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Old 12-14-2012, 12:58 AM   #1
Sep 2011
San Antonio, Texas
Posts: 15
Liked 1 Times on 1 Posts

I brewed a 1554 Clone recipe I got from Homebrewtalk. I just pulled the first pint off the keg and it does not seem right.

First, the aroma smells lightly of a damp sponge or a roadside used cigarette. The taste matched that with an undefinable flavor that wasn't bitter . . . but it simply didn't taste good. My wife declared it undrinkable. I have not purchased a bottle of 1554 to compare it. This was my first schwarzbier.

1. Does anyone know the aroma I speak of (and yes, I know I am asking people over the internet who can not smell it themselves)? It is not butterscotch, DME, or a rancid smell so I still think my process was clean. As well, it sat in secondary for 4 weeks and showed no signs of contamination.
2. I noticed one small but possible error. The recipe called for debittered patent malt . . . but I did not request that from the LHBS so I may have 'bittered' patent in there. Would 4 oz make that large of an aroma/flavor difference between the two in a 5 gal batch? Is that what I am smelling/tasting?

I hit 8 points low on my OG but I don't think that would aid in the off-aroma or off-flavor -- if anything I would think a weaker beer would take away from these issues.

I realize this is a shot-in-the-dark but I wanted to learn from this if any of you have some thoughts.


P.S. I am already working on the OG issue -- I am dialing in my Brewsmith 2 assumptions which explained the weaker OG.

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Old 12-14-2012, 06:14 PM   #2
Jan 2009
Pea Green, Colorado
Posts: 2,936
Liked 68 Times on 59 Posts

My first thought was roasted/highly kilned malts, it is definately possible that the black patent is the reason. My second thought was aging, I'll bet this beer will be fine in a few more months.
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Old 12-16-2012, 02:45 AM   #3
Nov 2012
Posts: 71
Liked 5 Times on 4 Posts

Maybe a longshot, but depending on your fermenter, possibly oxidation? Some of those plastic buckets don't seal all the way but I wouldn't think that would cause the extreme off-flavors you're talking about.

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Old 12-16-2012, 02:49 AM   #4
annasdadhockey's Avatar
Jan 2009
Kingston, PA
Posts: 1,761
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Originally Posted by snap1042 View Post
... the aroma smells lightly of a damp sponge or a roadside used cigarette.
You say this like it's a bad thing.
Anybody can be a rockstar when the rest of the room is wearing helmets and drooling on themselves.

Originally Posted by dfc View Post
Things are going great too. I think I've only punched her in the face 3 times!
FERMENTING: Heady Topper Clone?
CONDITIONING: 40 gallons KBS clone in a Jim Beam Barrel (since 11/24/12)
DRINKING: Smoked Robust Porter, Orange Coriander Pale Ale #5
THINKING: first foray into lagers?

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