So What Does A Skunk Taste Like?

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GrumpyPaul

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Hi guys.

I got my feedback sheets from pale ale mania. Seems I have a lot to learn from thatexperience.

There was a couple of comments under aroma about slight or potential "skunk".

Having never had the pleasure of meeting a skunk I am not sure what this means.

Can someone explain or describe what this is?

More importantly what causes it and how to avoid it in future.

Thanks
BnB
 

Nick JD

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Skunk spray is composed mainly of three low molecular weight thiol compounds, (E)-2-butene-1-thiol, 3-methyl-1-butanethiol, and 2-quinolinemethanethiol, as well as acetate thioesters of these.[14][15] These compounds are detectable by the human nose at concentrations of only 10 parts per billion.


That's what wiki says. If you've ever been to North America, it's a distinctive smell. You can often smell it at an only just detectable note when driving in a car. I've often smelled it on my way from the airport over there.

It smells like light-struck hops, mainly because one of the chemicals in a skunk's anal gland IS the chemical that hop compounds turn into when light hits them.

So if one were to say to someone who had never smelt a skunk, what to use to get that smell - a beer left in the light is the best way. No other descriptor is as perfect.

How qualified were the judges? Do they know sulphury notes from skunk? Did you beer come into contact with light? If it didn't I'd be looking at sulphury compounds lending the judges to call it "skunk".
 

matho

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its very easy to 'skunk' a beer, pour yourself a glass of a hoppy beer, have a good sniff and taste then take it outside into strong sunlight and wait about 5 - 10 minutes then have a good sniff and that change in smell is 'skunking' and its very obvious.

cheers steve
 

edschache

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It's somewhere between possum and guinea pig with a touch of pigeon. It is best served slow roasted with a chipotle glaze on a bed of mash potato. Alternatively they are great in a stew.

As for the beer fault: what they said :)

Ed
 

christmas

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Sometimes you see the word 'goaty' come up in relation to beer too.

What the hell does goaty taste like??
 

edschache

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My local Indian place does a good goat curry...

as for the beer flavour I would say damp, barnyardy... think of the petting zoo part of your local show (easy for the people in Brisbane atm with the Ekka on). Last time I went to Mount Tamborine brewery it was obvious when you walked into the place and unfortunately it was then through all the beers so I think it's caused by infection. Not sure if you can get MT beers in bottles over your side but might be worth a shot to see if you can pick it up in the bottle (not sure if they've solved it or if it appears in the bottles at all).

if you've ever got a wool blanket wet and left it in a pile for a day without drying out that'd probably be fairly close to my understanding of the smell.

Different to sheepy which in my mind is a sharper smell with an undertone of roast lamb. Sheeps milk yoghurt is a good way to get this smell but not necessarily pleasant to eat just on it's own. It's surprising that the dairy product is so recognisable by the flavour of the roast meat, not something you would normally pick up with cows milk products IMHO.

Ed
 

manticle

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Sometimes you see the word 'goaty' come up in relation to beer too.

What the hell does goaty taste like??

At a fault tasting session recently I tried beer doctored with caprylic acid (cause of goaty flavours - think capretto).

The aroma was far stronger than the flavour but it smelt like the short bristly hair on the back of a farmyard animal - amazingly so. Goaty was a pretty good description. Reminiscent of agricultural hall at Royal melbourne show.
 

tricache

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My local Indian place does a good goat curry...

as for the beer flavour I would say damp, barnyardy... think of the petting zoo part of your local show (easy for the people in Brisbane atm with the Ekka on). Last time I went to Mount Tamborine brewery it was obvious when you walked into the place and unfortunately it was then through all the beers so I think it's caused by infection. Not sure if you can get MT beers in bottles over your side but might be worth a shot to see if you can pick it up in the bottle (not sure if they've solved it or if it appears in the bottles at all).

if you've ever got a wool blanket wet and left it in a pile for a day without drying out that'd probably be fairly close to my understanding of the smell.

Different to sheepy which in my mind is a sharper smell with an undertone of roast lamb. Sheeps milk yoghurt is a good way to get this smell but not necessarily pleasant to eat just on it's own. It's surprising that the dairy product is so recognisable by the flavour of the roast meat, not something you would normally pick up with cows milk products IMHO.

Ed
I was actually up at MT Brew today and had a glass of Moderation and it smelt like feet and stagnant water...so freaking disappointed in that place
 

Spiesy

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