When beer has that "grassy" taste?

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

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  1. doppletheGOAT

    doppletheGOAT Initiate (0) Nov 27, 2012 Texas

    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 Initiate (0) Jan 17, 2013 New Jersey

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

    LeRose Meyvn (1,270) Nov 24, 2011 Massachusetts
    Premium Member

    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 Poo-Bah (3,741) Apr 18, 2007 Minnesota
    Beer Trader

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

    RockAZ Disciple (371) Jan 6, 2009 Arizona
    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 Meyvn (1,270) Nov 24, 2011 Massachusetts
    Premium Member

    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 Initiate (0) Jul 25, 2009 India

    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 Initiate (0) Jul 11, 2011 Wisconsin

    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 Poo-Bah (2,185) Apr 23, 2005 Colorado
    Beer Trader

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

    suspect Defender (685) Apr 12, 2010 New York
    Beer Trader

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

    Longstaff Initiate (0) May 23, 2002 Massachusetts

    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. Longstaff

    Longstaff Initiate (0) May 23, 2002 Massachusetts

    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 Initiate (0) Apr 9, 2009 Vermont
    Beer Trader

    Oh, that kind of grass, I just thought you meant really dank.
  14. keithmurray

    keithmurray Meyvn (1,163) Oct 7, 2009 Connecticut

    Pilseners have this taste, but I happen to like it
  15. Bonis

    Bonis Defender (630) Jul 28, 2010 Ohio

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

    youbrewidrink Initiate (0) Apr 9, 2009 Vermont
    Beer Trader

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

    tectactoe Initiate (0) Mar 20, 2012 Michigan

    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.
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