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General Category => General Homebrew Discussion => Topic started by: phillamb168 on December 20, 2010, 12:18:02 PM

Title: Cough Syrup off flavor?
Post by: phillamb168 on December 20, 2010, 12:18:02 PM
Anybody ever had a cough syrup off-flavor? I brewed a small-batch (1 gal carboy) Tripel for my MIL for Christmas and it appears to not be doing so well. OG 1060/FG 1015 but I was sampling from a half-bottle that came out of the dregs of the bottling bucket, so perhaps too much yeast?
Title: Re: Cough Syrup off flavor?
Post by: chezteth on December 20, 2010, 12:35:02 PM
A cough syrup flavor makes me think of a medicinal quality.  Would that be accurate?  If so that would be a result of certain phenols.  What temp did you ferment at?  Which yeast did you use?  I'm not sure that too much yeast would cause a flavor like that.  How much yeast did you use?  Did you use a yeast starter?  How long was it in the fermentor?
Title: Re: Cough Syrup off flavor?
Post by: phillamb168 on December 20, 2010, 12:49:08 PM
A cough syrup flavor makes me think of a medicinal quality.  Would that be accurate?  If so that would be a result of certain phenols.  What temp did you ferment at?  Which yeast did you use?  I'm not sure that too much yeast would cause a flavor like that.  How much yeast did you use?  Did you use a yeast starter?  How long was it in the fermentor?

I suppose you could say medicinal... For me, the alcohol flavor is very strong, but there's also a bit of a fruity note, and those two combined are what make me say cough syrup.

Temp fermentation: It was in the cave when it really started to cool down earlier this month, I'd say average temp was between 50 and 60 f.

Yeast: Safale S-33, made a starter the day before pitching with about 200 ml (6.76 ounces).

Fermentation time: no rack to secondary, was in the primary for about 30 days.
Title: Re: Cough Syrup off flavor?
Post by: denny on December 20, 2010, 04:45:44 PM
Maybe the yeast...despite what the manufacturer says, S-33 is a British yeast, not Belgian.
Title: Re: Cough Syrup off flavor?
Post by: phillamb168 on December 20, 2010, 04:59:46 PM
Maybe the yeast...despite what the manufacturer says, S-33 is a British yeast, not Belgian.

No kidding? wtf... Is it at least high-alcohol tolerant?
Title: Re: Cough Syrup off flavor?
Post by: bfogt on December 20, 2010, 05:14:08 PM
Would you relate the flavor to Chloraseptic?  That's more likely a result of chlorine in the water, a sparging problem, or chlorine sanitizer residue. 
Title: Re: Cough Syrup off flavor?
Post by: denny on December 20, 2010, 05:24:26 PM
Maybe the yeast...despite what the manufacturer says, S-33 is a British yeast, not Belgian.

No kidding? wtf... Is it at least high-alcohol tolerant?

Not especially, but almost any yeast will go to 9-10% ABV.
Title: Re: Cough Syrup off flavor?
Post by: bonjour on December 20, 2010, 08:07:53 PM
I suppose you could say medicinal... For me, the alcohol flavor is very strong, but there's also a bit of a fruity note, and those two combined are what make me say cough syrup.

Temp fermentation: It was in the cave when it really started to cool down earlier this month, I'd say average temp was between 50 and 60 f.

Yeast: Safale S-33, made a starter the day before pitching with about 200 ml (6.76 ounces).

Fermentation time: no rack to secondary, was in the primary for about 30 days.
With the low ferment temp this is confusing

I don't expect to get much alcohol from a 1.060 beer.  Was the alcohol harsh?
Fruity frequently says higher ferment temps
harsh alcohol says higher ferment temps
Tripel usually says at least a warm ferment (not hot)
and you stated 50-60F (Room temp?)
Title: Re: Cough Syrup off flavor?
Post by: phillamb168 on December 21, 2010, 10:13:23 AM
Time to break out the spectrometer I guess... If I over-pitched, and then my sample was basically a yeast slurry, would I have gotten those flavors?

bfogt: I'm not sure I know what Chloraseptic tastes/smells like, unfortunately.

Could the flavors be produced by my priming sugar not being fully utilized/being over-pitched? I haven't had any bottle bombs so I doubt it's that, but who knows.

Another factor, perhaps: remember this was a .5 l bottle that only had about .2 of beer in it. Perhaps oxidation caused this?

I'll be sampling another one of the beers on Thursday after putting it in the fridge this evening, and will report back then. Maybe it's just bad luck.
Title: Re: Cough Syrup off flavor?
Post by: gisbrewmaster on December 21, 2010, 02:00:09 PM
If you have the cough syrup off flavor try putting it away for a month or 2 it may mellow out.I had this issue the first time I brewed with honey a few months later when i was about to dump I tried one more and it was awesome.
Title: Re: Cough Syrup off flavor?
Post by: phillamb168 on December 21, 2010, 02:19:07 PM
If you have the cough syrup off flavor try putting it away for a month or 2 it may mellow out.I had this issue the first time I brewed with honey a few months later when i was about to dump I tried one more and it was awesome.

Ah, interesting! So you've experienced it too? What sort of brewing/fermenting conditions did you have? Extract or AG? This particular batch that I did was extract with some crystal 60l for color/depth.