I screwed this one up.
I thought this one was going to be a best-in-show, but it’s really more of a heinz 57.
This isn’t the beer I was supposed to brew. There are definitely some flavors in there that shouldn’t be there. It tastes a bit like the first beer I ever brewed. Actually, it was a pale ale too, come to think of it. We figured out I killed the yeast before pitching it, and the result was a mess. It literally tasted like you were drinking a Band Aid, or someone just did a burnout in their 92 Mustang in your mouth. There’s a bit of that flavor in this beer, but it doesn’t over power the flavor. Underneath the funk, you can still taste the backbone of a good beer – all the hop aroma is gone, and some of the bitterness is still there. It’s drinkable, but definitely not the beer I intended to make.
I think the trouble I had getting the wort to a pitchable temperature, and the delay in getting fermentation going came back to bite me. This is the second time I’ve had this trouble. Luckily my Imperial Blonde Ale, the previous beer I had trouble with, came out well.
I usually put my brew kettle in an ice bath, then add cold water into the primary fermenter (since I brew extract) to get the temperature down. Since this obviously isn’t working, I got a wort chiller – something I should have gotten a long time ago. I’m hoping this and adding the cold water to the primary will get my temps to where they need to be, and I won’t get off-flavors in my beer. I’ve even had thoughts of building a fermentation fridge, but that might be a little too much (read – my girlfriend might kill me).
What else can I do to put a stop to this on-going problem? I think the wort chiller will go a long way, but I really need to nip this in the bud. I’m open to any suggestions or advice you guys might have.
Post-Script: Thanks to some hoppy IPAs, the “funky” flavor I’m getting tastes like bubble gum. After some Googling, it looks like cause is too high temperatures during fermentation. Like I said above, the temps hit the 90s after I brewed this beer, and about 75-80 in my apartment. Looks like I found the culprit.