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Old 08-31-2014, 07:30 AM   #1
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Default Off flavors after fermentation?

This is a really basic question that I just want confirmation of.

Off flavors ONLY occur during fermentation, correct?

In other words, if you ferment at optimal temperatures and keep those optimal temperatures the entire time the beer (or other fermentable beverage, i.e. cider, beer, mead, etc.) is in the fermenter, but then bottle and store at room temperature (whether that is 20F or 120F), off flavors will not be produced.

I've always been under the impression that that is correct and why fermentation is the 100% more important time to control the temperature.

Now I know that high temperatures while in the bottle can change the flavor of a beer over time, but it does not create off flavors, correct?

Basically just something I've thought about from time to time and wanted confirmation from the more experienced brewers who know way more than I do.

Thanks in advance!

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Old 08-31-2014, 08:13 AM   #2
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You could get off flavors from contamination after bottling. As far as temp swings, that will affect the taste over time. The warmer it is the quicker it oxidizes, and ideally after bottle carbing you would store long term at cooler temps. Oxidation is considered an "off flavor". As far as fermentation off flavors, those only occur during fermentation.

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Old 08-31-2014, 01:28 PM   #3
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As long as the bottles were cleaned well & sanitized before filling, you're good there. And if your capper crimps the caps tightly then it can't oxidize in a well-sealed bottle. If temps get too low while it's still carbonating, it can stall out. Higher temps are OK but will carbonate faster.
Long story short, initial fermentation is where by-products of fermentation can be produced in sufficient PPM to taste &/or smell them.

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Old 08-31-2014, 01:43 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by worlddivides View Post
This is a really basic question that I just want confirmation of.

Off flavors ONLY occur during fermentation, correct?

In other words, if you ferment at optimal temperatures and keep those optimal temperatures the entire time the beer (or other fermentable beverage, i.e. cider, beer, mead, etc.) is in the fermenter, but then bottle and store at room temperature (whether that is 20F or 120F), off flavors will not be produced.

I've always been under the impression that that is correct and why fermentation is the 100% more important time to control the temperature.

Now I know that high temperatures while in the bottle can change the flavor of a beer over time, but it does not create off flavors, correct?

Basically just something I've thought about from time to time and wanted confirmation from the more experienced brewers who know way more than I do.

Thanks in advance!

Off-flavors from fermentation will only occur during fermentation, of course. But storage conditions also can create unpleasant flavors- think "skunky" from sunlight as an example.

Warm temperatures can affect long term stability of the beer as well as lead to staling, but it's light that can really create havoc with the beer/mead/wine/cider.
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Old 08-31-2014, 07:29 PM   #5
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Thanks for all the answers, guys. For the most part, it's confirming what I thought but was unsure about with some nice added information.

I've heard lots of people talk about oxidization, but I don't think I've ever tasted an oxidized alcoholic beverage before, so I'm not sure what it tastes like. I'm always very paranoid about sanitizing everything and making sure as little air as possible comes in contact with the beer/cider/mead/whatever.

This paranoia sometimes has jumped over to regular foods...

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Old 08-31-2014, 07:46 PM   #6
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Oxidized beer tastes like musty old cardboard that's been in a damp basement. It can taste like sherry, but no suck luck for me.

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