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Tastes/Smells Like: Overpowering alcohol flavor, bitter, acetone, paint thinner, spicy, sharp, undesirable "hot" sensation in the throat Possible Causes: Fusel alcohols such as propanol, butanol, isobutanol, and isoamyl alcohol as well as phenolic alcohols such as tyrosol are usually responsible for unpleasant alcohol flavors. Limited amounts of these alcohols can be desirable in high alcohol beers such as barley wines or strong ales and are much more noticeable in lighter style beers. The most common source for such alcohols is fermenting at too high of a temperature, however, keeping beer on the trub for too long or oxidation can cause this as well.



Tastes/Smells Like: Plastic, Vinyl, Iodine Possible Causes: Using chlorinated tap water to brew or rinse equipment is the most common cause for plastic-like or medicinal flavors. Medicinal flavors can also be the result of using cleanser or sanitizer that is chlorine



Tastes/Smells Like: Apple Cider, Wine, Acetaldehyde (apples) Possible Causes: Using too much corn or cane sugar is the most common cause for wine or cidery flavors. Generally, 1lb of sugar per 5 gallon batch is considered the limit before cidery flavors start developing. Acetaldehyde can also give off a cider-like quality.



Tastes/Smells Like: Butter, Rancid Butter, Butterscotch, Slickness in the mouth and tongue Possible Causes: Diacetyl is naturally produced by all yeast during fermentation and is then "reabsorbed" by yeast cells. Increased diacetyl or diacetyl that is not reabsorbed may be a result of high flocculating yeast, weak or mutated yeast, over or under oxygenating, low fermentation temperatures and weak or short boils. It is generally regarded as a flaw when detected in lagers. Some brewers, and drinkers alike, desire small amounts in ales.


Dimethyl Sulfide (DMS)

Tastes/Smells Like: Cooked vegetables, especially creamed corn, cabbage, tomato, shellfish/oyster-like flavors Possible Causes: S-methyl methionine (SMM) is created during the malting process of grain and is later converted to DMS when heated. Darker base grains have less DMS as the kilning process converts MM to DMS and drives it off before going into the wort. This makes DMS naturally more prevalent in ale ales and lagers.



Tastes/Smells Like: Fruit, especially banana, to a lesser extent, pear, strawberry, raspberry, grapefruit Possible Causes: Esters are a naturally occurring byproduct of fermentation. Certain ales are supposed to have these fruity flavors, such as Belgian ales and Hefeweizens (German Wheat beer) and certain types of yeast produce more esters than others. Strong fruity flavors or fruity flavors that are inappropriate for the style of beer are sometimes a result of under pitching or high fermentation temperatures. As a general rule, the higher the fermentation temperature, the more esters the yeast will produce. In addition to high fermentation



Tastes/Smells Like: Freshly cut grass, musty, Possible Causes: Musty, grassy aromas and flavors are usually the result of grains or extract that have developed mold or bacteria prior to being used. Aldehydes can occasionally form on old malt, which can lead to a grassy flavor. Hops, if not processed



Tastes/Smells Like: Raw grain, dry, flavors comparable to astringency from tannins and/or oxidization Possible Causes: Over milled grain can cause husky, grainy off flavors. Highly toasted malts can also contribute to husky, grainy qualities. These flavors are most common in all-grain brews due to the amount of grain being used and the need to mash and sparge.