Feeling very discouraged

I cracked my first beer of the most recent batch that I made and it is having the same off flavors that I’ve gotten in my last few batches. I have a hard time explaining what it tastes like. It’s a very up front flavor and aroma. The real flavor of the beer comes afterward, but it’s definitely hiding behind this off flavor. Not super strong, but definitely not something I’ve ever tasted in a commercial beer. It goes along with a slightly burny alcohol background feeling. Also, they all have had a spicy note to them that is not expected, similar to a hefewiesen. I’ve done 4 very different kits with 3 different kinds of yeast (dry and liquid) and they’ve all ended up with this flavor.

I added fermentation temp control to this batch to keep temps in the mid-60s. I taped the probe to the outside of my fermenter and covered with a cloth to try my best to get the temp of the beer rather than just the freezer I was in. But this obviously was not the problem. I also checked a pitch rate calculator and it said I needed 1.1 packs of dry yeast, so I figured I was OK with just one.

My only two thoughts are not enough oxygenation since I’m only using the stirring/shaking method or that I have some kind of wild yeast that’s getting in all my beers somehow. I’m doubtful on the oxygen thing since plenty of people do just fine without pumping in oxygen. Any othe thoughts on what could be causing this and potential fixes? I’m honestly ready to quit if my next batch that’s fermenting now doesn’t turn out.

Naturally, the first suspicion is water… Are you using tap water, or distilled/RO water?

Second, are you making starters for your yeast? If you are not using oxygen, then making a starter with liquid yeast is absolutely necessary.

Using filtered tap water. There’s nothing different there from the first couple batches I did that didn’t have this problem.

Did not use starters for the liquid yeat on two batches. Two were dry yeast and they all have the same issue.

check you water yes try to make a yeast starter i did find out it makes a big difference the yeast real happy

My understanding is that dry yeast does not require a starter, is that correct? What would I check with my tap water? It tastes clean (no closing flavors) after filtering, but it is pretty hard.

Tap water, being well or municipal water? Something in the water may have changed from your first few batches. I would try a batch with some distilled store bought water.

Wild yeasts are actually pretty easy to kill, but can be an issue in tubing and spigots/bottling wands. Maybe replace some of these items and break down and thoroughly clean everything else while you’re at it.

And you’re correct about dry yeast not needing starters or oxygen, but aeration is never a bad idea.

dont be afraid to add oxygen it makes the yeast happy do you dry hop as well this helps with the taste did find out making a yeast starter it helps lots fermenting wise but porkchop is right dry yeast you dont need a starter
good luck

I smell the strong, burny alcohol in the fermentor, so I know that’s not coming from bottling. Though i could probably srand to replace tubing and bottling wand. I’ll try distilled water next time I guess, though these flavors are not what I read typically come from water issues.

I would also suspect your water is contributing to the off flavor. There may be more than one cause though. Unless you use a large inline charcoal filter and run the water through very slowly chloramines may not be taken out. A heavy concentration of a certain mineral in your water may be part of cause of the off flavor. Eliminate this possibility with your next beer by using only distilled/RO water for brewing, rinsing, and sanitizing.

Your cleaner and sanitizer for the fermentor and bottles could also be contributing to the off flavor.

Does your beer have good carbonation and hold a head in the glass.

Give us as many details as possible for your last brew.
the beer brewed
type of water filter
volume in the fermentor
yeast used
wort temperature when the yeast was pitched
aeration method
fermentation temperature for the first 5 days
length of time in the primary
length of time bottle conditioning
bottle conditioning temperature.

Any other details you can add will help. I’m sure we can help find the source of your problem.

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What’s the recipe. Burning alcohol ? Did you add sugar in the recipe? What’s the ABV?

I kind of discount water since that would show up in all the beers. Unless he missed it in the others. How many beers had the flavor and how many didn’t would be helpful.

I’ve done Saison de Noel, Chocolate Milk Stout, Le Petite Orange and White House Honey Ale and all have had the issue. I did not have the issue with Caribou Slobber, Citra Pale Ale and a wheat ale. Some kits from NB others from midwest. The first three batches I did were fine, last four have issues.

Sugar was added to the Saison de Noel I did which had the issue, White House Honey Ale haD honey added. Higher ABV, but this is not a normal alcohol flavor.


Not being funny, but do you like commercial Saisons, milk stouts, and Belgian dubbels? I personally find flavors in those styles really objectionable. Phenolic yeasts have that weird up front yeast flavor that I couldn’t get past that kind of matches, and being lactose intolerant, Milk stouts have a strange sourness to me that’s tough to handle. I guess the White House Honey ale is an outlier, though…

I’ve had beers of all types that I like and dislike. Depends on the beer. I did consider that maybe I just don’t like these beers and I’m being nitpicky, but there is definitely an up front flavor in each of these that I have never tasted in a commercial beer. And the spicy notes are not bad, just unexpected and not how the beers are described.

A hefeweizen brewed with WY 3068 in the low 60°F range will give you a noticeable spice flavor.

Most saisons and stout get better with age. What was you fermentation and conditioning schedule. They may just need more time.

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took me three months of waiting to get a awesome saison