Contaminated Beer?

Discussion in 'General Brewing Discussions' started by XSV, Aug 23, 2014.

  1. XSV

    XSV New Member

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    My first beer, an Irish Red Ale from Northern Brewer which I amped up the hops and ABV on, turned out "bad." It was not undrinkable but not very enjoyable. I know a big reason is the yeast used was not for IPA style beers, which I made the beer into with the amped hops and ABV. My most recent beer (4th overall), a hoppy pale ale or Session IPA, went into bottles with a nice pale color and great hop aroma (from El Dorado hops). After being bottle carbonated for 3 weeks, the beer poured just like my first beer, the awkward Irish Red Ale. The hop character was almost entirely gone as well. It tasted similar to the Irish Red as well. Is there a possible error that I am doing for my bottling to get this potential contamination? I washed my bottles (12 ouncers) with soap and a bottle brush and then stored them until bottling. When I bottle my beers, I do sanitize them using Starsan. I also cap with O2 absorbing caps.

    Any help/suggestions are appreciated.
     
  2. Ozarks Mountain Brew

    Staff Member

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    well to be sure we would need the whole ingredients and process making it,

    but first of all a good red ale is one of my favorites and is very hard to get right so keep with the recipe if possible
    kit beers are made for that style and shouldn't be changed, most times you need more yeast than 1 packet and your probably not fermenting at the right temperature. they say 70 but really 60 to 65 is the best and probably what your tasting is an off flavor nothing to do with the bottle, that off flavor will mask the hops and "its very common when you first start making beer to have these issues" so your not alone
     
  3. XSV

    XSV New Member

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    You are missing the point. It is not because of me altering the recipe for the Irish Red. It is mostly because something is happening in the bottle phase to corrupt my beer. The most likely reason that my altered red and hoppy pale ale look/taste the same are because of a potential contamination in this bottling phase. I am trying to figure out what is this contamination so I can try to avoid it for my future beers.
     
  4. Hogarthe

    Hogarthe Well-Known Member

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    clean and sanitize everything your beer touches. bottling bucket, bottling wand, siphon tubes, etc. make sure to use the right amount of sanitizer for the amount of water you add it to. also don't have a fan on during bottling. don't want to blow any dust into it.
     
  5. Nosybear

    Nosybear Well-Known Member

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    @XSB: We probably are missing the point. Start by telling us what you mean by "bad". Too hoppy is something different than butterscotch flavor. Is your beer too sweet? Are there off flavors and if so, try to describe them. It's likely sanitation since you're implying that in the bottling bucket the beer was good then when you opened a bottle it wasn't but a bit more information than "bad" would help us avoid the generic answers you're getting.
     
  6. UgliestLemming

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    Soaping a bottle to clean it is risky business too. You can destroy head retention if any soap residue remains in the bottle. Some of the hop aroma comes from this so maybe you're missing something from your IPA?
     
  7. Nosybear

    Nosybear Well-Known Member

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    Don't use soap to wash bottles. If there's dried-on gunk in them, soak them in bleach solution to get it out, then rinse several times with hot water, then sanitize before use. Soap is problematic: I won't even wash my bottles in the dish washer for fear of rinse aid.
     
  8. nzbrew

    nzbrew Active Member

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    Same here, no soap products anywhere near my bottles.
    When I finish a bottle I give it a thorough wash with hot water. Then put it away. Before re-use I sanitize then fill.
     

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