Burnt Rubber Taste

Australia & New Zealand Homebrewing Forum

Help Support Australia & New Zealand Homebrewing Forum:

livo

Well-Known Member
Joined
3/10/11
Messages
99
Reaction score
16
Well it didn't take long for me to get my first batch(s) that is (are) "a bit off". The flavour I have is one that I'm sure others have experienced as I've had it before and remembered it immediately. I've read all the "Off flavour" descriptions and they don't mean much to me. I guess it's closest to Bakelite / chemically (more like burnt rubber to me). I'm wondering if it's something I did or environmental. I suspect heat / temperature control issues.

My first 3 batches were fine. All Cooper's cans and all done the same way. I did a Lager first then followed running 2 fermenters with another Lager and a Mexican Cerveza. No problems and the fermentations took 6-7 days both times with stable gravity readings for 2 consecutive days before bottling. Minimum Temperatures (for the area) were 15.6'C and 14.7'C and Maximums were 26.3'C and 25.4'C respectively. They were brewed inside my large uninsulated Colourbond shed so temperatures would be similar variation but probably less swinging about due to having some protection and the volume of fermentations. 2 weeks minimum wait time after bottling and I've enjoyed drinking all 3. They taste like beer. All bottled using white sugar for priming. I still have a few bottles left and the Mexican Cerveza is very nice. I've been putting 1 full bottle of Lager and 1/2 bottle of Cerveza in my jug and I like it. I used to drink the same mix 10 years ago. At one point I was using half can of each in 2 fermenters at a time and I bottled 50/50 brewed separately a few times as well.

I did exactly the same sanitisation of the fermenters before batches 4 and 5 and mixed the kits the same way. Another Lager and this time a Draught. Bottle sanitisation and priming the same as well. One difference noted is that temperatures were different. A much lower minimum of 12.2'C and a much higher maximum at 30.0'C but again, inside the shed and with the volume I can't really say how much the temps of the brews swung about. Also fermentation was faster at only 4-5 days for same readings over 2 consecutive days, so I bottled. Maybe I bottled too early. These have been 3 weeks in the bottle. 1 week was the recent hot run of weather with 6 days in the high 20s up to + 35'C for 2 consecutive days. Not exactly a heat wave but pretty warm in the shed.

Is it likely / possible that the fast fermentation, early bottling and heat has caused this "off" taste. It is worse in the Lager, I think. I've never been good at identifying off flavours or causes.

The worry is that I had 2 other batches in fermentation when the hot weather hit and I measured the fermenter vessel outside surface at +30'c for 3 days. Another Lager and a Canadian Blonde which were in the FV for 10 and 8 days respectively and bottled on the same day. I'm a bit worried about them.

I've now built and have in use a temperature controlled fermentation chamber (fridge with STC1000) so if it was heat affected hopefully it wont happen again.

Am I on the right track thinking it was temperature control that is the problem? The beers look ok and you can't really smell anything wrong. Just the harsh taste of burnt plastic or rubber. I guess I'll find out if the 2 heat affected batches are the same and the one I've got in the fridge now is good because as far as I know everything else is consistent.
 

MHB

Well-Known Member
Joined
1/10/05
Messages
6,796
Reaction score
4,251
Location
Newcastle
It’s called Yeast Autolysis.
The main causes are temperature (too hot) and time (too long on the yeast cake).
Time to post one of the most useful documents I know of, again! Search (Ctrl F) for what you taste and have a read.
I would strongly recommend you get some control over your fermentation temperature, an STC-1000 or an Inkbird (site sponsor) and an old fridge...
Mark
 

Attachments

  • Complete_Beer_Fault_Guide.pdf
    454.7 KB · Views: 60

livo

Well-Known Member
Joined
3/10/11
Messages
99
Reaction score
16
Thanks Mark,
I've already done it. Bought a fridge and STC1000 that is, and it's already in use. I suspected as much and I'm aware of autolysis but I never knew that this was the flavour of it. Now I know and hopefully it is a thing of the past. I was pretty sure it isn't an infection. I'll certainly have a read of the document. I doubt it was too much time on the yeast cake as it was out and bottled in less than 5 days but certainly temperature could have been an issue. If that's the case then there isn't much hope for the 2 batches I bottled last week after sitting in the FVs in the heat.

My first 3 batches would have wobbled around a bit in temperature but never exceeded the maximum on the can instructions of 27'C. The affected batches possibly did and the latest ones did for certain.

