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Home Brew Forums > Home Brewing Beer > Beginners Beer Brewing Forum > "strange" flavor in some of my brews
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Old 07-31-2010, 01:37 AM   #1
aoverturff
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Default "strange" flavor in some of my brews

Hi all. I'm not exactly a beginner, as I've been doing all grain brews for over 2 years now, but I have a nagging question. Every lager I've made, plus the last two cream ales that i've done have come out with an 'odd' flavor. I don't know any other way to describe it. In the past, I've made a cream ale that was very good. It tasted 'clean'. I left it in the secondary at lager temps for about a month. However, the last two cream ales that i made were handled the same way, but came with the 'odd' flavor. However, my last batch was too large to fit in the 5 gallon secondary, so the leftovers went into a quart bottle with an airlock in my pantry (probably 78 degrees). When the ones that were secondaried cold were bottled, they had the 'odd' flavor, but the quart secondaried hot in the pantry had the clean flavor of the first batch (which is why I made two more in the first place). What could be the cause of this odd flavor i'm getting? I ask now because I have another lager beer in primary fermentation right now. I want it to come out 'clean'. what should my next step be?


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Old 07-31-2010, 01:48 AM   #2
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Hmmm....can you be a bit more specific about the "odd" flavor? What did it taste like? Smell like? Also what were your temps exactly? I know you said lager temps, but an actual number will help out. Also what was the recipe? And what yeast did you use? If you took a gravity reading, what was the OG and FG.

*Edit - Did you make a yeast starter? If so, how large and what temp did you pitch your yeast at?



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Old 07-31-2010, 01:52 AM   #3
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+1 Odd taste, really doesn't help much. You will have to be more specific before anyone can even guess what the issue is.
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Old 07-31-2010, 01:55 AM   #4
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At 78 the yeast would have been very happy and cleaned up in no time. There is a lack of info here but I'm betting you moved to secondary before the yeast had finished.
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Old 07-31-2010, 02:12 AM   #5
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sorry, but I can't really describe 'odd'. Its like i can taste the beer, but there's something else on top, clouding the right taste out of the picture. recipe was:
7.00 POUNDS TWO ROW
2.00 POUNDS VIENNA
1.00 POUNDS FLAKED RICE
0.50 POUNDS CARA-PILS
0.50 TSP CALCIUM CHLORIDE
0.75 OUNCE OF CASCADE (bittering only)
used Safale 05 dry yeast. no starter (by that, i mean pitched yeast in warm water to activate before adding to fermentor)

Here's an odd question then, if yeast 'cleans up' at (my) room temp, should I let all my beers warm up after primary (from 65ish degrees up to 78), before secondary? or should i let them warm from secondary temps (a little cooler) to room temp for a day or two before bottling?

it seems like its only the lighter beers that get this odd flavor. I gues maybe the dark ones hide it better

Reason: omitted details
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Old 07-31-2010, 02:22 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by aoverturff View Post
sorry, but I can't really describe 'odd'. Its like i can taste the beer, but there's something else on top, clouding the right taste out of the picture. recipe was:
7.00 POUNDS TWO ROW
2.00 POUNDS VIENNA
1.00 POUNDS FLAKED RICE
0.50 POUNDS CARA-PILS
0.50 TSP CALCIUM CHLORIDE
0.75 OUNCE OF CASCADE (bittering only)
used Safale 05 dry yeast. no starter (by that, i mean pitched yeast in warm water to activate before adding to fermentor)

Here's an odd question then, if yeast 'cleans up' at (my) room temp, should I let all my beers warm up after primary (from 65ish degrees up to 78), before secondary? or should i let them warm from secondary temps (a little cooler) to room temp for a day or two before bottling?

it seems like its only the lighter beers that get this odd flavor. I gues maybe the dark ones hide it better
Well Safale 05 is an ale yeast not a lager, so fermenting below 59 degrees may cause the yeast to stress/floc out and cause unwanted esters. Leaving it sit in the ale fermentation range may have cleaned up the byproducts. Thats why the one that you left at room tempature "cleaned" up in taste.
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Old 07-31-2010, 02:29 AM   #7
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Again you really won't get any actual help without determining the off flavor. Any one that does provide you with a reason for your odd flavor is just guessing at this point, and since there are dozens of things that could be causing you issue, its really no help.

I suggest you read this section og John Palmers "How To Brew" and see if anything sounds like it could be your odd flavor.
Chapter 21 - Is My Beer Ruined?
21.2 Common Off-Flavors
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Old 07-31-2010, 02:40 AM   #8
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i've looked, and as best as i can remember, i guess i would have to say somewhere between the diacetyl and soapy. you guys might force me to drink one tonight and take better notes.

I mentioned lagers becase all the ones i've done have ended up with the same odd flavors as my latest cream ales. I do know the difference between the two and use the US-05 for my cream ales (lagers get WLP 840). Lagers were fermented in the 50-55 degree range and lagered around 35-40. Cream ales primary at 65ish, secondary around 55.

Can anyone answer my other question? After the fermentation has 'ended', should i let them warm to room temp before secondary? or before bottling?
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Old 07-31-2010, 02:54 AM   #9
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I like to let all my beer warm up. It's not always necessary but it will make for better beer faster. All yeast really like the warmer temps.

I posted something close to my SOP in my Popcorn cream recipe thread. My lagers aren't much different. It's getting closer to what pros do.
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Old 07-31-2010, 02:58 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by aoverturff View Post
i've looked, and as best as i can remember, i guess i would have to say somewhere between the diacetyl and soapy. you guys might force me to drink one tonight and take better notes.

I mentioned lagers becase all the ones i've done have ended up with the same odd flavors as my latest cream ales. I do know the difference between the two and use the US-05 for my cream ales (lagers get WLP 840). Lagers were fermented in the 50-55 degree range and lagered around 35-40. Cream ales primary at 65ish, secondary around 55.

Can anyone answer my other question? After the fermentation has 'ended', should i let them warm to room temp before secondary? or before bottling?
Whenever I secondary it is always at room temp (65-70 degrees) I am not sure the benefit of placing the secondary in lower temps (other than in the lager fridge to crash cool the yeast out). Depending on how long you leave the beer on yeat cake in the primary, I'd venture to say that you may be racking to the secondary a tad bit to soon. No harm in leaving it in the primary longer to allow the yeast to clean the byproducts.

If you end up drinking one tonight, let us know excatly what you are tasting


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