Malt Liquor Taste

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Hophazard

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I just tasted my first batch last night after one week in the bottle and I couldn't help notice that it had a malt liquor taste to it. I realize that it will mellow out a bit with time (c'mon, I gave it a week), but my question is where does flavor this come from? Is it the grain used (it was an extract based pale ale that had 2 row, victory, aromatic and flaked oats), lack of hops (1 oz cententials for bittering, .5 oz cascade at 30 and 15 mins), fermentation temperature (got to 72* at times) or something else? If this is just how green beer tastes, let me know and I'll stop worrying about it (though I'm sure I made about every mistake out there in this first batch).

While it was fermenting, it smelled the same way, but being my first batch I figured it was normal (every subsequent batch actually smells like sweet beer goodness). I'm not that stressed about this batch since it still needs to age, I'm just curious whether the taste is a result of the recipe or some other factor. Mainly I want to make sure the batches I've brewed, and will be brewing, won't have this same taste.
 

histo320

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Every beer you brew will have a different taste to it. Was it extract or all grain? Sometimes extract beers get a twangy taste to it but it usually chills out after a few weeks or if you use a larger boil. I upgraded to a 5 gal kettle with 4 gal boil and it does wonders.

How long did it sit in primary? More often than not people do not let the beer age long enough in the primary.

The longer you wait, the better the beer will taste, but it's never bad to have a few to taste the process.
 
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Hophazard

Hophazard

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Was it extract or all grain?
It was extract. Hopfully a few more weeks at room temperature and then a week or so in the fridge will smooth it out. I've done a few since then and did my first PM last week - I just wanted to make sure that this wasn't out of the ordinary so I could make any tweaks to future brews if necessary.

How long did it sit in primary?
2 weeks in the primary, 2 weeks in secondary (one in the bottle so far).

The longer you wait, the better the beer will taste, but it's never bad to have a few to taste the process.
That's what I figured! I'm going to continue the "quality control" tests once a week until it tastes better.
 

ChshreCat

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"Malt liquor taste"? Do you mean kind of an alcoholic hotness? That could be from fermenting a little on the warm side.
 

944play

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"Malt liquor taste"? Do you mean kind of an alcoholic hotness? That could be from fermenting a little on the warm side.
+1. It is very yeast-dependent. I got some hot alcohol from WLP002 in a 1.050 beer at 72ºF, but none from much bigger beers using 001 or Belgian yeast at similar temps. YMMV.
 
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Hophazard

Hophazard

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I used Nottingham ale yeast and, as alluded to above, I didn't control the temperature as much as I should have (and have started doing since). Hopefully the temperature was the problem since none of my subsequent batches have had the same smell during fermentation and were all kept below 70*.

I've pretty much assumed that there would be more than one flaws in my first beer and, all things considered, this isn't the worst thing that could have happened.
 

histo320

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To avoid this I usually only use California Ale and British Ale Yeasts. I've never had the problem but I do not have the equipment for temp control other than the insulation in my apt, so I just stick to what I know and what has worked well for me.
 
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