Quantcast

Help me make good beer again!?

HomeBrewTalk.com - Beer, Wine, Mead, & Cider Brewing Discussion Community.

Help Support Homebrew Talk:

Zymurgrafi

Well-Known Member
Joined
Feb 19, 2007
Messages
2,426
Reaction score
17
Location
NEK, VT
Yeesh, I do not even know where to begin. I will try and keep this brief. I used to make good beer once upon a time. At least I enjoyed it. Lately I have not. I got out of brewing for a brief time when my son first came along but now I am back into it. ONly I have had a bunch of bad beer. One of the batches I know what was wrong. The others I do not, or I thought I did but I am not sure now.

Three of the beers now have had the same flavor issue. I do not know how to describe it other than to say it is a yeasty bite. So much so, that it makes them all taste the same. The first time was last August. I brewed a Marzen, extract brew with specialty grains steeped. I lost my notes on that one so I do not have details. I do remember it was sulfury fermenting (no big deal for a lager yeast) and I had some problems with cooling it down too fast after primary. It had this yeasty flavor pretty powerfully.

The next was a Irish red ale last month. This one was my first attempt at pm, very small amount of grains. I thought I figured out the problem with this one. I had some initial temperature problems (first too cold, 57 F then to warm 76 F) and obviously the large fluctuations in temp were not too good either. It also was sulfury (okay this time I panicked as that has never happened to me with an ale yeast) I racked it to secondary too soon (5 days primary). It had the same yeasty flavor. I devised a means for controlling temp that seems to work well so I thought I had that corrected. I let it sit for about 3 weeks after that and bottled it today. It was absolutley done fermenting. I tried getting the yeast to settle out more by cooling it down for the last 3 days. The yeasty flavor was less but still prominent. I also learned about yeast starters after making this one so I thought that was part of the problem too. Which brings me to my latest.

I brewed a California common also a partial mash (still small about 1 lb. pale malt) and I made a starter this time which seemed succesful. It went much better. A nice even controlled temp starting at 72 F first few hours. Lowered to 68 F after fermentation kicked in (about 5 hours after pitching) then gradually lowered to 60 F over a few days and then maintained that. I let it sit for 16 days. Yes sulfur again this time, but it was a california lager yeast. I racked it to a clean carboy today and...

YEASTY FLAVOR!!!! ARRRRRRGGHHHH!!! only thing different this time is some nice hop bitterness fighting through the yeast flavor :p

WTF is happening? I am about to brew an oatmeal stout this week with my newly made mash tun (thanks to all you folks) but I DO NOT want to make another bad batch. What is the problem???

Sorry, so much for brief. If any other details will help diagnose let me know. Oh, and the yeast I am using is easYeast made in NH fwiw.

HELP!!! :(
 

mew

Well-Known Member
Joined
Nov 7, 2006
Messages
851
Reaction score
10
How long are they sitting in primary and secondary? Was everything sanitized properly? Was there a lot of sediment in the bottles?
 

Craig5_12

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jan 18, 2007
Messages
290
Reaction score
0
Location
Valley Springs, CA
I'm not sure exactly what the problem is but how are you formulating your recipe's? Are you not using enough hops? I haven't done an extract brew in a long time, but maybe if you post your recipes some more people will be along to critique.....
 

Evan!

Well-Known Member
Joined
Aug 9, 2006
Messages
11,835
Reaction score
104
Location
Charlottesville, VA
Not sure how to truly solve the problem, but here are a few thoughts on your predicament:

  • Sulfury fermentation odors typically disappear by the time you drink it. I've never had a sulfury finished beer, even when they smelled like a bushel of rotten eggs got shoved in the airlock during primary.
  • I don't know anything about easYeast. Try a more internationally-recognized manufacturer like Wyeast, White Labs, Lallemand, DCL, etc.
  • Let it age longer at colder temps. See if that makes a difference. If not, use a clarifier such as KC SuperKleer finings.
  • Let the bottles/kegs age longer before cracking them open. Bottle/keg conditioning can be very important. If bottling, after they've aged, make sure you're very careful while pouring it into a glass---don't disturb the yeast in the bottle, and leave the last 1/4-1/2 inch of beer in there, because it will contain most of the yeast.
  • Find a yeast strain that is described as having "good flocculation". This refers to yeast that, once finished fermenting, falls down to the bottom quickly and thoroughly. For a great example, see Wyeast's London ESB strain. 3 days after pitching it, I had a finished, crystal-clear brew. Amazing stuff!
  • RDWHAHB:mug:
 
