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Soapy Taste In Beer

Thursday, October 11, 2007

What Happens When - I Have a Soapy Taste In My Beer

I was at a recent wine club meeting and one of the members was discussing how his beer has a soapy taste to it. A couple of us that make wine and beer tried to fiqure out what his problem was. We first thought it might be from soap residual in his glass. He assured us that it wasn't from that. We were stumped. So, I did a little research and found this.

Soapy flavors can caused by not washing your glass very well, but they can also be produced by the fermentation conditions. If you leave the beer in the primary fermentor for a relatively long period of time after primary fermentation is over ("long" depends on the style and other fermentation factors), soapy flavors can result from the breakdown of fatty acids in the trub. Soap is, by definition, the salt of a fatty acid; so you are literally tasting soap.

From How to Brew

And to confirm that it could be caused be leaving your beer too long in the fermenter I found this.

You have left the fermenting beer in the first brewing process too long (bucket). You should have checked the gravity reading and barrelled soon after the reading became stable at the correct range (depends on beer type).

Easy How Brew

At this stage of the game, I don't think there is anything that can be done to fix this problem other than mixing it with tomato juice and drinking it. Generally, I don't leave the fermenting wort in the primary for more than 7 days and most times it is around 5 days. Probably the reason that I never encountered this problem.

Well, if you have a soapy taste in your beer, check the glass first and then check your brewing records to see how long you left the wort in the primary fermenter.


Anonymous said...

I've had a beer taste soapy that was only in the primary for 3-4 days.

Anonymous said...

I have beer with a soapy taste, and it did sit in the primary fermenter too long. However, the bottles I drank earlier were not soapy. I am venturing a guess that the fatty acids were actually broken down in the bottles.

The beer is low in alcohol (about 3%) and with a high specific gravity (about 1.007). There were issues when the wort was made, which I believe lead to the production of unfermentable sugars and maybe created conditions for soap production.

Anonymous said...

What to do with soapy beer? You could make soap out of it:

Anonymous said...

Bottle carbonated beer like Sierra Nevada Pale Ale has a soapy taste also.Glad I can afford good Scotch.


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