Can this condition also occur during the bottle carbonation? I don't have a cellar and storage at reasonable temperature will be an issue for me in summer.

I've just been down to the shed (beer fridge) and the Lager is worse affected than the Draught. They are both still drinkable (just) and with a mix of good Cerveza the taste is barely discernible. I wouldn't offer it to anybody.

Edit: There it is. Burned Rubber. and I've answered my own second question. Thanks.
 
Last edited:

An Ankoù

Well-Known Member
Joined
4/2/19
Messages
94
Reaction score
42
Location
Brittany, France
Your temperature control should sort everything out, but, as a matter of interest, why not try fermenting one at ambient 30+C with Voss or one of the other kveik isolates- I don't like Voss myself although others swear by it- Opshaug would be my choice as it's much cleaner and not so orangy. Alternatively, you could use a saison yeast as these are quit happy up to 35C, BUT they need to be allowed to ferment out completely as their genetic structure allows them to reduce ALL polysaccharides to fermentable sugars. You'll need to bleach your fermenters afterwards, too, as they are hard to get rid of.
 

duncbrewer

Well-Known Member
Joined
8/12/19
Messages
530
Reaction score
195
Location
paremata nz
I'd say that 27 is very hot for a lager ferment, unless you were using opshaug under pressure and then it might be a bit cool!
Lager is the most difficult " beer " to make well, but really easy to make.
 

Morgz

Active Member
Joined
25/7/20
Messages
40
Reaction score
12
Location
Newcastle
LIVO - your beers will be out of this world in comparison to your last batches once starting fermentation temperature control. Instantly and overnight. Enjoy the ride mate, Merry Christmas.
 

Hangover68

Well-Known Member
Joined
12/7/17
Messages
538
Reaction score
184
Location
St Helena, Melbourne NE.
Thanks Mark,
I've already done it. Bought a fridge and STC1000 that is, and it's already in use. I suspected as much and I'm aware of autolysis but I never knew that this was the flavour of it. Now I know and hopefully it is a thing of the past. I was pretty sure it isn't an infection. I'll certainly have a read of the document. I doubt it was too much time on the yeast cake as it was out and bottled in less than 5 days but certainly temperature could have been an issue. If that's the case then there isn't much hope for the 2 batches I bottled last week after sitting in the FVs in the heat.

My first 3 batches would have wobbled around a bit in temperature but never exceeded the maximum on the can instructions of 27'C. The affected batches possibly did and the latest ones did for certain.

Can this condition also occur during the bottle carbonation? I don't have a cellar and storage at reasonable temperature will be an issue for me in summer.

I've just been down to the shed (beer fridge) and the Lager is worse affected than the Draught. They are both still drinkable (just) and with a mix of good Cerveza the taste is barely discernible. I wouldn't offer it to anybody.

Edit: There it is. Burned Rubber. and I've answered my own second question. Thanks.

5 days from fermenter to bottle is way to short, kit cans i'd leave nearly a full 2 weeks to allow time to clear and clean up.
Now you re controlling the temp, get a good lager yeast and let go for 3-4 weeks at 9-12c.
 

livo

Well-Known Member
Joined
3/10/11
Messages
99
Reaction score
16
No chlorine, or anything else. I have filter the wrigglers and red worms out. Thanks for all the advice. I do intend on using some cold yeast for lager but I need to look into it yet. What is recommended? I knew 5 days was short but it had fermented out and I had 1005 readings 2 consecutive days. If it's heat affected then leaving it for longer wouldn't have helped anyway.

I hold very little hope of the following 2 brews as they were even hotter.
 

GregTheBrewer

Active Member
Joined
30/7/16
Messages
27
Reaction score
11
Fermentis W34/70 is a very good lager yeast Livo. Use a yeast calculator to figure out how many packets you need...for the average lager two packets usually suffices, and it's cheap enough. The good thing about dry yeast is you don't have to worry about making a yeast starter, as you would with a liquid yeast. Another good one is Lallemand Premium Diamond Lager yeast...it's actually the traditional species (Saccharomyces Pastorianus) and also gives very good results. Glad to hear you have gotten into temp control...it's one of the most critical things you can do for your beer!
 

livo

Well-Known Member
Joined
3/10/11
Messages
99
Reaction score
16
Thanks for that Greg, (I'm a Greg as well) and yep, found that out. I don't think I can do it. I thought I could tuff it out and drink the heat affected beer but I think I'm going to be pouring 100 or so bottles down the drain. I've been able to cope with it by mixing with good Cerveza but I've run out. I'll buy a carton of something to mix and see if it can be tolerated but I have a feeling it is a lost cause. Back to buying beer until the temp controlled stuff starts coming through. Bugger. I can probably bottle the first one in a few days so another couple of weeks to wait.
 

duncbrewer

Well-Known Member
Joined
8/12/19
Messages
530
Reaction score
195
Location
paremata nz
Rekorderlig cider is horribly sweet and is available with fruit flavours, worth a try for a snakebite!
 

