Characteristic aftertaste

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Ever since I started AG I've noticed that my brews seem to have a slight characteristic aftertaste.
I don't get this taste in commercial draught or canned beers, but I do quite often notice it in swaps I've received.
The best way I can think to describe it is a tiny bit 'ear-waxy'.

Other people don't seem to notice it in my beer, and to be fair it's only quite mild. However I'd like to identify/eliminate it.

I'm pretty sure it's NOT water, water treatment, hosepipe or cleaning chemicals. I've been swapping all those around without any effect.
However my latest brew - a GH Mild (recipe OG 1036, IBU 21.2) - does not have the taste - so I'm starting to think it might be hop related - maybe the bittering hops.

I boil in a 30L Burco Cygnet, chucking the first hops in once it's up to a full boil and giving it 60-70 mins from there.
I only ever use whole hops, quantity adjusted for alpha, and I put them straight in the boil allowing them to circulate freely.
When the time's up I let everything settle for 15mins or so and then run off pretty slowly (15 min?) through a false bottom allowing the bed of hops to filter out most of the gunk.

Any thoughts or suggestions please?
TETB
 

thegrantickle

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If you think it may be the bittering hops, you could try doing a first wort hop addition instead (i.e. chuck them into the boil kettle and then run your wort onto them, then bring them up to the boil). It's meant to give a bit of a softer bitterness, which I do think I find.
 
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I have no idea what ear wax tastes like and I’m afraid I’m not taking one for the team here 😂 Any other descriptors?
Ummmm - I can't really think of anything to compare it to... the only other thing I can think to say is that it (the beer) causes a sensation around the sides of my tongue right at the back, that continues for quite a while after I've swallowed the beer.

Perhaps I should stop stirring the beer with used cotton buds....
 
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Ever since I started AG I've noticed that my brews seem to have a slight characteristic aftertaste.
I don't get this taste in commercial draught or canned beers, but I do quite often notice it in swaps I've received.
The best way I can think to describe it is a tiny bit 'ear-waxy'.

Other people don't seem to notice it in my beer, and to be fair it's only quite mild. However I'd like to identify/eliminate it.

I'm pretty sure it's NOT water, water treatment, hosepipe or cleaning chemicals. I've been swapping all those around without any effect.
Any thoughts or suggestions please?
TETB
Hmmm, tricky.
I expect you've already come across this,
Main components of ear wax-
"long chain fatty acids, both saturated and unsaturated (somewhere else mentions triglycerides), alcohols, squalene and cholesterol."
The flavour of ear wax is mainly associated with the long chain fatty acids present.
If so the question may be, where do these come from in your AG brews that are not present in the kits.
Are there any experts on brewing chemistry on here that can help you?
It could also partially be your sensitivity to these chemicals when present - super tasters can have a hard life in an over flavoured world, my son for one.
No answer I'm afraid, but maybe something to ponder.
 
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Fatty acids come from malt, from hops, and from yeast so if you eliminate these three components you should have no further problems 😂

More seriously, trub is a source of fatty acids so not taking trub into the fermenter and not leaving beer on the trub longer than necessary may help. Changing the yeast may also help - could this be a common factor?
 

Hopsteep

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Knowing your attention to detail and that you’re a fellow brewnwater advicate, I think you’re right it’s probably not your water 🍺

Yeast- that’s my guess. Are you using Notty or CML or similar? Some yeast strains leave a strange finish. Or perhaps pitch rates etc?
 
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Hmmm, tricky.
I expect you've already come across this,
Main components of ear wax-
"long chain fatty acids, both saturated and unsaturated (somewhere else mentions triglycerides), alcohols, squalene and cholesterol."
The flavour of ear wax is mainly associated with the long chain fatty acids present.
If so the question may be, where do these come from in your AG brews that are not present in the kits.
Are there any experts on brewing chemistry on here that can help you?
It could also partially be your sensitivity to these chemicals when present - super tasters can have a hard life in an over flavoured world, my son for one.
No answer I'm afraid, but maybe something to ponder.
Great points and very helpful - thanks athumb..
 
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Fatty acids come from malt, from hops, and from yeast so if you eliminate these three components you should have no further problems 😂

More seriously, trub is a source of fatty acids so not taking trub into the fermenter and not leaving beer on the trub longer than necessary may help. Changing the yeast may also help - could this be a common factor?
Hmmm - interesting point about the trub... I tend to ferment for a couple of weeks and then leave the beer in the FV for a further week to settle; is that usual?
 
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Knowing your attention to detail and that you’re a fellow brewnwater advicate, I think you’re right it’s probably not your water 🍺

Yeast- that’s my guess. Are you using Notty or CML or similar? Some yeast strains leave a strange finish. Or perhaps pitch rates etc?
I'm generally using liquid yeasts - Wyeast, White Labs and (one) Omega Labs... no correlation there I'm aware of. I tend not to bother with a starter so yes, maybe pitch rates.
Will PM you :-)
 

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