Help Wanted! (sydney)

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.


Reaction score
So, what I am hoping for is some kind hearted Sydney brewer to cube a beer and swap it with me for a cube of the same/similar recipe.
And this is why....

Ever since we moved to Berowra in April, I have been plagued with a weird taste and stripping of flavour from my beers.
With the exception of a saison, pretty much every beer ends up tasting more or less the same.
During ferment and immediately after primary is finished, it tastes fine. Then sure enough, the hop flavour dies right off and there is a faint butterscotch taste (I think its butterscotch anyway... my palate is not exactly well tuned)

I have tried different yeasts, malts and hops.
I've purchased new cubes and fermenters.
I've gone crazy with cleaning and sanitation. Piping hot water, unscented napisan, multiple hot water rinses. Switched between iodophor and starsan for the plastic and also used heat (180 deg c for 60 mins) for glass.

I've bottled and kegged. I've tried ditching a secondary vessel and bottling/kegging direct from the primary.

Fairly certain that it is happening during or after the ferment, as I have had a cube sitting around for several weeks and it showed no signs of swelling prior to pitching.

It's worth mentioning that after an extended conditioning period, the beer becomes quite drinkable. Just ******* bland as all hell.

Enough of my enticing pitch.... any takers?

Shoot me a PM if you're up for it.
sorry if this sounds stupid, but could it be the water where you are now?

i know that doesn't help at all, answering with a question, but it seems that's the only thing that you haven't changed/been able to change since being where you are.
If there is a butterscotch taste do you think it may be diacetyl? Do you make yeast starters and do a d rest? Not an expert opinion just throwing out some ideas
Can't help with the cube swap, but the butterscotch thing is most likely diacetyl. You might be bottling/kegging a little too early for the yeast to clean it up, or pitching too warm. Your saison yeast is probably finishing earlier than the others and able to clean up more in a shorter time (and would do better at warmer temps), and long conditioning would also help with cleaning diacetyl up.

Edit: doon was a few seconds quicker!
I had problems with diacetyl until I started making starters now all is good. My beer would be fine until a few days in keg then just went to shit
I haven't got my system down-pat enough yet that you could rely on one of my brews for comparison, BUT if you wanna make the trek to Balmain with a couple of empty jerries you can fill them up with water from my filter. Might confirm or rule out a water issue.
See Mark at Asquith Home Brewing. He should help identify any off flavours. Diacetyl can be caused by bacterial infections as well as a by-product of yeast. I'd check your sanitisation regime, take notes when drink: is it in every bottle? Or do you keg? Sanitise the balls out of everything. Failing that, get a new fermenter.

And read this:
That is really frikkin weird mate. Have you tried drinking someone else's beer? You might be sick?!?!? Loss of flavour can be due to that, might be nothing wrong with the beer for all the effort ur making. Go swap a few bottles maybe?

You prolly felt the saison n us it's pretty hard not to feel one!

Also, hops. Have you tried buying hops from elsewhere? Or a new batch at least, your's might be old?!
I was thinking diacetyl too, but I do a d-rest and leave it a few extra days before moving on.
Next batch I will leave in primary for 2 weeks including a d-rest.
I've used dry yeast directly sprinkled and also rehydrated. I've used liquid yeast direct pitched and also in a starter. Same issue with all methods.
Most recent beer was a NZPA. Opened a fresh pack of Riwaka I've been holding onto for ages (it smelled amazing).
Almost all taste and aroma is gone now :(
Not really sure how I can sanitise any more thoroughly without moving to the ridiculous, like radiation for example.

I will try using different water. Might take you up on your offer Mike, but then I could just head back to my old place and fill up a few cubes there... Cheers for the offer though.
I have no scientific basis for the following comment but I reckon as you brew more and more you get used to higher and higher IBU's and grain bills. I actually have started doing some different styles and combinations to get away from this condition.........whether real or imagined. Remember your not paranoid if they really are out to get ya <_<
During ferment and immediately after primary is finished, it tastes fine. Then sure enough, the hop flavour dies right off and there is a faint butterscotch taste (I think its butterscotch anyway... my palate is not exactly well tuned)

This sounds almost exactly like a problem I was having in my latest brews (August and early September... recently been moving house). I actually entered an Aussie pale ale into the NSW comp to get the feedback on the flavour, and was told it was Diacetyl. It was in everything I brewed to a greater or lesser degree, including a heavily hopped Red IPA.

Strange thing is, that after a couple of months in the bottle, it dissapeared completely from the Aussie pale, and now the Red IPA tastes fan-effin-tastic, the hops aroma is really starting to shine through (probably just in time for me to notice it dropping off after 4 or so months in the bottle)

I couldn't trace it back to any particular sanitation problems and put it down to the ferment happening at 15-16 degrees in my little space under the building.

I've now got a house and have a ferment fridge, and I'm looking at a brewing for the first time since early September. Will be interesting to see if it comes back.
If you are still looking for someone to help in a few weeks time I'd be happy to, I just don't have much time until then. I'm not far either

edit: it does sound like diacetyl though, try warming the brew up towards the end of ferment and giving it more time to clean up.
During ferment and immediately after primary is finished, it tastes fine. Then sure enough, the hop flavour dies right off and there is a faint butterscotch taste (I think its butterscotch anyway... my palate is not exactly well tuned)

What about oxidation? I had similar trouble with a batch or two losing all flavour and aroma.

"Another flavor that may be caused by oxidation is the buttery/butterscotch flavor of diacetyl. Diacetyl is formed by the oxidation of alpha acetolactate (a normal by-product of yeast metabolism). Many breweries use brewing techniques to prevent the presence of the alpha acetolactate precursor in the finished beer, but some breweries use techniques that allow this precursor to be present. If alpha acetolactate is present in the finished beer, it will eventually oxidize to diacetyl, and the intensity of the characteristic buttery/butterscotch flavor will increase as the beer ages."

Found that here
Some good points there. I try to minimise exposure to oxygen at all times after pitching, so it really has me buggered if it is oxidation in my keg, as I ran it straight to the keg from the primary. I will make a point of being extra careful next batch.
As for temp... I usually pitch around 18-20deg and keep it around there until the d-rest, when i raise the temp to 22-23ish.

Might buy a new cube and fermenter for the next batch. (again)
Pedio will through diacytal mate. As per my pm lets talk about it
I'd be happy to swap a cube with you.

Is it possible your new water is softer than before --> less Calcium --> less minerals to keep the yeast happy --> Diacetyl as a by-product.

What recipe are you looking to swap?
Thanks for the offer Josh.
Looks like Barls and I are going to do a bit of a collaborative brew and see how it goes from there.
Hopefully that will let me know once and for all where the root of the problem is.

Maybe a cube swap after I get it all sorted?
Sorry to reply to an old post. I also live in berowra. How have your brews been coming along?

I started up the factory again last Aug and i`m up to my 16 batch since then, I have found that my beers taste pretty average in bottles also, unless I let them "condition" in the fridge for a week before drinking, I did this with a brown ale and the difference between 1 day in the fridge to over a week was two different beers.

My kegs I have no worries with, they are beautiful but again they are sitting in the fridge for over a week before I crack into them.

We should catch up for a beer session one day.


Latest posts