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Cask Off-flavours

Discussion in 'UK & Ireland' started by Robert_N, Dec 20, 2012.

  1. Anyone know much about this and how to tell if an off-flavour is the beer itself or as a result of poor cellarmanship?
    I have had a few beers from one establishment that stank of eggs and tasted like eggs with a bit of garlic/onion in the finish, this was not the same beer either, is this is a yeast problem as a result of poor cellarmanship? I thought the onion/garlic might be a hop thing but the beers were not from the same brewery and I am pretty sure it was not the same hop variety.
    Any suggestions will be greatly received.
    Thanks.
  2. You aren't talking about the Burton Snatch, are you? A sulphury smell isn't uncommon with beers such as Marston's Bitter and is a characteristic sought by connoisseurs. Though garlic and onion is a new one to me , the only time I've heard these mentioned was someone describing Budweiser as "dishwater with a hint of onion".
    Would help if you named the beer, some of us might have experience of this brew and be able to help.
  3. Mark

    Mark Advocate (585) California Jun 18, 2001

    Marquis, I've rarely met a cask beer I didn't love but the sulphur odor found in Marston's beers I did not like at all.
    p.S. Planning on going to Just Beer Newark again next month. Great beers!
  4. DMS has a vegetable-like smell but I wouldn't go so far as to say oniony or garlicky. Maybe they store veg in the beer cellar?
  5. Ask at the bar whether they've been spiking the casks with onions.....
  6. Enemy brewers coming on the brewery tours and chucking their leftover food into the tuns.
  7. It's a long trip for just a pint or two.Don't know what time the last bus leaves Newark for California!
    When in the area I can point you to a whole raft of excellent watering holes nearby.
  8. Thanks for the feed back guys.
    I don't want to name names at the moment, I will be going back there and I will see if it shows up in any beer again, maybe it's just my palate?
    I am familiar with Burton Snatch but this was so over the top that I find it hard to believe it wa intended.
    As for the onion thing, the only ref I can find is hops.
  9. The main cask detractor are the beer lines, the tubes that ferry the ale from the barrel to the pump.
    Quite often this aspect of cellarmanship is missed or misjudged and is the result of negligent or ignorant staff.

    There are to aspects of this dirty or not cleaned regularly enough lines the result is a vinegar taste being added as old off beer is included. Also a menace to beers lines are them being cleaned out and then not flushed with clear water, the line cleaner is a powerful detergent and will give the beer a very antiseptic slight bleach taste.

    Anyone looking for a world class cellarman please IM me ;)
  10. Mark

    Mark Advocate (585) California Jun 18, 2001

    LOL! We're coming over in late January and will be making another day trip to Newark from London. as we did last year. We also hit the Castle and the Prince Rupert. I found out about Just Beer Newark I believe due to one of your postings, so thanks for that.
  11. Difficult to nail down without knowing the beer in question - one brewer's defining flavour is another's fault ;-)

    Bad egg (hydrogen sulphide) is usually more pronounced than struck match (sulphur dioxide). Both can be perceived as desirable for certain styles at certain thresholds.

    As is oniony-garlic (dimethyl trisulphide), good for certain hop aromas, bad for most lagers.

    FWIW, bad egg (H2S) is cast by fermentation so it's not unusual to try a run of mediocre, cheaply-microbrewed beers in the same pub and find they all taste as shit as each other.
  12. So I have been back to the place, tried a few beers and came across this strange flavour combo again, I have had this beer before and it did not taste like that, I can only assume it's related to one particular line that they have not been looking after propery and is nothing to do with the brewery.
    Thanks for the suggestions and I will keep monitoring the situation.
  13. Is this place in Cardiff?
  14. Right, I think I have found a pattern, Nelson Sauvin, I had a bottle that used it and found the same characteristics, just not as prevalent, I am thinking it must be my palate, although I did not used to have this issue.
    Maybe the beer was too green and so these flavours were overpowering?
  15. first time my wife had a beer with Nelson Sauvin hops she immediately recognised the 'cats pee on a gooseberry bush' aroma found in many Sauvignon Blanc wines. She loves the wine but found the found the Nelson Sauvin hop not to her taste. Her current favourite is Galaxy.
  16. ONIONS! Boiled onions to be more precise. I know exactly what you're talking about and my mates think I'm bonkers when I mention it. It's something I've always picked up on at beer festivals where a lot of the cask ales seem to suffer this. I rarely get it from cask ale in pubs though.
  17. In festivals the beer sometimes doesn't have time to be brought into prime condition.Some beers can be stood for a few hours and be ready to tap, some take days.
    I once was a judge at a SIBA competition where the beers were set up as in a festival and remember being quite disappointed with many of them. Two days later the public was admitted and by then the beers were dramatically improved.
  18. That makes sense then. It seems that only some of us pick up on this odorous flavour and annoyingly I'm one of them.

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