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Old 09-05-2008, 12:01 AM   #1
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Default Turning twangy?

Ok, I know there are a ton of threads about "why is my beer sour?" I've looked at quite a few of them.

Here's quick run down of my brewing history. I make extract batches w/ steeping grains. I used lme. My first three batches turned out very well (a Brewer's Best kit, a Two Hearted Clone, and Papazian's Vagabond Gingered Ale). I loved them, in fact.

My next batch was a honey wheat. It tasted good out of the carboy right before bottling. After bottling, the beer has a distinct odd taste. It was a sour / twangy taste. I really wouldn't use the word sour, more twangy, but I am no expert. My wife described it as sour, though.

By this time, I already had another batch bottled - a pale ale. The first case was awesome - the best beer I have made yet. I used cascade pellets for hopping, and the citrus really came through. Well, the past four or five of the pale ales have had that same twangy / sour taste.

I have two other batches bottled, and I could swear that a bottle of one of those batches was turning that way, too.

My tubing does not seem scratched. I clean and sanitize everything. Other than maybe giving everything a soak in bleach, does anyone have any ideas? What is most perplexing to me is that the first half of the pale ale batch was awesome, now it has the bad taste...

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Old 09-05-2008, 12:04 AM   #2
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One of the things I've noticed with liquid extract is that "twangy" taste that I pick up, especially if the extract isn't super fresh. That's the first thing I'd consider. Canned LME tends to have that flavor, but sometimes any older extract does, too. If the LME is super fresh from a store that sells in high volume, then it's not as bad.

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Old 09-05-2008, 12:10 AM   #3
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I should have mentioned that - none of the extract was canned. The first funny batch was from my lhbs, which does a high volume in their bulk extract, I believe. The second batch was from another place (I'm unsure of their sales volume), but I am still unsure why one half would be awesome, and the second half would have the weird taste...

I'll add that in the funny batches, that's all you could taste (the sour/twangy flavor). It was so strong, you could not taste any other flavors, even hops.

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Old 09-09-2008, 12:39 AM   #4
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Did you ferment your honey wheat at a higher temperature than your did with your first three batches? I wonder this because one of my batches could be described as sour or fruity. I believe the problem is that I fermented at a higher temperature (around 76F-78F) Also, what type of yeast did you use?

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Old 09-09-2008, 05:05 PM   #5
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High bicarbonates (really hard water) can cause a twanginess in hoppy beers you don't get with maltier beers. If you have really hard water try reverse osmosis water or bottled water next time you brew.

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Old 09-09-2008, 05:17 PM   #6
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Old 09-17-2008, 01:06 AM   #7
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Old 09-17-2008, 06:07 AM   #8
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Are you bottling or kegging? I noticed that in the winter when my place was shut tight I didn't have a problem but this summer the windows would be open and I had more infections- airflow around beer=bad

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Old 09-17-2008, 06:51 AM   #9
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I believe I may be able to help you.

If it what I think it is, you probably can't find the exact off flavor here, How to Brew - By John Palmer - Common Off-Flavors. If you can, problem solved.

If you are bottling in your boxes, or using them for storage prior to bottling, there is a VERY good chance that you have some nasties living in them.

After experiencing something very similar to you, first few batches fine, then a couple that got weird after a bit, then one or two that were no good to start. They all had an overpowering "twang" as I would put it. Not sour, not really that off-putting, but no real flavor at all, other than a strange twang. After replacing all my tubing, getting a new auto-siphon, and super sanitizing all my other equipment without luck, I finally found what appeared to a be a small spot of something in the box. After getting a few wet bottles set in them, a fungus or something started to grow IN THE BOX, where I kept my bottles right before the beer entered them. Got rid of the offending boxes, and lined some new ones with foil (which I replace every batch), and problem solved.

People think of replacing everything porous to rid themselves of infection, but I never thought that it may be in the boxes.

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Old 10-26-2008, 02:19 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BarleyWater View Post
I believe I may be able to help you.

If it what I think it is, you probably can't find the exact off flavor here, How to Brew - By John Palmer - Common Off-Flavors. If you can, problem solved.

If you are bottling in your boxes, or using them for storage prior to bottling, there is a VERY good chance that you have some nasties living in them.

After experiencing something very similar to you, first few batches fine, then a couple that got weird after a bit, then one or two that were no good to start. They all had an overpowering "twang" as I would put it. Not sour, not really that off-putting, but no real flavor at all, other than a strange twang. After replacing all my tubing, getting a new auto-siphon, and super sanitizing all my other equipment without luck, I finally found what appeared to a be a small spot of something in the box. After getting a few wet bottles set in them, a fungus or something started to grow IN THE BOX, where I kept my bottles right before the beer entered them. Got rid of the offending boxes, and lined some new ones with foil (which I replace every batch), and problem solved.

People think of replacing everything porous to rid themselves of infection, but I never thought that it may be in the boxes.
Interesting, thanks.... No, I didn't see a similar description in How to Brew. As you noticed, our experience seems pretty similar. I will dump my boxes as you said. I also soaked everything in Oxyclean, and I also switched to Starsan (I was using an oxygen based "sanitizer."). We'll see. Last few batches haven't had any of the funny tastes... Thanks again.

As far as the other posts, my fermentation temperatures are pretty constant, around 65-68.
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