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Old 10-07-2008, 12:36 PM   #1
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Default How long to wait for improvement before tossing it all?

On June 5, I made a batch of an alpha king clone. Pretty good going in to the primary. June 13, even better going in to the secondary. June 24, really good going in to the bottles. Fast forward to July 15th - I eagerly open a bottle. Nice "pssst", pours very nice, good head....take a swig....Bleckhhhh!!! (Picture Spaulding drinking from a glass full of whiskey and cigarette butts in Caddyshack). Alright, maybe still a little green. Give it some more time. Fast forward to yesterday. It tastes as atrocious as the first day I opened it.

Alright, I'm not going to lament about where this one went wrong. I just need to re-trace my steps and see where a problem arrived. My question is at what point do you say the hell with it, give up all hope, pour the swill down the drain and re-use the bottles? I mean, after three months, is all hope lost or is more time needed?

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Old 10-07-2008, 12:39 PM   #2
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If it was undrinkable in July, and it's undrinkable now, it won't get better.

I wonder if it got contaminated in the bottling process. If it tasted good before you bottled, then something happened going into the bottle. Do you want to run through your steps? Maybe we could pick something out.

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Old 10-07-2008, 12:46 PM   #3
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Do you use bleach to sanitize?

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Old 10-07-2008, 12:49 PM   #4
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If it tasted good coming out of the secondary but bad in the bottles, your problem could be your bottles.. in which case they might not all be swill.

..think back, way back... "did I star san all the bottles, or did I get lazy and just kinda spit shine the last half?"

..serioiusly though, hope you can figure out what went wrong.

PS.. you didn't siphon with your mouth did you?

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Old 10-07-2008, 01:56 PM   #5
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For this particular batch I used bleach as a first step sanitation process since many of the bottle were somewhat horrible. I followed that with an individual rinse in the sink, and a dishwashing cycle.

Thus far, the bottles that I have tried (about 10 of them) have all sucked the same, so I suspect this batch may have gotten polluted at one of two times:

1) during the bottle bucket phase. Just a case of oxidation. Or,

2) during the dry hop. This time around I uses a cut stocking as the hop bag. I thought I had read about that somewhere. This particular bag/stocking was dyed black. I cleaned it, boiled it, and otherwise sanitized it. Even though the batch tasted good at bottling, I wonder if the dye leached and caused some horrific off flavors as carbonation was taking hold.

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Old 10-07-2008, 02:10 PM   #6
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I would suggest consulting with some folks to get a diagnosis on your brew. LHBS, club, or maybe swap with someone on here.

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Old 10-07-2008, 02:30 PM   #7
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If you have space and bottles, I'd park it until 2010 and revisit it then, perhaps sampling a bottle in 2009. But with no description other than horrible, it's hard to be sure. What sort of atrocious does it taste? Cardboard, plastic, mold, or what?

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Old 10-07-2008, 02:56 PM   #8
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PS.. you didn't siphon with your mouth did you?
I thought that mouth siphon was one of the only options if you didn't have an auto-siphon. If this is bad, then what's the other option aside from an auto-siphon?
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Old 10-07-2008, 03:00 PM   #9
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What's frustrating is that it's really hard to describe the taste. The first thing I thought of when I first tried it was 'rubbery'. It's really not like anything I have tasted before.

And I used an auto-siphon.

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Old 10-07-2008, 03:02 PM   #10
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I thought that mouth siphon was one of the only options if you didn't have an auto-siphon. If this is bad, then what's the other option aside from an auto-siphon?
fill your siphon tube with water, pinch off the end you want the beer coming out of, stick the other end in your beer, release the other end into a bucket, once all the water is out of the tube and a little bit of beer has come out, move the tube into your bottling bucket.
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