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My beers taste the same

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gregiscool

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I made a saison for my first beer and a german wheat beer for my second. These are two pretty different beers, yet they taste pretty much the same. to be honest, they taste and smell like what the smack pack of yeast(using wyeast on both). Imagine the smell of the smack pack when you first open it, thats the smell my beers give off and pretty much what they taste like. The first beer(the saison) i thought it was just the style(never had it before so just assumed it tasted like that). Now ive had enough german style wheat beers to have an idea of what it should be like and just tastes like the smack pack. so any clues why this is happening? if you need more details let me know and ill post the recipes or anything else if it would help. thanks guys and ill go relax with my yeasty tasting beer and watch college football.
 

Airborneguy

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Did you control the fermentation temperature? All-grain or Extract? Did you use starters or straight from the pack? Did you aerate the wort prior to adding the yeast?
 
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gregiscool

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heres the first beer
http://www.northernbrewer.com/brewi...ale-kits/petite-saison-d-ete-extract-kit.html

primary 2 and half weeks, in the bottle almost 4 weeks. still got about 20 of them so i keep drinking a few a week to see if they are maturing at all, but not really.

temp during all this, about 75F. no starter, smacked the smack pack let it rise added yeast. aerated it plenty.

second wheat beer http://www.northernbrewer.com/brewi...le-kits/bavarian-hefe-weizen-extract-kit.html

this one i managed to keep cooler by using a swamp cooler, kept it submerged almost all the way in a water bath and added 2 liter bottles of frozen water 2-3 times a day to keep it cool, so it was between 65-70 most of the day. once again plenty of aeration, no starter, but smack it then put it in. this one had 4 weeks primary, 2 weeks bottled(still got more so letting them age).

i followed those recipes exactly for the boil, but they still taste like how the smack pack smells for the most part. there was never an infection, i ferment in better bottles and can see the whole thing and they always looked good.
 

jaobrien6

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That's not a recipe, that's just the name of a kit. I still don't know what's in there. Grain bill, hop schedule, yeast used, etc is what I was asking for.

Also, how did your gravity come out, both OG and FG? Also, did you taste it at any point in the process? Pre-fermentation or at bottling? Or did you wait until they were bottled and carb'ed before tasting it?
 
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gregiscool

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the recipe is in here, i used the upgraded option for the liquid wyeast on both

http://www.northernbrewer.com/documentation/beerkits/BavarianHefeweizen.pdf
http://www.northernbrewer.com/documentation/beerkits/PetiteSaisondEte.pdf

in there it tells you exactly what was used for hops, malt, timing etc.

i followed those exactly, i just did not use a secondary and just went with a longer primary. i tasted a long the way on both when i took gravity readings(so tasted about a week in on both and again on bottling day and once again after it was bottled for a week, then 2 weeks and so on). The OG was almost what the kits called for, off by .002 or so on each, but thought that was so small(and from what i read that little is not a big deal) that it wouldnt be a huge deal.
 

McGarnigle

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You can see the recipes by clicking Kit Inventory Kit at the bottom, but that's not going to tell us anything because the beers are quite different.

No starter may have stressed the yeast. Also, your temps may have been a bit high. The beers sound like they taste yeasty/estery. Both are yeast-driven styles. But still, they shouldn't taste the same. Are they both bad? Any banana/clove in the Hefe, any spiciness in the saison.

Also, I'd be curious whether other people would say that the beers taste the same.
 

jaobrien6

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You're right, missing an OG by .002 is not a big deal at all. What about the FG, how did the two beers finish up?
 

Airborneguy

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Which saison yeast did you use? And did it hit final gravity like joabrien6 said?

75º isn't high at all for a saison, I'm actually thinking maybe too low. It's going to be tough to figure out why they both taste the same, but we can try.

What does your water source look like? Do you know the make-up?
 

BrookdaleBrew

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Those are both yeast driven styles and have some similar ester/phenol flavors. Can you describe the flavors you're getting? Banana and clove perhaps? Maybe pepper or other spicy notes?

Also, exactly what yeast strains did you use?
 

Legin

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I'm wondering if it is the yeast. You live in Florida? Well if they are transporting the yeast from Wisconsin or Minnesota (or where ever they send it from), especially while temps in your area are close to 90 degrees, then the yeast, even with a cold pack, could be exposed to hot temperatures for too long. This could ultimately damage the yeast...Maybe.

I'd jump to this conclusion if we determine that there actually is a yeasty off-flavor.
 
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gregiscool

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no clue about the water, but my city keeps sending me things in the mail touting our water system, and considering i pay 100$ a month for it it better be good!

WYEAST 3711 FRENCH SAISON
used the for the saison and
WYEAST 3068 WEIHENSTEPHAN WHEAT
for the wheat.

and my father has tasted both the beers and agreed that they are the same taste. the FG was on point, cant recall exactly where but it was on point.
 
