Off flavor - Beer, Wine, Mead, & Cider Brewing Discussion Community.

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Well-Known Member
Aug 11, 2007
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Reno, NV
Ok I have a problem that I've been hiding for a while.

Just went to grain but this defect has been in all of my dark extract beers. It's not present in any of the lighter beers I've brewed and they've all turned out great.

On the darker beers I get this sort of weird wood flavor on the front of my tongue. If I swallow the beer in the back of my throat I don't detect it as easily. It's not a cardboardy taste or a vegetabley taste so much but just woody which is not something that is complimenting the beer well. Again it's never present in any of my lighter beers and I've only had the taste in 1 of my ambers.

Well guru's any advice? oxidation? DMS? some other funkiness?

Also is there the possibility that its my water source? :drunk:


Supporting Member
HBT Supporter
Dec 10, 2007
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Prairie Farm

I am just beginning to look at water and how it works in beer. I believe my water is not bad and I have not had problems. I do wonder though if I learn about my water, if I can make my good beer even better.

With that said, a bit of information can be dangerous. I believe that darker grains work differently than lighter grains in your water.

Could that have something to do with your isolated off taste?


Well-Known Member
Sep 7, 2006
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I'm not a water expert by any means. I'm just starting to learn more about it. That said, the fact that you say it's only impacting your darker beers makes me think it could definitely be water related. Have you tested the pH of the mash with your darker beers? Have you looked at the residual alkalinity?

Check out this presentation John Palmer gave at the National Homebrewers Association last year. It talks about water alkalinity, hardness, pH and the need to have different levels for dark versus light beers.

If you haven't already done so, I'd also recommend reading Chapter 15 of "How to Brew." Palmer describes the levels you should look for in a water report give a tool you can use to find the residual alkalinity for your beer. It's complex stuff, but it may help you.

How to Brew - By John Palmer - Understanding the Mash pH