Odd taste to the beer

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I've made 2 batches so far, a Belgian Ale and an Imperial Stout... they
came out okay, but I've noticed somewhat of an odd taste to them both...
I don't know how to describe it, maybe as somewhat "stale"

The smell of the beer is exactly what it smelled like as it was
fermenting... so maybe it's just that smell that's stuck in my head that
makes me think it tastes sorta funny.

Anyone have any ideas?  I'll probably bring a bottle to my local home
brew place and have them try it, to see if they have any suggestions.

--
Matt
mveino at gmail dot com
http://www.phishyphotos.com rmp photo album: http://www.recmusicphish.com IM:  Dividedsky319

Re: Odd taste to the beer
b8SNd.27986$8H2.13529@twister.nyroc.rr.com...
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Hard to say what the problem can be without knowing what you did. Did you
use a kit? Was it fresh? Did you use malt extract or a can? What was the
temp? On a first guess, a stale taste is probably due to stale malt extract
and hops, specially if it's a kit.

It's quite easy to make drinkable beer, make a good one that you can be
proud when you offer it to your friends take a bit more time and making some
that you are not afraid to present in a homebrew competition take even more
experience.

If you haven't done so yet, go read www.howtobrew.com

Making excellent beer is not hard but you need to know the basics and some
homebrew shops don't take the time to give you the information.
--
Altair (:-o)>=® (supprimer/remove nospam@ pour répondre/to reply)
Définition :
Cellulaire : Appareil qui permet aux gens de croire qu'ils communiquent
puisqu'ils parlent.
Cellphone: Device that allow people to think they are communicating because
they are talking.



Re: Odd taste to the beer
Altair wrote:
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I used a kit, but one made by the local brew place... so AFAIK the
ingredients were quite fresh.  The imperial stout kits were made a day
or two before I bought it.  The malt was this dark brown syrupy stuff
that was in these vacuum packed plastic packet type things.  The temp it
fermented and sat at was in the high 60s.

It definitely doesn't taste BAD, it's very drinkable, it just doesn't
taste like a lot of other imperial stouts I've tried.

--
Matt
mveino at gmail dot com
http://www.phishyphotos.com rmp photo album: http://www.recmusicphish.com IM:  Dividedsky319

Re: Odd taste to the beer

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You may need to give it more time. How long has it been in the bottles?
Imperial stouts are usually fairly high gravity beers and the higher the
gravity, the more maturation time is needed. This will give some of the
up-front flavours time to mellow out and for the more complex flavours to
develop.
I suggest to cellar them for a few months. In the meantime make an English
Mild or something similar which is very quick to mature - as soon as the
bottles are carbonated ther're ready to go!
Hope this helps, Steve W.



Re: Odd taste to the beer
QD Steve wrote:
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2 weeks.. I'll give it more time.  Primary for 1 week, secondary for 3,
bottles for 2...

--
Matt
mveino at gmail dot com
http://www.phishyphotos.com rmp photo album: http://www.recmusicphish.com IM:  Dividedsky319

Re: Odd taste to the beer
kiwi wrote:
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A decent imperial stout will need to sit for 6 months to a year to
mellow out and reach it peak flavor.  This is due to the high alcohol
content.  The higher the original specific gravity (pre-fermentation) of
the beer, the longer you need to let it sit.

Wayne

Re: Odd taste to the beer
I've brewed 3 5gal batches so far and when bottling I've gone with the rule
of thumb mentioned in more than one HowTo guide of 1 inch of headspace at
the top of the bottle. To me this seems excessive so I've bottled some of
the beers with the 1 inch, some with 1/2 inch and some with almost no space
at all (I was skeptical at this point and just waiting for something to
explode).

I let my brew ferment and then sit for another week so the yeast settles to
the bottom and check the final gravity 3 different times over a few days to
make sure it is done prior to bottling.  I have brewed an amber ale with an
OG of 1.038, and a stout with an OG of 1.061.  I bottle condition for 2
weeks at fermentation temp and then refrigerate until cold and drink.

I notice that I get very little head from the bottles with more airspace and
a funky taste, almost like soured wine (though only slightly so).  The
bottles with less airspace have a nice thick head and better taste.

Am I doing something wrong?  How much airspace should be left in the bottle,
and how long should they be conditioned in the bottle before drinking?

BTW, I use 4oz of corn sugar boiled in a pint of water for priming.

-Nick



Re: Odd taste to the beer
On Thu, 10 Feb 2005 16:59:58 -0600, "N. Rundle"

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For 5 gallons?  3/4 cup is more like it, if the FG is 1.020 or higher.
A full cup if it's much lower.

The "sour" taste could be oxidation, or it could be something else.

Re: Odd taste to the beer
I don't know the conversions off-hand from oz to cups, but according to
morebeer.com "In one small pot, put 4 oz, or 3/4 cup corn sugar and one to
two cups of water..."  So I assume that 4oz (the normal package size sold)
is 3/4 cup.

