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Old 10-10-2014, 02:24 PM   #1
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Default Root Beer Taste is Off

I posted this in another forum, but was told to post it here for help. I'm new to home brewing, and am trying to brew root beer (not from extract).

I've tried three batches with different recipes and sanitation, but the result are all the same; an odd-tasting brew that has no semblance to the flavor of the wort.

I understand that sugars will be eaten by the yeast, but the resulting product is nothing like the wort. The flavor is really hard to describe, but it's the dominant flavor in every batch.

I boil it, add sugar, simmer, steep it, strain it, let it get to room temperature, add the yeast, bottle it, let it sit on the counter for 2 days, and then cool it. Seems like the standard process.

I've changed recipes, sanitation, et, but I'm using the same yeast (Cooper's brewer's yeast). I've heard about champagne yeast, but would yeast alter the taste that much? To something that has no semblance to the flavorful wort?

Any help is appreciated.

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Old 10-10-2014, 07:39 PM   #2
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Coopers is pretty fruity so that is probably what you are tasting.

You might try something neutral like safale US-05.

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Old 10-10-2014, 08:06 PM   #3
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What sort of off flavor are you getting? Can you describe what it tastes like before carbonating and what it tastes like after?

I've seen that some subtle flavors get lost after it's cold and again after it's carbonated. Do you have a recipe that you're willing to share so we can troubleshoot?

I'd suggest saving samples to determine if it's the recipe or if it's the yeast.
First, before adding yeast, save a couple control samples that you can keep in the fridge to evaluate alongside the yeast carbonated sample. One of them you should keep still, and the other one you should mix with some seltzer or club soda. Ideally you'd just want to force carb your second sample rather than dilute it, but if you don't have the capability to do that, then the seltzer or club soda should at least give you some idea of whether the flavor is changing with carbonation or not.

Off flavor from the yeast carbonated sample, not from the control would point to yeast or fermentation as the issue.
Observing the same off taste in the seltzered sample would indicate that something is getting lost or muted by carbonation.
Observing the off taste in all three would suggest that something is getting lost or muted with refrigeration.


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