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Author Topic: Tastes like dish soap!  (Read 2985 times)

TXFlyGuy

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Tastes like dish soap!
« on: April 16, 2020, 07:15:10 am »
We had two flip-top pint bottles of Grolsch, with a pull date of November, 2019.
So I knew the flavor was way past it's peak. But I decided to give them a try...

Opened the first bottle. It looked, poured and smelled Ok. But the flavor was similar to old, stale cardboard. That "off" flavor you get when beer is old. Slightly similar to what is referred to as "skunky". But it was drinkable, and my wife actually enjoyed it.

Opened up the second bottle..."This tastes different", is the first thing my wife stated. After checking the aroma, it had a fragrance exactly like scented dish detergent. We thought it must be the glass with a residual odor. So the remainder of the bottle was poured into another, perfectly clean glass. Same thing...dish detergent!

Offline Kevin

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Re: Tastes like dish soap!
« Reply #1 on: April 16, 2020, 07:51:56 am »
Cardboard is usually associated with oxidation. That being said I've never had a Grolsch that I liked. It all tastes like skunky dish water to me.
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Offline Village Taphouse

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Re: Tastes like dish soap!
« Reply #2 on: April 16, 2020, 08:21:36 am »
I've heard people say that a beer tastes "soapy" and I don't know that I have ever picked that up in a beer.  That could say more about my tastebuds than anything else.  I agree on the cardboard suggesting that the beer was oxidized.  The guys on the LO forum did some testing and found that cans are better for protecting beers from oxidation than bottles and they also found that capped bottles allow some amount of O2 pickup.  Someone placed bottled homebrew in the fridge and then more bottles from the same batch into a keg, pressurized it and let everything sit in the fridge for some amount of time (I want to say 2-3 months).  Then opened one of the bottles that was in the keg and the color was good (I think it was a kolsch) and the beer was fresh-tasting.  Then he tried the bottles that were loose in the fridge and the color was slightly darker and the flavor was not as fresh.  Beer is perishable, yo.  :D
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Offline jeffy

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Re: Tastes like dish soap!
« Reply #3 on: April 16, 2020, 08:50:21 am »
I've had soapy tasting beers while judging, but all of them were hop-forward beers, like IPAs.  Something about hop compounds and lipids.  This seems odd for a Grolsch.
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Offline HabeasCorpus

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Re: Tastes like dish soap!
« Reply #4 on: April 16, 2020, 10:07:49 am »
http://howtobrew.com/book/section-4/is-my-beer-ruined/common-off-flavors

Quote
Soapy flavors can caused by not washing your glass very well, but they can also be produced by the fermentation conditions. If you leave the beer in the primary fermentor for a relatively long period of time after primary fermentation is over ("long" depends on the style and other fermentation factors), soapy flavors can result from the breakdown of fatty acids in the trub. Soap is, by definition, the salt of a fatty acid; so you are literally tasting soap.

Brewing Classic Styles by Jamil Zainasheff:

Quote
If your water is highly alkaline, the beer pH may be too high, causing the beer to taste dull, soapy, or excessively bitter.

TXFlyGuy

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Re: Tastes like dish soap!
« Reply #5 on: April 16, 2020, 11:45:28 am »
These were two beers from the same 4-pack. Ceramic flip-top. Same pull date, Nov., 2019. Both bottles have been in the fridge the entire time, mostly in complete darkness, and at a constant 36 degrees.

One was drinkable, one was non-drinkable. We tested the soapy glass theory, by using different perfectly clean (odor free) glassware.

The soapy beer was soapy, no matter what glass was used. I thought it was quite odd, having a distinct, and a strong aroma of the scent that is common in dish detergent.

And...I have had the pleasure of consuming Grolsch on draft in Amsterdam. Never skunky, no cardboard, and no soap. In fact, it was (still is) one of my go-to beers when in The Netherlands.
« Last Edit: April 16, 2020, 11:47:31 am by Bel Air Brewing »

Offline Die Beerery

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Re: Tastes like dish soap!
« Reply #6 on: April 16, 2020, 11:52:57 am »
These were two beers from the same 4-pack. Ceramic flip-top. Same pull date, Nov., 2019. Both bottles have been in the fridge the entire time, mostly in complete darkness, and at a constant 36 degrees.

One was drinkable, one was non-drinkable. We tested the soapy glass theory, by using different perfectly clean (odor free) glassware.

The soapy beer was soapy, no matter what glass was used. I thought it was quite odd, having a distinct, and a strong aroma of the scent that is common in dish detergent.

And...I have had the pleasure of consuming Grolsch on draft in Amsterdam. Never skunky, no cardboard, and no soap. In fact, it was (still is) one of my go-to beers when in The Netherlands.

This is due to the nature of the grolsch bottles, but to a lesser extent bottling in general. The large gaskets on the cap are super oxygen impermeable. Gaw laws and the laws of partial pressures state that there is gas exchange in the bottle, and that exchange is with oxygen. Furthermore this is exacerbated by the travels it takes (rocking around in a none refrigerated container on a ship). There isn't a beer we can get from across the pond that will taste like it does fresh at the source.
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TXFlyGuy

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Re: Tastes like dish soap!
« Reply #7 on: April 16, 2020, 12:23:55 pm »
These were two beers from the same 4-pack. Ceramic flip-top. Same pull date, Nov., 2019. Both bottles have been in the fridge the entire time, mostly in complete darkness, and at a constant 36 degrees.

One was drinkable, one was non-drinkable. We tested the soapy glass theory, by using different perfectly clean (odor free) glassware.

The soapy beer was soapy, no matter what glass was used. I thought it was quite odd, having a distinct, and a strong aroma of the scent that is common in dish detergent.

And...I have had the pleasure of consuming Grolsch on draft in Amsterdam. Never skunky, no cardboard, and no soap. In fact, it was (still is) one of my go-to beers when in The Netherlands.

This is due to the nature of the grolsch bottles, but to a lesser extent bottling in general. The large gaskets on the cap are super oxygen impermeable. Gaw laws and the laws of partial pressures state that there is gas exchange in the bottle, and that exchange is with oxygen. Furthermore this is exacerbated by the travels it takes (rocking around in a none refrigerated container on a ship). There isn't a beer we can get from across the pond that will taste like it does fresh at the source.

And this is exactly why we are now brewing (again), to have good Euro style beers on tap at home. And by good, I really mean "fresh". As we all know, light/pale lagers are very fragile. And after a certain time, age very poorly...like some people I know.