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Funny taste due to high ferment temp?

Hi all,

So my first batch only seemed to have a few mistakes, forgot to take my readings, high temp ~170 for the steep, etc. but the batch seems to be coming along OK.

I did about two weeks in primary and two weeks in secondary for a Scottish Ale with a little extra malt added. After a week in the bottles I chilled one up and gave it a taste. It’s darker than I expected, but that’s ok, the head looks great and it has a nice aroma, but I’m getting some kind of aftertaste that I didn’t expect and I’m wondering where it’s coming from.

The only major thing I think I did wrong was leave the primary and secondary in my kitchen pantry and the temp on the primary hit about 82 before I realized it. It was bubbling like crazy so I put it on the table and got the air down to around 78 but the entire fermentation was at this temp.

I’ve since moved my new batches to the basement which is about 65. Is this aftertaste permanently in the beer or will conditioning fix some of it?

Thanks!

can you describe the taste?

a fermentation temperature that high will give you lots of fusel alcohols. fusel alcohols taste harsh, they taste like ‘hot’ alcohol. a solvent like taste, or warming sensation in the mouth. fusels have an alcoholic ‘bite’ sensation to them.

keeping fermentation temperature in the 60’s, for most ale strains, will help avoid this. but its hard to say without a description of what you taste

Could be Fusel Alcohol as mentioned. Try 2-3 one evening. If you have a bangin’ headache the next morning. That’s Fusel Alcohol. If it smells & tastes like bananas or bubble gum those are Esters. Esters & Fusel Alcohol are the most common results of fermenting too warm. Cheers!!!

TOO warm boss! A scottish ale should be very clean, ferment at 62 not 82 and you will be very happy.

I think at the higher temperatures you’ll get more of a wine-y type character. Some of it will age out in the bottle but that will take a month or two. The instant headache as mentioned above can also be a good indicator.

Did you make a reddish beer - the ones with the medium/red crystal malts have that “red beer” flavor from the unfermentable red malts?

Definitely going to get off flavors from a fermentation temp that high. Look into making a swamp cooler before your next batch.

http://billybrew.com/swamp-cooler-homebrew http://www.homebrew.com/articles/article07280201.shtml

Thanks for the feedback all, so here’s an update…

This weekend will only be two weeks in the bottle so I may still have hope. The first beer I tasted (about 3 days ago) I thought had a bit of a yeasty aftertaste, but I’m not sure that what I’m tasting is considered yeasty.

I tasted a second beer the next night and felt a slight twang on the front of my tongue (similar to tasting salsa that’s gone bad, but not as extreme). At this point I thought I had contamination, however…

Last night I took one up to the GF’s house and not only did I not taste what I was tasting before, but she actually liked it which is unusual for a darker beer. so who knows…

Keep in mind it’s not a very strong after taste, you have to think about it for a while. Anyway, I attached a pic that compares mine (right) to a new brown ale I tried.

Thanks!

I brew a lot of dark beers and I’ve noticed that they undergo an incredible flavor transformation during the first few weeks in the bottle.

I’ve had stouts and porters taste awful out of the bottling bucket, kept the faith, and 2-3 weeks later its a different beer. A month or 2 after that and it will continue to change and mellow.

My bet is your beer tastes even better given a few more weeks of aging!

Good Luck!

[quote=“robbop88”]I brew a lot of dark beers and I’ve noticed that they undergo an incredible flavor transformation during the first few weeks in the bottle.

I’ve had stouts and porters taste awful out of the bottling bucket, kept the faith, and 2-3 weeks later its a different beer. A month or 2 after that and it will continue to change and mellow.

My bet is your beer tastes even better given a few more weeks of aging!

Good Luck![/quote]

I’ve considered dumping a batch after the hydro sample out of the primary. Kegged it up, gave it some time, and it turned out great. It was an RIS. After that I learned to never judge a beer by a sample out of the fermenter. But I’ve also had great tasting samples. Never really understood the reason behind it. patients is key in homebrewing

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