Stale beer smell - advice sought - Home Brew Forums

Register Now!
Home Brew Forums > Home Brewing Beer > All Grain & Partial Mash Brewing > Stale beer smell - advice sought

Thread Tools
Old 03-28-2007, 03:05 AM   #1
Mar 2007
Posts: 3

I've noticed that when I finish a glass of my beer, put it down on the counter and come back 5 minutes later and sniff the glass, there's a "stale" beer aroma. I know that all beer will get to that point eventually through oxidation, but the commercially brewed beers I drink do not get that stale smell nearly as quickly.

I attribute my problem to oxidation, perhaps during transfers. I transfer from primary to secondary and from secondary to a keg. I'm as careful as possible during transfers, and start my siphons by pushing a bit of CO2 into the top of the carboy cap with a racking cane.

I dry hop in secondary almost always.

Any feedback or advice appreciated.


Reply With Quote
Old 03-28-2007, 03:07 AM   #2
Yuri_Rage's Avatar
Jul 2006
Posts: 14,290
Liked 810 Times on 514 Posts

Sure sounds like oxidation, but your brief description of your procedures seems to eliminate that as the cause. I'm not sure where to point you, but I do know that oxidized beer smells and tastes like wet cardboard. Does that help?
Homebrewed Blog..........YouTube Channel .......... Shirts, posters, etc

Reply With Quote
Old 03-28-2007, 11:42 AM   #3
zoebisch01's Avatar
Nov 2006
Central PA
Posts: 5,182
Liked 10 Times on 10 Posts

I am a bit confused. Are you saying that this is when you are done drinking it? If so that happens to everyone I think. The film left in the glass always smelled odd to me after it was empty on all beers. Is this what you are talking about? If so and it is not when you are actually drinking it, don't worry about it.
Event Horizon ~ A tribute to the miracle of fermentation.

Brew what you like. Do this, and you will find your inner brewer.

Reply With Quote
Old 03-28-2007, 11:47 AM   #4
Beermaker's Avatar
Oct 2005
Beautiful Beaumont, TX, TEXAS!!!!!!
Posts: 839
Liked 2 Times on 2 Posts

We are missing the obvious here. hy the hell is the glass EMPTY, and why are you smelling it?
Why yes, yes I am a metrosexual!

On taps 1,2&3: Una Mas Cerveza, Ham in a Can, IPA
Primary: XINGU Clone, Rye P.A.
2ndary: Low Gluten IPA, Bourbon Oak Aged Vanilla Porter
Kegged: Sh*tty Orange Hefe, Una Mas Cerveza, Smokin Hot Blonde, Belgian Dubbel
Next up: Una Mas Cerveza, Pecan Pie

Reply With Quote
Old 03-28-2007, 11:59 AM   #5
McCall St. Brewer
Sep 2005
West Monroe, Louisiana
Posts: 1,171
Liked 3 Times on 2 Posts

The only solution I can think of is to refill your glass. Then you won't have that stale smell any more.

Reply With Quote
Old 03-28-2007, 03:34 PM   #6
Dec 2005
San Diego
Posts: 848
Liked 6 Times on 6 Posts

I guess homebrew has more stuff in it, to give it more flavor and more aroma. So more stuff to smell later too?
So far, I've had more experience thinking than I've had don't think they are mutually exclusive, do you?

72 batches so far,
48 wine, mostly Loquat, peach, plum, prickly pear
23 beers and ciders
1 sauerkraut
1 Tequila, from a prickly pear wine experiment that didn't work. I call it "Prickly Heat"

Reply With Quote
Old 03-28-2007, 04:40 PM   #7
Dec 2005
Posts: 379
Liked 3 Times on 3 Posts

Have you tried washing your hands?
My 'How to Homebrew Pages'

Reply With Quote
Old 03-29-2007, 01:36 AM   #8
Mar 2007
Posts: 3

Ok. Ok. I get the point.

But you know what, I've gone back to one of my Brewing in Style series books (Pale, Terry Foster), and I think I might know the problem - the fermentation temperature was too high, which can result in the stale, wet cardboard smell.

I brewed this batch in January and my basement was sitting at around 60. My experience with American Ale II, is that below 68 it pretty much stops working, so I tried to keep the temp up with a 60 watt utility light next to the carboy. I came down at one point and my the fermometer on the outside of the carboy was reading 76 - too high.

Reply With Quote
Thread Tools

Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Water treatment advice sought please BOBTHEukBREWER All Grain & Partial Mash Brewing 1 01-22-2009 05:46 PM
my closet used to smell like stale it smells great..(new to kegging) jonp9576 Beginners Beer Brewing Forum 6 09-10-2008 10:18 PM
Advice sought: Transporting small chest freezer beergears Equipment/Sanitation 4 04-25-2008 11:41 PM
Progress report & Advice Sought vtchuck Beginners Beer Brewing Forum 1 03-24-2007 04:53 PM
Keg Conditioning Advice Sought Orpheus Bottling/Kegging 8 09-19-2006 03:38 PM

Forum Jump