why does my beer taste like lemonade?

What went wrong? Was this supposed to happen? Should I throw it out? What do I do now?

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why does my beer taste like lemonade?

Postby hobbes » Sun Oct 13, 2002 9:11 am

I recently started having beer that has a lemon taste. I have found this in all stlyes of beer from scot ale to pilner. They all seem fine at bottling but quickly go down hill after bottling. I sanitize everything with iodine. As a microbiologist sterilization is part of work but am at the end of my knowledge as to what is wrong. This is a recent problem starting early spring and continuing. I have not changed anything in my process that I am aware of. I am not a novice to brewing, with over 6 years experience without many problems. I have been all grain from the start. I culture my own yeast but have been using new cultures from the supply houses but that has not corrected the problem. I am about to throw it all in the trash and go back to bud. YUK
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What is the typical ingredient list

Postby Azorean Brewer » Sun Oct 13, 2002 2:32 pm

Hobbes,

Please include a typical recipe from start to finish so we can get a better idea to try and put this issue behind you. Please don't go back to BUD, we'll figure it out ... Promise ;-)

Paul.
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Bail out program

Postby jayhawk » Sun Oct 13, 2002 10:47 pm

Maybe we should all start a "Homebrew Relief Program" for this guy or anyone else who runs into strange things like this. We could support them with homebrew while they work out the kinks, and at least that way they wouldn't have to go back to BUD. ;-)
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receipt of pilner

Postby hobbes » Mon Oct 14, 2002 2:08 pm

i used 9.5 grm pilner malt 5# of carapils, hopps 2 oz saaz 60 minutes 1.5 oz saaz at 30 and1.5 oz saaz at 5 minutes used 2-liters of artifical wort and y-800 yeast about 48 hrs old fermentation started within 6 hours 7-days primary 2weeks at 40C secondary bottled using 3/4 cup of priming sugar in sterile distilled water. Starting gravity 1060 finishing gravity was 1020. I know it should have fermented further but didn't---. It did not have the lemon taste at bottleing seemed sweet and hops were not as showy as they should have been but lemon no way. I had a wheat that did the same almost like lemonade also had a dunkel that did the same.
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40C ?!

Postby jayhawk » Mon Oct 14, 2002 2:17 pm

Is this correct "2 weeks at 40C"? That seems like a very high temp to ferment at. Did you mean 40F? I would imagine that fermenting @ 40C for any length of time would create wild flavours, especially a pilsner.
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Major clarrification needed please ?

Postby Azorean Brewer » Mon Oct 14, 2002 4:49 pm

Hobbes,

Two things need clearing up, are you using 5 lbs. of Carapils to a ratio of 9.5 Lbs. of Pilsner malt ?

This is considered very much on the high side.

According to The Brew Master's Bible, you should never use more than 20% Dextrine (Cara-Pils) to base grain. So for your 9.5 Lbs. of base Pilsner that equals out to no more than 2 Lbs. Dextrine. There is just not enough enzymes to properly convert all the essential fermentables in the Cara-pils.

Second I agree with Chris is this correct 40C ? ? ?

You should NEVER let your brew get above 27C (80F) EVER. You will get major undesireable flavors from this. Please clarify if what you posted was corect and if it is , we have found two potential problems.

Paul.
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Major clarification needed please ?

Postby Azorean Brewer » Wed Oct 16, 2002 1:35 am

Hobbes,

Two things need clearing up, are you using 5 lbs. of Carapils to a ratio of 9.5 Lbs. of Pilsner malt ?

This is considered very much on the high side.

According to The Brew Master's Bible, you should never use more than 20% Dextrine (Cara-Pils) to base grain. So for your 9.5 Lbs. of base Pilsner that equals out to no more than 2 Lbs. Dextrine. There is just not enough enzymes to properly convert all the essential fermentables in the Cara-pils.

Second I agree with Chris is this correct 40C ? ? ?

You should NEVER let your brew get above 27C (80F) EVER. You will get major undesireable flavors from this. Please clarify if what you posted was corect and if it is , we have found two potential problems.

Paul.
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temperature correction

Postby hobbes » Wed Oct 16, 2002 2:30 pm

Correct temp primary was about 70F and secondary was 45F not C I used a recept from someone who generally makes excellent beer and one of us screwup with the carapils probably the reason it did not ferment out. If the temp was the problem I have a solution for that but if it is something else. I am still lost.
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Got me

Postby jayhawk » Wed Oct 16, 2002 4:55 pm

Wow, that is one hell of a predicament. I am stumped. All I can sugest is to check your water source. If you use tap water, perhaps the water authority has altered the treatment. Have you checked all parts of your equipment. Maybe one part of your transferring equipment has some gunk collected in it. Man, that is a tough one. Good luck.
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Fermentation temperature and high final gravity.

Postby Brewer2001 » Wed Oct 16, 2002 10:33 pm

Hobbes,

I can see two problems right away. Pilsner and Dunkel are both in the lager catagory and require longer colder fermentation than ales. Primary fermentation temperatures should be about 45-50 F and held for 14 days or until final gravity has been reached. Your gravity of 1020 is borderline and should be dropped lower. You may need to increase your pitch rate as you drop the temperature. During the secondary the temperature may be dropped lower (34 F) and left for 28 days or more to mature before bottling.

You may need to check the pH, temperature and volume of sparge water. The pH needs to stay below 5.4, the temperature must not exceed 170 F and the last runnings should not go below 1010 or you will extract tanic acid from the grain. Tannins have a lower flavor threshold in lighter beers, ie: lagers.

Try these on your next batch.

Good brewing....Don't give up.

Tom
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fermentation temp maybe the problem.

Postby hobbes » Thu Oct 17, 2002 6:03 pm

I never really believed that temp could make that much difference but have worked on about everything else cleaned until it sparkled or replaced. Water is from a well and I check it regularly because I have the lab facilities to do it. Ph tends to run acidic near 6.5 to 5 most of the wort I have check runs aaround 5.5 water is not extremely high in minerals, has lots of magnesium salts and iron. Yhis is one I need to try again. My biggest fear was bacterial contamination that involved the whole system that may be a problem but will work on temp first.
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