As I have been drinking my Eye of the Loon Red Ale, I’ve been very happy with its malt-forward, toasty flavor. However, after a week away on vacation I came back to a very different beer than I had before.
I opened a 22oz bottle and was met with a harsh, almost sour, aftertaste. This was not a flavor I remembered. Had the batch spoiled already?
A few days later I had another. Same taste.
I decided to try one of the stouts from my previous batch and once again tasted the acrid and harsh bite of the beer.
My first thought was the roasted and crystal malt had gotten more intense over time and the beer was past its “drink by” date. It would make sense because both beers used significant amounts of roasted barley. Maybe I just need to do a cold steep of those grains next time I make this to prevent this?
Last night I tried a 12oz bottle of the red, expecting to be disappointed once again. However, this time it was just like the beer I remember. Smooth with a mild toasty notes.
What was going on with this beer? Apparently it all has to do with storage.
My 12oz bottles have been in the mini fridge ever since they were carbonated. The 22oz on the other hand have been stored in a crate at slightly less than room temperature until space opens up on the door of the fridge. The bottles are too big to sit on the shelf.
That time sitting in a warmer environment either spoiled, or at least sped up the aging of, the large bottles.
In the future, it looks like I’ll have to find a cool closet to use as a makeshift storage cellar to prevent this from happening again. For now, I’ll have to do some further research by drinking the rest of this batch as I wait to brew again.