First brew, interesting flavor - ideas?
Ok, back on August 29 I brewed my first five gallon batch, a fairly simple pale ale using Chinook (.5 oz at 14%) for the bittering and Cascade for flavor and fermented with US-05. The wort was 70ish degrees F when pitched and I placed the carboy in a Cube cooler with ice bottles keeping it at a fairly steady 65-68 dgrees or so the entire first two weeks. Fermentation seemed picture perfect. I left it in the primary and let it come up to room temperature (75 degrees) for weeks three and four and bottled at the end of week four using pure cane sugar. (Note: When I transfered the wort to the fermenter I did not strain and added at least half of the hops and most of the trub to the carboy.)
Flavor at bottling was quite good and a week and a half later a sampled bottle was nicely carbonated and also quite good. Within a few more days however it began developing a rather pronounced spicey-peppery flavor and the bitterness seems to be increasing.
Recently sampled bottles that had bottle conditioned for two weeks and had been in the refrigerator for two weeks are clearing up nicely and have developed quite a lot of yeast residue and the spicey-peppery flavor is not quite as pronounced (but still present as a distinct flavor). The beer is actually good (or I'm developing a tast for it, lol) but rather unexpected in flavor profile.
I am continuing to monitor this as the beer ages, the remaining bottles have now been bottle conditioning for four weeks and I will put some more in the fridge soon to sample over the next two weeks. (As a side note as many have already discovered the 22 oz bombers of this beer are conditioning at a different rate than the 12 oz bottles.)
So, would you attribute this kind of flavor (peppery-spicey) to the yeast (US-05)? Have I perhaps just had an overabundance of yeast in suspension that's taking longer to settle out - clean up after themselves?
3 lbs Light DME - boil
2.5 lbs Light DME - at knockout
.5 lb Crystal 60L - steeped
.5 oz Chinook (14%) - 60 minutes
.5 oz Cascadde (7.9%) - 30 minutes
1.0 oz Cascade (7.9%) - 15 minutes
I packet US-05
assuming everything you say is accurate, and the taste did develop in the bottle where it positively did not exist prior, then the possibilities are rather limited the way I see it.
Either the renewed fermentation (carbonation) created this flavor, or the CO2 from carbonation is producing or accentuationg it.
Yeasts can product completely different ester profiles depending on their food. I know that simple sugars (priming sugar) can often bring out more in the way of esters / byproducts. So this flavor might be the product of carbonation. And a longer conditioning time might mellow it out or remove it completely. Then again, some might remain.
The other possibility is C02 itself. CO2 adds a distinct flavor and nose which might be similiar as you describe (peppery), and can also volitalize flavor components which make them much more dramatic and evident.
Yeast in suspension can most definitely impact the taste, but I don't think I'd ever describe it as peppery or spicy. Probably the opposite, really.. bready and heavy. So I kind of doubt that's the case.
This all falls into the good advice most of the 'pros' here have posted which I myself try to follow... don't judge a beer until it's been in the bottle at least a month (if not more).
I'd say it's still a bit green. I've had beers that taste great in the hydro, terrible after a couple weeks in the bottle, and then fantastic a month or so later.
Bready flavors from hops, really?... Bready flavors come from your grains, not hops....
Chinook hops have spicy characteristics and that's probably what you are tasting... although it shouldn't be pronounced since you used them for bittering...
There is nothing wrong with having your hops and trub in the fermenter. In fact you want it to be there... Just make sure none of that goes into the bottles...
It sounds like your problem is too much yeast in the bottles and that may be what's causing your interesting flavor...
Other than that, it doesn't sound like anything is wrong with your brew...
It isn't true that CO2 in solution adds no flavors. Just try sparkling vs. still water and you can definately notice the carbonic bite and the bitterness too it.
But I would guess that the peppery spicy flavor mouthfeel you are describing is from unsettled yeast. Thats how I would describe it when distrub the sediment and let it get into my glass. When you are pouring from a bottle are you making sure to avoid the sediment and leave a quarter inch in the bottom of the bottle?
Second - I mentioned a bready flavor from the yeast, not the hops.
Oh yeah, I know not to pour it all in. There is beginning to be quite a bit of yeast sediment in these too! I'm keeping my fingers crossed that things begin improving even more in a few weeks. It's actually quite interesting, you'd hardly know it was the same beer each time we've tried it.
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