OP
Zymurgrafi

Zymurgrafi

Well-Known Member
Joined
Feb 19, 2007
Messages
2,426
Reaction score
17
Location
NEK, VT
mew said:
How long are they sitting in primary and secondary? Was everything sanitized properly? Was there a lot of sediment in the bottles?
Well, I do not have the notes on the marzen so I do not remember. Irish was too short primary at 5 days then about 3 weeks secondary. The Cali common has been 16 days primary and I will let it sit another 2 weeks at about 58 F. It has pretty much finished gravity wise but I will let it sit to condition. I believe my sanitiation is good, but who knows. No, not alot of sediment in the marzen. Just bottled the red so do not know yet.
 
OP
Zymurgrafi

Zymurgrafi

Well-Known Member
Joined
Feb 19, 2007
Messages
2,426
Reaction score
17
Location
NEK, VT
homebrewer_99 said:
Is your brew clear when you rack?

Never heard of that NH yeast, but it could be the culprit.
Usually. The red did not seem to want to settle out that is why I chilled it. I seemed clear though at bottling. The common still had alot of yeast in suspension, but I am going to let it sit for a couple more weeks.

I have wondered if it is this brand of yeast. It is made by a microbiologist at U of NH. Unfortunately it is the only liquid yeast carried by my local homebrew shop. Although I have had good succes other times with this yeast in between the bad batches. I will use dry yeast for this stout.

The marzen was aged a pretty good long time, again I do not remember details but I know I kept waiting hoping it would improve. Just drank the last one a week or so ago. Still bad. I am careful pouring so I do not think that is it.

I have been using beer recipe software for my recipes. In the past I winged it based on looking at other recipes and general guidelines. Think hop amounts are fine.

Thanks folks. Any more thoughts?
 

Yooper

Ale's What Cures You!
Staff member
Admin
Mod
Lifetime Supporter
Joined
Jun 4, 2006
Messages
74,603
Reaction score
12,197
Location
UP/Snowbird in Florida
All very good advice (better than I could give), so I would do what they suggest. One thought I had, though, was to try using Nottingham dry yeast in your next batch. It is more forgiving of temperature extremes, and has high flocculation. It's also neutral tasting, so you could rule that out as a flavor problem.

I'd also suggest doing an extremely simple recipe so that you can figure out what the problem is. A simple extract with maybe only crystal as steeping grains. Make sure your hops are fresh. Plan on a 10 day primary, and then a 14 day secondary in the optimal temperature range for your yeast.

I'm not sure what's going on, but I do know that you can make good beer, so don't be discouraged!
 

FlyGuy

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jan 13, 2007
Messages
3,604
Reaction score
224
Location
Calgary, Alberta
I'll add one more thought to the big pile of good advice -- any chance you contracted a wild yeast infection (in the beer, I mean!)? :)

I had one once. I suspect it came from a bad 'no-boil' wort kit from a local micro-brew (I also supsect it must have happened to more people than just me because they don't make those kits anymore!).

Anyways, I could completely be off the mark here, but your symptoms sounds surprisingly similar to what happened to me. I couldn't brew a decent batch of beer until I tossed my plastic fermenter (now I will only use glass), and all my plastic hoses, racking canes. etc. I was a costly and awful experience I won't repeat again. (All my gear soaks in sanitizer now between brews.)

Chances are, this isn't what has happened to your beer, but you might keep it in the back of your mind.
 

EvilTOJ

Well-Known Member
Joined
Dec 25, 2005
Messages
6,394
Reaction score
67
Location
Portland, OR
I had a very similar problem. All of my beers were great in the primary all the way to bottling, but then after they conditioned, they all turned out tasting the same. It was almost like a yeasty/bitter flavor that I can't quite describe. IPA's, Stouts, Belgians, after bottle conditioning all started to taste.... well, kinda bitter and no other flavors.

I tried making PMs, an all grain batch, buying new yeast, switching LHBS thinking they had a bad batch of malt, tried using DME instead of corn sugar to prime, but nothing fixed it! I was seriously considering giving this up since it all tasted the same.

