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Bad tasting lager

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2nd Street Brewery

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Just tried my latest lager Sunday and BLEEE. Definatly not what I was hoping for. Now I need to figure out where I went wrong.

I had almost zero head developement which I am putting on the fact that I did not repitch my yeast when I bottled. The beer itself has an aftertaste that I haven't had before. I did ferment at the lowest end of the temp range so I am wondering if the culpret might be high Diacetyl levels. The taste is hard to describe, kind of a chemical taste that hits the front of my toungue.

Has anyone had any experience in what Diacetyl tastes like. This is the first brew that I have done that I would call undrinkable so I guess I should count myself lucky, just don't want to repeat the mistake.
 

andre the giant

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I had similar experiences with my Pilsner. I attributed the bad flavor to the use of bleach as a disinfectant, (and not properly rinsing the residue off) and some spots of corrosion that I hadn't noticed on my wort chiller. But to tell the truth, I'm not too sure that those were the causes.

The bad taste I had in my beer had a definite bite, but it occurs mostly at the back of the tounge. A friend described it as a band-aid flavor, although I didn't agree with that. It's more of a bitter chemical flavor. The same flavor ruined a batch of pale ale I made, so it can't be the yeast, or the ingredients. Must have something to do with the sanitization or fermentation process.

Unfortunately, I don't know what Diacetyl tastes like, so I can't help you there.
 
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2nd Street Brewery

2nd Street Brewery

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Well now you have me thinking Andre. I usually use OneStep to sanitize and recently swithced to Idophor but I did run out and used bleech one time. I have been racking my memory to try and figure out which batch of bottles I used it on. I'll have to wait till I get home and check my calendar to see when I bottled my last three batches. I have another lager going right now but it won't be ready to bottle until the end of the month. I'll have to wait to see how that comes out. Hopefully this other batch will mellow out a little after sitting a while longer.
 

DeRoux's Broux

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sounds phenolic to me too. you have to be real careful (as everyone knows) about cleaning and sanitation when brewing lagers. every little flaw comes scream'n out at you!
did you do a 2-3 day diacetyl rest before you racked it to the secondary for lagering?

what temp did you ferment at, and for how long?
 
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2nd Street Brewery

2nd Street Brewery

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Just so we're all using the same reference, I don't do true lagering I guess. I had in primary for 1 week at between 44-48 deg F and then moved to secondary for 2 weeks at same temps, I let sit at room temp for 24-36hrs before bottling. I don't yet do the dropping of the temp by 2deg a day to get it to around 34F as I have only one fridge and was doing 2 lager/pilsners at the same time. As I said, I did just switch to Idophor and I may not have used a strong enough solution.
 

DeRoux's Broux

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okay, that could still be the problem? just for grins, which yeast did you use (brand/strain specific)? those strains take longer to ferment (usually 10-14 days) and if fermented a lower temps and a shorter time, it may not have fermented out before you set it at room temp. lot's of possibilities w/ a lager's funky flavors.......

that way has worked out okay for you before?
 
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2nd Street Brewery

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This has worked for me in my first 2 lagers. The recipe called for Wyeast Bohemian Lager but my HBS did not carry it and we substituted White Labs Southern German Lager. Looks like I may be chalking this batch up to experience.
 

DeRoux's Broux

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well, it'll probably be okay in a week or two. a lot of people use a Kolsch yeast strain for lager styles beers, but don't have the ability to control ferm temps. that strain has lager characteristics, but can ghandle higher ferm temps. i used to ferm at room temp w/ a wet towel over the carboy and a fan. then when i racked to secondary, i would put it in my keg fridge to condition for 3-4 weeks. i did that w/ Kolsch and Alt styles and was happy with the results.
 
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2nd Street Brewery

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Well it's been a couple of weeks and I opened another bottle this morning. Hey, it's noon somewhere. The brew is getting better but I can still taste it alittle. The wife tried a little and said she thought it tasted fine.(She also doesn't drink beer) I think I will keep it and get some of my friends opinions. I hate the thought of dumping it :mad:
 

Genghis77

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I had a pilsner I thought ruined. Turns out it just needed some more time to age. Lagers and pilsners both take longer to fully mature than the usual ales. A good rule is to never give up on a brew until it's at least 6 months old. It's suprising how time works everything out.:cross:
 

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