1. Don't miss FUNK Boston: A Wild & Sour Beer Fest on June 14 & 15!

Never a consistent experience.

Discussion in 'Beer Talk' started by franznorniron, Apr 12, 2019 at 10:45 PM.

  1. franznorniron

    franznorniron Initiate (26) Friday Ireland

    My Beer of choice is Franziskner but for the past year or two I've noticed that the beer is never consistent on taste and other things.
    Sometimes it tastes sweet and sometimes it's sour/bitter.
    Sometimes it has a foamy head and sometimes it has zero head yet is more fizzy/carbonated than normal.
    What am I doing wrong as it's been driving me mad as to why it's never the same.
  2. zid

    zid Savant (978) Feb 15, 2010 New York

    Besides the possibility of batch variation, you might be buying bottles of varying age... and the things you eat/drink on a given day can impact your perceptions.
    Tdizzle, Chaz, sharpski and 13 others like this.
  3. Bitterbill

    Bitterbill Poo-Bah (6,424) Sep 14, 2002 Wyoming
    Society Trader

    Which of their beers are you referring to?
    PapaGoose03 likes this.
  4. Tilley4

    Tilley4 Poo-Bah (2,051) Nov 13, 2007 Tennessee
    Society Trader

    I would guess that the age of the beer has more to do with anything here....
    FBarber, DIM, DrumKid003 and 3 others like this.
  5. franznorniron

    franznorniron Initiate (26) Friday Ireland

    Franziskaner weissbier
    FBarber likes this.
  6. MostlyNorwegian

    MostlyNorwegian Zealot (525) Feb 5, 2013 Illinois

    What's the age of it when you get them and and how has it been stored would be my first questions.
    FBarber and JackHorzempa like this.
  7. franznorniron

    franznorniron Initiate (26) Friday Ireland

    Always with in date and refrigerated.
    FBarber likes this.
  8. AZBeerDude72

    AZBeerDude72 Poo-Bah (1,511) Jun 10, 2016 Arizona
    Society Trader

    Mine always have been tasty. I would assume it is either an age thing or how they are stored at the store/stores. I would try and purchase from another location to see if it changes your luck. Otherwise maybe your tastes have changed and the beer is fine but your perceptions are different now.
    GetMeAnIPA and franznorniron like this.
  9. nc41

    nc41 Poo-Bah (1,735) Sep 25, 2008 North Carolina

    I’m not a Hefe expert by any means but the potential to cause variations are numerous. Age, heat, light right off the top, it doesn’t have to necessarily be old to be off if it’s stored in a 90 degree warehouse or a trailer. Storage conditions count as well as age, could be your retailer or distributor, it
    could easily be age sensitive. I had a Hefe that was like drinking bubblegum, I didn’t like it a bit.
  10. PapaGoose03

    PapaGoose03 Poo-Bah (2,344) May 30, 2005 Michigan

    Welcome to the BA site, franznorniron.

    Of the descriptions of this beer that you describe, the one that is most curious to me is the varying amount of carbonation. That sounds like a bottling issue that should easily be caught by the QC folks. However, by missing that issue it could be an indicator that the QC folks are also missing other things throughout the brewing process and are allowing an inconsistent beer to leave the brewery.
  11. GetMeAnIPA

    GetMeAnIPA Zealot (563) Mar 28, 2009 California

    Never had a sour and or bitter Franziskner. Any other beers that you regularly drink that vary as much?
    NeroFiddled likes this.
  12. SFACRKnight

    SFACRKnight Meyvn (1,294) Jan 20, 2012 Colorado

    How clean is your glass? Dirty glasses can cause issues with carbonation and flavors.
    drtth, sharpski, PatrickCT and 2 others like this.
  13. Giantspace

    Giantspace Defender (691) Dec 22, 2011 Pennsylvania

    Jai Alai has/had major batch issues, at least it did when I stopped buying it before the buy out.

    Have had Jai Alai from the same six pack that was juicy amazing beer and the next one was bland and boring and the next was flat. A pure gamble I chose to not make after too many loses. Most were quite fresh too.

    Can’t think of any others right now.

    benzodrums and nc41 like this.
  14. JackHorzempa

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

    There are a number of conditions that can impact Franziskaner weissbier qualities (e.g., flavor profile):
    • How fresh is the beer? Just being within the breweries best by date does not necessarily equate to the beer not being old.
    • How was the beer continually stored since it left the brewery. Was it continually stored cold throughout the multi-tier supply chain?
    • Was the beer treated roughly in transport (e.g., during shipping across the Atlantic)?
    In my opinion the Hefeweizen beer style is a delicate beer style and it can suffer if not treated properly.


