Burnt Rubber Smell

Australia & New Zealand Homebrewing Forum

Help Support Australia & New Zealand Homebrewing Forum:

This site may earn a commission from merchant affiliate links, including eBay, Amazon, and others.


milk is for babies......
Reaction score
Howdy Gents,

Just brewed with German Wheat, built it up a 1/3 of a 6 month old pack on a diy stir plate, 400ml then 1500ml. Thinking i would have had about 127 million cells. Tasted the starter and it was fine, smelt a little funny but i put that down to the oxygen and the plate.

Pitched at 17 and active fermentation started within 24 hours in 11 ltrs of wort, almost instantly stunk, just tasted it 6 days later and taste isn't bad but nqr, hard to put your finger on. Pretty sure it's not sulfur but open to ideas what the yell happened.
I think your post sums it up

that was helpful :blink:

Don't get me wrong a couple of things jump to mind but from what i understand about autolysis. Clearly the burnt rubber smell but hard to understand how it happened so quick.
Burnt rubber is one of the terms used to describe methanethiol, a compound produced naturally by the yeast but normally converted into an amino acid when the yeast are happy and healthy. A lack of nitrogen is normally the cause early in fermentation.

Got a Best Bitter in the keg that used WLP023 (Burton Ale).
I knocked up a nice starter and then pitched at 20C.

Within a few days had a 'burnt rubber' smell.
I left the beer in primary for two weeks (hit all my numbers), the burnt rubber had faded a little.
I cold crashed and kegged it 18 days after pitching.

Now three weeks on, it still has that definite rubber taste/aroma in there that overpowers anything else.

Any idea what it is? Is it a lack of nitrogen? What would counter that - just yeast nutrient? Or broader water treatment?
Very disappointing. Sadface.

Of all the beer styles I brew, the one I most crave is just a good old pint of Bitter and my results of late have been just woeful!
Have you used any bleach or chlorine during your cleaning/sanitizing process?
Thanks, but no. Only unscented napisan.
The starter smelt fine, so I think it must be yeast-related once I pitched into primary. Everything seemed OK (sanitation, wort, wort aeration, temperature, pitching rates), but I can only think I stressed out my yeast somehow when I stepped up to primary.
I did use just tapwater, no additions, and forgot the yeast nutrient for once.

Hopefully it'll fade a little. To be honest, it's yet another (three or four in a row now) Bitter that totally lacks any hop presence anyway. All malt, no hop.
I dream of crisp stonefruit and Goldings on the palate but all I get is muddy malty bitters at the moment. Back to the drawing board of Yeast, recipe, water treatment and throwing truckloads of late/dry hops at the next one.