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Old 03-09-2012, 02:34 PM   #1
sprintman82x
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I just tried my first attempt at home brewing. I tried the brewers best milk stout. I had it in the primary for one week the secondary for two and on the bottle for two like the instructions said. My first impression was that it looked normal, nice and dark and a dark tan head, but when i went to taste it was like i stuck my head in a vinegar bottle. But when i swirled it around in the glass the smell and taste seemed like it went away. What could i have done wrong and will the smell go away.

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Old 03-09-2012, 02:38 PM   #2
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Did it smell like that when you bottled? I bet it was a dirty bottle gotta clean those buggers good

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Old 03-09-2012, 02:45 PM   #3
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The problem with off flavors / smells is that they are subjective, and can be easily suggestible ("does it smell like cardboard?" "Um, I guess so").

I was going to do a huge, extensive post of round-about logic, but it could indeed be if your bottles weren't sparkling clean.

I am assuming this is extract. Did the brew get splashed around at all when bottling?

So there was absolutely no trace of the smell/taste after swirling it? Did it taste good after that, or still have a weird flavor?

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Old 03-09-2012, 02:48 PM   #4
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Fermentation temperatures are the most common problem with off-flavors on first brews. The temperatures without a fermentation chamber are ambient temperature + 3-10 F.

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Old 03-09-2012, 03:36 PM   #5
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Yes it was a extract kit. I'm sure I kept the splashing at bottling to a minimum. There wasn't the smell at bottling and actually tasted ok. The smell after swirling did seem to go away but did come back after it settled. I got curious and opened another bottle and yes it still smelled like vinegar but maybe not as strong (i work third shift thats why i'm drinking this early in the morning) still tasted ok. When i cleaned my bottles i used one step for the first cleaning and removing the labels, than before bottling i used one atep again and than ran them through the dishwasher on the sanitize setting. I first ran the dishwasher on the same setting before to rinse the dishwasher out. Than went to bottling.

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Old 03-09-2012, 03:41 PM   #6
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The strip thermometer on the side of my bucket said 66 degrees while in the primary and the same in the secondary

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Old 03-09-2012, 06:01 PM   #7
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Sounds like youve got an acetobacter infection (vinegar microbes) - They can readily oxidize ethanols into acetic acid (vinegar)...Not really sure if there is much you can do about that but learn from the experience...need to sanitize a little better

...or at least thats the most common cause of vinegar flavours - but as the others have said, off flavours are often hard to distinguish

From what Ive heard (havent actually used the stuff), One-step isnt officially a sanitizing agent...but more of a cleaner - As a test, you might want to try something like a star-san or chlorine santizer (ie. chloro-clean) next time

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Old 03-09-2012, 06:18 PM   #8
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Starsan is def a better sanitizer than one step,actually a cleaner. Plus those kit instruction time tables are way off. 1 week in primary isn't enough to get to FG,& allow the beer to clean up by products of fermentation & settle out clear or slightly misty before bottling. Then 3-5 weeks in the bottles at about 70F for carbonating/conditioning before at least a week in the fridge. That would clean up most beers for good flavor,head,& carbonation. You had them in bottles for 2 weeks. Give them 1 more week in the bottles at room temp to see if it's just still green beer you're tasting. It can have that quality. If the flavor gets more intense,you may likely have an acetobacter infection.
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Old 03-09-2012, 08:24 PM   #9
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I brewed the exact same kit (Brewer's Best Milk Stout) a few months ago and did the same temp (65-68F) 1 week in primary, 2 in secondary and mine smells like bananas when I first pour a glass, after 2 minutes the fruity smell is gone and it tastes smooth with a bit of a coffee aftertaste and very sweet, not a bad brew at all and definitely no trace of vinegar off taste in mine. I agree sounds like an infection.

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Old 03-09-2012, 08:34 PM   #10
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+1 on the sanitizer/cleaner issue!

Any good percarbonate cleaner (PBW or Oxyclean Free) is a great way to dissolve proteins and get surfaces very clean (except aluminum) then a good coating of iodophor or star-san or bleach (with very, very good rinsing) for sanitizing should keep the nasties (things that have "bacillus" in their name) at bay.

A dishwasher can still harbor bits of food and stuff that could get left in bottles then make funky stuff during carbonation. Not saying that nobody should use a dishwasher, just that they may not all be good at rinsing everthing!

just sayin'

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