess what... It tastes and looks like absolute DEATH! What the hell!!?? It tasted and looked fine before I bottled it! Used 5 ounces dextrose like always, everything was clean, ETC...!!!??? Now it's hazy, has vomit looking chunks floating around and tastes like NyQuil and vomit!!!??? The only thing I can think of is infection of some sort but I don't know how... Well I'm going to go use these bottles for target practice now. Anyone have this problem before?
If I read you steps above, in order, you said that you primed before you put in the secondary. I am guessing that you did not post those in the order that you completed them. But just in case, priming and bottling happens at the same stage. You didnt prime before the secondary did you? I am guessing not but I have to be 100% sure.

Also, get away from the bleach solution (really a clorine solution) as soon as possible. I found that my first two batches had chemical taste and didnt know why. But 1 I linked to the bleach being rinsed with hot water, the hot water was not enough to kill bacteria, and left me with a very chemical/mold like taste. I drank it anyway and came out just fine. But my next batch I rinsed with hot water after the bleach solution. And this just makes more clorine gas that gave a very chemical smell and taste. I bit the bullet and ordered star san for 12 buck, which is hardly bitting the bullet, much less that 1 hour work for me, and all problems were instantly gone. No more weird taste, no more bacteria.

I happen to think you might be like me, cheapest and easiest route is what you gravitate toward, yet I have learned that with brewing, the most accepted and best reviewed route is the way to go. Its not like cars or computers where I can skimp on the product I buy and use my skills to make it work up to a better standard. paying more and skipping none is the only way to go with brewing.
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Old 08-26-2008, 03:01 AM   #9
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No I said I primaried, not primed. By primaried I mean I transferred cooled wort to primary fermenter. Thanks for the advice. I'll try this Starzan stuff next.

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