-Nick

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Re: Odd taste to the beer
4 oz would be 1/2 a cup, 6oz is 3/4.  Just thought I'd share.

Michael Herrenbruck
DragonTail Ale

N. Rundle wrote:
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Re: Odd taste to the beer
On Thu, 10 Feb 2005 18:34:25 -0600, "N. Rundle"

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4 oz is half a cup.  Use a measuring cup.  You should be measuring
volume, not weight.

Re: Odd taste to the beer
Al Klein wrote:

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No, it should be weight.  Different brands of corn suagr have different
volumes.  Weight is always much more accurate.

    ------->Denny

--
Life begins at 60 - 1.060, that is.

Reply to denny_at_projectoneaudio_dot_com

Re: Odd taste to the beer

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ATTENTION ALL BREWERS:  There is a difference between ounces by weight and
ounces by volume, in other words, regular ounces vs. fluid ounces.  Fluid
ounces are only accurate as a weight measurement for, you guessed it,
fluids, such as water or other liquids.

If you weigh out 4 ounces on your kitchen scale (like I just did), it
actually turns out being somewhere close to 7/8 of a cup, NOT 1/2 cup.  1/2
cup only turned out to be 2.4 ounces.  So if you assume fluid ounces work
for weight, you are dead wrong.  Check it out yourself.  It has to do with
the density of the solid.  Liquids are more dense than flaky solids such as
corn sugar.  On the other hand, if you fill your measuring cup with 4 ounces
of lead shot, I can guarantee it ain't going to be no 1/2 cup.  Think about
it.

Back to you, Mr. Nick Rundle.... your packages of 4 ounces of corn sugar are
just fine for 5 gallons of brew.  Don't listen to these other guys.  As for
your off-flavor problem, well I'm not really sure what's going on there.  I
usually leave about an inch and a half head space and I've never had any
noticeable problems.

--
Dave
"Just a drink, a little drink, and I'll be feeling GOOooOOooOOooD!" --  
Genesis, 1973-ish



Re: Odd taste to the beer
Al Klein wrote:

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It's much more accurate to measure the corn sugar by weight than by
volume.  I use 5 oz./5 gal. for an approximate carb level of 2.75
volumes.  4 oz. would yield about 2 volumes.

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It's something else...oxidation doesn't produce sour flavors.  And I
have a hard time believing it's related to headspace.

    ------->Denny
--
Life begins at 60 - 1.060, that is.

Reply to denny_at_projectoneaudio_dot_com

Re: Odd taste to the beer
in alt.beer.home-brewing:

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That's why I put sour in quotes.  What one calls sour another might
call stale.

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So do I.  I've bottled with headspaces of almost nothing to a couple
of inches, with the same batch (I have lots of used bottles), and
never noticed a flavor difference due to the headspace.  Maybe if the
beer stayed in the bottle for a year ... But the headspace should be
mostly CO2, so it shouldn't make much difference anyway.

Re: Odd taste to the beer
Well this batch of beer didn't go so well anyway.  Brewing went fine but it
is winter and my basement is too cold for ale so I put the carboy in my
closet (I noticed the next morning that my closet wasn't getting any heat
and the temp was down to 50F).  So I moved the carboy over by the heater
(set at 65F) thought it would be fine and came back from work to a 90F
carboy.  I finally got it to 65F and didn't expect to have good results but
figured I might as well continue and see what happens.

I did get a FG in the range I expected so I assumed that I didn't shock the
yeast before they finished fermenting.  I boiled the corn sugar and added it
to the bottling bucket before bottling.  Some of the bottles when opened
pump head right out of the top and seem overly carbonated.  Other bottles
have virtually no head when poured and taste flat.  Perhaps the wild
fermentation ride I sent the beer on is the root of the problem, but it
doesn't explain how different bottles in the same batch can vary so much on
carbonation levels.

I shall chalk it up to experience :p

-Nick

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Re: Odd taste to the beer
On Fri, 18 Feb 2005 13:40:57 -0600, "N. Rundle"

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Maybe the bottles were subject to the same differences in temperature.
The warmer ones (up to about 70 degrees or so) would be more
carbonated than those that sat at 55 degrees.  (Even a few degrees
difference between one dozen bottles and another dozen can result in
different carbonation levels.)  Those that were too warm would be less
carbonated than those in the 70 degree range.

Just a thought, maybe not applicable to your situation, bit it's why I
prefer kegs to bottles.

Re: Odd taste to the beer
N. Rundle wrote:
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Excessive carbonation can also be a sign of infection due to dirty
bottles. Infections often leave a ring in the neck of the bottle that
defies all-but a vigorous scrubbing. I guess it could also be the case
that the corn sugar wasn't distributed evenly, but my personal
experience suggests that isn't likely.

.

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