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Old 04-16-2011, 04:22 PM   #1
Feb 2010
Hagerstown, MD
Posts: 12

Hi, this is my 1st post on homebrew talk
I just tried my Irish Red beer and it has an off taste. It tastes like beer. not so sour, but more of a sting to it. It smells a little off to, but mostly the taste

I have 2 theories, but wanted to see what others think. While step mashing, I overshot temp and the mash stood at 175 for about 11 mins. I tried to bring to down, but had to add cold water to it to drops it to 155.
I am wondering if I released tannins from the grain and that is causing the sharp taste in the beer.

The 2nd thing, while in the primary, it was fermenting so hard it blew off the airlock. I guess it could have got infected.

Its about to be dumped, but i was trying to figure out the mistake so I dont repeat it.

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Old 04-16-2011, 04:33 PM   #2
Jan 2011
Kissimmee, Fl
Posts: 278
Liked 7 Times on 7 Posts

First. DON'T DUMP. Let it sit in your closet for 6 months. If you say the off taste isn't unruly then let it age! A lot of times the off flavors will subside with time!!!

As far as the off flavor, you're going to have to give us more to go on than "it's got a sting to it".

Research "Off Flavors" and let us know what it tastes like.

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Old 04-16-2011, 04:34 PM   #3
Sep 2010
Tampa, FL
Posts: 1,102
Liked 12 Times on 12 Posts

What were your fermentation temps?

Was this your first batch?

Ever get the taste before?

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Old 04-16-2011, 04:39 PM   #4
Post Hoc Ergo Propter Hoc
Revvy's Avatar
Dec 2007
"Detroitish" Michigan
Posts: 40,941
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There's a lot or variables that could be why you think your beer tastes bad at this time, and neither of them are from what you think...tannins are really difficult to leach, and an an airlock blowoff is nothing either- it happens to all of us at one time or another.

First off, how long has you beer been in the bottles? It really just sounds like you beer is green and needs more conditioning time.....It doesn't really sound like there's anything wrong to me....Like you said, it isn't sour and tastes like beer, it probably needs more time for the flavors to round out.

Everything you need to know about carbing and conditioning, can be found here Of Patience and Bottle Conditioning. With emphasis on the word, "patience."

Thirdly don't dump your beer- read this instead and walk away from it for awhile, I can almost gaurentee you your beer will taste great when you come back to it in a few weeks or months.
Read theses two threads that were compiled for nervous new brewers to realize that your beers are not a weak baby that is going to die if you look at it wrong.

Read this one especially

Our beer is really resilient despite the boneheaded things we do to it. And even if something appears to be wrong, often time and the yeasties go along way to correct itself.

I think about it in terms of my time and money, I'm not going to dump 30 or more dollars worth of ingredients, 6 hours of brewing time, and at least 2 months from yeast pitch to cracking the first bottle, on what could be a minor mistake (that may not even harm the beer anyway,) until I have exhausted all probability that the beer won't improve. And even then that means at least walking away from the bottles for maybe 6 months or more.

And so far I have never beer wrong.

After all these years of brewing I still haven't had a dumper.

And I've made some big mistakes.

But I have never had a beer that wasn't at least palatable, after all that time.

They may have not been stellar beers, but they were still better than BMC or Skunky Beers in green bottles that people actually pay money for.

But we can't help you for next time with such little info but your hypothesis, what we need is your recipe, fermentation temps/ time in fermenters, time in bottles etc....
Like my snazzy new avatar? Get Sons of Zymurgy swag, here, and brew with the best.

Revvy's one of the cool reverends. He has a Harley and a t-shirt that says on the back "If you can read this, the bitch was Raptured. - Madman

I gotta tell ya, just between us girls, that Revvy is HOT. Very tall, gorgeous grey hair and a terrific smile. He's very good looking in person, with a charismatic personality... he drives like a ****ing maniac! - YooperBrew

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Old 04-16-2011, 11:17 PM   #5
May 2009
Auckland, NZ
Posts: 727
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Originally Posted by Revvy View Post

And so far I have never beer wrong.
Good advice Revvy, I have never dumped a beer either and given enough time I never beer wrong either.