It came to me one day as I was starting another bottling day. It was my bathtub. I had been sanitizing my brewing equipment in buckets and the kitchen sink, but the bottles I sanitized in the bathtub. The soap residue in the tub was enough to leave a residue that would show up after a few weeks. It also explains why I'd never get any head on the brewpours.

So now, I scrub, wash, and rinse rinse rinse the bathtub before I sanitize bottles and my beer tastes great again. It's worth looking into how you sanitize your equipment.

I hope this helps!
 
OP
Zymurgrafi

Zymurgrafi

Well-Known Member
Joined
Feb 19, 2007
Messages
2,426
Reaction score
17
Location
NEK, VT
... and advice. Lot's of food for thought.

I try to be really careful with sanitation. I only use glass for fermenters. I recently replaced my racking cane (I break them on a regular basis) and a little while back replaced my hose. I use bleach for sanitzing. I have been bleaching and then boiling my bottles (rinsing carboys with boiled water after bleaching) and I keep things soaking in an extra bucket while brewing. My LBHS has iodopher and b-brite/c-brite, for sanitizers, I have thought about trying those.

I really do not know how to describe the off flavor. Too bad I can not give every one a bottle to taste and identify the problem ;)

Maybe someone in the New England area bunch, I will save a bottle for to diagnose. :cross:

I dunno. The advice to go back to the basics is a good one. I had done that after the marzen. I have had a good bitter and a brown recently. The Irish red was supposed to be in that scheme... I guess I thought a califonia common was too since it is brewed at ale temps, but I guess it is a little more tricky. I know I should probabably wait on the Oatmeal stout but I have the ingredients and am already set on brewing it. I am stubborn that way. :D

I will be using safale s-04 whitbread yeast. I guess I will have to look into trying to order some yeasts.

Thanks again folks.
 

Yooper

Ale's What Cures You!
Staff member
Admin
Mod
Lifetime Supporter
Joined
Jun 4, 2006
Messages
74,603
Reaction score
12,197
Location
UP/Snowbird in Florida
OK, the last thought I have- the bleach! I know many brewers have used bleach for ages with no problems- but that really jumps out at me as the reason you are consistently bothered with the same off-flavor. What do you sanitize your bottle caps with? Bleach? That might be it.

I use one-step (only because I started as a winemaker, and that's what I used then), but would definitely try Idophor. First, it's cheap and colored so you can see what you're sanitizing. Rinse all your equipment thoroughly and thoroughly again. Then sanitize with Idophor per directions. Then, do the same with the bottles- rinse and rinse and rinse and rinse. Then, sanitize them.

I think this is the quickest, cheapest, easiest fix. But, also do the other things- use a simple recipe, simple steeping grains, etc. I think you'll have a good batch!
 
OP
Zymurgrafi

Zymurgrafi

Well-Known Member
Joined
Feb 19, 2007
Messages
2,426
Reaction score
17
Location
NEK, VT
Well I will give the idophor a try. I don't know, I have always used bleach and I used to make good beer. :confused: I have even made a few good batches between the bad ones.

Bottle caps I boil.

I think the problem begins in the fermentation (or before?)

With better aeration and using a yeast starter I was able to shorten my lag time last batch (the common) to about 4-5 hours, which is a record for me.

Well, back to my LHBS to get some new sanitizer, and I guess I will replace my siphon again. Maybe get new rubber stoppers too...

One more thought...

My brewpot is an enameled pot. I check it frequently but do not see any chips or rust. If there was something I could not see would it have the effect I describe? Again, I have had some good brews lately using all the same equipment. I was about to start using a larger canning pot that we have to increase the boil size but I discovered rust and chips in it so I scrapped that plan. Cannot really afford a new pot right now, but maybe that is the next step.

Wish I had a homebrew right now! :drunk: !!!
 
OP
Zymurgrafi

Zymurgrafi

Well-Known Member
Joined
Feb 19, 2007
Messages
2,426
Reaction score
17
Location
NEK, VT
knights of Gambrinus said:
I am careful pouring so I do not think that is it.
And I notice the off flavor before bottling, and after.

Thanks though...
 
OP
Zymurgrafi

Zymurgrafi

Well-Known Member
Joined
Feb 19, 2007
Messages
2,426
Reaction score
17
Location
NEK, VT
I had not used starters until this last batch, the common. I thought that was part of the answer to my problem, but time will tell I guess. I am still hopeful that the common will clear up and the yeasty taste will go away. Although I was hopeful with the Irish red too...

