Alcoholic Off Flavor 24 Hours After Kegging

Homebrew Talk - Beer, Wine, Mead, & Cider Brewing Discussion Forum

Help Support Homebrew Talk:

Live42

Member
Joined
Feb 12, 2018
Messages
5
Reaction score
17
I just had a batch of oatmeal milk stout get ruined by a really nasty alcoholic off flavor, and I've racked my brain and searched the forums, but to no avail. Maybe you can help me!

I brewed said stout and kegged it after 2 weeks in primary (no secondary). I force carbonated, and tasted the beer on sunday, and it tasted fine. Perhaps overshot on the carbonation a bit, but thats no big deal. Monday, I poured a pint, and on the first sip I was absolutely clobbered with overwhelming alcohol flavor, to a much greater extent than I've experienced with some really strong beers. After that, I got a nasty warming feeling in my throat, and then in the pit of my stomach. I haven't had this particular problem with my beers before, but it seems pretty clear to me based on what I've read that this is a fusel alcohol problem.

But that's where my analysis has ground to a halt because my understanding of fusel alcohols is that they're usually caused by fermenting too warm, or sitting on trub too long. Clearly neither of these things happened, because I had tasted the beer the day before and it was fine. Whatever happened, happened in the keg.

I'm very careful with my kegging process because I brew a lot of NEIPAs which are ludicrously sensitive to oxidation. Process as follows: Clean keg with PBW, rinse. Fill with sanitizer, force sanitizer out with CO2 through racking cane and hoses to sanitize the whole system. Push beer out of fermenter, through sanitized racking cane into keg. Force carb.

Any thoughts?
 

cyberbackpacker

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jul 25, 2008
Messages
2,152
Reaction score
434
Location
Holland, MI
Did you burst carb? If so, the perception of the alcohol could be tied to an excess of carbonic acid... just a thought. I'd give it a few days at least, let it sit on the gas and equalize, before trying again regardless. :mug:
 

day_trippr

"This Space For Rent"
Joined
May 31, 2011
Messages
37,509
Reaction score
20,350
Location
Stow, MA
Pour four ounces or so into a 12 ounce glass and let it sit for awhile (I'm thinking 30 minutes at least), give it a taste.
If it seems "better"/"less-bad" let it sit longer and keep trying it as it flattens out.

I don't believe fusels can suddenly appear post-fermentation (I'm sure I'll be corrected if wrong ;))
If you had sampled the beer when you kegged and didn't notice that fusel character it seems unlikely to me that's the issue here...

Cheers!
 

don_bran321

Well-Known Member
Joined
Oct 27, 2017
Messages
183
Reaction score
65
I have had this happen with a LOT of my IPas still have not figured it why.
 

don_bran321

Well-Known Member
Joined
Oct 27, 2017
Messages
183
Reaction score
65
It only got worse with time and never got better. I was carbonation as normal also.
 
OP
L

Live42

Member
Joined
Feb 12, 2018
Messages
5
Reaction score
17
So here's an update. It's two days later. Today, I poured a pint and tried it. It seems like the alcoholic taste has diminished significantly. I obviously can't go back in time and try them side by side, but it certainly didn't make me cringe the way it did the other day.

Per the suggestion above, I put the glass in the fridge and let the beer go flat for a couple of hours. Trying again, the off flavor was almost completely gone, which certainly supports the theories above! I won't say for 100% certain that the flavor is completely gone, but it's certainly better. This definitely wasn't what I was expecting, so I think it must truly be different.

So I guess I'll just let the keg hang out for a while and hope it gets better. I turned down the pressure of the gas, and have vented the keg a few times since since, as previously stated, it was a bit overcarbed to begin with. Since its a stout, it should benefit from some aging anyway. I have to say, this is one of the stranger things I've experienced so far on my home brewing journey.
 

sicktght311

Well-Known Member
Joined
Oct 16, 2018
Messages
637
Reaction score
282
This is the risk taken by quick carbonation without precise control. Carbonic bite can definitely happen and makes flavors pop that you wouldnt want, when normally they wouldnt be there. I've found that i can fully carbonate a beer in 24hrs at the right pressure, but the beer wont taste "Right" until i give it another 4-5 days to settle out at serving pressure
 

day_trippr

"This Space For Rent"
Joined
May 31, 2011
Messages
37,509
Reaction score
20,350
Location
Stow, MA
[...]
Per the suggestion above, I put the glass in the fridge and let the beer go flat for a couple of hours. Trying again, the off flavor was almost completely gone, which certainly supports the theories above! I won't say for 100% certain that the flavor is completely gone, but it's certainly better. This definitely wasn't what I was expecting, so I think it must truly be different.[...]
If you re-read your original post there was a lot of stuff working in your favor, so the odds that you ran into an outlier problem - and an "own goal" at that ;) - were pretty high...

Cheers!
 
Top