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Old 07-03-2007, 02:17 PM   #1
sacks13
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Default Sweet, cider odor and taste

I recently brewed two wheat beers, both of which had a strong, sweet, almost cidery odor at bottling. One of them was less so than the other, but they were both a little "ripe". I'm convinced neither will be drinkable. I opened a one-week conditioned bottle from one of the batches and it was watery and carried that sweet, cider-like off taste to it.

From what I've read this could be the result of contamination, or it could be old extract. I did happen to use the same wheat extract in both, and the extract came from an LHB who gave it to me in a plastic container rather than in a branded can. I'd like to think this is the issue rather than my sanitation methods, but I'm up for feedback.

Anybody else get a brew with these characteristics?

By the way I fermented both betwen 66-70 degrees, and the beer did not have any white strands or any visual cues as to any contamination.

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Old 07-03-2007, 02:51 PM   #2
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Could you post the recipe? Sometimes something will "stick out" and give a clue as to what happened.

I don't know of old LME giving a cider-y taste, but I guess it's possible.

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Old 07-03-2007, 04:48 PM   #3
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Sure...

First recipe:

1 lb DME
1.5 lb honey
3.3 lb Liquid Wheat Extract
1.5 oz Tettnang
.5 Belgian wheat grains
Dry Wheat Yeast packet

OG 1.042
FG 1.012
Primary 8 days
Secondary 10 days

This batch smelled particularly sweet/cidery after primary. Tasted funky sweet and watery at bottle.


Second recipe:

6.6 lb Liquid Wheat Extract
1 oz. Hallertau (60 min)
.5 oz Hallertau (15 min)
1.25 oz Lemon Zest (5 min)

Forgot to get OG/FG

Good fermentation carboy for 8 days. Krausen died down and bottled on Day 13.

This batch smelled a little less strong at bottle but still same strong alchohol/cider/sweet smell. Similar taste, though a hint of stale beer taste as well.

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Old 07-04-2007, 07:49 AM   #4
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I've only familiar with cidery flavors coming from fermenting table sugar or "raw" sugar.

My two guesses: 1) The extracts they sold you were really old. There is evidence that the complex sugars in LME will break down into more simple sugars the longer it sits on the shelf. 2) Or your LHBS is cutting the liquid malt extract with glucose syrup.

You can either try going with Cooper's and see if you still get it. I haven't had any problems with cidery flavors or "LME twang" with Coopers. Or you can do what many people on here have done and quit using LME all together and switch to DME.

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Old 07-04-2007, 07:49 AM   #5
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Sorry, it double posted

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Old 07-04-2007, 04:27 PM   #6
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Might just be green - whenever I've brewed w/honey it seems it took extra long for the beer to condition and taste great -- like about 3-4 weeks more than normal...

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Old 07-05-2007, 12:44 AM   #7
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I missed the 1-week conditioning part of the original post. It could be green beer flavors. It could condition out after 3 - 6 weeks in the bottle. But my money is still on bad LME.

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