Taste my beer?

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ssashton

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Hi All,

I've been brewing for a couple years now and made some rather nice stout, lager and recently a fruity kveik (neipa I guess). HOWEVER I always have this taste in my IPA (aiming at punk IPA, neck oil, etc) and I don't know what causes it or even how to describe it accurately. It's not bad beer and I happily drink the lot, but I would really appreciate the input of another (or more than one) experienced brewers on this!

Would anybody in the UK be brave enough to let me send them a bottle and tell me what they think could improve?

My most recent beer is the IHL recipe from Malt Miller - www.themaltmiller.co.uk/product/intensely-hopped-lager-jon-finch

They call it a hopped lager but really its an IPA other than the use of lager yeast.

I'll write up a highly detailed report of how I brewed it so any areas of improvement might be apparent.

(I did taste this same thing in punk IPA at weathersppons last year when the pubs re-opened after lockdown, the taste was not so clean as it usually is. Again not sure why, other than weatherspoons get 'seconds' quality which is why they can sell so cheap.)
 

cushyno

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Free beer?
I'll gladly help you out if you don't mind waiting until August, I'm away for a couple of weeks.

To be honest there are peeps on this forum who I suspect have much more sensitive tastebuds and may be more helpful. Have you checked out the judges for forum comps? They would be ideal people to review your beer.

Have you considered the effect of your baseline water? If you treat your water already then you are already informed in this area. As someone in a hard water area I do sometimes doubt my water treatment when it comes to pale ales and lagers, though I never have any taste trouble with darker beers.

If you haven't already looked into water treatment then that could be the answer (while also opening can of worms).
 

Alastair70

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Happy to chip in, I’ll pm you my address. Like @cushyno said, there are sharper palates on here, but if your interested I’ll brew a style to your specification and you can see what your idea turns out like when someone else has a go at it.
 

ChilledGecko

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As cushyno says, I'd suspect the water first.
Do you treat the water to remove chlorine / chloramine? - That would be my first step.
Let the water stand overnight / add a campden tablet.

Took me from "homebrew" flavours to more professional tasting beers according to the neighbours acheers.
 

ssashton

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Thank you! Please message me your addresses and I'll send a couple bottles.

I'm actually REALLY sad today! I had brewed the IHL mentioned above but also a second batch of Cashmere DDH, the lovely kveik one I was so happy with last time. This time it's not right!!!

You guys think this is oxidation? I followed the same method but last time it was nicer tasting and much brighter colour. See below:

First batch
20210608_170034.jpg


Todays second batch
20210716_135905.jpg


*The recipe www.themaltmiller.co.uk/product/cashmere-ddh-pale-ale-kveik/
 

ssashton

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It's not terrible, just not as nice as it was last time. I'm going to drink it as quick as I can.

Is there a more scientific way to test for oxidation? I do use closed transfer etc so not sure what happened. I'm wiring up my brew method now and will post for advice.
 

ChilledGecko

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I’d say that second one looks oxidised, sorry to say.
I’m kegging a cashmere ipa this weekend and it looks more like your original batch.
I hope I’m wrong 🤞🏻
 

ssashton

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I can only assume this happened because I accidentally put the dry hops for a different beer in the cashmere one (and vice-versa) then realised my mistake and pulled them out and swapped over. I guess the simple act of having the fermenter open for a few minutes longer or air trapped in the hop socks caused this issue. :(

None the less, even when everything goes right my IPA is not on point and I'd love to get some IRL feedack!

I have posted my full methods in this thread: Simon's Brewing Method
 

the baron

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One observation there does seem a lot of airspace in the FV barrel its only just over half full according to the pictures. So if you have had it open while you swapped the dry hops over maybe that was the issue but it is hard to get to the bottom of where if it is oxidation it has got in?
 

ssashton

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Well, I bottles as well as kegged some of the DDH cashemere kevik. Both went darker and taste less clean and fruity. It must be before transfer from FV.

I always thought oxygen doesn't matter at the start of fermentation as yeast needs oxygen to multiply, so I have not purged my FV. Maybe I need to do that. I do give my yeast 24h in some dissolved room temp dry malt to start.

You might be right, I could try purging oxygen from the FV.
 

ssashton

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I think I might have found what went wrong. I grabbed the starsan spray bottle yesterday to clean something and noticed some black bits floating inside and seemingly growing on the wall of the bottle around the top edge of the liquid. Looks like black mold!

I used that bottle to sanitise all the tubes and bowls etc during brewing.

The two beers I brewed on the same day (IHL and Kevik) for wehich I got the dry hops mixed up are both bad, but in a different way.

The Kevik one in the photo above seems to be much darker and taste muted. While the IHL is not much darker but gives me excessive foam when I pour it from either bottle or keg. 10% liquid / 90% foam. I think this is called a 'gusher'? It also doesn't taste right.

Am I right that oxidation does not cause excessive foaming?
 

ChilledGecko

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Sounds like you have found the culprit, infected beer.
Many infections cause gushers so it is very symptomatic and matched with the floaters in the starsan would indicate the cause.

It's a lesson learned.
Onwards and upwards, get a new brew on! 👍
 

Dads_Ale

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Yes never trust old Starsan. Always do a PH check before using and check for mould.
If the bottle isn’t 100% sealed then it will equaliberate with the surrounding atmosphere quite quickly. I.e no longer become a hostile environment.
 

The-Engineer-That-Brews

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If the bottle isn’t 100% sealed then it will equaliberate with the surrounding atmosphere quite quickly. I.e no longer become a hostile environment.
Well to be fair, every time you release the trigger on the spray bottle it sucks in an equivalent volume of air…
 

ssashton

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Interesting as I had read that people re-use it 'until it's slimy'.
 
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