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Old 10-31-2012, 04:01 AM   #1
MTate37
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Default What is happening to my beer?

So I started my first beer back in August and bottled on September 9. After the weeks in bottles the beer tasted pretty good. Body and head retention weren't the greatest but I'm okay with that on this one. For a first try I was really happy and my friends seem to like it. The beer proceeded to get better for the next few weeks.

So last week I have one and the flavor seemed a little off. I thought it might be a fluke and thought nothing of it. Last night I had another and this one was off as well...almost like a cider vinegar flavor. I had one tonight and again the flavor was off, but I can't put my finger on how, just not the same as the earlier bottles. So what is going on?

The bottles are stored in my garage where the temp has stayed between 65 and 70 for the past few weeks. The questionable bottles were all in the fridge for at least three days before drinking. I've got seven bombers and a couple of 12 oz bottles left and I hope they all aren't going to be like this.


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Old 10-31-2012, 04:19 AM   #2
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You can get a little variation in a full batch, but it's pretty atypical to get major variations. I don't think this is aging related, but it could be. Only time will tell. Your temps seem good, so it's not likely that. I'm assuming you're not putting the beer in direct sunlight.

How were your sanitation practices during bottling? Did you thoroughly clean and sanitize all the bottles prior to use? And the bottling bucket, hoses, siphon, etc? Any possible chance of contamination at bottling? Bottling sanitation is probably more important than sanitation at fermentation because you don't have the yeast numbers to fight down and eliminate other competing organisms.

That's what's in my head...others may have more ideas.


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Old 10-31-2012, 04:32 AM   #3
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I'm thinking oxidation. Did the beer splash around at all after fermentation? When fill the bottles did it splash going in or did you use a bottling wand?
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Old 10-31-2012, 06:00 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by revco
You can get a little variation in a full batch, but it's pretty atypical to get major variations. I don't think this is aging related, but it could be. Only time will tell. Your temps seem good, so it's not likely that. I'm assuming you're not putting the beer in direct sunlight.

How were your sanitation practices during bottling? Did you thoroughly clean and sanitize all the bottles prior to use? And the bottling bucket, hoses, siphon, etc? Any possible chance of contamination at bottling? Bottling sanitation is probably more important than sanitation at fermentation because you don't have the yeast numbers to fight down and eliminate other competing organisms.

That's what's in my head...others may have more ideas.
My beer isn't being stored in direct sunlight. If I recall what I've read that leads to a skunky flavor, right?

I feel like my sanitation procedures were good during bottling. My LHBS gave me B-brite in my kit, which I learned on my first brew day, a Sunday, that B-brite is widely accepted as just a cleaner. Some said that a 30 minute soak would work, so that's what I did. The next day I went out and got some StarSan so that's what I used for bottling.

Bottles were soaked in OxyClean and sterilized with StarSan and a vinator. I used one case of new bottles from the LHBS and 10 bombers that I had saved. After drinking the bombers I would rinse well with our 140 degree hot water. There was nothing visible in any of the bottles to indicate they weren't clean. Buckets and hoses were also cleaned and sanitized, and siphon was primed with StarSan.

Being my first batch I was hyper anal about sanitation, and my wife, who helped is even more anal than I am. If she saw something that had been sanitized touch something that had not, she would make me stick it in the StarSan again.
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Old 10-31-2012, 06:09 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bbrim
I'm thinking oxidation. Did the beer splash around at all after fermentation? When fill the bottles did it splash going in or did you use a bottling wand?
I thought oxidation led to a wet cardboard taste.

My siphon was curled about halfway around the bottom of the bottling bucket and we used a bottling wand so there wasn't any splashing. We did have a small leak in the siphon so we stopped, tightened the hose clamp and re-started the siphon with no leaks. We probably didn't even siphon a bottle while we had the leak.

I'm at a loss here. A far as procedure goes I feel like we were on top of things.
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Old 10-31-2012, 07:16 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MTate37 View Post
I feel like my sanitation procedures were good during bottling. My LHBS gave me B-brite in my kit, which I learned on my first brew day, a Sunday, that B-brite is widely accepted as just a cleaner. Some said that a 30 minute soak would work, so that's what I did. The next day I went out and got some StarSan so that's what I used for bottling.
After the 30 minute soak in B-brite, on brew day, did you thoroughly rinse and then sanitize your fermenter?? I'm wondering if leaving traces of the cleaner in there might have something to do with the off flavour. Different flavour/smell, I know, but the plasticy smell/taste from chlorophenols resulting from chlorine/chloramine in beer gets gradually worse as time goes by, doesn't it?
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Old 10-31-2012, 07:40 AM   #7
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Your hops crapped out, no joke. It's normal. This is true for APA types, as an example if you've ever had an old seasonal beer like October fest something, in January it will tast off.
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Old 10-31-2012, 07:47 AM   #8
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Sounds like a lacto bacteria, over time it turns residual sugars into lactic acid, the first bottle will taste fine, but after 4-5 days start tasting sour.
It actually lives on humans, so I use anti-bacterial hand gel.
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Old 10-31-2012, 05:47 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mikescooling
Your hops crapped out, no joke. It's normal. This is true for APA types, as an example if you've ever had an old seasonal beer like October fest something, in January it will tast off.
This makes sense. There is a certain brightness to the flavor that appears to be gone from the bottles I described.
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Old 10-31-2012, 05:52 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BeerAlchemist
Sounds like a lacto bacteria, over time it turns residual sugars into lactic acid, the first bottle will taste fine, but after 4-5 days start tasting sour.
It actually lives on humans, so I use anti-bacterial hand gel.
I bottled six weeks ago and they just started tasting off in the last week. If lacto starts to affect flavor after 4-5 days that doesn't line up.


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