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Home Brew Forums > Home Brewing Beer > Beginners Beer Brewing Forum > first batch screw up...?
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Old 06-21-2011, 04:01 PM   #1
devanmc
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Default firt batch tastes like ****

Ok so my first batch is done(AG) and well there is a very bad off-flavor in it. Its a smoked Schwartz. The main grain ingredient was smoked BBQ Munic, the full recipe is on my brothers iphone and i dont remember it.

Anyways, its smells like a perfectly normal beer with a SRM of about 7-8 and a fg of ~1.010 and it fermented at ~68* F. But upon drinking it there is a bad mid through after taste. initial thoughts are always "yum pretty good" immediately followed by "ew wtf is that?". My brother says its a vinegary taste. Which would mean bacteria infection, but i dont agree. As i cant really put my finger on this upsetting after taste. The flavor is very strong and over powers all the other tastes besides the smoky flavor which comes back as the aftertaste wears off.

Any ideas what i screwed up or does this sound like an average bacteria infection?


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Old 06-21-2011, 04:20 PM   #2
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Doesn't sound like a bacteria infection at all. Sounds like common esters. I have had this before, and would describe it as a sour bite. My girlfriend thought it was vinegary as well.

This is pretty common when fermentation temperatures either fluccuate or are a bit too warm for your yeast. It wouldn't be out of the ordinary to get some ester if your temp was at 68. Remember, even if the room temp is 68, the fermentation temp is going to be 2-5 degrees higher than that inside the primary. The room/chamber temp should be about 60-62 to hit an optimal ferm temp around 65-68 for most common ale yeast. If it is esters, I bet you had a relatively fast fermentation that produced lots of activity for about 2-4 days, then almost no activity after that. I would also bet that you are about 2-4 weeks out from your brew day.

Anyway, the good news is that esters mellow out. Let the beer condition for about another 3-4 weeks at room temp or 4-6 weeks if you've already chilled it, and the ester taste will be gone.


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Old 06-21-2011, 04:26 PM   #3
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thats good news then, thank you.

As for fermentation thats exactly how it went, it fermented for about 2days then pretty much nothing for the remaining 5.

I do have another question now though. Its summer and unless your in Alaska, the temp outside is probably 75+, and likely closer 80-90 everyday. Even in the basement with the A/C on the temp is still ~67 down there. Without spending 100+bucks on a minifridge and temp controller. How can i get my temps down?
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Old 06-21-2011, 06:32 PM   #4
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Water bath with ice or wet t shirt with fan. They work ok but you will find the fridge is the way to go if your serious.
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Old 06-21-2011, 06:36 PM   #5
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I'm in FL, and ferment in an interior closet with fermentation temps at about 74-76. I just know that 80% of the time I am going to have esters.

So how do I get around this? I brew three weeks out of every month and have enough cold beer available that I can build in an extra 3-4 weeks to properly condition the esters out of my beer

I'm eventually going to build a fermentation chamber or turn a chest freezer into one, but for now, I just solve the problem the way Guns and Roses would (WWARD? What Would Axel Rose Do?)..................with a little patience.

For a cheap fix, though, do a board search for SWAMP COOLER. That'll get it done for under $20.


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