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Old 08-14-2009, 01:05 PM   #1
thatjoshguy
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Default 2 months in, tastes like soap. Salvage?

well I'm two months into my first brew. It looks beautiful (it's an Amber from an extract kit). It's clear, has a nice head on it, and carbonated well. The problem is it tastes bad.

To be honest there's not much of a beer flavor to it, and what flavor there is just doesn't seem right. I'm not a major beer drinker (wierd choice of hobby I know) but I know that this isn't what beer is supposed to taste like.

Once you get past the first bit and actually swallow, it hits you... This beer tastes like dish soap.

I read around and I think I know what happened. On my brew day I screwed up and poured EVERYTHING from the pot into the fermenting bucket, sediment and all. I realized what I had done the next day, when someone corrected me, and so I knew I had to rack to a secondary fermenter as soon as I could. Primary fermentation took 9 days, so all that time it sat on that gunk. I racked into a carboy for secondary and left it there for two and a half weeks. It's been bottled and in my basement for about 4 weeks now.

I've been sneaking a bottle each week to taste as the aging process does its work. I thought at first that what I was tasting was a "green" beer, but as the rest of the beer mellowed, the soapy taste remains.

My question is, can this batch be salvaged at all? Is there any hope that another two or three months of aging can fix this? I know this has happened to other people, what are your experiences with this?



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Old 08-14-2009, 01:11 PM   #2
artbrewer
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The Gunk is fine, it settles to the bottom anyway.



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Old 08-14-2009, 01:28 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by artbrewer View Post
The Gunk is fine, it settles to the bottom anyway.
the gunk isn't really the problem anymore though. The beer is clear in the bottles, just a little bit of yeast on the bottom as usual. The only reason I mention it is that according to the "how to brew" book, leaving the beer to ferment on the trub for too long can cause this soapy flavor, which is actually soap.

Quote:
Soapy flavors can caused by not washing your glass very well, but they can also be produced by the fermentation conditions. If you leave the beer in the primary fermentor for a relatively long period of time after primary fermentation is over ("long" depends on the style and other fermentation factors), soapy flavors can result from the breakdown of fatty acids in the trub. Soap is, by definition, the salt of a fatty acid; so you are literally tasting soap.
I'm just curious as to whether or not this will go away in time, if anyone has encountered it before. I saw a few posts about it, but no one ever said if it actually went away or they disposed of their failed batch
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Old 08-14-2009, 10:11 PM   #4
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ehh, after 2 months if its not getting weaker, I doubt it'll age out.

I've dumped my entire kettle into primary many many times, and never had soapy beer.

What are you using for a sanitizer?

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Old 08-14-2009, 10:41 PM   #5
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i used star-san on the bucket and equipment on brew day, and one-step on everything after that (I rinsed with both)

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Old 08-15-2009, 03:58 AM   #6
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What kind of hops? Whole/pellet? New/Old?

Which yeast? Starter?

Tap water? Rubber Hose?

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Old 08-15-2009, 04:10 AM   #7
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My first was a Hefeweizen and I dumped the whole thing, trub and all, in the fermentor. I doubt what you have done has anything to do with the soap taste. My Hefeweizen wasn't the greatest thing since sliced bread, but it was good beer. Did you ferment at too high a temperature? That can make things go bad in a hurry.

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Old 08-15-2009, 11:33 AM   #8
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it was a True Breew amber kit. Cascade hop pellets, unsure of the yeast. Pre-boiled and cooled tap water (we have suprisingly good tasty tap water here).

I kept fermentation around 72 (best I could do at the time). maybe that is a little high?

There's a really good chance the ingredients were old. I got them from a homebrew supplier, but it was through ebay, so who knows what they sent me...

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Old 08-15-2009, 01:44 PM   #9
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I made a true brew kit ONCE....it was awful...canadian ale...it was like drinking battery acid!
i think their kits have some poor ingredients.

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Old 08-15-2009, 02:07 PM   #10
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Did you say you rinsed after you sanitized?

Also I don't trust onestep, it skirts a fine line of being a true sanitizer (it is NOT fda approved as one) I posted a lot of info about that here; http://www.homebrewtalk.com/f39/sanitizer-question-54932/?highlight=sanitizer+question

I don't think the issue is from dumping everything into the fermenter, many of us do that regularly. Rule that out and look at some other possible casues.

Too high of a temp, poor sanitization, not rinsing the soap or cleaner good enough out of your bottles, gear etc....



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