1 Posted: Friday, March 17, 2017 8:17 PM

Hey guys, I begun my first ever batch of beer a few weeks ago.

I bought the coopers brewing kit which came with a coopers lager can, I added BE2 and 500gram of LDME brewed to 20 litres with a OG of 1047. I pitched a little high at 25 degrees, but I got things down to 20c within a few hours. It stayed at 20c in my fridge for 7 days, I had two SG readings of 1010. I cold crashed down to 1c for 4 days, which really cleared things up. I got a little worried about some foam on the top of the beer, which looked like the possible beginnings of an infection, I removed the lid on the fermentor to have a better look. It wasn't an infection, just tiny tiny bubbles that made me think it was mould.

I bottled 2 weeks ago and I've had the beer sitting in a dark room, no hotter than 24.

Now, I tasted my first beer today, I wanted to know what a ‘green’ beer tasted like. I was really quite shocked and really dissapointed. It tasted really gross. Almost like a white wine after taste. So I cooled down another and I invited my friend over who is a wine chemist. ( has won some awards) I poured it for him and asked him what he thought. He said it tasted ‘hot’ and ‘oxygenated’ and couldn't finish the rest. He said to toss it, it's undrinkable. He thinks that it's possible that pitching at 25 and removing the lid on the Coopers fermentor a couple of times has caused the problems.

What do you guys reckon? A couple more weeks in the bottle, will that help? Or is this truly a failed batch of beer?

I'm pretty disheartened. I was hoping to be able to sit back and enjoy my own brew with a nice smile on my face. Rather than tipping it all down the drain.

2 Posted: Friday, March 17, 2017 8:34 PM

My first ever brew was the lager and BE1 and was bland rubbish, only drank half , I don't know why coopers don't put 1kg LDM with the original kit ??? Enhancers need to be avoided and use LDM

3 Posted: Friday, March 17, 2017 9:10 PM

Hot ? Like alcoholic heat ?
That's fusel alcohols , very unlikely to get those brewed at 20 ° C
Oxygenated ? You mean oxidised I'm guess ?
The yeast require oxygen at the reproduction / lag stage but unless you really shook things up during / after fermentation had finished its hard to see how .

So how did you control the brewing temp ? You say a modified fridge but modified how and was it calibrated properly

4 Posted: Friday, March 17, 2017 9:39 PM

My guess is infection

5 Posted: Friday, March 17, 2017 10 PM

I would give it some more time. Maybe even a couple of months. I made a lawnmower style ale using a lager kit ages ago and when it was young i really didnt like it, but at about 5 months old now its actually really good! So i would put it aside to age for a while, you never know it might turn out great!

6 Posted: Saturday, March 18, 2017 4:26 AM

Hi BCBrew. It is great that you have a brew fridge already. Pitching it at 25C is nothing to worry about, if you got it down to 20C in a few hours.

Question: where was your temperature probe? Do you by any chance have it dangling in your fridge, measuring air temp? If so, that would explain the hot taste; those would be fusel alcohols. Yeast generate heat during the first few days of fermentation, so the temp of your brew is several degrees higher than the air around the FV. If the air in the fridge was 20C, your brew was probably ~24C. For your brew to be 20C, air temp needs to be ~16C. Most people get around this by attaching the temperature probe to the side of the FV, insulated from ambient air by some foam. That way it measures the temp of the beer instead. Also, what is the differential you have your controller set at? I like to use the minimum, which is 0.3C. That means cooling will come on at 20.3C, and heating at 19.7C (if you have it hooked up to heat).

Don't throw your batch away yet. Fusel alcohols will get better in time. Even if you fermented it a little too warm, give it six weeks in the bottle and then try again; I suspect it will be a lot better. Probably around the three month point those fusel alcohols will be smoothed out.

If you had normal looking krausen then you probably don't have an infection. Those bubbles were probably not significant. Signs that it is infected are 1.) a clove-like / mediciinal / bandaid smell, or 2.) a yogurt / sour smell and taste, or 3.) a vinegar smell and taste.