    P.S. Do you have any local breweries/brewpubs that produce Hefeweizen beers near you? That may be your best bet here?
    KarlHungus and PapaGoose03 like this.
  15. Buckeye55

    Buckeye55 Disciple (392) Jan 11, 2019 North Carolina

    Are these variances from the same purchased lot? Other than that, I would go with age of product.
  16. PapaGoose03

    PapaGoose03 Poo-Bah (2,344) May 30, 2005 Michigan

    Out of curiosity, have these two characteristics that I bolded above ever happened in the same beer, and is 'tart on the tongue' a better description than sour/bitter? If so, you likely had an infected beer. That condition would also indicate slack QC in the brewery that allows sanitation conditions to deteriorate and a wild yeast or some other unfriendly gritter got into the beer.
  17. mkh012

    mkh012 Zealot (596) May 7, 2015 New Jersey

    Franziskaner is a fairly mass-produced hefeweizen, and I've found some batch variation with it myself. It's also a beer that's on tap at places like Buffalo Wild Wings in my area, and sometimes the lines aren't super clean at places like that.

    Pick up some Weihenstephaner if you can tolerate the stupid date code.
    KarlHungus and nc41 like this.
  18. nc41

    nc41 Poo-Bah (1,735) Sep 25, 2008 North Carolina

    One ipa I’ve never ever cared for.
  19. nc41

    nc41 Poo-Bah (1,735) Sep 25, 2008 North Carolina

    The only Hefe I really like.
    mkh012 likes this.
  20. mkh012

    mkh012 Zealot (596) May 7, 2015 New Jersey

    Ayinger, Franziskaner, and Paulaner are good, but Weihen is amazing.
    SFACRKnight and officerbill like this.
  21. nc41

    nc41 Poo-Bah (1,735) Sep 25, 2008 North Carolina

    Wish I could remember which one tasted like bubblegum, hated that beer. I’m thinking it was a US brewed beer.
  22. chipawayboy

    chipawayboy Devotee (410) Oct 26, 2007 Massachusetts

    Could be your palate. Taste and smell can be a fickle combo and cause wide variation in sensory experiences over time.
  23. MNAle

    MNAle Meyvn (1,398) Sep 6, 2011 Minnesota

    If it was a US beer, the bubblegum taste was probably intentional! :stuck_out_tongue::wink:
    nc41 likes this.
  24. nc41

    nc41 Poo-Bah (1,735) Sep 25, 2008 North Carolina

    You would think that the brewer would stick, but absolutely no clue, but imo that was a serious flaw.
  25. NeroFiddled

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

    The only things that I can add to this discussion (besides Franziskaner being a Spaten brand which was once the largest selling hefeweizen in Germany, and which is now owned by Anheuser-Busch IN BEV) is that
    1 - everyones taste buds die off and get replaced every ten days or so
    2 - CO2 is acidic
    3 - yeast can also be acidic and is sometimes perceived as bitter
    4 - temperature plays a part in the flavor perception of all foods

    I think that perhaps a combination of things regarding temperature and how the beer has been poured, also linked to the age of the bottle, may be at fault. Additionally, the number of beers or other alcoholic drinks you've had prior makes a great difference. Personally, I start to find less sweetness and an increased perception of bitterness after I've had a few. I'm not really suggesting "drinker error", but at the same time I think maybe there's a little bit of that going on as well.
  26. MNAle

    MNAle Meyvn (1,398) Sep 6, 2011 Minnesota

    All of which suggests it should be 100% consistent batch to batch as it leaves the brewery.
    SFACRKnight, sharpski and TongoRad like this.
  27. KarlHungus

    KarlHungus Poo-Bah (3,069) Feb 19, 2005 Minnesota

    A lot of hefeweizens, Franziskaner included, contain a large amount of live yeast in the bottle, and will taste different based on whether or not you pour that yeast into the glass. It's not right or wrong to pour it; it's all up to personal taste.
    Malt_Man likes this.
  28. nc41

    nc41 Poo-Bah (1,735) Sep 25, 2008 North Carolina

    One thing I most definitely don’t like is a brewer that’s inconsistent. I really hate guessing when I’m paying north of $12 a sixer, most time a bit more depending on the style. Smaller breweries really have their work cut out from the beginning when it comes to contracts, and perhaps even cash flow to take advantage of buying in quantity. I don't brew, but I suppose a big variable would be the consistency of the hops, it explains why blending of hops makes a lot of sense.
  29. officerbill

