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Old 07-21-2011, 02:07 PM   #1
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Default Consistent off flavor

I've got my 4th batch of brew in primary.

My first batch a Trappist Ale has been in bottle 2 weeks. 4/4/2
My second batch an American Wheat Ale has been in bottle 3 weeks 3/0/3.
Third batch in bottle 1 week untasted.

Both batches I have tasted have a similar off flavor. Up front I assume both brews are still too green and need more time to sit.

Things that have me wondering...
Long primary and secondary on the first batch and 2 weeks in bottle, lots of people have brews ready long before that so what the deal with mine?

Second batch was a low grav wheat. OG 1.040, plenty of primary time for yeasty clean ups, what should be plenty of time in bottle and still a funky flavor in there.

2 beers, very different styles, similar off flavor. The only thing that comes to mind, is the possiblility of too much yeast still in suspension. I would think a couple weeks at room temp post carbonation would be enough time to settle out but then mebbe not. The taste testers I've done have only been in the fridge for 24 hours or so. Could that be it? Not enough time at low temp to cold crash the suspended matter out of the beer?

How long of a chill is needed to really clear a beer? I'm traveling all next week and was thinking I'd load up the fridge with a bunch of each batch that's in bottles and really cold crash/condition them and see if they loose that taste when I get back. The possible down side, er...what if they just need more time at room temp to clean up that taste.

I'm open to suggestions. Could the taste be suspended yeast? Could they need more time to condition at 70? Anyone have experience with off flavors that cleared up after a week or so in the fridge or should I just let them sit in the corner during the week I'm gone?

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Old 07-21-2011, 02:21 PM   #2
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If you could describe the off taste, it would help.

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Old 07-21-2011, 02:22 PM   #3
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Couple of things to help us help you.
Describing the actual off flavor your experiencing would help us help you in troubleshooting. There are lots of off flavors in the brewing world caused by very different things.

Also, when you mention your time tables you only say things like "enough time", "long primary", ect. Give us actual time periods so we can better understand what's happening.

One other thing, what are your fermentation temperatures?

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Old 07-21-2011, 02:32 PM   #4
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Are you steeping specialty grains? If you exceed 170 degrees you can end up with alot of tannins. I learned this the hard way with a beer I brewed that once took 8 months or so to mellow enough to even be drinkable and even then it was pretty awful, haha. Anyway, it was a great opportunity to learn about astringent flavors.

You may also want to consider the yeast strains you used and the temperature of your fermentation. Fermenting too high in temperature can produce phenolics some of which are more prominent depending on the yeast you use.

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Old 07-21-2011, 02:35 PM   #5
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I had a consistant off flavor in my first 5 extract batches. I started controlling fermentation temps and fermenting around 64 and the flavors were gone.

This was also the time I started using yeast starters so that may have contributed as well.

Good news is I always store a few bottles of beer long time, and the off flavor does age out...even when stored in the fridge for a long time!

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Old 07-21-2011, 03:54 PM   #6
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The flavor, I do my best, I didn't really try because my palatte sucks. good/bad, like/dislike is about as far as it goes.

The aroma from the glass is good. My nose says mmmm....beer when I smell the poured glass. Take a sip and the initial flavor is good but then as I swallow there is a odd sour/bitterness that hits on the way down and lingers as an after taste. Not a lambic type sour tartness and not an IPA hop bomb bitterness. Something funky in between that isn't pleasant. Almost like not washing asprin tablets down fast enough, but not quite. There is a bit of astringency to it that hangs with the after taste.

Exact times are listed here at the end, I was unclear weeks in primary/secondary/bottle
My first batch a Trappist Ale has been in bottle 2 weeks. 4/4/2
My second batch an American Wheat Ale has been in bottle 3 weeks 3/0/3.

The tanins thing is possible maybe. The trappist had steeping grains but I was pretty anal about the temp and watched it like a hawk. Pulled it from the burner as soon as it hit the recommended 160 and didn't move it back until it dropped to 150, never got back up to 160 before the steep time was over. The wheat was straight LME no grains.

Ferment temps were good. The stick on temp strip on the fermenter stayed at 64 - 66 depending on how active the fermentation was. Concrete floor in a very cool basement.

One thing that suggested could be pitch rate and possibly pitch temp. Both were pitched at about 80 degrees. After reading a lot more I think I probably should have cooled the wort down to about 65 to match the ferment temp before pitching.

No starter for either brew. The Trappist I should have, OG about 1.065. Wyeast trappist high gravity activator pack. Popped it about 48 hours before I pitched it looked ready to blow when I opened the pouch. The Wheat I didn't think I'd need a starter, mistake perhaps, OG 1.040 Safale S-05 rehydrated in 8 oz. of 80 degree water with about 2 Tbls sugar mixed in to get things rolling. Nice and frothy at pitch time.

Does any of that give any ideas?

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Old 07-21-2011, 03:56 PM   #7
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did you sanitize your bottles?

also, what were the recipes?
DME or LME?
LME - if it's from the same place, it might be going stale?

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Old 07-21-2011, 04:00 PM   #8
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I've gotten a flavor similar to that you describe before. Always when I cheat and crack a bottle early or fail to chill a bottle long enough before cracking. If it's a similar taste in different beers, and all the beers in question might not be fully bottle and/or fridge conditioned, it could be a green beer taste. Try some again in a week and make sure you chill them for a few days before drinking.

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Old 07-21-2011, 04:03 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NordeastBrewer77 View Post
I've gotten a flavor similar to that you describe before. Always when I cheat and crack a bottle early or fail to chill a bottle long enough before cracking. If it's a similar taste in different beers, and all the beers in question might not be fully bottle and/or fridge conditioned, it could be a green beer taste. Try some again in a week and make sure you chill them for a few days before drinking.
+1

It really just sounds like green beer that needs more conditioning time!
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Old 07-21-2011, 04:04 PM   #10
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There are two things I can think of. One is yeast health. That means the 80 degree pitching temp, and probably not making a starter for the liquid yeast, could be an issue.

The other issue I can think of is water. Can you tell us what kind of water you're using? Two of the "same" flavors with different yeast strains (particularly S05 which is a clean yeast strain) makes me consider that the water is the similar ingredient.

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