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Old 03-05-2010, 05:04 AM   #1
rviator325
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Default Beer makes mouth numb

Afternoon/morning all; unfortunately my first post on this board is about a questionable brew. I've been lurking for a few months and have learned so much from everyone.

I've brewed 6 five-gallon extract batches and have been having a good time doing it. I consider the first 2 batches a wash; drinkable but a bunch of noob mistakes. 3rd and 4th batches (a Belgian Trippel (bottled) and a Weisen (kegged)) came out great. I was about to rack my 5th batch, a Strong Scottish, to a carboy after 12 days in primary and noticed a very unpleasant taste while taking a SG sample. It started out at 1.072, within 2 points of predicted OG, and is at 1.021 today, also within 2 points of predicted FG. Anyways, the taste makes my mouth feel numb, very much like chloraseptic. The only other post of similar nature on here I found was: http://www.homebrewtalk.com/f39/beer...l-numb-161653/ .

I already plan to let it sit on the yeast cake for another week, but I haven't had this 'issue' with the other 4 batches I've brewed and tasted. I have the recipe in the garage, but it's nothing out of the ordinary. I chilled the 3 gallon wort pretty quickly with a home-made immersion chiller, topped off to 5.25 gallons, and let it ferment in a 6.5 gallon bucket at 70 degrees in the living room (SWMBO has no problem since the Weisen is all hers).

So, in order to introduce myself, and to find an answer to this issue, I ask for assistance from the pro's. Any ideas as to the numb-ness of the brew?

Thanks!
Robert


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Old 03-05-2010, 05:33 AM   #2
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I'm no pro, but I'll go with the answer I gave in the other thread. Phenol is the active ingredient in Chloraseptic, which is rather renowned for its ability to make your mouth feel numb.

70* is a bit low for phenol production, but with some types of yeast it may have been hot enough.


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Old 03-05-2010, 05:35 AM   #3
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If you fermented the beer at 70F ambient temps then your beer could have been fermenting at 75-80F. The metabolic activity of yeast can raise the temps of the beer by 5-10 degrees. Many around here try to keep the ambient temps of where they ferment in the mid to low 60s so that at no point would fermentation temps get above 70.

Did a lot of hops go into this batch? Sometimes bitterness can "numb" the mouth. Also higher ABV beers sometimes require a little longer conditioning before they become drinkable. Leave it in the primary for 3-4 weeks and try it again.
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Old 03-05-2010, 05:45 AM   #4
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The answers could be numerous as well as very unique. Whatever you are experiencing is definitely an uncommon problem, if not sliding into the rare category, and I doubt anyone can really place the "off-flavor", or if it actually is numbing, "the lack there-of" without tasting it.

Of course, you could be experiencing a hypersensitivity to something in the beer. I would investigate to see what kind of malt hops and yeast went into the beer and compare them to the beer you made previously without the "numbing". Different amounts of kilning of different malts results in a malliard reaction (amino acids bonding to sugars) and produces a wide variety of antigens that some people's immune systems react to. One of the symptoms of a hypersensitivity reaction could be numbing, but I would think swelling and redness would be primary. But like many diseases of the immune system they are terribly individual.

You wouldnt be the first with a beer allergy, some people cant drink dark beer, some people cant drink others.
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Old 03-05-2010, 05:49 AM   #5
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just curious, what was your recipe?
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Old 03-05-2010, 05:59 AM   #6
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If you want to rule out an allergy: take a full dose of benadryl about 15-30 minutes before tasting a sample and then try it. If you do not get the same numbing sensation it could indicate an allergy.
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Old 03-05-2010, 09:24 AM   #7
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The recipe my LHBS provided is:

6.5 lbs Amber LME
3.5 lbs Pale LME
0.5 lbs Crystal 40L
0.25 lbs Roasted Barley
0.25 lbs Peated Malt

2 ounces Cascade 60 mins
1/2 ounces Northern Brewer 15 mins

WLP028 Edinburgh Ale, didn't use a starter for this one.

Kind of on the low side of a big brew, but I suppose it should be considered a big brew. The bucket doesn't have a temperature sticky on the side, but ambient temp is pretty stable. During winter here, every other room in this old house is pretty cold and temps are not consistent, thus the living room is the chosen room (and it's a cool conversation starter).

No allergies that I'm aware of; and I'm fond of the stronger and darker beers without any previous 'sensation'.

I appreciate the feedback, and will report back with how the beer mellows out in the coming week, or two.

Thanks again!
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Old 03-05-2010, 09:31 AM   #8
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I've brewed a couple brews that were so bad they made my tongue pucker and tingle a bit (I just assumed it was hop bitterness and carbonation) but never had one go numb.....

Save it for sore throat spray!
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Old 03-05-2010, 11:05 PM   #9
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Hmm...peated malt? I've seen that get a really bad reputation when used in beer. smoked malts are more common.

it might be the 'peatyness' of that peat malt contributing to this odd flavor.
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Old 03-06-2010, 02:25 AM   #10
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It is possible the fluctuation in temps have led to extra phenols in the beer from your yeast. It is possible that, given time, the yeast will also break down these phenols.

Did you use bleach to sanitize your equipment and forget to rinse? Chlorophenols can make that taste. Is your tap water chlorinated?


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