Back to Shopping at

What went wrong? Dry Irish Stout

Good Morning!
I have been brewing for 5 years now and recently tried to make a Dry Irish Stout. It is the recipe kit from Northern Brewer. Some how the ABV was 6.4%. The final gravity estimate was 1.011 and mine was 1.004. The OG Est was 1.046 and mine was 1.050. The beer smelled almost like soy sauce and had a salty taste on the back end. It was awful. I ended up dumping 25 bottles because I could not drink it. Is it possible that I boiled at to high of a temp? I am trying to figure what a boil should look like because I am not sure what the problem could be beyond that. Any ideas? Thanks!

A few questions: Extract or AG? What was your volume of wort in the fermentor? Full boil or top off? How long did you ferment? What temperature did you ferment at? When you mention boiling at too high of a temp, was it a super vigorous boil or a mild constant boil? What kind of yeast? Did it taste off before you bottled it or only after?


You could scorch the wort or some other ingredients but I don’t think that would give you a salty taste. If you have to ask if you boiled to hard probably a good chance you did.

I am doing all grain now. I don’t quite remember what the volume was in the fermentor. It was between 4.5 and 5, I have only had one beer go above 5. I do a full boil. The next question is where I have no good answer. What was a mild constant boil look like? I was looking around for a burner that had some kind of marks on the dial so I could find a decent spot for the boil and always know where t turn to get to it. The yeast was Safale 04. As for your last question I always try the beer in the cylinder after I do the FG measurement. I don’t remember the off taste there, I think I would. I keep it at 40 degrees in the fridge after conditioning is done.

Pretty sure NB kits are formulated for around 5.5 into fermentor, so that would explain your OG difference if you were under 5. 1.004 seems kinda low for US-04 based on my experience with using it in the past. Have you ever had this off flavor in any other beer? From what I understand, Soy/salt can present in dark beers as a result of oxidation or yeast autolysis, either of which could be a culprit. How long was the beer in the fermentor before you bottled? How long in bottles before you sampled?


Wow I did not know that. If I do a batch again and I find it is under 5 gallons should I add water to bring it up? This is a first for this off flavor. I have brewed stouts before, not dry irish, and never had this problem. I don’t remember exactly how long it was in the fermentor. I keep it in between 2 and 3 weeks, never longer than 3. I thought about oxidation. I had the same fermentor bucket for 3 years, this was the last beer I made it in, I have since bought a new one.
I condition my bottles for 2 to 3 weeks before I try it. In the winter closer to three. I brewed this in April, would it have gone bad by July?

I have brewed an oatmeal stout that had an acidic/salty taste to it. I am pretty sure there was scorching going on. I talked to some professional brewers who said the chocolately flavor in stouts, when overheated to an extreme point, can cause that chocolate to turn bitter.

A gentle boil should look like a bubbling brook. You should see movement on the surface of the liquid, but not so vigorous that you may risk getting splashed with some stray liquid. A violent boil has bubbles that are so extreme that I have been burned on my arms just by standing too close. I brew indoors, and some violent boils resulted in my basement being turned into a sauna. Smelled awesome and my friends loved it, but the resulting beer was baaaaad.

And what was the water source? City? Well? Water softener? Of the three being questioned… Well water would be the least of concern… most times…

How did you condition the bottles? I always heat water to 190 to boil dip bottles and dry. Presoak day before in sanitize water.

I sometimes use the sanitize function on my dishwasher with a little PBW. Set it and forget it

Back to Shopping at