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Old 01-04-2010, 02:51 PM   #1
May 2008
Dayton, Ohio
Posts: 243
Liked 3 Times on 2 Posts

About a five weeks ago I kegged a two hearted clone based on a recipe from this forum. Going into the secondary for dry hopping the beer tasted and smelled very good. After a week in the secondary dry hopping it tasted decent, but has a faint off smell that I couldn't quite nail down. After three weeks I poured a glass. The smell is worse. It really manifests itself in the foam as it seems to release the odor. There is an off taste, but as noticeable as the smell in the foam. The only description I can give the smell is a pungent stench. It smells nothing like the centennials I put in the secondary for dry hopping. In fact, there is no trace of a centennial scent. I threw in a half ounce or so of cascades that I had left over in an attempt to cover up the stench, but a week or so later that's not working out too well.

All that said, the beer itself shows no outward signs of infection - no weird growth, etc. I was very cautious about my sanitation all the way through kegging. I'm trying to track down the culprit here. Any chance the hops at the secondary could have been bad? Or, am I looking at an infection that made its way in in spite of my best sanitation efforts?

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Old 01-04-2010, 03:15 PM   #2
Aug 2009
Atwater, OH
Posts: 4,317
Liked 56 Times on 53 Posts

Sounds like it. I have a list of Off-Flavors that came from a reliable source, for the life of me I can't remember where. Take a look and see what you can come up with...

If your beer smells like… The term is…. The source may be….

Adhesive bandages (phenolic)
Bacterial contamination; residue from a sanitizing agent ( this odor is expected of certain style beers)

Apple cider (Acetaldehyde)
Refined sugar in the recipe or bacterial contamination

Baby diapers (Enteric)
Bacterial contamination

Banana (Banana esters)
Certain ale yeast strains, particularly Bavarian Weizenbier and Belgium Strong Ales

Barnyard (Enteric)
Bacteria contamination

Bubblegum (Bubblegum)
Certain Ale yeast strains, particularly Belgium Strong Ales and Bavarian Weizenbier

Butter/Butterscotch (Diacetyl)
Bacteria, certain yeast strains, warm fermentation, short aging

Cardboard or paper (Oxidized)
Contact with air; old, stale beer

Cauliflower or cooked cabbage (Vegetal)
Bacteria contamination

Cloves (Phenolic)
Certain yeast strains; such as those in Bavarian Weizenbier

Cooked corn (DMS (dimethyl sulfide))
Poor grain quality; bacterial contamination

Cooking sherry (Oxidized)
Contact with air; long and warm fermentation

Green Apple (Acetaldehyde)
Refined sugar in the recipe; bacterial contamination

Leather (Oxidized)
Contact with air and/or old, stale beer

Marker (Phenolic)
Bacterial contamination; residue of sanitizing agent

Matches (burnt) or Sulfur (Hydrogen sulfide)
Natural by product of fermentation that’s normally flushed out with the production of carbon diaoxide

Mold (Moldy)
Sanitation problem; leeking package seal

Nail polish remover (Solvent like)
Esters produced during high temperature fermentation

Olives (green or black) or Pickles (Acetic)
Acetobacteria contamination

Paint thinner (Solvent like)
Fusel alcohols produced during high temperature fermentation

Rotten eggs (Hydrogen sulfide)
Yeast autolysis

Rubber (Hydrogen sulfide)
Yeast autolysis

Skunk (Light struck)
Damage from light

Smoke (Phenolic)
Use of dark or smoked grains that evoke this aroma

Soap (Soapy)
Residue from sanitizing agents

Vinyl upholstery (Phenolic)
Bacterial contamination; residue from sanitizing agents

Wet dog (Musty)
Bacterial contamination; lengthy aging of bottle conditioned beer

If you beer tastes odd

Blood (Metallic)
Iron in water supply

Butter/butterscotch (Diacetyl)
Certain yeast strains, warm fermentation

Chalk (Astringent)
Overfermentation; misuse of grain

Harsh (Astringent)
High hop bitterness; misuse of grain

Powdery (Astringent)
Lack of sweetness; grain astringency

Salt (Salty)
Use of brewing salts especially sodium chloride and magnesium sulfate

Sour milk (Lactic)
Lactic fermentation (which is intentional in some beer styles such as Berliner Weisse)

Tin can (Metallic)
Iron in water supply; contact with metals
Originally Posted by Revvy View Post
And I'd like to see my 1.080 beers ready from grain to glass in a week, and served to me by red-headed twin penthouse pets wearing garter belts and fishnet stockings, with Irish accents, calling me "master luv gun," but we can't always get what we want can we? :)

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