Bad Dog – Taking My Flying Dog Pale Ale Clone To Obedience School

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.

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5 thoughts on “Bad Dog – Taking My Flying Dog Pale Ale Clone To Obedience School

  1. The band-aid flavor is often traced to chlorine or chloramine in your brewing water. Do you use tap water? I either buy spring water by the gallon or (more recently) run my tap water through a Brita filter to remove the chlorine/chloramine.

    If that’s not it, John Palmer lists chlorine-based sanitizers as a possible culprit. His solution: rinse more thoroughly.
    http://www.howtobrew.com/section4/chapter21-2.html

    Hopefully one of these puts you on the right track, because I certainly know how frustrating it is to try to figure out where you went wrong with a batch. I’ve had too many opportunities to do such introspection myself.

    • Thanks for the info Doug! I posted an update to this. After a few IPAs over-hopped my tastebuds, I found the off-flavor to de distinctly more bubble gummy than Band-Aidy. Checking out some homebrew forums, I found the high fermentation temperatures are to blame.

      I do use tap water, but another beer I brewed with the same water turned out fine. I really think it was the high temps.

      Thanks for the encouragement too. It’s nice to know I’m not the only one screwing up batches of beer out there.

  2. Pingback: The Kegerator Project « River Crew Brewing Company

  3. Pingback: Equipment Upgrades – Fermentation Fridge « River Crew Brewing Company

  4. Pingback: Fermentation Fridge FTW! « River Crew Brewing Company

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