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Home Brew Forums > Home Brewing Beer > Extract Brewing > Wierd alcohol taste..
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Old 04-20-2008, 06:13 AM   #1
dougler13
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Default Wierd alcohol taste..

So me and my compatriots brewed a stout last week. As usual I wanted to check the gravity after 7 days in the fermenter. The beer was a little on the big side at 1.081 OG the gravity reading I got after a weak in the primary was 1.030. Now my first question is the yeast has mostly flocculated and there doesnt seem to be much activity going on should I gently stir the yeast cake up or will it fully attinuate in a few more weeks?

Also I usualy taste test my gravity sample for off flavors and this beer has a strange almost alcohol tase like it has vodka in it (thats the best way I can explain the flavor).

A little background on the brew. It's an extract brew with 10 ponds of extract used and a pound and a half of steeped specialty grains. It was pitched on top of a yeast cake from an amber ale we had bottled a couple hours before( the original ale has turned out awsome so the yeast should be fine). And the fermentation took of like a rocket which produced alot of heat the first 3 days. I had to turn the AC on in the house the ambient temp was down to 60 F and the thermo strip on the side of the carboy was still reading between 78 - 80 F.

Thanks for any help you might be able to provide.

I almost forgot the yeast cake was WY british ale II #1335

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Old 04-20-2008, 06:17 AM   #2
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The high fermentation temp is probably what did it. Higher alcohols. Try to get the carboy in a water bath or put a wet t-shirt over it with a fan next time.

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Old 04-20-2008, 06:22 AM   #3
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So does that mean that the taste probably wont condition out? or should I give awhile longer to see if its fixable? And if anyone else has gotten a flavor close to this I'd like to know what it is?

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Old 04-20-2008, 06:24 AM   #4
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Give it time. A beer that big will need time to mellow out anyways. Give it several weeks to condition.

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Old 04-20-2008, 01:58 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dougler13
So does that mean that the taste probably wont condition out? or should I give awhile longer to see if its fixable? And if anyone else has gotten a flavor close to this I'd like to know what it is?
It's called "fusel alcohols". Here's a description from howtobrew.com:
Alcoholic
A sharp flavor that can be mild and pleasant or hot and bothersome. When an alcohol taste detracts from a beer's flavor it can usually be traced to one of two causes. The first problem is often too high a fermentation temperature. At temperatures above 80°F, yeast can produce too much of the higher weight fusel alcohols which have lower taste thresholds than ethanol. These alcohols taste harsh to the tongue, not as bad as cheap tequila, but bad nonetheless.

Fusel alcohols can be produced by excessive amounts of yeast, or when the yeast sits too long on the trub. This is one reason to move the beer off of the hot and cold break when the beer is going to be spending a lot of time in the fermentor.
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Old 04-20-2008, 09:46 PM   #6
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Yeah I did some research and figure that it probably was the high ferment temps the first coupl of days.... We're gonna just let it sit for awhile and hope it mellows. The next big beer I do is gonna be in an ice bath for sure.

Thanks again.

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Old 04-21-2008, 01:34 AM   #7
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When you brew big beer like that you have to control the temperature and use a yeast that can handle that much alcohol. I myself like beer that is 44 to 55 points. If you go higher you run into problems in taste and fermentation and have to take other steps to make it turn out good. I use a freezer and a controller and you really need this if you make big beer.

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Old 04-21-2008, 02:49 PM   #8
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I've had the same problem before, and it mellows with time. Often, it mellows fairly quickly. You can get that alcohol flavor early on, especially with those big beers.

That is a huge beer, though, so it will take some weeks to mellow.


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Old 04-05-2010, 03:30 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TexLaw View Post
I've had the same problem before, and it mellows with time. Often, it mellows fairly quickly. You can get that alcohol flavor early on, especially with those big beers.

That is a huge beer, though, so it will take some weeks to mellow.


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Sorry to revive this,but I have a similar situation with the hot alcohol flavor in a 1.075 IIPA. Although, mine has been in the keg for about 3 weeks now. When I first drew a glass, it tasted great. 2 weeks later, it was hot... just concerned it will not mellow out by end of month when I am trying to take it to a party.... any thoughts?

It fermented at about 72 degrees, but I wanted that for some of the esters coming from the london ale II..
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