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Good At Bottling, Bad A Week Later

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verysupple

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Hi all,
I've come across a strange problem with my last two batches (a hefeweizen and an extra special bitter) - they taste fantastic at bottling but a week later both the maltiness and hoppiness are greatly diminished and there is an alcoholic twang and oily(?) mouthfeel. I've done about 22 batches and this only happened with the last two. I have two ideas about what it might be. 1) infection while bottling or 2) oxidation. As far as I know I've never had oxidised beer and this tastes way different to the couple of infected bottles I once had. It also doesn't taste like wet cardboard or paper as people describe oxidised beer.

Any ideas about the cause?

Cheers in advance.
 

wbosher

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Hi all,
I've come across a strange problem with my last two batches (a hefeweizen and an extra special bitter) - they taste fantastic at bottling but a week later both the maltiness and hoppiness are greatly diminished and there is an alcoholic twang and oily(?) mouthfeel. I've done about 22 batches and this only happened with the last two. I have two ideas about what it might be. 1) infection while bottling or 2) oxidation. As far as I know I've never had oxidised beer and this tastes way different to the couple of infected bottles I once had. It also doesn't taste like wet cardboard or paper as people describe oxidised beer.

Any ideas about the cause?

Cheers in advance.
You're vastly more experienced that me, so you've probably already thought of this...but have you checked your tap? Could be a build up of crap in there.

Just my 2 cents...
 

verysupple

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You're vastly more experienced that me, so you've probably already thought of this...but have you checked your tap? Could be a build up of crap in there.

Just my 2 cents...
Haven't actually inspected it but I let the sanitizing solution run through it for like 15 min on brew day when I sanitize everything. I guess if there is a build up there then the sanitizer doesn't actually wash it off.
 

verysupple

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I only just thought of this, I'm using a different brand of carbonation drops now (used to use Coopers and now have "Beer Essentials"). Could this have anything to do with it? I wouldn't have thought so because they are both just glucose and sucrose.
 

Liam_snorkel

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the packet may contain something which is infecting your beer. I'd chuck it out as a precaution.
 

warra48

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A number of possible causes, as already mentioned above.

1. Fermenter tap. Dissemble it, clean and sanitise it, and reassemble. Yes, they do come apart. There's a thread on here about how to do it.
2. Get rid of your old packet of drops. Either get a new packet, or change to a different priming medium. Personally, I use caster sugar, and it works fine for me. I keep track of my carbonation levels by weighing the total sugar used to prime my batches.
3. Dissemble your bottling wand, and the valve thing on the end. There's a very small little washer on the end thing, and in the past I've found it can accumulate some crap. Clean it all, sanitise, and reassemble.
4. Whenever I take a sample from my tap, which is almost never other than at bottling, I give it a good spray with StarSan solution inside the outlet and the exterior.
5. Other causes which better brains than mine may suggest.
 

verysupple

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Thanks for the input, guys. It sounds like everyone is leaning toward infection being the cause. If this is the case, would the SG be lower than when I bottled or is that only an indicator for wild yeast infection?
 

warra48

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Thanks for the input, guys. It sounds like everyone is leaning toward infection being the cause. If this is the case, would the SG be lower than when I bottled or is that only an indicator for wild yeast infection?
If the SG is lower now than at bottling, there are two probable causes:

1. The beer hadn't fully fermented out prior to bottling.
2. An infection (wild yeast, or bacterium of some sort) has fermented normally unfermentable components of your brew after bottling.

In either case, carbonation will be very high. I'd be careful of "bottle bombs".
 

verysupple

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It was well and truly done fermenting (at FG for 9 days) and I'm thinking the wild yeast infection is unlikely because the one I cracked last night was still really flat, but I'll still measure the SG tonight and check.
 

verysupple

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I've been doing some Googling and although I didn't know how to describe the flavours it seems to be oxidation. This description seems pretty apt:

"If it's a dullness to hop and malt flavor, as well as slightly "inky" or "chemical" bitter notes, it's oxidation." - http://www.homebrewersassociation.org/foru...p?topic=10935.0

Also I've read people describing oxidation as a "sherry-like" flavour which seems to match what I have.

Is it possible for oxidation to have such a large effect so quickly?
 

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