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Weird taste

So I just brewed an oatmeal stout (a recipe I’ve done before). I seem to remember this happening back then, but I still want to see if anyone agrees. My beer went through the normal stages, no big issues to speak of. I had a slight stuck fermentation, but I made a small starter and re pitched, and then waited about a week (gravity readings had settled). The only other thing I did differently was that I cut the secondary short by a week, because I added vanilla beans to the secondary, and vanilla tends to vanish quickly so I didn’t want to wait too long.

I cold crashed, then kegged, carbed, and left it in my keezer. Took a taste after about a week of carbing and it has a sourish taste. Not overwhelming, but noticeable, probably because stouts shouldn’t be sour.

Now the recipe I used had me soak raisins in rum, and add them to the end of the boil. I seem to remember this giving me a sourish taste last time, but it had disappeared by the time I bottled last time.

I always assumed that the sour taste was due to the raisins. They are grapes, at the end of the day, and a slightly sourish taste is something I’d expect. My only fear is that this won’t go away like last time. I’m pretty confident in my sanitizing methods, star san everything diligently.

Any thoughts? Could this just be that I need to wait longer since I added more yeast and dme (boiled and then chilled), so I need to wait longer? Obviously any infection is possible but like I said, I was super diligent. Plus, there’s no sour smell or pellicle. I can obviously afford to wait longer, I just hate to wait and then find out it was always garbage. Don’t like wasting time.

I could always add more vanilla and/or lactose. Since it’s in the keezer, any infection wouldn’t be able to turn lactose into more sourness, but I don’t want to put lipstick on a pig. I also have a spare keg, so leaving it for a while wouldn’t be wasting the real estate.

What temperature is your keezer at, and what PSI are you carbing at? Over-carbed beer can have a sour taste because of the carbonic acid.


Keezer is currently at 39 degrees F. Psi was carbed at 12 psi, though as I had mentioned on a different thread that a few times I came down to check the beer and the regulator had creeped up to like 15-18 psi… Which I bled out and reset.

I assume there is no way to fix a carbonic bite?

Oddly I also have experienced a kind of sourness inmy darker brews. I’m kind of chalking it up to the dark crystal malt. Seems to fade

Surprisingly no crystal malt in this one

  • 6 lbs Rahr 2-row
  • 4.5 lbs Simpsons Golden Promise
  • 1 lb Flaked Oats
  • 0.5 lbs Belgian Biscuit Malt
  • 0.5 lbs Briess Chocolate Malt
  • 0.5 lbs English Roasted Barley
  • 0.5 lbs Belgian Special B
  • 0.25 Briess Black Malt

But I did add 5 snack size boxes of rum soaked raisins at the end of the boil. Granted, any of those specialty grains could have done the trick. I just assumed that whatever caused the taste just needs time to settle out, since I sort of shrunk the timing down after re-pitch and secondary.

Does it feel over-carbed? If you pour without the gas hooked up, a fair amount of co2 should come out of solution and fill the head space in the keg. Hook the gas back up once the carb level feels good.

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I’ll give that a shot. It doesn’t feel over carbed too badly, the mouth feel isn’t super bubbly and the head it creates isnt out or control. Then again, even when dispensing at 3 psi, it still gives a half inch thick head, so maybe you are onto something. Approximately how long does the “uncarbing” take do you think? 5 gallon corny, probably poured a total of 3 pints out of it so far

I’ll serve pints until it won’t pour under it’s own pressure, then let it rest for a day before hooking it back up to serving pressure. I’ve found that my serving pressure needs to be about 8-9 psi to prevent over-carbing over time.

I consider chocolate and roasted barley etc und the heading crystal malt. I’m not saying that’s causing it but I’m loosing my taste for those malts in larger amounts. I agree with the over carbonation theory. Darker beers generally taste better to me anyways at a lower carbonation. Lately I’ve been experiencing that sourness as well can’t figure it out. I think @dannyboy58 mentioned it as well

Your over 10% on those dark malts that would be way over the top for me but everyone is different. That much will lower your pH and may give you a tartness. But you said you have mad it before and didn’t notice it.

Yea but with vanilla beans and cinammon in the secondary, maybe it was just a masked flavor.

I turned off the gas and was able to serve about 2.5 pints from the keg, that might prove that the carbonation was too high. I normally enjoy my beers to be a little more carbonated, that’s why I chose the numbers I did. But I will let it sit for a day and try again tomorrow.

An oatmeal stout generally should not be highly carbonated. But it’s your beer. Do as you see fit.

Sounds like a combination of green yeasty beer and over carbonation.

Ok. I’ll let it age for another week minimum, while also trying to get the liquid to bleed the gas back out. I’ll keep everyone posted on my findings over the week

Can’t say I’ve ever noticed any sourness in my dark beers. I did mention in another thread, sourness/tartness in a marzen recently which I wrote off to infection because the first 5 gallons in the 10 gallon batch was good. I’m less strict about keg sanitization than I should be sometimes. I know you said you’re confident in your sanitation but stuff happens sometimes right?

The off flavor I was attributing to c malt was more of a cloying caramel/toffee flavor. Overuse of roasted malts typically gives a stronger coffee or just generally muddied flavor for me. Golden promise is a malt that I wanted desperately to use for some reason and came to the conclusion that I did not like the flavor of it in my bitters. Can’t remember offhand exactly what I was tasting with it but I prefer Maris Otter.

Lower pH as @brew_cat mentions could be your culprit. I associate carbonic bite with a more of a sharp bite than sourness but we all sense and communicate flavors differently.

Time…give it time…dark beers mellow and “fill out” with age and a somewhat busy grainbill like that one needs more time IMHO.

Just a couple of things that have nothing to do with your weird taste. There is no need to soak your raisins in rum AND boil them. 5 snack sized boxes is still not enough raisins to really taste when compared to all that roasted malt. 5 lbs maybe. Yes an infection can eat lactose, Brett has no problem fermenting lactose

Another thought…You didn’t treat your water with lactic acid did you?

I used very minimal amounts of phosphoric acid to dose my water, I don’t need much to get within an acceptable range.

Obviously, an infection COULD have happened, but it’s the last thing I’d consider at this point. That’s why I’m trying to fix it, because there’s no way to fix an infection.

I admit my taste buds aren’t what the used to be. Maybe it’s my other “hobby” of a weekly cigar, but I have been noticing some tastes aren’t what they used to be. Maybe this IS a carbonic bite, it certainly reminds me of a tonic water or something like that (which are beverages I despise), but worse. I know I carbed higher than a normal stout, but I didn’t think I went THAT far overboard. However, as mentioned, I did have some “adventures” carbonating in the keezer, so it’s certainly possible.

I do agree that this is still a little green as well. I was just afraid to lose the vanilla (that has happened to me before, but it took 2 months or so), I just wanted to avoid that part. My haste may have led me to this point. Does anyone think there is a reason to remove from the keezer/raise the temp? Like, can this age while chilled or do I need it to be closer to room temp?

Let the gas escape the liquid, waited a day so far. Taste still reminds me of a tonic water basically. I’m going to continue this process and keep waiting, hopefully I see a glimmer of progress by the end of the week

the tonic water description sounds like carbonic bite but if it was overcarbed you’d have lots of foam…

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