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Old 03-15-2011, 12:12 AM   #1
togodoug
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Iíve brewed a few batches of different ales and all but one had a [U]bitter (not like hoppy, IPA, good bitter), sour, almost stale taste. I thought it was because I was fermenting at like 80 degrees, so put my fermenter in a cooler with 65 degree water and had a good Irish Red. I tried this cooler method a second time and again have the bitter, sour, stale taste.
I always use dry yeast as I need all ingredients mailed to me.
I wonder about contamination, but its sealed up tight and I use One Step Cleaner to sanitize equipment.
I also wonder if I put the yeast in too soon. I added it just after the wart cooled to 80 degrees. But like I said, I then get it down to 65 within a few hours or less I think. I used only a primary fermenter and fermented for about two weeks.
So, contamination, bad yeast, adding yeast too hot? Any ideas? Iím really getting frustrated.

 
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Old 03-15-2011, 12:15 AM   #2
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Bottle conditioning? How long are you letting sit in the bottles?

 
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Old 03-15-2011, 06:14 AM   #3
togodoug
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SilentAutumn View Post
Bottle conditioning? How long are you letting sit in the bottles?
Between three days and three months. It all tastes the same. Its aged at about 75 to 80 degrees

 
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Old 03-15-2011, 06:58 AM   #4
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From what I know, cleaner usually isn't a sanitizer too. I would suggest using a no-rinse sanitizer like StarSan after you clean your equipment.

Without knowing more of how you're doing things, it's difficult to say where the bad flavors are coming from. I would suspect contamination is one possibility. Without knowing what yeast you're using, that could be part of it too. I would completely clean everything, then sanitize fully with StarSan and then see how that batch comes out. I would also give the yeast enough time to clean up after itself, so a minimum of 2-4 weeks on the yeast. Taste the brew before bottling to make sure it's actually ready.

How are you sanitizing the bottles? I've been using a bottling tree that I spray with StarSan just before I start putting sanitized bottles on it (filled with StarSan in a bucket, drained, then put on the tree. I've bottled several batches this way without any issues.

You can also try pitching the yeast once the wort is below 70F, but if you're getting it to under 70F within an hour or two, I don't think that's the cause.

Even dry yeast should arrive chilled. That's why you should store even dry yeast in the fridge (or even freezer)...

I would also put the bottles someplace closer to 70F for at least the carbonation time (~3 weeks typically, more for higher ABV brews)... Once carbonated, you can store them cooler. I would be cautious about storing my home brew at 75-80F for months. A couple of weeks, or while carbonating might be ok, but I'd work to get them closer to 70 for that time... Personally, I'd long term store/age my brews as close to 50-55F as possible. Or put them into a fridge at normal fridge temps once carbonated.

I'll be looking to create an aging/storage chamber for my brews/meads in the next few months. Basically, once the apartment is getting above 75F for any length of time. I am hoping to looking for a new place to live, where I'll either have access to a decent basement, or enough room to get a good sized chest freezer that I can put a JC onto for keeping the temp in the 50-55F range. That way, I'll be able to age my bigger beers, and mead, without worry.
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Old 03-15-2011, 04:52 PM   #5
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I think 80F is too hot,in my experiences anyway. Get it down closer to ferment temps for a cleaner beer.
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Old 03-16-2011, 04:23 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by unionrdr View Post
I think 80F is too hot,in my experiences anyway. Get it down closer to ferment temps for a cleaner beer.
So wll aging it at 80 degrees cause the sour / stale taste?

 
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Old 03-16-2011, 04:28 AM   #7
togodoug
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SilentAutumn View Post
Bottle conditioning? How long are you letting sit in the bottles?
I sanatise with a cleaner I got on line for a brew store. I age it after botteling for a few days to a few months, the bad taste is witihin a few days of botteling. But I an aging it ni the upper 70 lower 80 degree area. It temp an issue? So is is sanitation, temp. or something else?

 
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Old 03-16-2011, 04:30 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by unionrdr View Post
I think 80F is too hot,in my experiences anyway. Get it down closer to ferment temps for a cleaner beer.
will aging at too high a temp casue the stale bitter / sour taste?

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Old 03-16-2011, 12:05 PM   #9
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Imo,it may be the fact that the start temp was too high,& then being conditioned at too high a temp. High temps at the start of primary fermentation is when most off flavors occur.
Then you have to let it sit on the yeast cake for a while to let the yeast clean up after itself. Not doing so & aging at high temps,may be preserving these off flavors.
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Old 03-17-2011, 07:20 AM   #10
togodoug
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Quote:
Originally Posted by unionrdr View Post
Imo,it may be the fact that the start temp was too high,& then being conditioned at too high a temp. High temps at the start of primary fermentation is when most off flavors occur.
Then you have to let it sit on the yeast cake for a while to let the yeast clean up after itself. Not doing so & aging at high temps,may be preserving these off flavors.
I started brewing at a friend's house with his equipment, then I got my stuff at my place. So I've had two different sanitizing and brewing places and it seems to have the same after taste.
The common denominator seems to be aging. Iíve always aged it in the same dark closet. It canít be fermenting temp because I fixed that issue and yet one of two batches fermented at a cooler temp has the bad taste. Others have suggested contamination, but it seems that would be most likely in bottling, given that until then most equipment is boiled and yet the taste is uniform, its not like I messed up sanitation as to some but not all bottles. It could be pitching the yeast too hot. But I have tasted the beer after fermenting at bottling and it taste good, warm, flat, but good. After a few days in the bottle it seems to get rancid. But could it be the problem is pre-bottling and the flavor is just developing as time goes on and developing in a bad way? Could it be one time it was sanitation, another hot fermentation. Another hot aging and yet it all has the same bad taste?

 
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