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Old 02-19-2013, 01:33 AM   #1
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Default Wet Cardboard Taste? WTH?

I brewed up a Fat Tire clone from the LHBS. Tastes nothing like Fat Tire to me. I'm trying to decide if the sour funkiness I'm getting from it is the product of a the WY1214 Belgian Abbey (not II) or from oxidation.

Everybody says oxidation tastes like wet cardboard. I have no idea what that tastes like! I'll go to great lengths to improve my brews, like many here, so I tore a piece off a cardboard box and licked it. No taste.

Sprayed it with water. Licked it. No taste.

Let it sit 5 minutes. Licked it. Tastes faintly like a brown paper bag, but not much else.

Where is everybody getting this knowledge of what wet cardboard tastes like? Do you all just sit around all day and chew of your shipment box cud? Clearly I'm not doing something right. And I have no idea what.

Help me, box munchers!

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Old 02-19-2013, 02:37 AM   #2
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It's more of a smell than a taste, I worked stock long enough in high school and college to really know that smell. It's woody and musty.

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Old 02-19-2013, 02:43 AM   #3
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Only terribly oxidized beer will taste like wet cardboard. Slight oxidation tastes more like sherry, or a bit like brandy, and it may be a bit darker.

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Old 02-19-2013, 02:45 AM   #4
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I'm with ya man. Oxidized beer just tastes like... well... OXIDIZED BEER (IMHO).

You'll know it when you taste it.

ADDENDUM: Go to a liquor store where you feel comfortable with the staff and ask them if they have any bottles that have been sitting around A LONG TIME. Take it home and drink it. It will very likely be oxidized and take note of that flavor.

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Old 02-19-2013, 02:58 AM   #5
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+1 for yoopers post

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Old 02-19-2013, 03:07 AM   #6
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Leave said cardboard box outside in the elements and right after a fresh rain bring it inside for a couple of hours. Leave the room for about 20 minutes then come back and you will have a full experience of what wet cardboard smells like. I once had some coors on the golf course that tasted exactly what that room is going to smell like.

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Old 02-19-2013, 11:48 AM   #7
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I brewed a RIS 9 months ago that for several reasons (including a move to a brewing-unfriendly apartment and poor fermentation conditions) I pretty much just gave up on. To the point that I didn't even bother keeping the airlocks full of sanitizer. At first I justified my laziness by telling myself that a little oxidation would bring it closer to style, "historically." Recently I decided to carb it to see if I could salvage it by maybe blending it with a new batch. That's how I came to experience oxidation as it had always been described to me. Strong cardboard flavor, aroma, and drying sensation (in addition to fusel alcohol, ester explosion, and a nutty vinegar flavor). I've never tasted wet cardboard either (my daughter loves it, though) but you can know how a lot of things taste by how they smell. It was undrinkable. Since I've read that oxidation doesn't go away with age like other off flavors, I gave up on it again and disconnected the CO2. When a friend I'm teaching to brew came over a week later, I tapped it again to teach him what happens when you ferment at 80 degrees in a carboy exposed to oxygen. You could still smell the heat and esters from across the room but it's drinkable! He, my wife, and another friend even liked it.

Anyway. I suggest you not throw it out. Especially if it's more vinegary than sour. Maybe it's a combination of off-flavors, some of which will be abated by aging. Then again, fat tire won't benefit from aging as much as a RIS.

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Old 02-19-2013, 11:54 AM   #8
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Hmmm. Well, whatever it is, it's drinkable. I think. Not sessionable, but it's got a sour enough funky character that it kinda works, whatever it is.

When I have some friends over, I'll tell them it's "a sour Belgian, a bit of an acquired taste... most little boys can't palette it." That'll probably get half of the keg drank. Or at least a tall glass a piece.

If anybody's in the area and wants to give it a sip, I'd be happy to throw a bottle their way.

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Old 02-19-2013, 01:50 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by thadius856 View Post
I brewed up a Fat Tire clone from the LHBS. Tastes nothing like Fat Tire to me. I'm trying to decide if the sour funkiness I'm getting from it is the product of a the WY1214 Belgian Abbey (not II) or from oxidation.

Everybody says oxidation tastes like wet cardboard. I have no idea what that tastes like! I'll go to great lengths to improve my brews, like many here, so I tore a piece off a cardboard box and licked it. No taste.

Sprayed it with water. Licked it. No taste.

Let it sit 5 minutes. Licked it. Tastes faintly like a brown paper bag, but not much else.

Where is everybody getting this knowledge of what wet cardboard tastes like? Do you all just sit around all day and chew of your shipment box cud? Clearly I'm not doing something right. And I have no idea what.

Help me, box munchers!


That was a funny post

I had a batch of ESB, all extract,last summer that started smelling a bit funky after a couple of days fermenting. Turned into a sour, funky beer that really wasn't all that pleasurable to drink the first glass but got progressively easier and, infact, interesting the more I drank. Just finished the final bottle last week and it had benefitted from aging but still retained quite a bit of the original characteristics to a certain degree. Actually became quite fond of it.

Brewed a sort of Belgian specialty ale type thing using S-33, about 8% or so, in January, bottled a few weeks ago and tasted a bottle the other day. Tasted nearly exactly like the one I described above.

I am hoping this one will improve with age a bit better than the other did
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