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When beer has that "grassy" taste?

Discussion in 'Beer Talk' started by doppletheGOAT, Jan 21, 2013.

  1. doppletheGOAT

    doppletheGOAT Savant (390) Texas Nov 27, 2012

    On occasions, why does beer have this taste? I've noticed that even high rated ales can sometimes taste like a mouthful of freshly cut grass. Does this mean the beer has been sitting in hot place like when it's being shipped from one place to another? What exactly causes this?
  2. Nectar

    Nectar Savant (310) New Jersey Jan 17, 2013

    Semi-related. My buddy swears that all of Southern Tiers IPAs have a green tea taste...
  3. LeRose

    LeRose Advocate (725) Massachusetts Nov 24, 2011 Subscriber

    Flavors reminiscent of chlorophyll and fresh cut grass occasionally occur and are most often linked to poorly stored ingredients. Poorly stored malt can pick up moisture and develop musty smells. Aldehydes can form in old malt and can contribute green grass flavors. Hops are another source of these green flavors. If the hops are poorly stored or not properly dried prior to storage, the chlorophyll compounds will become evident in the beer.

    From John Palmers How to Brew, summarized here : http://www.howtobrew.com/section4/chapter21-2.html. Handy....
    dvelcich likes this.
  4. gatornation

    gatornation Poobah (1,285) Minnesota Apr 18, 2007 Beer Trader

    Many Pilsners have this trait in its profile. it is one that i like
    WickedSluggy likes this.
  5. RockAZ

    RockAZ Savant (470) Arizona Jan 6, 2009 Beer Trader

    My favorite grassy beers that show the quality "hops are poorly stored or not properly dried prior to storage" are Lagunitas SUCKS, Alaskan Brewing Hopothermia, ODell IPA, and my local Dragoon Brewery IPA. Meh - I think they are all adding fresh and pungent aromatic hops like Citra either very late in the boil or just before kegging. This quality is most evident in keg draft pours rather than their bottles, to me anyway.
  6. LeRose

    LeRose Advocate (725) Massachusetts Nov 24, 2011 Subscriber

    The hopping technique does make a big difference. When the grassy notes remind me of very good olive oil, I like it just fine. When it gets to hayfield, not so much. Not sure where the line is (or if there is one) between a defect and enhancement on green notes.
  7. BeerSingh

    BeerSingh Savant (425) India Jul 25, 2009

    I find this flavor profusely in Euro Pale Lagers. Could be the hops, or the transit, maybe the storage - but it's huge and consistent in EPLs
  8. Etan

    Etan Champion (765) Wisconsin Jul 11, 2011

    Some APAs, IPAs, and DIPAs are brewed to be very dry, with little residual sugar. These often taste "grassy" to me because of the green hop bitterness coupled with lack of sweetness. Daisy Cutter, for example, comes to mind.
  9. Domingo

    Domingo Poobah (1,145) Colorado Apr 23, 2005 Subscriber Beer Trader

    Yeah, to me I get it in pale ales that tend be drier. Wet hopped beers, too.
  10. suspect

    suspect Savant (445) New York Apr 12, 2010

    Brooklyn Sorachi Ace has a bit of a lemon grass taste for sure. Delicious.

  11. I think it would be rare to find beers with off flavors from poorly stored hops. When this happens I detect a lemony tea like flavor along with dirt flavor - sometimes cheesey dirty gym sock flavors too - which I have only experienced less than a handful of times.

    What is more likely to happen and is quite common is oxidation taking place post bottling causing the hop character to give a grassy/musty like flavor - usually accompanied by excessive caramel flavor and metallic flavors. For most pale ales and IPA's I can start to detect this flavor usually around the two month mark - depending on the brewery that makes it.
  12. And that's what makes oxidation difficult for some to notice. Some hops just taste grassier than others and when/how they are used in the brewing process effects their flavor too. Even with awarness and experience, sometimes it is difficult to tell if the flavor was there from the start, or a result of oxidation in the bottle.
    LeRose likes this.
  13. youbrewidrink

    youbrewidrink Advocate (720) Vermont Apr 9, 2009 Beer Trader

    Oh, that kind of grass, I just thought you meant really dank.
  14. Pilseners have this taste, but I happen to like it
  15. Bonis

    Bonis Advocate (565) Ohio Jul 28, 2010

    Also came here expecting the Maryjane comparison... Oh but I love beers that taste like the green.
  16. youbrewidrink

    youbrewidrink Advocate (720) Vermont Apr 9, 2009 Beer Trader

    Kolsch's also, I have to agree, I too like it.
  17. tectactoe

    tectactoe Champion (870) Michigan Mar 20, 2012

    I thought Founders Harvest Ale had the largest "freshly cut grass" taste of any beer I've had. I figured it had to do with the raw freshness of the wet hops. I enjoyed it quite a bit.