Anyways, to answer the question. The starter I made for this last batch was about about two quarts (filled most of a growler). That is, I pitched the yeast into a pint of starter wort and then I added 3 pints of wort over the following 3 days. I decanted most of the wort off before pitching (after chilling over night to flocculate) the yeast slurry. I would guess there was about 1/2 cup to 3/4 cup of slurry? I do not know for certain as I did not measure it.
 

Yooper

Ale's What Cures You!
Staff member
Admin
Mod
Lifetime Supporter
Joined
Jun 4, 2006
Messages
74,603
Reaction score
12,197
Location
UP/Snowbird in Florida
I think the enameled brewpot is fine, it the enamel is not chipped. That's what I use.

I'm really at a loss- but just trying to think up reasons for what's going on. "Yeasty bite" flavor doesn't really fully describe it, I bet. Could one of these flavors better describe it? http://www.howtobrew.com/section4/chapter21-2.html

If it truly is bad flavored yeast, that's a sign of stressed yeast or autolysis. That could come from too high fermentation temperatures (which you did have, if I read those three batches correctly.) The Marzen, Red, and California Common were all too warm, at least for the early part of the fermentation. That could stress your yeast, and give you a bad yeasty flavor.

So, I would still pick a very simple ale with one malt, and maybe crystal steeping grains, use Nottingham yeast, and try a new sanitizer. Keep the temperature at 68 degrees even if it's the hardest thing you've ever done! Then, if your problem is "solved" we did it!

If you need help picking out a simple recipe, let me know! I'm a simple person and have quite a few simple recipes! Or, try a Brewer's Best kit- they are super easy with everything included!
 

butler1850

Well-Known Member
Joined
Sep 6, 2006
Messages
108
Reaction score
0
Location
Refugee from MA in NH
knights of Gambrinus,

Where are you located? New England seems to have a fairly good supply of homebrew shops, though some of them are a little drive. Perhaps we can point you to another shop?

Where is this shop that has this easyeast? If it's not too far, I might like to try some. (and help 'ya prove that it's not the yeast) Got to support the local smart guys!
 

Evan!

Well-Known Member
Joined
Aug 9, 2006
Messages
11,835
Reaction score
104
Location
Charlottesville, VA
I'm telling you---the more I think about it, the more I suspect the yeast strain. The only way to test it is to use a highly flocculent yeast. I suggested the Wyeast London ESB. Nottingham is also a good dry sub. But if the yeast refuse to fall out, then the problem is most likely the yeast, not bleach or anything else.
 
OP
Zymurgrafi

Zymurgrafi

Well-Known Member
Joined
Feb 19, 2007
Messages
2,426
Reaction score
17
Location
NEK, VT
"Yeasty bite" flavor doesn't really fully describe it, I bet. Could one of these flavors better describe it? http://www.howtobrew.com/section4/chapter21-2.html
Yeah, I have looked at that page and some others. I am pretty bad at describing flavors good and bad. I did reread it though, could be a few of those. I can rule some of those flavors out, but some I have trouble imagining so I am not sure if they are what I taste or not. Grainy/husky for example. I cannot really picture what that tastes like. The causes for it though could apply to me. I use a corona grain mill, it seems to work fine. I have to adjust it often but I think I get good results. Another possible is home toasted malts. That was a common ingredient in the Irish and the common. I toasted some pale @ 350F for 10 minutes and it was usually the day or two before. I do not think I used that in the marzen, again, lost the notes on that one. Acetaldehyde? Not sure what fresh cut pumpkin tastes like? There are some others I suppose but I am really not sure. I don't have any to taste at the moment, unless I crack the red open (only bottled yesterday). I know temp has been an issue but I thought I have that under control. I do not really rmember what the marzen temps were. The only reason I had the common at 72 F in the first hour or so was because I read somewhere to pitch between 70-75 and then keep it warm until fermentation commences. Is that incorrect? I drop it to 68F as soon as I saw activity. I am using a water bath with an aquarium heater. Otherwise the ambient temp in my drafty old house is 54-62F in the winter. There is one southern facing room but it is wicked sunny in the day and fluctuates between 67-76F (that is where I had moved the red when it got too warm.

