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Neutral beer for off-flavor experiment

Discussion in 'Homebrewing' started by NHhomebrewguy, Apr 15, 2019 at 8:03 PM.

  1. NHhomebrewguy

    NHhomebrewguy Zealot (542) Apr 9, 2012 New Hampshire
    Trader

    Hello fellow Homebrewers, my club recently purchased an off-flavored kit and I'm wondering what you all think would be the best neutral beer to use. Should I go cheap and go with something like PBR or get a higher quality AAL, pilsner, etc? Has anyone else had experience with this kits? Any advise? Thanks in advance!
     
  2. JackHorzempa

    JackHorzempa Poo-Bah (3,901) Dec 15, 2005 Pennsylvania
    Society

    Why not. Maybe a light beer would be best here like Miller High Life Light or if you want to spend more Bud Light.

    Cheers!
     
  3. nater919

    nater919 Zealot (588) Aug 26, 2016 New York
    Society

    When we did this in my brewing sciences program we used a fairly benign blonde ale from a local brewery. Even though you will be dosing your samples way above the minimum taste thresholds I would still stay away from anything with any noticeable hop flavors as it might distract from the off- flavor trying to be represented. PBR actually seems like a pretty good choice to me. Personally I would stay away from light beers because at least to me I pick up some flaws inherently brewed into the beer. ie: acetaldehyde (green apple note) in Coors Light.
     
    skivtjerry likes this.
  4. dmtaylor

    dmtaylor Aspirant (216) Dec 30, 2003 Wisconsin

    I would use Busch Light. Bud and Miller have off-flavors of their own. So does Coors Light. Busch Light is pretty clean IMO.
     
    Witherby likes this.
  5. NeroFiddled

    NeroFiddled Poo-Bah (10,601) Jul 8, 2002 Pennsylvania
    Society Trader

    I have to call bullshit, sorry. Bud and Miller do not have off-flavors, nor does Coors Light. Nothing personal.
     
    MostlyNorwegian likes this.
  6. dmtaylor

    dmtaylor Aspirant (216) Dec 30, 2003 Wisconsin

    Then we'll agree to disagree. To my palate:

    Bud Light tastes like banana.
    Miller Lite tastes like ass.
    Coors Light tastes like dirty socks and ass.

    Enjoy.
     
  7. MostlyNorwegian

    MostlyNorwegian Zealot (525) Feb 5, 2013 Illinois

    Cool. Your palate and its witty opinions are duly noted, but for the purposes of this off flavor test. Any of these beers are kind of the best to use. THey are what they are and they are cheap and off flavor kits work great with them because they are designed to drink the crap out of.
     
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  8. skivtjerry

    skivtjerry Zealot (521) Mar 10, 2006 Vermont

    Bud and Coors, I agree, but Miller was in your face skunky the last time I tasted it - admittedly about 11 years ago, but it was skunky for the 20 years preceding as well.
     
  9. skivtjerry

    skivtjerry Zealot (521) Mar 10, 2006 Vermont


    My local club used Genny Cream Ale with this kit a few years ago. It worked fine but Bud Light would be a more flavorless choice if you want to split hairs.
     
  10. NorCalKid

    NorCalKid Initiate (107) Jan 10, 2018 California

    Firestone’s Lager or Sierra Nevada’s Nooner. Should be no debate there. If clean American craft is what should be tested against.
     
  11. NeroFiddled

    NeroFiddled Poo-Bah (10,601) Jul 8, 2002 Pennsylvania
    Society Trader

    Sorry but I've got to call bullshit again.

    Firstly, "skunky" beer can only occur through being exposed to UV light. The light allows the alpha-acids from the hops to molecularly rearrange and combine with other chemicals in beer to create 3-methyl-2-butene-1-thiol, a sulfur-containing substance similar to skunk spray.

    Secondly, Miller uses pre-isomerized hops so that "skunking" cannot take place. They did that specifically because they wanted to continue to use clear glass bottles which allow light in.
     
  12. riptorn

    riptorn Initiate (133) Apr 26, 2018 North Carolina
    Trader

    Do you know when Miller made this a part of their process?
    Like @skivtjerry I remember from many, many years ago the Champagne of Bottled Beer having a definite skunk aroma.
     
  13. dmtaylor

    dmtaylor Aspirant (216) Dec 30, 2003 Wisconsin

    Far as I can remember, they've been using non-skunkified hops for at least 10 years, probably longer. I had an MGD in clear bottle about 10 or 12 years ago that had no skunk, not sure exactly when but it was a loooooong time ago.
     
    riptorn likes this.
  14. premierpro

    premierpro Aspirant (249) Mar 21, 2009 Michigan

    Hams. $14 a 30 pack.
     
  15. NeroFiddled

    NeroFiddled Poo-Bah (10,601) Jul 8, 2002 Pennsylvania
    Society Trader

    Miller started using light-stable pre-isomerized hops in 1961. That was 58 years ago.
     
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  16. NHhomebrewguy

    NHhomebrewguy Zealot (542) Apr 9, 2012 New Hampshire
    Trader

    Thank you for the advise, fellas. Just to save some money I think we'll go with PBR as it seems like it doesn't make a huge difference. Much appreciated!
     
    nater919 likes this.
  17. premierpro

    premierpro Aspirant (249) Mar 21, 2009 Michigan

    I remember in 1979 my brother had a six pack of Hi-Life. He drank one that was alright and put the balance in an artisan well overflow. We were playing football in the hot sun and when he went back for a beer the rest were skunked. It was sad as he started drinking my PBR's.
     
  18. mikehartigan

    mikehartigan Disciple (333) Apr 9, 2007 Illinois

    When studying for the BJCP exam, the instructor used Coors Light for this. It's pretty much a blank slate. For the last class, he bought Bud Light because it was on sale. Quite a difference!
     
    skivtjerry likes this.
  19. skivtjerry

    skivtjerry Zealot (521) Mar 10, 2006 Vermont

    Miller has been using preisomerized hops for many years, at least as long as I've been alive. The skunk was still there last time I tasted one, and long before that, going back to 1981 at least. If you can still find a bottle of Miller in clear glass, get one and compare it to Coors or Bud. Unless something has changed dramatically it will be skunky. All Miller in clear bottles has been exposed to UV unless it was kept in an opaque container from the time it was bottled in a pitch black room (if there was daylight or fluorescent light in the bottling room there was UV exposure). If you sniff one it is obvious that the isomerization reaction did not go to completion. It may have gotten 99.99% of the way but there is plenty of unreacted material left to create perceptible thiols as the odor threshold is in the ppb range.