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Old 04-17-2011, 02:52 AM   #6
Feb 2010
Hagerstown, MD
Posts: 12

1st, I want to thank everyone for the quick responses.

I tasted it again... and it made me cringe when i did. At 1st, it tasted fine... nothing different than normal, but after, it was very gross ( for lack of better term.) I know my description of what is going on isnt very good. Even on BeerAdvocate, I have a hard time describing what I am tasting,

Unfortunately. I did dump the beer. Except 1 bottle. It was in a corney keg and I beer gun'd in 1 bottle just to let it sit, so i can try it later.

I am new to AG brewing. Not my 1st batch, but definitely a newbie

I will give more detail for those who wanted it.

It was an Irish red kit AG from Morebeer, The recipe called for a single infusion mash, but since I own 2 burners, i wanted to do a step mash ( for better or for worse). So I did a protein rest. for about 12 mins, hit the heat to 150 for 35 mins. I was shooting for 157 after that, but i think i kept the burner on to long. i stirred and stirred and my thermometer still read near 150-152, then all of sudden it was at 175. Thats when i **** ( and shut the heat off) and tried to cool it back down.
got it cooled let it sit for the 20 mins . I didnt mash out because it was thin...
I am guessing from the high temp and the addition of cool water. Then i sparged and ect, ect.

It was in the primary for about 2 wks, and 2ndary for about 2 wks. It was then filtered through a plate filter and forced carbonated in the keg.

I had my brother who has the brew chem book go through descriptions of what i was tasting. I determined it was a plastic taste, no filmyness. no sour. maybe a metal can hit at the end.

I have never had a beer that tasted like it. it may have gotten better with age, but i am not sure. Something was telling me that it wasnt right.

again thanks for replying!


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Old 04-17-2011, 03:00 AM   #7
Feb 2010
Hagerstown, MD
Posts: 12

here is the recipe

9lb 2 row
1 lb crystal 120L
8oz aromatic
8 oz caramunich
2 oz black roasted
2 oz special b

all milled together.

Irish Ale yeast with starter

Here is my actual BREW DAY numbers( above was an quick estimate)

137 for 15 mins
150 for 40 mins
175 for 11 min--- then added 1/2 gallon cool water
158 20min..

sparged with 170 degree water
I got the standard OG and final gravity that it called for. ( i dont have those numbers near by... there are on my other CPU)

Since i got the normal alcohol %, My 1st thought was that I havent denatured the sugars since it seemed to ferment as expected

again .. thanks!

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Old 04-17-2011, 09:02 AM   #8
emjay's Avatar
Jan 2011
Toronto, Ontario
Posts: 12,792
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Never tried a MoreBeer (or any kit other than the Cooper's K&K thrown in with my starter equipment kit... the only beer I ever DID dump!) But I can't imagine the recipe being THAT bad - although a pound of 120L crystal is more than I would ever use - not to mention the ADDITIONAL crystal malt on top of that!

But it's almost impossible to even guess what's wrong without knowing what you're tasting. The easiest was is just to compare it to the smell or taste of something else. If you see descriptions of various off-flavors (or even good flavors), you'll notice they are always described in terms of another taste or aroma, and not always food (ie green apple, cloves, bandaid, cat pee, horse sweat, etc). Tannin astringency is actually a description of mouthfeel and not of flavor - it has a "drying" effect in your mouth, much like sucking on a teabag, or what some red wines will impart, so it doesn't sound like that.

Just taking a shot in the dark though... have you ever had an Irish Red before? I'm not a big fan of the style due to the use of roasted barley, the one beer ingredient I just can't seem to ever get into. It gives the beer a somewhat acrid character, much like you'd find in a Guinness.

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Old 04-17-2011, 08:19 PM   #9
TheBeerist's Avatar
Nov 2010
Seattle, WA
Posts: 257
Liked 15 Times on 14 Posts

So this was an AG kit from morebeer? How long ago since you racked it to your keg? Were the grains sitting around for a while? Kind of hard to speculate about what the problem is without tasting the beer. I honestly don't think that 175 degrees for 11 minutes would have extracted any noticeable amount of tannins. My guess without tasting be either a wild infection or phenols from the yeast, old improperly stored grains, or it was just a green beer that needed time to age.

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