What is that cidery taste in my beer?

One of the most common off-flavors in homebrewing. We talk about how to prevent that cidery flavor from showing up and what you can do if you get it in your beer.

This is a question we get quite often. You crack open your first homebrew and you have this kind of odd cidery taste to it. It’s not overbearing but you know that it is something that should not be there.

That is an off-flavor in your beer. We discussed in a previous video Off Flavors and & How to prevent them, but we thought this cidery after taste deserved its own video.

This off-flavor seems to be the most popular one that homebrewers get.

The technical term for this off-flavor is Acetaldehyde. The common off-flavors associated with this are green apple, cidery or even rotten apples if its really bad.  

Acetaldehyde is naturally occurring in the brewing process and is a chemical created by the yeast. So if something is off in your fermentation this flavor will not ferment out and be more noticeable.

It is important to make sure that you are doing a few things properly during your brewing process to help prevent this from happening.

The first one would be to make sure you have flawless sanitation practices. Makes sure everything item or service that might come in contact with something that will come in contact with your wort is sanitized. This is critical.

Make sure that you are oxygenating your wort very prior to pitching yeast. This helps the yeast be healthy and makes sure they are going to eat up all those sugars that are in your beer.  

Once you pitch your yeast you want to do all you can do avoid introducing more oxygen to your beer. Make sure to keep the lid on unless you are adding some late additions to your beer. In that case, keep the lid off for as short as possible. Also, if you must move your fermenter do so very carefully and keep the liquid as stable as possible.

The most important part, in my opinion, is to maintain the proper temperature. If you are too cold the yeast will not perform to its max and if you are too warm it can lead to that cidery flavor.

Now if you have this in your beer there is hope to fix it. Keep your bottles at room temperature and let them age. Let them sit for 3-4 weeks and then try one and see if its better. Often times this flavor can be conditioned out of the beer. So never toss your beer, always let it condition and see if your off-flavors clean up.