Taste is off

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mjasinski30

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I’ve brewed three batches now, and while all three are drinkable, they all have too much of an alcohol taste and don’t taste enough like the malts/hops. I’ve done two stouts and a Christmas/red ale. I suspect I have contaminated them along the way somewhere, but wanted to know if anyone has advice on what I’m doing wrong. Thanks!
 
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mjasinski30

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I’ve brewed three batches now, and while all three are drinkable, they all have too much of an alcohol taste and don’t taste enough like the malts/hops. I’ve done two stouts and a Christmas/red ale. I suspect I have contaminated them along the way somewhere, but wanted to know if anyone has advice on what I’m doing wrong. Thanks!
And having just read another thread, overcarbonating could be the issue because they do taste dry. Based on a recommended post here, I have been putting 3/4 tsp sugar in 22 oz bottles before bottling and letting sit for 2-3 weeks. Is it as simple as carbing according to instructions (boiling priming sugar, etc)? Thanks!
 

giraffe

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By alcohol taste, do you mean nail polish/solvent or just clean ethanol? Do you know what temp you fermented at and what yeast and how much did you use?

Overcarb is not likely the issue, unless the glass is pouring like pure foam. More likely is stressed yeast thats also too warm, but if you tell us more about your last brew we may be able to help, we need a bit more detail.

(boiling the priming sugar is preferable, as its more consistant, and less chance of infection. But if all the bottles taste the same, that may not be the main issue.)
 

RM-MN

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I’ve brewed three batches now, and while all three are drinkable, they all have too much of an alcohol taste and don’t taste enough like the malts/hops. I’ve done two stouts and a Christmas/red ale. I suspect I have contaminated them along the way somewhere, but wanted to know if anyone has advice on what I’m doing wrong. Thanks!
Without more info about your recipes and processes, I suspect you are fermenting where it is too warm and the yeast is producing what is known as fusel alcohol. Try fermenting your next batch where it is cooler, something like 62-65F.
 
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mjasinski30

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Thanks for the replies. Here are two of the recipes I used (can’t find the other). Based on what you’re saying about fermentation temps I suspect that might be it. Any advice on how to keep the temps regulated? Living in Texas and fermenting these in September/October, it was hard to keep room temp below 74-75 without running the AC all day long. Now that it’s winter, I can get the garage or a room to the low 60s but keeping it there for two weeks steady will still be tough. Thanks for any advice!
 

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RM-MN

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When I can't keep the temperature steady I put the fermenter into a tub of water to help moderate temperature swings. If necessary a towel or tshirt can be suspened in the water to provide evaporative cooling. Don't use a new towel or tshirt, they may not be usable when you are done.
 

Velnerj

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Another possible problem is chlorine/chloramines in your water. I had alcoholic/medicinal flavor in my beers until I fermented cool and used Camden tablets (potassium metabisolphite) in my brewing water.

Most home brewers repurpose a mini fridge with a (inkbird) temperature controller to control fermentation temperature. If you're serious about continuing in the hobby it's an obvious next step for you.
 

ncbrewer

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When I can't keep the temperature steady I put the fermenter into a tub of water to help moderate temperature swings. If necessary a towel or tshirt can be suspened in the water to provide evaporative cooling. Don't use a new towel or tshirt, they may not be usable when you are done.
And ice jugs in the bath water can keep the temperature close to ideal. Just rotate them with fresh ones as needed.
 
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mjasinski30

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Another possible problem is chlorine/chloramines in your water. I had alcoholic/medicinal flavor in my beers until I fermented cool and used Camden tablets (potassium metabisolphite) in my brewing water.

Most home brewers repurpose a mini fridge with a (inkbird) temperature controller to control fermentation temperature. If you're serious about continuing in the hobby it's an obvious next step for you.
Sounds like a mini fridge may be in the near future. Any recommendations on what to look for?
 

Velnerj

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Sounds like a mini fridge may be in the near future. Any recommendations on what to look for?
Obviously it'll need to be big enough to fit your fermenter. Watch out for shelving on doors those tend to be a nuisance, it's best if they're removable. Some of them have a lip at the bottom that goes into the fridge and that can cause issues too.

Usually though you'll be placing your fermenter on the shelf that is built around the compressor. That shelf isn't usually deep enough to support your fermenter and mine had a glass shelf that extended it but that obviously broke very quickly... So I built my own shelf to hold it up. You'll also need to look at height if you go this route. When my fermenter was on this shelf it didn't fit with my airlock on so I use blowoff tubes instead.
Look for deals and be creative and try to make it work. I've seen some remove the door and build a 2x6 collar around the opening and fasten the door to the collar this created enough space for the fermenter to sit on the bottom and allowed holes to be drilled to allow the temperature probe in. (I just use the drip hole in the back included in almost every fridge I've seen).
 

dbsmith

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Another way to control temperature: Cool Brewing Fermentation Cooler 2.0

Basically it is a giant insulated lunch sac that you can put bottles of either cold/frozen water or hot water in. I have been using one of these for years, combined with a little thermometer probe that I tape to the side of the fermentor and the screen outside of the bag. It works really well! The trick is to chill your wort down after the boil to be very close to your target temperature, and then just maintain it with the bag.
 
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