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Off smell and taste (sort of)

I have a honey weizen fermenting in my conical right now. Everything went smoothly during brew, albeit with added acid to the mash lower the pH, the conical had a small leak initially but stopped after a total of about 4 ounces leaked out. I have been removing trub and other sediment routinely, only stopping the process when the collection ball has minimal solids inside it. I also added some strawberry puree during what would have been considered the secondary fermentation. When adding, I noticed a slightly “sour” smell. I have had that before and it led to nothing, and I have a friend that is a professional brewer, and he said honey weizen often gives off weird smells. Note that sanitation is not something Im worried about, I used my star San correctly

Now, I’m starting to remove the strawberry gunk after about 10 days or so. The collection ball was half full of solids, half of liquid. I decided to skim some of the liquid off the top and take a quick taste just for giggles. It tasted terrible.

My question is… Does anyone think I should be concerned? In my head, I’m thinking any beer tasted from on top of a “trub” would taste weird and would be a poor representation of the beer overall. However, this “trub” is a pale red, which looks to be mostly strawberry but I may be wrong. If a beer was sampled from on top of strawberry, I would imagine it to taste great. Any thoughts?

Correct. Not surprised the trub tastes well like trub… I wouldn’t worry

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I just wasn’t sure because I figured this isn’t normal trub, most of it should be strawberry puree. I know secondaries still have trub at the bottom of them, but I wasn’t sure what to think. I know the proof is in the pudding, so I will find out soon enough, just figured I’d ask

trub doesn’t taste good and neither does fruit that has been fermented

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Nasty fermented fruit. When i do my kriek with fresh. Cherries. Pfff smells Once i pull them out of fermentor

That all makes sense, don’t know why I didn’t think of it. I’ll just keep draining the solids out the bottom of the conical per usual, and see what comes of it. Thanks guys, I’ll let you know how it tastes in a few weeks!

Good rule of thumb is. If it smells like poop don’t taste it.


Where were u twenty years ago :frowning:


I tried the mango lees after a secondary and it was one of the worst mouthfeel experiences of my life


How often do you guys think I should disperse of the trub and fruit from the bottom of the conical? I waited 10 days into my “secondary” before removing anything, hoping to impart a good amount of flavor. Now, I’m basically removing gunk once a day. Too often? Not often enough?

I do not remove trub from the secondary until bottling. The trub keeps settling out and compacting with time so, IMO, it’s a waste of beer to get rid of it until the last second.

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I was just curious because I don’t want it to sit on top of trub for too long and get weird flavors from it.

what odd flavors are you worried about? If you are worried about autolysis I think you can stop worrying about it. I’ve never encountered it in anything I’ve brewed once I’ve gotten my temperature control down. Even in lambics that have sat on the trub for months I’ve not experienced off flavors

I guess I’m always on the lookout for off flavors caused by autolysis. Less contact with the solids, the lower the chance of that happening.

Autolysis is a bit of a boogeyman. Did you know it’s a key flavor component of champagne? I can imagine under the volumetric pressure of a huge professional fermenter it’s an issue but in a 5g secondary you have nothing to worry about.

It’s a Boogeyman at this stage or in general? Because if you’re saying it’s sort of a myth at this size batch, why would anyone ever rack to a secondary?

Secondary is a hot topic in home brewing certainly. There are countless online debates about its need. I secondary when I know I am doing an extended process, a higher gravity, or fruit additions.
I was overly cautious about autolysis when I was beginning. I have since abandoned all caution and have yet to encounter it.

I second Mr. Squeegee… I get more dis-function from fermenting temps… Sneezles61

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So wouldn’t that mean that a conical fermenter is basically just a clarifier? If sitting on trub does nothing bad, then part of the utility of a conical is now rendered less than valuable.

Anyways, I still obviously need to get the beer clearer before bottling, that way I have less solids inside the bottles

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If and when I get a conical it will be one that can be pressurized. Dump the yeast, secondary, force carbonate, bottle or keg. A conical just for a primary doesn’t do it for me really

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