Sweet Syrup Flavour In My Home Brew

Question

My brother and I have been brewing for a few months now. We’re currently fermenting our sixth batch. Our first was great, it was an imperial IPA recipe we got from our local homebrew store. We brewed that in the winter and fermented at very stable temperatures.

All of our batches since have gone off without a hitch… until we get to drinking the beer. There is a sweet, syrupy, flavor in the beers(and the actual “beer flavor is detectable but disappears quickly). Its not undrinkable, its just not supposed to be there.

We did another IPA and it had that flavor, then an Imperial Stout same thing, I just cracked a honey wheat we brewed (albeit a little early not quite fully carbonated yet) and voila there is that same crappy taste.

At first I thought maybe it was that “green” taste I’ve heard so much about and have stopped drinking the stout and am resigned to let it sit in the bottles a few more weeks  I wish I could describe the flavor a little more.

The first batch was brewed at my folks place and fermented in their basement at a fairly constant temp in the mid to high sixties, the following batches were brewed at my apt and fermented in my closet with very unstable temps.

Could high/and or unstable fermentation temps be the cause. In addition to that our primary fermenter is the same plastic bucket my dad used to brew his when I was just a little tyke.

I suppose I should replace that. I don’t think its sanitation as our procedure is pretty tight. I’m extremely frustrated because I am obsessed with home brewing, and beer in general, I have been reading everything possible and on the internet constantly sucking up info, I refuse to give up but would like to really enjoy and share some really good homebrew.

Answer

I’ve never experienced what you describe, but to me there is a distinct difference between brews made from extract and brews made from all-grain recipes and this might be the issue.

You may also be right about starting with a new primary fermentor. If you’re not using all-grain recipes you should give it a try. It’s more fun and the ales are much better.

I’m a big fan of IPA so I brew a lot of IPA all-grain recipes. I recently started purchasing bulk quantities of grains due to the demand made on my kegged ales and the flavour never disappoints.