What about your water? Are you using the same water supply as before?
Yes water is the same. Our tap water tastes pretty swampy so we have a filtration system. I only use the filtered water and I have not had a problem in the past. No idea of the mineral content. The water department thought I was nuts when I called them. Apparently they only test for contaminants.

Where are you located? New England seems to have a fairly good supply of homebrew shops, though some of them are a little drive. Perhaps we can point you to another shop?

Where is this shop that has this easyeast? If it's not too far, I might like to try some. (and help 'ya prove that it's not the yeast) Got to support the local smart guys!
I am in St. Johnsbury, VT. My local shop is in Littleton NH here: http://www.brewbyyou.com/

This would be easier to diagnosis if I could describe it better... :confused:

A hopeful sign (i hope). This morning I checked the common. It is starting to clear (getting darker at the top) and there are still minimal signs of activity (occasional bubble in the airlock). Temp is holding steady at 55 F I put the whole setup in the basement. Maybe this one will pull through????!!!! (crosses fingers)

Thanks again.
 
OP
Zymurgrafi

Zymurgrafi

Well-Known Member
Joined
Feb 19, 2007
Messages
2,426
Reaction score
17
Location
NEK, VT
Evan! said:
I'm telling you---the more I think about it, the more I suspect the yeast strain. The only way to test it is to use a highly flocculent yeast. I suggested the Wyeast London ESB. Nottingham is also a good dry sub. But if the yeast refuse to fall out, then the problem is most likely the yeast, not bleach or anything else.
I will try these but I will have to order them. My LHBS does not carry them. For now I will try safale s-09 Whitbread as they do have that. This is its characteristics

This well-known English Ale strain exhibits fast fermentation with unique sedimentation properties, helping to improve beer clarity. In the recommended temperature range of 18C-24C, the Safale S-04 will attenuate the wort down to 1.008-1.012 within 2 or 3
we'll see.

I am pretty unsure about all the different yeast strains. I understand the basics of the different types but do not feel 100% certain about choosing all the time.
 

Evan!

Well-Known Member
Joined
Aug 9, 2006
Messages
11,835
Reaction score
104
Location
Charlottesville, VA
knights of Gambrinus said:
I will try these but I will have to order them. My LHBS does not carry them. For now I will try safale s-09 Whitbread as they do have that. This is its characteristics



we'll see.

I am pretty unsure about all the different yeast strains. I understand the basics of the different types but do not feel 100% certain about choosing all the time.
That "unique sedimentation properties" thing is exactly what you're looking for. Good luck!
 
OP
Zymurgrafi

Zymurgrafi

Well-Known Member
Joined
Feb 19, 2007
Messages
2,426
Reaction score
17
Location
NEK, VT
Hey Denny,
No I have not. Was not sure exactly what the problem has been. The more I think about it and the more I hear from all of you, I suppose the problem is the yeast still being in suspension, or at least that is a large part of it. I will look into some finings. For now I will try sticking with yeasts that have a higher degree of flocculation.

butler1850, any leads on New England homebrew shops? I would like to see what you think of that yeast brand (easYeast) if you try it. I think they also stock it at Stout Billy's in Portsmouth NH if that is closer to you.

Update on the red. Still looks mighty cloudy in the bottles a week after bottling. Yeah I know, it is still early.

Thanks again folks.
 

butler1850

Well-Known Member
Joined
Sep 6, 2006
Messages
108
Reaction score
0
Location
Refugee from MA in NH
knights of Gambrinus said:
H
butler1850, any leads on New England homebrew shops? I would like to see what you think of that yeast brand (easYeast) if you try it. I think they also stock it at Stout Billy's in Portsmouth NH if that is closer to you.
.
They don't carry it at the couple of shops that I regularly frequent. Jaspers in Nashua NH, nor at Beer & Wine Hobby in Woburn MA.

I found a store just south of Concord NH, but it's not worth it IMO. They just don't have much stock. (No 'by the pound' liquid extracts, minimal yeast selections, prepackaged grains only... and old copies of brewing mags.)

I'll try it out though, if I make a trip out to Stout Billy's. The last time I attempted to go there (mid day no less) they were closed. (Granted, it was snowing that day, but closed? Mid day? On a FRIDAY???? <grumble>)

I'll likely brew next weekend, or the one after that (probably the one after, as SWMBO will be away) so perhaps I'll take a swing out there and pick up ingredients for this. Can you post your recipe?
 