GregTheBrewer

Active Member
Joined
30/7/16
Messages
27
Reaction score
11
Livo...first of all Happy New Year! And don't be put off...your beers will just get better and better. Just something I wanted to ask about that Rhyan alluded to. You say "no chlorine" in your water...how do you know? What are you using...tank water? Whatever the case, how do you treat it? That will give a clue also. The reason I ask is that "burnt rubber" is a phenolic sort of flavour that could be from chlorophenols...interested to hear back when you get the chance
 

livo

Well-Known Member
Joined
3/10/11
Messages
99
Reaction score
16
Happy New Year to you as well and all. Yep. Pure rain water. We only have tanks. Filtered through a couple of different grade filters. I could do carbon if I need to. There is no problem with the water, as the first 3 brews turned out fine, I used to brew on tank water last time I brewed as well and never had any issue other than the same thing, which I now know is heat (temperature) related, (I think), # see below. The only problem I've ever had with brew is the exact same flavour and last time I was brewing it was in a hot shed (in summer) as well. My water is good enough for fish to live in so I don't see why I can't make beer with it. I also do hydroponics and I have water testing equipment. If I can't make beer from my rain / tank water then there is no point. I'm not about to buy bottled water or go to any great lengths to treat and modify my rainwater.

# note from above: I've been less than hopeful about the 2 brews that were in the FVs when a 3 day hot spell hit. Today I decided that the 2 batches already known to be "off" had to go down the drain. Again, the Lager was worse than the draught, but I've dumped both. I decided I just couldn't drink it. While doing so I thought I'd test 1 stubby of the hot brew. The stubbies are Canadian Blonde. I put a stubby in the freezer to cool it down and tasted it. Only 9 -10 days in the bottle but no off flavour. Obviously green but not bad at all. So I decided to test one of the 750 ml bottles of lager. No off flavours and I was able to drink the bottle. Despite being green these 2 brews, that were exposed to much hotter temperatures in fermentation do not have the same off taste.

The possible differences / causes.

#1 Even though the most recent brews were exposed to much warmer temperature overall, the temperature swing was less severe. It was hot but it remained hot. The other ones, that were off, were exposed to more rapid and wider temperature changes from one day to the next and overnight etc.

#2 Time in the FV. The bad ones were only in the FV for 5 days. I bottled it because I had 2 consecutive days of same reading (SG 1005). The hot ones sat in the FV for 10 days because I was too busy to bottle even though the gravity readings indicated it was finished. So this raises a question for me.

Which instruction / recommendation do you follow? The instruction on the can is essentially based upon time within a temperature range. Common advice is to ignore the airlock burps and use the hydrometer (2 days same reading). Now someone is saying you need to leave it for at least 2 weeks (or more) so the yeast can clean up after itself. BUT, leaving it on the yeast for too long can cause autolysis. apparently.

HUH, What???
 

MHB

Well-Known Member
Joined
1/10/05
Messages
6,796
Reaction score
4,251
Location
Newcastle
Probably can’t give you a single "Right" answer, that isn’t how yeast works.
With the right amount of yeast you will get primary fermentation over in 5 days in most beers, maybe a couple of days longer for a cold brewed Lager or a very strong beer. At work we can knock a 10% Ale over in 7 days, 10 days to kegging, and routinely make 6-7% beers in 7 days from pitching yeast to kegging.
Greg above mentioned using a pitch rate calculator to work out how much yeast to use, that or learning the calculations is a very good idea.
The two main factors that affect yeast autolysis are Temperature and Time. Underpitching means the yeast is working harder and doing more reproducing, both will encourage autolysis.
If you are culturing yeast there are factors that will affect the chances of autolysis (doesn’t sound like that going to be an issue for you yet).
If you want to avoid autolysis, pitch the right amount of healthy yeast at the right temperature.
Never leave the beer on the yeast cake for more than 14 Days (EVER!)
Brew at the right temperature.
If you are making Lager, plan on racking the beer to another fermenter so you aren’t on the yeast too long.
As a kit brewer you aren’t making your wort so you don’t have to worry so much about nutrients, if you start mashing that can be another thing to look at later.

