Common Beer Off Flavours – Garbage, Gas and yes Fart.
Off Flavour: Mercaptan
Chemical Name: Ethanethiol
What to look for: Trust me when I say you will know when you get it. Think drain, rotting garbage, sulphury or even the aroma of a fresh fart. This is the compound they add to natural gas to give it an aroma.
When does it occur: Can be caused during fermentation by particular yeast strains that are under stress. Also caused by yeast autolysis (basically a yeast cell that has died, ruptures and then releases several off flavours in your beer)
Will it disappear over time? Unlikely and likely that smell will increase substantially. Serve a beer with substantial levels of mercaptan and you may need to find some new friends.
Tips on how to reduce Mercaptan (ethanethiol)
- Use the right yeast for the beer style
- Good sanitisation practices
- Rack your beer off the yeast cake within 4 weeks of fermentation start
Other Common Off Flavours:
- Who put a banana in my beer?
- Why does my beer smell like butterscotch or popcorn?
- Baby sick in my beer? Yuck
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