Mystery Taste

Discussion in 'Beginners Brewing Forum' started by Lloydo, Nov 17, 2018.

  1. Lloydo

    Lloydo New Member

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    Here's a strange one... brewed 7 gallons of an Old Speckled Hen clone. The batch was split into 2 fermenters, spent 10 days in primary and 1 week in secondary. All beer was then transferred into a 6.5 gallon bottling bucket (contents of both fermenters were mixed into the same bucket). Proceeded to bottle about 2/3 of the batch into cleaned/sanitized 12 ounce bottles and the last third into new, hot water rinsed and sanitized 16 oz. bottles. After 3 weeks of bottle conditioning 1) the 12 oz. bottles are perfect and 2) the sixteen oz. bottles have a back of tongue bitterness and other off flavors--it is "drinkable" but nowhere near a quality ESB; the rich, caramel taste is much less than in the 12 oz'ers. The only difference between the bottlings are 1) size of bottles 2) the 16 oz. bottles were the last 3rd of the batch (note the content of the fermenters was added to the bottling bucket one after another and the carbonation level is fine indicating thorough mixing of the sugar solution) and 3) the new 16 oz bottles were thoroughly hot rinsed and sanitized but were not PBW/Oxiclean washed.

    Any ideas?

    Thanks.

    Lloyd
     
  2. KC

    KC Active Member

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    Size of a bottle does affect fermentation, but minimally at the conditioning level. The bigger issue is cap seal, but carbonation indicates that was fine.

    I would look at this factor. Even when new, bottles aren't necessarily clean considering most are made in China and cargoed across the Atlantic before being warehoused for months or longer.

    Another thought is that the fill tube may have become infected at the end of bottling, only affecting the last several bottles. This could happen if touched by a hand or otherwise exposed from an open door, window, or air vent blowing on it.
     
  3. Lloydo

    Lloydo New Member

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    Thanks for the quick response... I have a few more of the "new" bottles. Just gave them a quick rinse, smell and taste--absolutely clean. However, that doesn't mean the bottle conditioning didn't pick something up. It really doesn't taste "infected"; but instead, very dry and way too bitter for the style. It is almost like an English ale mixed with a PBR. I am also wondering if somehow the two fermentation vessels didn't mix completely. But, they were from the same batch. Guess it's a learning experience.
     
  4. BOB357

    BOB357 Well-Known Member

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    If the beers from the 2 vessels didn't mix well I wouldn't think the priming solution would either. Regardless of looking and smelling clean, I'd do a PBW soak before sanitizing and using new bottles.
     
  5. J A

    J A Well-Known Member

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    Good to see this...I have a bunch of new bottles that I got at a clearance price. My tendency is to just sanitize but maybe I better rethink that. ;)
     
  6. Head First

    Head First Well-Known Member

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    I Don't know how bottles are made exactly but many manufacturing procedures use some type of oil throughout. I always wash new just because.
     
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  7. J A

    J A Well-Known Member

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    The only lubricant that's used is introduced after the bottle is formed and is applied to the outside of the glass. There might be some incidental contamination but I think it would probably be pretty minimal. Still not a bad idea to clean thoroughly.

    I love "How It's Made" :D
     
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  8. Hogarthe

    Hogarthe Well-Known Member

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    You also don't know how the bottles were stored or how long, before being sold. There is the possibility of dust settling in them, or even a few flies buzzing around the warehouse. Good reason to wash-fly poop will definitely ruin beer.
     
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  9. jmcnamara

    jmcnamara Well-Known Member

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    hmmm, someone put bull testicles in a beer, why not fly poop?
    I think you hit on the next fad
     
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  10. Nosybear

    Nosybear Well-Known Member

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    I haven't seen any science on the effects of fly poop on beer, either.... Seriously? Rinse the damned things out with sanitizer and fill them. In all the thousands of bottles I've filled, both new and reused, bottle sanitation hasn't been responsible for more than two failures.
     
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  11. Yooper

    Yooper Administrator
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    It doesn't sound like the bottle to me- it sounds more like oxidation. But if they were bottled at the same time, I can't see how that could be. Unless there was something else about them- the bottling wand didn't go all the way to the bottom, the bottles were filled later and with an open lid, etc.
     

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