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Old 10-09-2011, 04:37 AM   #1
monlov
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Default Similar off taste in last 3 brews

The first partial mash brew I did was a stout which came out perfect, then the next three (rye ipa, heffe and two hearted clone) all have the same off taste. Its hard to describe but its kinda an apple taste. The first two I did a week apart and thought they would clear up but it has been a little over four months since I bottled and the taste is still there. After I tasted the third brew I tried to look back at what I did different the first time around. I don't want to believe that it is caused by an infection because I try really hard to keep every thing sterile.

Two things I noticed that I did differently:
1. I used a name brand "spring" water with the first brew and used store brand "drinking water" for the other three.
2. It was still cold out when I bottled the first one and after I bottled I kept them at mid 70's in my closet, with the other three I kept the bottles in the same closet which is now fluctuates between 80 and 85 .

What I did in the latest beer I brewed (Milk Stout) was use the brand name "spring" water and after I bottled I put the bottles back into the fridge that I use to ferment and is kept at 68-70 degrees. This beer came out perfect with no off tastes.

sorry for the long post but my question is could either of those two things cause the off taste or was it something else that changed (luck).

my hypothesis is the after bottle temps. Thanks for you help.

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Old 10-09-2011, 04:47 AM   #2
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According to Brew Strong, the temperature at bottling time isn't that critical (unless you are talking about long time storage of the beer). However, that apple flavor that you are describing is an off flavor of temperature problems during the main fermentation. It sounds like you control your temperature during the main fermentation pretty well. How long do you leave it in the fermenter? Maybe you are bottling too quickly, and some secondary fermentation (on top of the normal bottle conditioning) is happening in the bottles?

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Old 10-09-2011, 05:01 AM   #3
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That was something I was concerned about, so the last beer that came out good (milk stout) I left for a little over three weeks. The three that were bad I cant remember, I think with the two hearted clone I transfered to the secondary(only one I used a secondary on) after a week, but I know that it appeared to have finished, and left it with hops for at least another week. I think the others I left for 2 weeks. I need to keep better records.

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Old 10-09-2011, 11:07 AM   #4
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Describing the off flavor as apple-like makes me think it may be acetaldehyde. Underpitching or racking off the primary too soon could possibly be the culprit. Did you do anything different yeast-wise between the affected and unaffected beers?

Oxidation can also cause it, if you're leaving excessive headspace or allowing lots of splashing/noisy filling during bottling that may be your cause. Edit: if oxidation is the issue, higher bottle temps would exacerbate the problem. Maybe leaving a bottle or two of your most recent batch out at higher temps to see if the off flavor appears would be helpful.

Lastly, bacterial infection may also be your problem.

Does it seem like it is getting better, worse, or staying the same over time?

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Old 10-09-2011, 03:55 PM   #5
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I don't think I did anything different with the yeast. For the bad ones I used dry with two and liquid with one. With the good ones I used dry with one and liquid with the other. No starters with any of them. They all had pretty rapid fermentations with a thick krausen. I can go back and look at the recipes and tell you what yeasts I used if that would help.

I am brewing 5 gallons and using a 6 gallon plastic carboy. The first one that came out good had the most turbulent bottle filling out of any of them because I wasn't paying that much attention to it. The rest should have been fine, TOWMBO has perfected the filling method while I cap. I will take a couple out of the latest out of the fridge and put them in the closet to see what happens.

It seems like it is staying the same over time. The ones that sat for 3 months taste the same as they did after 2 weeks.

thanks for your help

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Old 10-09-2011, 07:45 PM   #6
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I'd suggest leaving the next batch in primary four weeks before bottling. This would eliminate fermentation time. Aceteldehyde (green apples) is often due to removing beer from the yeast too soon. If that doesn't help, check sanitation and pitching rates.

(Time in the bottle or even secondary doesn't help yeast clean up as much as in primary)

You might also be more sensitive to this off flavor.

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Old 10-09-2011, 10:09 PM   #7
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I doubt it's oxidation. You need to let it ferment longer as Jawbox0 said. Your beer is too green. Let it sit in the primary longer.

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Old 10-09-2011, 10:41 PM   #8
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Either high fermentation temps and removing the beer from the yeast before it has had time to clean up.

According to 'Yeast' a mineral deficiency can also cause this. Maybe the water is the issue.

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Old 10-09-2011, 11:03 PM   #9
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I think it's some green apple-ish esters from a possible too-high fermentation temperature and underpitching.

Acetaldehyde IS a cut green apple flavor, but it is very short term and fades quickly over a short period of time. If this flavor persists, I think it's more related to yeast health and fermentation temperatures.

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