OP
Zymurgrafi

Zymurgrafi

Well-Known Member
Joined
Feb 19, 2007
Messages
2,426
Reaction score
17
Location
NEK, VT
Which recipe are we talking about? The Irish Red or the California Common, If its the marzen lost that one.
 
OP
Zymurgrafi

Zymurgrafi

Well-Known Member
Joined
Feb 19, 2007
Messages
2,426
Reaction score
17
Location
NEK, VT
well, this is what I hoped...
2.26.07 A hopeful sign (i hope). This morning I checked the common. It is starting to clear (getting darker at the top) and there are still minimal signs of activity (occasional bubble in the airlock). Temp is holding steady at 55 F I put the whole setup in the basement. Maybe this one will pull through????!!!! (crosses fingers)
unfortunately, nope. Same EXACT bad flavor. Is not as cloudy as the red ale was, not crystal, but fairly clear. Exact same flavor though. I can't even really taste the hops anymore. It has been 4 weeks (2 primary, 2 "clearing"). I guess I will try some finings but I really feel like it is all a waste of time. I need to transfer my stout so I will either have to bottle, dump, or get a new carboy I guess. I am afraid to even try the stout. If that one is bad as well... I don't want to think about it.

Was starting to be fairly certain it was a yeast problem (and yeast taste) but now I do not know. That is what bugs me most. I can not solve the problem if I do not know what it is. :mad:

Red ale is still cloudy in the bottle (1 1/2 weeks later) and tastes bad (had to try it)

AAAAaaargh!

I was going to try a simple pale ale next week but I really do not want another 5 gallons of swill. (kicks carboy and storms off to get drunk :drunk: )
 

kornkob

Resident Crazy Uncle
Joined
Oct 3, 2005
Messages
1,856
Reaction score
29
Location
Madison WI
You know what woudl be a great product, IMHO?

Some needs to market a 'taste guide'. Basically a method of teaching people, easily and without having to make a series of bad batches, what the off flavors taste like. And not a written guide--- something you taste-- or add to existing beer would be even better (an additive for a known good beer that makes it taste like it has a given problem).
 
OP
Zymurgrafi

Zymurgrafi

Well-Known Member
Joined
Feb 19, 2007
Messages
2,426
Reaction score
17
Location
NEK, VT
There should be a tasting service. Professional analyzers to pinpoint your predicament. Send in a sample, have it analyzed, and a report is given to remedy the problem.

But, who wants to drink a bunch of bad beer? Even if you get paid to? :cross:

Yeah, I wish there was something better than written description.

Okay, back to drinking...
 

Nostrildamus

Well-Known Member
Joined
Mar 30, 2006
Messages
227
Reaction score
7
Location
Vancouver, BC, Canada
Without a doubt the first thing I would change if I were you was the yeast supplier. If you are getting a bad yeast bite then it makes the most sense. Try it out and then eliminate one thing at a time. Scientific method, the process of elimination from most likely to least is your friend.

Though Nottingham won't give you a distinct tasting beer it is neutral and in a stout the yeast doesn't play as large of a factor as in other crisper and simpler brews. I think you'll find success so go do it and good luck.
 

MA_Brewer

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jan 20, 2007
Messages
375
Reaction score
10
Location
Northborough, MA
kornkob said:
You know what woudl be a great product, IMHO?

Some needs to market a 'taste guide'. Basically a method of teaching people, easily and without having to make a series of bad batches, what the off flavors taste like. And not a written guide--- something you taste-- or add to existing beer would be even better (an additive for a known good beer that makes it taste like it has a given problem).
That would be an awesome service I would take advantage of! What might taste bad to me might actually be OK for the style, just not what I like. I know that is one area where I have a hard time, spelling out exactly what is wrong with a beer.

Maybe some folks on here would be willing to accept some homebrew for critiquing - not a swap per se, but would be willing to sample my beer and say what they think is wrong (or right) with it.
 

the_bird

10th-Level Beer Nerd
Lifetime Supporter
Joined
May 21, 2006
Messages
20,968
Reaction score
594
Location
Adams, MA
kornkob said:
You know what woudl be a great product, IMHO?

