What's that flavor

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Cold Country Brewery

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I just made a California Common and tried it for the first time. I don't know if this flavor is supposed to be there or not. The only way I can describe it is "cheap beer flavor." You know how Miller High Life etc has that flavor. Kind of a little bite? Man, I suck at describing flavors. It's not a bad flavor like an infection - I just didn't expect it. Would that be what they describe as a grain flavor, or toasty, or even light fruity?
 

unionrdr

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It's not toasty or fruity. More like a "grainy funk" to me. Like something isn't melding well with some type of grain used sort of flavor.
 
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Cold Country Brewery

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It's not toasty or fruity. More like a "grainy funk" to me. Like something isn't melding well with some type of grain used sort of flavor.

Grainy funk! That's it!

Is it one grain in particular that gives it that "funk"?
 

Golddiggie

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Post up the recipe so we can see what you put into it. Also, how long was it on the yeast/in fermenter? How long has it been in bottles/keg? How long did you chill it before pouring a pint? What temp are you chilling it to? Have you tried it a bit warmer (45-50F)? Are you using a room temp glass or frozen?
 

Dogphish

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i have a few guesses:

1. did the beer get aerated after is started to ferment, maybe you splashed it a lot while transferring it out of the fermenter? that would cause a cardboard taste.

2. if it tastes fruity, that is probably a green beer taste. let it bottle condition longer. you may be tasting priming sugar that hasn't been converted to CO2 yet.

3. were you careful to not pour any of the yeast sediment at the bottom of the bottle? you could have stirred up yeast into the beer while pouring.
 
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Cold Country Brewery

Cold Country Brewery

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I know this isn't going to help very much, but I don't have the recipe on me right now.

And I know I did soooo many things wrong so far (very green beer). So my question wasn't really directed as "help me fix my beer", but the flavor just reminded me of High Life and other cheap beers. I'll wait until the beer matures before I start worrying that my recipe is junk.

Primary 1 week, bottles (only) one week, in the fridge (only) a couple hours. So it's VERY green beer. So I'm not too worried about that, I know it's green.

I'm not worried about an infection or post fermentation aeration, but thanks for the suggestions there.


Maybe I should have worded my first post differently. What I was really wondering was what is that flavor in most cheap beers? It's like uniondr said "grain funk" or kind of like a grain twang. This beer just reminded me of that.
 

unionrdr

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It could even be how the various grains combine flavors with the yeast used. Yeasts have their own flavors to lend. So it could be a combination of things.
And doesn't that beer use an ale yeast with lager wort,or something like that?
 

Yooper

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Steam beers are tricky to make. They are hybrid lagers, made with a special lager yeast, fermenting at room temperature.

The problem is that means some brewers will ferment them way too warm. San Francisco lager yeast is really great fermented at 58-60 degrees for about 10 days, then I usually do a diacetyl rest and keep the beer in the 40s for some lagering. I've used Wyeast's California lager yeast as well, and it's also better at no more than about 60 degrees.

Fermenting above those temperatures will tend to make the beer a bit fruitier than desired, as well as sometimes have a sulfur note to it. That sulfur will disipate, though.

If it was only a week old going into the bottle, I suspect the temperatures were above 62 degrees, perhaps far above. It'll take longer for everything to smooth out. I'm assuming that you used a steam beer strain (the WLP810 or Wyeast 2112) or a regular lager strain.
 
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Cold Country Brewery

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I did use regular lager yeast yes I know it will be hard to make a true CA common without the WLP 810 or Wyeast 2112, but it was all I had. Kind of a last minute decision to brew this (a couple buddies were brewing so I swung by the LBHS and grabbed this kit). I didn't expect much out of it.

I fermented at 60 for a couple weeks, I did not do a diacetyl rest. The only thing I may have messed up was I fermented at 65-70 for priming. Didn't even think about the lower temps.

If I can only be patient and wait a couple more weeks then I will know if it's just green beer, or if the flavor is a weird combo of grains.
 

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I did use regular lager yeast yes I know it will be hard to make a true CA common without the WLP 810 or Wyeast 2112, but it was all I had. Kind of a last minute decision to brew this (a couple buddies were brewing so I swung by the LBHS and grabbed this kit). I didn't expect much out of it.

I fermented at 60 for a couple weeks, I did not do a diacetyl rest. The only thing I may have messed up was I fermented at 65-70 for priming. Didn't even think about the lower temps.

If I can only be patient and wait a couple more weeks then I will know if it's just green beer, or if the flavor is a weird combo of grains.
The warm temperature for priming is fine! But I'd let them get carbed up and then stick them in the fridge for some lagering in the bottle. That will help quite a bit! I always lager my steam beer. And using regular lager yeast at ale temperatures DOES increase some fruitiness and sulfur which should improve with lagering.
 

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