Bottling ruined a great IPA?

Discussion in 'General Brewing Discussions' started by Brewer #89247, Dec 31, 2017.

  1. Brewer #89247

    Brewer #89247 New Member

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    Quick history, I don't bottle often. I did for my first year or so as par for the course when I got into brewing. I almost always keg, with the exception of the occasional demand for my seasonal brews. Never really had/have any issues. Like most, I boil said 5 oz corn sugar in 2 cups of water for a 5 gallon batch no matter the style, let cool, pour into a bottling bucket, rack from fermenter etc. Nothing special, especially considering I've done it quite a few times haha! I recently did a Chinook smash IPA, nothing exotic or fancy. Pulled a sample right before bottling and was great, no issues as anticipated. During transfer to the bottling bucket it got a little O2 in the beginning because the hose clamp was a little loose, but nothing crazy (oxidiation possible, but doubtful considering I used to siphon and always ended up pumping way too much O2 without issue.)

    Here's the crazy issue......after about 10 days in the bottle for conditioning, I threw one in the fridge this morning for assumed happy consumption this evening. Yikes! Being that it was a heavily hopped and dry hopped beer I've done before, of course my expectation at first sniff was hoptastic. It smelled like a seltzer water with sugar and to my ultimate chagrin, tasted like it. It was next to awful (sad face.) After considering breaking the glass in my hand with anger, I stepped back and asked, what the F$&K!?

    Any one that's been around for years experienced this? Carbonation was expected to be too much as I only ended up bottling 4 gal instead of 5. Got it. In my experience though, even that wouldn't cause the beer to be anything but over carbonated which is slightly was. No malt or hop taste at all, and this particular beer is extremely flavorful! Guess I'm just scratching my head on this!
     
  2. oliver

    oliver Well-Known Member

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    only 10 days for carbonation? I let my IPAs go 14 days carbonating in the bottle at 66ºF, then fridge, and drink fresh.

    Have you tried other bottles? Are all bottles lacking?
    Did you use the spigot on the bottling bucket to fill bottles? Or did you use a bottling wand?
     
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  3. Brewer #89247

    Brewer #89247 New Member

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    I've only tried the one bottle. Agreed, I do exactly the same as you on all else typically. I use a wand, if that helps.
     
  4. oliver

    oliver Well-Known Member

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    Let it carb in the bottle at least 14 days before refrigeration... if they all aren't good, closely check your bottling equipment for infections maybe, and analyze your process one more time, check for variables that could have caused off flavors.
     
  5. Brewer #89247

    Brewer #89247 New Member

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    Agreed my friend. Funny enough, because I bottle so irregularly, the bottling equipment is brand new. Typically if I have a brew that tastes great right before transfer to keg (or bottle) I have no reason to believe there's extraneous variables causing off flavors. It's just odd. I'll give it a few more day though, for sure.
     
  6. Trialben

    Trialben Well-Known Member

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    Id sample another bottle if carbonation was good there is in my opinion nothing that time is going to do for you with the descriptors you gave for that sample of beer:(.

    How can it go from tasting spot on before bottleing to hog wash ? Infection to this bottle only. Oxidation but 10 days shouldnt have muted the hop aroma and flavour that quick neither? Im hoping for your sake its that bottle only....

    I bottled up a pack of pet bottles to take to Christmas and i admit one or two bottles were less than impressive compared to off the tapo_O. The reason kegging is so good is less contamination risk and yiu can get rid of that nasty o2 asap.
     
  7. Brewer #89247

    Brewer #89247 New Member

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    I'm with you, especially on it tasting spot on and then turning into smashed butthole. I'm crashing two more now for another trial this evening...will let y'all know how it goes.

    I was brainstorming a bit this morning and thought of one potential issue: I typically soak all my bottles for a day in a bath tub of warm water and OxyClean. The next day I'll remove labels, scrub each bottle and then rinse in a bucket of star san before bottling. This particular time I actually let all the bottles dry on the kitchen counter after my oxy wash and rinsed in star san the next day before bottling. This may be a major stretch, but perhaps some of that OxyClean dried up inside and the next day rinse didn't really all of it out, thus causing it to literally destroy all taste/aroma. Again, this may be a stretch here, but I really can't see why. I'll follow back up after trial #2!
     
