Author Topic: Flawed classic stout  (Read 2237 times)

Offline jwiltse

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Flawed classic stout
« on: September 16, 2011, 09:37:45 PM »
I recently made a classic stout which has some serious flaws - but unfortunately I can't quite decide what is wrong.  I entered the stout in a contest to get some additional feedback.  Judge #1 described it as vegetal, and judge #2 marked it as astringent, estery, musty, solvent, sour/acidic, and yeasty (but not vegetal).   It was a simple recipe: 9 lbs 2-row, .75 lbs roasted barley, and 1 lb flaked barley.  I used 2 oz cascade hops for boiling.  Yeast was Wyeast London Ale (3056). 

I guess it could be an infection - but it doesn't really taste that way.  It isn't hazy, and the carbonation is appropriate (not gushing, not flat).

Any thoughts about what could be the problem?

Offline euge

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Re: Flawed classic stout
« Reply #1 on: September 16, 2011, 11:28:00 PM »
Did you use fresh yeast with the proper temps? More importantly how does it taste to you after hearing the feedback? Is it a good beer in your opinion or are their comments way off?

Maybe the beers got mixed up. ;)
The first principle is that you must not fool yourself, and you are the easiest person to fool. -Richard P. Feynman

Offline tubercle

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Re: Flawed classic stout
« Reply #2 on: September 17, 2011, 05:38:26 AM »
More importantly how does it taste to you after hearing the feedback? Is it a good beer in your opinion ......

What Euge said. That's all that is important.
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Offline idbrew

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Re: Flawed classic stout
« Reply #3 on: September 17, 2011, 11:29:20 AM »
Yeast was Wyeast London Ale (3056).
Wyeast 3056 is Bavarian Wheat Blend, London Ale is 1028. If you used the former that could definitely be part of the problem  :)

Offline nateo

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Re: Flawed classic stout
« Reply #4 on: September 18, 2011, 10:35:36 AM »
Judge #1 described it as vegetal, and judge #2 marked it as astringent, estery, musty, solvent, sour/acidic, and yeasty (but not vegetal).  

Vegetal might be a DMS thing? I know the taste threshold for that varies. Astringent might be improper vorlaufing. Was the wort heavily clouded going into the boil? IT doesn't need to be crystal clear, but I've had some astringent beers I traced back to getting too much draff in the boil.

Estery, musty, solvent, yeasty, sour could be yeast health, including fermentation temp, pitching rate, viability, and vitality. In my experience, yeast health is the single biggest factor in making good beer, and the one that most brewers (myself included) have the most room to improve.

And sometimes, you just need to ignore what judges said. I had a witbier with about 3g of coriander that the judge said tasted like I had dumped dishsoap into the beer. Some people taste coriander as soapy. I don't. So there's definitely a genetic component to taste you can't account for.
« Last Edit: September 18, 2011, 10:37:28 AM by nateo »
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Offline oscarvan

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Re: Flawed classic stout
« Reply #5 on: September 18, 2011, 06:03:00 PM »
Quote
And sometimes, you just need to ignore what judges said. I had a witbier with about 3g of coriander that the judge said tasted like I had dumped dishsoap into the beer. Some people taste coriander as soapy. I don't. So there's definitely a genetic component to taste you can't account for.

Big time.... I've gotten "the Soap" in my beer, but also in a bottle of SNPA....a LOT of it is very personal.
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Offline skyler

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Re: Flawed classic stout
« Reply #6 on: September 19, 2011, 10:37:45 AM »
Based on the description you mentioned, I assume that the beer was too carbonated for the style (IMO, dry stouts don't fare well on CO2), fermented too warm with an undersized pitch of yeast, and that there was still too much suspended yeast.

Offline jwiltse

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Re: Flawed classic stout
« Reply #7 on: October 05, 2011, 07:02:34 PM »
Did you use fresh yeast with the proper temps? More importantly how does it taste to you after hearing the feedback? Is it a good beer in your opinion or are their comments way off?

Maybe the beers got mixed up. ;)

No, unfortunately the comments are not way off.  The beer doesn't taste good to me, but I just can't put my finger on it.  It just tastes the opposite of how a good stout should taste - instead of warm and roasty, it's cold and harsh, if that makes any sense.  Regarding the yeast, as I recall, the yeast was a few months old, but not too bad.  My fermentation temperature was a little cool - 60-65 F.  Incidentally, it was London Ale yeast, not 3056 (Bavarian Wheat).

Offline euge

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Re: Flawed classic stout
« Reply #8 on: October 05, 2011, 10:02:53 PM »
Now I must ask you how long was the beer on the yeast. Was it a repitch? And mash temp.
The first principle is that you must not fool yourself, and you are the easiest person to fool. -Richard P. Feynman

Online davidgzach

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Re: Flawed classic stout
« Reply #9 on: October 06, 2011, 11:30:29 AM »
I had a witbier with about 3g of coriander that the judge said tasted like I had dumped dishsoap into the beer. Some people taste coriander as soapy. I don't. So there's definitely a genetic component to taste you can't account for.

First on this, a judge should NEVER make comment like this!  Poor choice of words......

Secondly, here is a link to Palmer's online version of How to Brew.  I use this a lot when I'm trying to identify flaws.  Hope it helps you as well.

http://www.howtobrew.com/section4/chapter21-2.html

Dave
« Last Edit: October 06, 2011, 11:38:33 AM by dbeechum »
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Offline hokerer

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Re: Flawed classic stout
« Reply #10 on: October 06, 2011, 11:55:37 AM »
And sometimes, you just need to ignore what judges said. I had a witbier with about 3g of coriander that the judge said tasted like I had dumped dishsoap into the beer. Some people taste coriander as soapy. I don't. So there's definitely a genetic component to taste you can't account for.

Interesting this thread should get bumped right now.  Just saw this on another board...

http://bodyodd.msnbc.msn.com/_news/2011/10/05/8171303-your-cilantro-love-or-hate-may-be-genetic

...yeah, it's about cilantro, but that's just the leaves and coriander are the seeds.  Seems to support the
genetic component.
Joe

Offline richardt

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Re: Flawed classic stout
« Reply #11 on: October 06, 2011, 12:05:09 PM »
Why not breed cilantro/corriander plants that don't have the ability to create the "soapy" compounds yet still create the dodecenal -- characteristic flavor and aroma of cilantro?

Online tomsawyer

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Re: Flawed classic stout
« Reply #12 on: October 06, 2011, 12:41:47 PM »
I love cilantro and it does have a soapy component.  Id' rther they bred it to be sterile, I'd give up coriander before cilantro.
Lennie
Hannibal, MO

Offline jwiltse

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Re: Flawed classic stout
« Reply #13 on: October 06, 2011, 06:36:40 PM »
Now I must ask you how long was the beer on the yeast. Was it a repitch? And mash temp.
The beer was on the yeast for about a week, then I reracked to a secondary.  It stayed in the secondary for about 2 weeks.  The mash temp was 122F/155F/170F.  What does repitch mean?

Offline hokerer

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Re: Flawed classic stout
« Reply #14 on: October 06, 2011, 07:10:08 PM »
What does repitch mean?

I believe he's asking if it was fresh yeast or did you re-use (repitch) yeast from a previous batch.

And if it was a first pitch and not a repitch from a previous batch, did you make a starter?  If, as
you said earlier, the yeast was a couple months old and you didn't make a starter then you
underpitched which can lead to a lot of the issues you're seeing.  Oh and 60-65F is fine for
fermentation temps.
Joe