Some needs to market a 'taste guide'. Basically a method of teaching people, easily and without having to make a series of bad batches, what the off flavors taste like. And not a written guide--- something you taste-- or add to existing beer would be even better (an additive for a known good beer that makes it taste like it has a given problem).
There is a kit out there that does exactly this. Go listen to some of the Basic Brewing Radio podcasts from last year - they did this over a series of two or three episodes. The kit comes with a couple samples of like twenty different flaws, you add a powder to a neutral-tasting commerical beer (BBR used Coors). IIRC, the kit was like $100.
 
Joined
Dec 23, 2006
Messages
926
Reaction score
59
Location
Springport
Although I don't know much about critiquing, I'd be more than happy to take any beer you care to send my way. I'll even tell you what I think about it:) .
 

Wort*hog

Well-Known Member
Joined
Sep 30, 2006
Messages
165
Reaction score
0
Location
Ogden Utah
I had a simular problem that caused me to stop brewing about 5 years back. Three bad batches out of about 20. same terrible taste. I still have some bottled and it is still bad after 5 years. I caught two as I was racking and dumped them. I figured it was a house yeast as the house we were renting had mold issues. I started brewing again last year after buying a brand new house. I used bleach before now I use iodophor. I keg all my beer now. All my beer has turned out great.. How old is your house and does it have any issues with mold?
 
OP
Zymurgrafi

Zymurgrafi

Well-Known Member
Joined
Feb 19, 2007
Messages
2,426
Reaction score
17
Location
NEK, VT
Yes, mold could be present. I hope that is not it as I can not move any time soon :D

I was making good beer consistently until recently. I am still not too psyched to try again. When (if) I do I will keep using dry yeast. I can't get nottingham locally, but safale s-04 seems a good alternative which is what I used on the last batch. I don't know how that one is going yet. I am afraid to try it. It has been a a little over a week and I would like to rack it to a clearing vessel for a few more weeks. Unfortunately my other carboy has the california common in it and I have not decided what to do with that. If I use finings I run the risk of sedimenting out too much yeast, plus I have no idea if that is the problem. I guess I should just chalk this one up as another bad batch.

Wort*hog you said you used to use bleach, which leads me back to suspecting that as the culprit. Though I cannot see why it was never an issue in the past and I used it ever since I started brewing 3 years ago.

I give up. Anybody want 15 (maybe 20) gallons of crappy beer?
 

butler1850

Well-Known Member
Joined
Sep 6, 2006
Messages
108
Reaction score
0
Location
Refugee from MA in NH
knights of Gambrinus said:
Which recipe are we talking about? The Irish Red or the California Common, If its the marzen lost that one.
Let's go with the irish red.

I just brewed a California common (needs to go to secondary this weekend).
 

TheJadedDog

AFK ATM
Joined
Aug 27, 2006
Messages
3,310
Reaction score
17
Location
People's Republic of Cambridge
FlyGuy said:
I'll add one more thought to the big pile of good advice -- any chance you contracted a wild yeast infection (in the beer, I mean!)? :)

I had one once. I suspect it came from a bad 'no-boil' wort kit from a local micro-brew (I also supsect it must have happened to more people than just me because they don't make those kits anymore!).

Anyways, I could completely be off the mark here, but your symptoms sounds surprisingly similar to what happened to me. I couldn't brew a decent batch of beer until I tossed my plastic fermenter (now I will only use glass), and all my plastic hoses, racking canes. etc. I was a costly and awful experience I won't repeat again. (All my gear soaks in sanitizer now between brews.)

Chances are, this isn't what has happened to your beer, but you might keep it in the back of your mind.

This is what I am thinking has happened. I would suggest changing out any and all plastic fermentation equipment you have been using. While I haven't had to change my buckets out yet, I use new hose every third or forth brew and it makes a big difference.

I'd also focus on your cleaning process between brews rather than just your sanitation; sanitation is pointless if your equipment isn't clean to begin with.
 

delboy

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jan 16, 2007
Messages
320
Reaction score
3
Location
Belfast N.Ireland
Hi this is an intriguing story i hope you get to the bottom of it.

Is it posssible that you were using thin bleach in the past but now you are using thick bleach (the thick stuff is harder than hell to rinse off, thats its big selling point for clinging on to toilet bowls etc).
That would certainly account for the band-aid notes you are picking up.

You might also want to try adding 1/2 a crushed campden tablet to your brewing water pre-brew, this got rid of the 'homebrew' taste for me :ban: .
 
Top