  8. Nosybear

    Nosybear Well-Known Member

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    Right, it's a stretch. Mostly I rinse my bottles when I empty them then give them a rinse with Saniclean (non-foaming Starsan) before filling. If I can't rinse immediately I soak them in bleach solution overnight then rinse. And i'm as stumped as you on this. Any off flavors?
     
  9. Brewer #89247

    Brewer #89247 New Member

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    Ok, so trial #2....and I think I know what the problems might have been here. While this one wasn't good by any standard, it was definitely "there" as opposed to yesterday's bottle. I think yesterday I couldn't really taste what I needed to directly after having had a few Jai Alai's from Cigar City. I say that because it's a palate rollercoaster of flavor and probably dulled my senses (in more ways than one!)

    Trial #2.....Extremely astringent, overly bitter, pretty much the worst IPA I've ever done and I do them frequently in the least (and sell the most..) Looking back in my notes the target mash temp was 150 (lower than I usually go I must admit), and came in around 148/149. Not the end of the world but I was supposed to have an FG of around 17 points and came in at 13. Also nothing crazy there as I typically always ferment way lower than the BF recipe calc gives me (possibly from using top cropped yeast and a starter.) But additionally, this was around 100 IBU with strictly Chinook and I used a London Ale III that I have been cropping dutifully (only on 2nd GEN) for about a month. Add all of this together, and just speculation as I have no idea really why it's so bad, but maybe that amalgamates into dryed out, hoppy, bitter garbage? (Also, the grist was nothing special....mostly 2 row, little Golden Promise, some 60 and a handful of carapils. I've seen plenty of brewers use just base malt for smash recipes and have no problem like this either....so hopefully I can rule out grist.)
     
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  10. oliver

    oliver Well-Known Member

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    if it's overly astringent and overly bitter, there's a chance it was infected. The lower gravity it finished at could show that too. When certain bacteria gets in the bottle it starts overeating sugars and dulls good flavors and can leave nasty bitter flavors. I'm not saying it is an infection, it's possible though.

    Your mash temps shouldn't be an issue. Brewer's Friend IBU calculator lowballs in my opinion, that shouldn't be an issue.

    If you're harvesting yeast from previous beers, you might need to reanalyze your sanitation practice when doing that, it's easy to pick up an infection or off flavors from that. My house strain is starting to get slightly wild now, need a fresh pack soon.
     
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  11. Brewer #89247

    Brewer #89247 New Member

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    While I don't disagree with what you've put down there, in my experience with infections (which I've had a couple in my days), I always noticed both visible and tangible signs in the fermenter. But noted if perhaps scrubbing the crap out of my bottles and sanitizing didn't do the trick. The yeast shouldn't be an issue either...only 2nd Gen and a wonderfully viable one at that.

    Additionally to my demise, these are in fact way over carbonated as mentioned at the origin of this thread, and sometimes that can affect flavor, although again, I'm pulling some teeth on this oddity. Just frustrating....I like it better when I realize I did something wrong, and will admit it hands down, but this is strange....:(
     
  12. oliver

    oliver Well-Known Member

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    over carbonation and lackluster flavor or astringent bitter flavors can be a strong sign an infection found it's way into the beer during bottling. I'll mention it again, those types of infections have bacteria that just eat everything. And by doing that they fart out bad flavors, and lower the gravity too much causing over carbonation. I can't taste your beer, so I just have my own experiences to point to, but it sounds like infected bottles.
     
  13. Head First

    Head First Well-Known Member

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    Infections usually cause over carbonation. Just saying. lots of types of infections and ways they can get in there. They all suck. Hope you figure it out. If it was bottle sanitation or rinsing then some bottles will be different. The difference between 148 and 156 mash should be mouthfeel and malt sweetness or FG not a weird taste.
    As an example I used a White Labs Cal 01 multiple times in a row . The 11th and 12th beers were good but over attenuated then the 13th was a IIPA with 150 IBU's and a OG of around1.085. It finished at 1.003. Some how a super yeast or "infection" got in there over time and the beer was actually bland with some hot alcohol flavor. Just an example. What you are trying to find is one of those needles. Good luck!
     
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  14. Trialben

    Trialben Well-Known Member

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    I hope it was poor bottle sanitation and you get one or two goodens. Chin up weve all been there...:rolleyes:
     

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