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gregiscool

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its not a banana flavor, honestly, imagine the smell of when you first open the smack pack, thats what my beer taste like, that smell, but with carbonation.
 

Legin

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Then I take your word and offer my deduction. Bad yeast.
 

XXguy

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no clue about the water, but my city keeps sending me things in the mail touting our water system, and considering i pay 100$ a month for it it better be good!
Using city tap water without any treatment is generally not a good idea. Most city water sources add Chlorine or Chloramide to the water. Either one will give you off flavors if you use city tap water.

I'm guessing that is the source of your problem. Try using bottled water instead, or 1/2 of a Campden tablet & letting your brewing water sit overnight before using it.

Good luck.

http://www.howtobrew.com/section1/chapter4-1.html
 

jaobrien6

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So you said that you tasted it repeatedly during the process. When did you first notice this flavor? Was it not until the beer was done fermentation? You certainly shouldn't taste a yeasty flavor before you pitch any yeast. If it was after fermentation, obviously the flavor is coming from the yeast and the fermentation process. However as you probably know, you're not supposed to get a yeasty flavor at all from those strains. As was already mentioned, both of those styles are *very* yeast driven in flavor, and you really should be tasting the banana, spicy, etc. if the yeast was healthy and fermented as expected.

I'm going to jump on board with the bad yeast explanation also. I've personally never purchased liquid yeast online, even with a cold pack, because I don't trust them to make it ok. Maybe it's perfectly find most of the time, but I've always been skeptical. Was the yeast shipped with a cold pack?
 

BrookdaleBrew

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If you're using untreated tap water, I'm betting that is the culprit. Does your beer taste like bandaids?
 

Bentpirate

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I would suggest (and have personally done this). Install a Charcoal filter near your brewing area, any water that comes in contact in the beer making process is filtered. Chlorine will not get boiled off and will make all your beers taste the same. I too have learned this the hard way - it makes it worse when you are used to the water and can't taste the difference right away.
 

daddarioc

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Having had this as a problem with previous kit beers that all had the "same flavor", and now not having that problem (while still doing extract) after I clamped down on fermentation temperature...makes a world of difference!
 
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gregiscool

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well for next time ill be going with 5 gallons of store bought purified water and dry yeast instead of liquid. thanks again every body.
 

BrookdaleBrew

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I'd get at least 7 gallons to be safe. You need to account for boil off. Also, if you're mashing at all, make sure you get spring water, not purified/distilled water. If you're doing all extract, then distilled is fine.
 

Chemkrafty

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Not to sound a little anal, but I would change one variable at a time to understand what the problem was. If you change multiple things, you'll never know. If its a yeasty taste/smell...start with the yeast change and make a small 1-2 gal test batch.

Second, chlorine could throw in an off flavor, but I brew tasty beer with city water. There are two methods of adding chlorine in municipal water plants. If you have chlorine, it boils off. If its chloramine, it will NOT boil off. However, you can remove it using campden tablets. I would personally mess with yeasts first and water second.

Also, sample and taste your brew after each step to determine exactly when the flavor begins to occur. That will help pinpoint where your problem is surfacing. Just take lots of notes, observations, and step through it in a scientific manner. You'll figure it out!
 
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gregiscool

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Not to sound a little anal, but I would change one variable at a time to understand what the problem was. If you change multiple things, you'll never know. If its a yeasty taste/smell...start with the yeast change and make a small 1-2 gal test batch.

Second, chlorine could throw in an off flavor, but I brew tasty beer with city water. There are two methods of adding chlorine in municipal water plants. If you have chlorine, it boils off. If its chloramine, it will NOT boil off. However, you can remove it using campden tablets. I would personally mess with yeasts first and water second.

Also, sample and taste your brew after each step to determine exactly when the flavor begins to occur. That will help pinpoint where your problem is surfacing. Just take lots of notes, observations, and step through it in a scientific manner. You'll figure it out!
def starts happening after the yeast has been pitched and i take my first hydro reading. so a week or so into my primary. ive tasted the wort and its just kinda tea tasting/smelling, nothing like what im getting from my bottled stuff, which ive said before tastes kinda like the smack pack smells. anyways im gonna order another kit soon and try again, i already got a third batch in primary now for 2 weeks and will bottle in a week or 2 and will taste then, it has wyeast in it, but hopefully it doesnt taste like the first 2.
 

jaobrien6

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I've never tasted beer with a chlorine problem, but what you describe to me (tasting like the smack pack smells) doesn't sound at all to me like the medicinal/band-aid flavor that chlorine supposedly imparts. I'd personally change the yeast as a first step, but you should also be doing something about the chlorine/chloramine if you're not currently. So different yeast and bottled spring water doesn't seem like a terrible idea to me. Or boiling/campden or something to deal with the chlorine/chloramine.
 

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