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Old 10-21-2008, 01:34 PM   #1
jpsloan's Avatar
Nov 2006
New Market, MD
Posts: 745
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I've had a couple really bad pints from a local brewpub, and I was wondering what might be causing it?

It started when I tried their blueberry wheat last summer. It tasted like I gargled with Dawn dish detergent.

It happened again a few months later, only it was supposed to be a cream ale! These two styles are different enough, I don't think it's just the one recipe or one ingredient doing it.

Any ideas from those of you "in the know" as to what causes this soapy flavor? Is it simply that they're allowing too much cleaner to remain unrinsed in their vats? Or is it an ingredient interaction thing?
"An Irishman is never drunk as long as he can hold on to a blade of grass, and keep from slipping off the face of the Earth."

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Old 10-21-2008, 01:38 PM   #2
Soulive's Avatar
Mar 2007
The Middle of NJ
Posts: 4,278
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The times I've perceived soapy flavors in beer have been two situations. One was when the brewpub just cleaned out the line and put on another keg. It was very minimal though as they flush the lines with clean water before serving. The second was when eating garlic flavored food with hoppy beer. The combination of garlic and hops usually makes me taste soap. I've tested the idea several times...

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Old 10-21-2008, 01:51 PM   #3
Ale's What Cures You!
Yooper's Avatar
Jun 2006
UP of Michigan, Winter Texan
Posts: 69,885
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My understanding of soapy off-flavors is that it's the breakdown of the trub. From John Palmer:

Soapy flavors can caused by not washing your glass very well, but they can also be produced by the fermentation conditions. If you leave the beer in the primary fermentor for a relatively long period of time after primary fermentation is over ("long" depends on the style and other fermentation factors), soapy flavors can result from the breakdown of fatty acids in the trub. Soap is, by definition, the salt of a fatty acid; so you are literally tasting soap.
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