Mark
 

duncbrewer

Well-Known Member
Joined
8/12/19
Messages
530
Reaction score
195
Location
paremata nz
@MHB re your never leave the beer on yeast cake for more than 14 days, I'm doing a 100% Brett saison and was told it would take 3 months in primary before transfer to oaked secondary for a further 6 months. Does Brett follow your rules ?
 

MHB

Well-Known Member
Joined
1/10/05
Messages
6,796
Reaction score
4,251
Location
Newcastle
Point 1 is that they aren’t my rules, just the real basics you will find in any serious brewing text.
Brett is a little odd, but I would still rack at around half way between OG and FG, just to get off any old/dormant/slow yeast that is lying on the bottom not making beer and waiting for a chance to autolyse.
In a commercial Lager brewery they would probably dump the trub 4 times between pitching and packaging, three of them in the first 7 days, then again at the end say 21-28 days.
Mark
 

duncbrewer

Well-Known Member
Joined
8/12/19
Messages
530
Reaction score
195
Location
paremata nz
Thanks @MHB i'll get it onto secondary and the oak added and see how it goes over the next few months. Was thinking a test around easter. But will bear the " recommended" Brett tips for the next one.
 

Westheimer

Active Member
Joined
8/7/21
Messages
29
Reaction score
5
Location
Meringandan West
Happy New Year to you as well and all. Yep. Pure rain water. We only have tanks. Filtered through a couple of different grade filters. I could do carbon if I need to. There is no problem with the water, as the first 3 brews turned out fine, I used to brew on tank water last time I brewed as well and never had any issue other than the same thing, which I now know is heat (temperature) related, (I think), # see below. The only problem I've ever had with brew is the exact same flavour and last time I was brewing it was in a hot shed (in summer) as well. My water is good enough for fish to live in so I don't see why I can't make beer with it. I also do hydroponics and I have water testing equipment. If I can't make beer from my rain / tank water then there is no point. I'm not about to buy bottled water or go to any great lengths to treat and modify my rainwater.

# note from above: I've been less than hopeful about the 2 brews that were in the FVs when a 3 day hot spell hit. Today I decided that the 2 batches already known to be "off" had to go down the drain. Again, the Lager was worse than the draught, but I've dumped both. I decided I just couldn't drink it. While doing so I thought I'd test 1 stubby of the hot brew. The stubbies are Canadian Blonde. I put a stubby in the freezer to cool it down and tasted it. Only 9 -10 days in the bottle but no off flavour. Obviously green but not bad at all. So I decided to test one of the 750 ml bottles of lager. No off flavours and I was able to drink the bottle. Despite being green these 2 brews, that were exposed to much hotter temperatures in fermentation do not have the same off taste.

The possible differences / causes.

#1 Even though the most recent brews were exposed to much warmer temperature overall, the temperature swing was less severe. It was hot but it remained hot. The other ones, that were off, were exposed to more rapid and wider temperature changes from one day to the next and overnight etc.

#2 Time in the FV. The bad ones were only in the FV for 5 days. I bottled it because I had 2 consecutive days of same reading (SG 1005). The hot ones sat in the FV for 10 days because I was too busy to bottle even though the gravity readings indicated it was finished. So this raises a question for me.

Which instruction / recommendation do you follow? The instruction on the can is essentially based upon time within a temperature range. Common advice is to ignore the airlock burps and use the hydrometer (2 days same reading). Now someone is saying you need to leave it for at least 2 weeks (or more) so the yeast can clean up after itself. BUT, leaving it on the yeast for too long can cause autolysis. apparently.

HUH, What???
Hi Livo
I use rainwater as well. Brewfather will give me the minerals and acid to add according to the style of beer I'm brewing. Very easy 👍
My lagers I ferment under 12-14psi pressure @ 23°C and using 34/70 yeast.
Done in about 4 days.
Cooled to 5°C and left on the yeast for a week.
Racked into keg and left to condition for 2-3 weeks @ 5°C and 15psi.
Done 🍻
My neighbour uses tank water as well and never bothers with minerals unless I give him some 😉
His beers turn out good too.
We are both all grain, but I can't see why that would make a huge difference compared to the kits you are using.
Cheers 🍻
 

Latest posts

Top