Cheers,

Christina.

7 Posted: Saturday, March 18, 2017 7:17 AM

i recently got into brewing.
My first batch was the “coopers austrtalian pale ale” and when i first tried it, i got similar tastes, but once it had sat for 4 weeks, it was so much better. I even put a glass next to a real APA and couldnt taste the difference.

Then i bottled a larger. Same thing, but i have found the taste to be a bit fruitier than the APA, but randomly i will get the same tastes you described. Its a fine art brewing…just add hops to your next one and it will hide all that!

8 Posted: Saturday, March 18, 2017 7:30 AM

Agree with what others are saying, try it in another 5 or 6 weeks. If it was me in the future I'd be avoiding those crappy adjuncts and sticking to 100% malt for my fermentables either liquid or dry. I always have some fine bubbles on top just like somebody has spat into the fermenter, this is normal and not an infection, if this is what you had.

9 Posted: Monday, March 20, 2017 11:46 AM

Pitching at 25 degrees and opening the lid once isn't gonna cause oxidation, or any other issues really. Mine gets opened 2 or 3 times after fermentation to add dry hops on selected batches, and also a double dose of finings a couple of days apart (isinglass and Polyclar), and no problems at all.

Christina might be on the money there if you have had the temp probe dangling in the fridge rather than taped to the fermenter. As per the others though, give it some more time. 2 weeks is really a bare minimum when bottling beer, they generally taste better from 4 weeks onwards.

10 Posted: Monday, March 20, 2017 7:13 PM

Infection is very rare with new kit unless you didnt sanitise properly at the outset. Analyse your process. Anything you did that may have intoduced potential infection? Opening lid can do it but unlikely in early stages. Your process sounds spot on and never trust a wine drinker their pallet in not tuned to beer drinking.

11 Posted: Monday, March 20, 2017 7:38 PM

ChristinaS1:

Don't throw your batch away yet. Fusel alcohols will get better in time. Even if you fermented it a little too warm, give it six weeks in the bottle and then try again; I suspect it will be a lot better. Probably around the three month point those fusel alcohols will be smoothed out.

My one and only fusel brew took 6- 8 weeks to come mostly right though it still gave me mild headaches. If there's phenolics in there… well, from my experience that could take half a year… to fix, if at all.

But, I'm wondering if it's either of those if the temperature quoted is correct. I guess it was fermented with the kit yeast, in which case there certainly shouldn't be any temperature-related issues. Infection seems most likely.

12 Posted: Sunday, April 02, 2017 11:06 PM

Thanks for the responses crew.

I've had a hard think about it all and I think I need to be more wary of sanitising and be a little more patient with my brew.

After a few more weeks in the bottle I've noticed a slight improvement. It's not as off putting but almost has an apple cider like taste to it now. Each week it fades a little. Might be alright in a few months. Each week I chill a bottle to taste how it's changing. I'm using this failed batch as a lesson for my palate. I'll taste a bad brew like this one a mile off next time.

I'm going to have another crack in a couple of days, I've bought some starsan and I'm going to be really thorough. I've done as much research as possible. Even got to speak to a few well seasoned brewers at a recent beer festival (the guy from James Squire was really helpful). Hopefully I have a successful run this time :)

Thanks again for your responses.

Peace

Ben.

13 Posted: Monday, April 03, 2017 7:46 AM

BCBREW94:

…has an apple cider like taste to it now.

Sounds like acetaldehyde.

I wonder now if you may have cold-crashed a little prematurely? There might have been some benefit to a slightly longer rest before CC, even just another day may have been enough.

It's always disappointing when a batch is condemned to long-term storage in the hope of curing some falt. It's even more disappointing when you've waited months and it's still isn't right. Hopefully this one will come right for you! Good luck!


14 Posted: Monday, April 03, 2017 10:44 AM

BCBREW94:

Each week I chill a bottle to taste how it's changing.


Good approach

In the meantime, buy a couple more boxes of PET bottles and get started on batch #2

Last edited by King Ruddager (Monday, April 03, 2017 10:44 AM)