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Old 01-11-2013, 01:18 AM   #1
Aggie_JD
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Default Help me identify off flavor in first batch

Hey guys, new brewer here. I made a brown ale with an all extract kit. I have had several tastes of the beer and now it has been conditioning in the bottle for about 3 1/2 weeks.

Every time I've tasted it, including just now I have a terrible off flavor. It's difficult to describe but it is very harsh, with a very bitter aftertaste, but not a pleasant bitterness you get from hops. The carbonation is good, it looks great, but it smells and tastes bad. I can barely taste the grains at all as well. Any ideas? I know it's not very descriptive, I'm not sure how else to describe it.

Thanks very much.

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Old 01-11-2013, 01:30 AM   #2
Chuckd76
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Hey,
The best thing for you to do would be to share the beer with someone else. Maybe take it to your LHBS and give a few bottles to the employees for some feedback. I've only been brewing for a couple of years but I've found that just letting someone taste my brews (or even having a non-drinker smell them) works wonders for identifying off flavors. Also, there are kits out there that come with compounds you can add to beer to help with educating your palate. One last note, I've found it useful to buy beers and then read reviews of the beer as I drink it. Many times it's easier for me to identify a flavor once I've been given a hint. Good luck and happy brewing!

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Old 01-11-2013, 01:31 AM   #3
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I can't tell what it is from the description above. This might help you narrow it down.

http://www.howtobrew.com/section4/chapter21-2.html

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Old 01-11-2013, 01:37 AM   #4
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Yeah I actually have the book and I've been looking at those. I'd say it's a combination of an astringent flavor and also somewhat solvent like.

I did primary fermentation for about a week in a plastic bucket and about 3 more weeks in a glass carboy. OG and FG were right in the correct range as well.

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Old 01-11-2013, 01:52 AM   #5
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What yeast did you use and at what temperature did you ferment?

You could be dealing with sanitation issues, fermentation issues or water issues.

Look at this list and check both astringency and solvents like off flavors and the possible causes related to your process.
Your answers the above questions will help
http://www.kroc.org/Links/TroubleshootingGuide.htm

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Old 01-11-2013, 01:55 AM   #6
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I used the packet of yeast that came with the kit, maybe that was an issue, but I don't think it was too old. I did rehydrate it first. Fermentation temp was around 63-66 in my pantry.

I did not realize that the wort needed to be aerated the first when I poured it from the kettle to the primary, so that might be an issue.

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Old 01-11-2013, 02:02 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Aggie_JD View Post
I used the packet of yeast that came with the kit, maybe that was an issue, but I don't think it was too old. I did rehydrate it first. Fermentation temp was around 63-66 in my pantry.

I did not realize that the wort needed to be aerated the first when I poured it from the kettle to the primary, so that might be an issue.
Pouring from one vessel to another will aerate the wort to an extent. In all honesty, my first batch tasted like sh**.
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Old 01-11-2013, 02:06 AM   #8
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Fair enough. Worst comes to worst I'll let it hang out for another 6 weeks and try it again.

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Old 01-11-2013, 02:09 AM   #9
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That sounds a lot like chlorophenols from chlorinated tap water. What was your water source?

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Old 01-11-2013, 02:24 AM   #10
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It was indeed tap water. Perhaps next time I'll try bottled.

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