    officerbill Initiate (196) Feb 9, 2019 New York
    Society Trader

    Weissen are one of my favorites and I've noticed what you're talking about with weihenstephaner, paulaner, and ayimger beers.Unfortunately they don't age well and don't deal well with heat.
    Based on my experience what you're describing is most likely caused by overheating during shipping and storage.
    The beer might be within freshness dates and in the refrigerated section of the store, but it's unlikely that it was refrigerated during the trip over from Germany or in the importer's warehouse.
  30. biermark

    biermark Initiate (71) Sep 9, 2008 South Carolina

    When you buy white bier only buy it in the 1/2 and make sure you swirl near the end. Let it warm up for more flavor. Franz is macro. Try Maisel, Andesch or Weihenstephaner. Schneider is excellent too but different and unfortunately much more expensive than those.
    #30 biermark, Apr 14, 2019 at 8:26 PM
    Last edited: Apr 14, 2019 at 8:32 PM
  31. lastmango

    lastmango Crusader (758) Dec 11, 2014 Pennsylvania

    Welcome to BA! I see you have had many great responses with possibilities. Have you tried other Hefes? Although Franziskaner is very good, I prefer Paulaner and Weihenstephaner. If you can get these brands in your area, why not try them for awhile and see if you experience the same thing. If not, perhaps it is the brewery or distributor.
  32. franznorniron

    franznorniron Initiate (26) Friday Ireland

    See that's a bit of a theory I had that this was maybe caused if they were shipped in the summer during the heatwave.
    When I went to visit Munich back in September all the Franziskaner tasted extremely good and very the same. But I did try it out of a tin can when I was at the airport and it wasn't as nice as the taste of bubblegum/banana was over powering.
  33. franznorniron

    franznorniron Initiate (26) Friday Ireland

    Guinness and some other breweries have made some but I'm not a huge fan, nothing can replace Franziskaner.
  34. franznorniron

    franznorniron Initiate (26) Friday Ireland

    Well I live in Ireland and get my Beer from the local off licence so it doesn't have to travel as far to get here as it does for you in the US. Franziskaner is my absolute favourite and the beer I drink every weekend but the past while it just hasn't been the same and seems all over the place with consistency.
  35. MostlyNorwegian

    MostlyNorwegian Zealot (525) Feb 5, 2013 Illinois

    I strongly doubt this is is a brewery mistake as much as it is a distribution problem. It's also probably a good time to be finding these inconsistencies; considering that we are pretty much smack in between seasons, and where you'll probably have a ton of old stock that is probably well out of its recommended sell window. At this point, how that beer was stored before it got served to you is probably the mission critical part of why you are getting such randomness from it. If you're getting it from the same place. They are not doing FIFO with their product.
    For your own yucks and something which QA/QC programs utilize for tasting and sensory analysis purposes is to take two beers from the same batch and store them at vastly different temperatures. Because how its stored matters deeply, and if you do it on your own time with some you pick up at your local packy, you will probably discover the key to what these differences are that you are experiencing.
    #35 MostlyNorwegian, Apr 15, 2019 at 1:26 PM
    Last edited: Apr 15, 2019 at 1:32 PM
  36. pat61

    pat61 Poo-Bah (5,295) Dec 29, 2010 Minnesota

    My favorite German Restaurant used to have Franzikanner Weiss on tap and it was always excellent. When I buy it off the shelves, I have the same experience. Unless you get a brand new bottle just off the ship, you will probably be disappointed. All kinds of abuse can occur between the brewery and your house. The beer goes from the brewery to the exporter and sits in a warehouse until there is enough beer to fill a container. Then the container sits on a dock until there is enough containers to fill the ship. If the shipping container is refrigerated the beer has a good chance of surviving the voyage. If not it is a crap shoot. The temperature of of the beer in the shipping container can vary by several degrees based on where it is in the container. Then the beer sits in a dock in the US, gets shipped to the importer, sits in the importer's warehouse, gets shipped to the distributor, sits in the distributor's warehouse and then gets delivered to the retailer where chances are it sits on a unrefrigerated shelf under bright fluorescent lights for several months to years until it gets into your shopping cart.
  37. LarryV

    LarryV Meyvn (1,176) Jun 13, 2001 Massachusetts

    Sometimes you just need to take a break from it for a bit. As they say, absence makes the heart grow fonder. Try another beer for a couple of weeks and then revisit it.