Another "Is my beer ruined?" noob question

Discussion in 'Homebrewing' started by FFreak, Apr 17, 2014.

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  1. FFreak

    FFreak Defender (665) Nov 10, 2013 Vermont

    I brewed a Hillfarmstead Abner clone a few weeks ago and I just bottled it. I dry hopped in primary, racked to secondary and dry hopped again. When I racked it I took a hydrometer reading and tasted the beer. At that time it was amazing...sweet with low bitterness and nice aroma.

    I just tasted it during bottling and it now has a terrible off flavor. It's like a heat ("hotness?") that hits the back of your mouth and wastes your taste buds. It seems to enhance the bitterness so all I taste is bitter. And there's minimal hop aroma, despite 5 ounces of dry hopped pellets.

    I've tasted a similar taste in another beer I brewed and it seemed to go away, but it went away even before I bottled it. I figured that was just the taste of "green" beer. Is what I'm tasting in this batch - "green beer", or am I dealing with some bacteria or fusels or something? Will this disipate over time and will I ever get the tropical fruity aroma I'm craving?

    When I poured out the trub from the carboy, that smelled I'd just cut into a fresh pineapple. But the beer tastes frightening.
  2. JohnSnowNW

    JohnSnowNW Initiate (0) Feb 6, 2013 Minnesota

    Not sure I could diagnose the issue with that description, with much accuracy. Taste is just really subjective. My first thought is fusels, but that may not be all that's going on.

    Anyway, don't dry-hop in secondary, just do a primary dry-hop next time. Leave secondary for aging.
  3. mattbk

    mattbk Devotee (440) Dec 12, 2011 New York

    can you describe how you bottled it and how you prepped your bottles?

    search for threads related to bottling and oxidation, particularly with regards to hoppy beers like IPAs. it is a common thread here and it comes up about every 2 weeks. as @JohnSnowNW said, a secondary is an absolute no-no for IPAs (unless you purge the secondary with CO2 first) - all this accomplishes is oxidation of your beer.
  4. PapaGoose03

    PapaGoose03 Poo-Bah (3,628) May 30, 2005 Michigan

    You've got it in bottles now and there is nothing else that you can do at this point, so let's just wait and see what develops. It's probably too soon to worry about an infection being the reason for your off-flavor, so my guess is that the beer just needs some conditioning.
  5. FFreak

    FFreak Defender (665) Nov 10, 2013 Vermont

    The taste was there prior to bottling...I literally JUST bottled. I'm thinking more and more that it's just green. But it seems odd that this developed after the initial taste when I racked was so good. This is a really nasty hot 'flavor' that just enhances the bitter and overwhelms anything else.
  6. Adirondack47

    Adirondack47 Initiate (0) Dec 25, 2013 New York

    Is this standing advice for all IPA's and if so, what's the reasoning?

    If the premium is on avoiding oxidation, wouldn't it just make more sense to dry hop right in the primary after 2-3 weeks of primary fermentation, add 7-10 days for dry hopping and then just bottle it?

    I guess I don't understand why you would even move to a secondary for any other reason other than to dry hop it.
  7. JohnSnowNW

    JohnSnowNW Initiate (0) Feb 6, 2013 Minnesota

    Yes, that's what I'm advocating. Well, you shouldn't bottle from primary, but transfer to a bottling bucket.

    You run the risk of oxidation every time you transfer, and for an IPA it just isn't necessary to dry-hop in a different vessel. You would need to transfer to secondary if you were going to age on wood, or fruit, or simply just age for months at a time.
    mattbk, JrGtr, BeerKangaroo and 2 others like this.
  8. MrOH

    MrOH Poo-Bah (2,009) Jul 5, 2010 Malta

  9. hoptualBrew

    hoptualBrew Initiate (0) May 29, 2011 Florida

    Harsh fusel alcohols are can be produced by high fermentation temps, over-aerating, adding sucrose or other refined sugars to the fermenting wort. I have experienced this problem a few times when adding honey at high krausen in a few imperial ipa batches. Give the beer about a month or two and the fusels should fade away rather significantly.

    Curious, what was fermentation temp? Add any simple sugars? Aeration method?
  10. FFreak

    FFreak Defender (665) Nov 10, 2013 Vermont

    In this case I transferred to secondary to do a second dry hop. My reasoning is to get the beer off the first round of hops. I first add 2.5 oz of hops to primary for four days, then transfer to secondary. After ten days in secondary, I add another 2.5 oz of hops and bottle 4-5 days later. I've done this once before with good results.

    The fermentation temp was normal, not hot. It went up on its own to about 70-71 for a day or so then dropped into the mid-60s. I tried to maintain 68 throughout primary, then let it drop to ambient in secondary (about 61).

    I did add one pound of corn sugar at 15 minutes left in the boil.

    For aeration/oxygenation, I used an oxygen bottle with regulator and .02 micron diffuser. I ran it pretty high for 90 seconds, as was recommended in BrewCipher. The OG was 1.073 and it finished at 1.010, pretty much perfect for the recipe.
    #10 FFreak, Apr 18, 2014
    Last edited: Apr 18, 2014
  11. JohnSnowNW

    JohnSnowNW Initiate (0) Feb 6, 2013 Minnesota

    I don't do multi-step dry-hops...not that I'm opposed, I just haven't been inclined. If you are happy with them, try putting the first round in a bag that you can remove, that way you won't have to transfer off the hops.

    That's how people do multi-step dry-hops in kegs, though sometimes they will transfer to another keg, but they're doing so under Co2.
  12. HerbMeowing

    HerbMeowing Aspirant (291) Nov 10, 2010 Virginia

    Two things, the OP
    1) has unrealistic expectations about how wort and pre-packaged beer should taste
    2) needs to relax
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