IPA Drinkers: Ever had a bad (spoiled) sixer?- Mtbr.com
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  1. #1
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    IPA Drinkers: Ever had a bad (spoiled) sixer?

    It has happened twice now to me in the past 6 months. I purchase a new IPA, only to open it and discover that something is "off" with the taste, and there are a bunch of "chunks" in the brew. This first happened to me when I purchased a six pack of Modus Hopperandi cans and discovered that something went bad. And, it pains me to say that this recently happened with my favorite brew, West Coast IPA. I now have 4 spoiled bottles and am wondering what I should do.

    Anyone ever have this happen? If so, did you take it back and/or notify the brewer? Other recommendations?
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  2. #2
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    I got a foul keg of Brooklyn East IPA. Not sure what went wrong with it but it was nasty. Sent it back to the distributer and they replaced it with no problems.

  3. #3
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    It happens...there's a lot that can go wrong with the bottling process. Most decent stores will give you your money back.

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    I had a bad batch of DFH 60 minute IPA this summer.

    Opened 2 of 6 and both were off, just returned the 6 pack to the store and exchanged them for something else.

    Waited until the batch number changed and then started buying them again.

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    I too had a bad batch of the dogfish head, just tossed them, i didnt think of returning :/

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    Kind of related:

    Does anyone else have a problem with the DFH caps breaking a sliver of glass on the bottle lip when they are removed?

    It's happened twice now, first time I gashed my finger wide open, second time was last week, bottles put to one side waiting to be returned to LCBO.

    I've never had it happen with any other beers.

  7. #7
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    What do you mean by spoiled? Was it soured?

    How old was the beer? The longer the beer sits on a shelf, the more the remaining proteins will start to coagulate and fall out. That will leave some sediment in the bottle. I actually noticed this with WC IPA yesterday when I was at the store.

    Of course, with IPAs, you typically want them as fresh as possible. If there is sediment on the bottom of the bottle or floating around it's not going to be super fresh, but that doesn't mean it's bad. Too bad Green Flash doesn't date their bottles.

    I would contact the brewer and tell them your experience. Most of them want to know those things.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by mtbfool
    What do you mean by spoiled? Was it soured?

    How old was the beer? The longer the beer sits on a shelf, the more the remaining proteins will start to coagulate and fall out. That will leave some sediment in the bottle. I actually noticed this with WC IPA yesterday when I was at the store.

    Of course, with IPAs, you typically want them as fresh as possible. If there is sediment on the bottom of the bottle or floating around it's not going to be super fresh, but that doesn't mean it's bad. Too bad Green Flash doesn't date their bottles.

    I would contact the brewer and tell them your experience. Most of them want to know those things.
    By spoiled, I mean that the taste just wasn't right. It tasted wrong. I have only noticed this on the two occassions I described in the OP.

    I can't verify how old the beer was, but it wasn't old on my account. Sometimes, this can be an issue if you purchase from a place like Total Wines, or Bevmo, because the bottles sit unregridgerated in storage for a while.

    I contacted the brewer on Monday, still waiting for a response.

    I will double check to see if there is a batch number, I plan to return the six pack to the store so they can return it to their distributor. I hope to get a new sixer of the same, but I will make sure the batch has changed.
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  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by Pynis McDermott
    By spoiled, I mean that the taste just wasn't right. It tasted wrong.
    .
    x2. The DFH wasn't skunked but the taste was off, it left an unpleasant aftertaste in my mouth.

    To be fair to the LCBO, I returned them and there was no argument from them, it was marked "lacking in freshness" and I picked out a different 6 pack.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by driver bob
    I had a bad batch of DFH 60 minute IPA this summer.

    I had this happen with a dogfish 90 then someone told me nope thats the way its supposed to taste....

    Gonna give it a few more tries see if my taste buds come around...

    Until then its greenflash and stone

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by Pynis McDermott
    It has happened twice now to me in the past 6 months. I purchase a new IPA, only to open it and discover that something is "off" with the taste, and there are a bunch of "chunks" in the brew. This first happened to me when I purchased a six pack of Modus Hopperandi cans and discovered that something went bad. And, it pains me to say that this recently happened with my favorite brew, West Coast IPA. I now have 4 spoiled bottles and am wondering what I should do.

    Anyone ever have this happen? If so, did you take it back and/or notify the brewer? Other recommendations?
    absolutely. I've had many IPA's go bad. But it has nothing to do with it being an IPA - any kind of beer can and will have those issues.

    It's a simple matter of bacteria getting into the beer and causing it to spoil. This is more to do with the cleanliness of the environment in which the beer is brewed and bottled, than the type of beer.

    Sure, light beers like lagers will have a greater propensity towards bad tastes - due to their light flavor not being able to mask the infection - but really the issue is bacteria.
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    Quote Originally Posted by iheartbicycles
    absolutely. I've had many IPA's go bad. But it has nothing to do with it being an IPA - any kind of beer can and will have those issues.

    It's a simple matter of bacteria getting into the beer and causing it to spoil. This is more to do with the cleanliness of the environment in which the beer is brewed and bottled, than the type of beer.

    Sure, light beers like lagers will have a greater propensity towards bad tastes - due to their light flavor not being able to mask the infection - but really the issue is bacteria.
    What these people are describing is not a bacterial issue. That is why I asked the OP if the beer had soured.

    Light beers don't have a greater propensity for off flavors, but you're right, it's harder to hide those flaws in lighter beers.

  13. #13
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    Rotation of beers can be a problem,especially low volume craft brews. Most beers have some sort of code date. With a julian dating system probably the most common. I always try to check for a date. Example being- 09184 would be brewed on 184th day of 2009. Also look for excessive dust on bottles.

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    Quote Originally Posted by palerider
    Rotation of beers can be a problem,especially low volume craft brews. Most beers have some sort of code date. With a julian dating system probably the most common. I always try to check for a date. Example being- 09184 would be brewed on 184th day of 2009. Also look for excessive dust on bottles.
    Good advice, and I will try to pay more attention to hidden date coding. However, what seems to puzzle me is that the Total Wines, where I purchased, has seemed to increase their inventory of this beer. In fact, they even had a display set up and started putting it in the refridgerated section. I assume this is because they have been selling more off the shelf. However, this does not mean that the six pack I purchased wasn't old inventory.

    Can anyone explain what the large white chunks might be? Natural sediment is one thing in a craft beer, but these cloud the entire bottle and are more than just standard sediment.
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  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by Pynis McDermott
    Good advice, and I will try to pay more attention to hidden date coding. However, what seems to puzzle me is that the Total Wines, where I purchased, has seemed to increase their inventory of this beer. In fact, they even had a display set up and started putting it in the refridgerated section. I assume this is because they have been selling more off the shelf. However, this does not mean that the six pack I purchased wasn't old inventory.

    Can anyone explain what the large white chunks might be? Natural sediment is one thing in a craft beer, but these cloud the entire bottle and are more than just standard sediment.

    The chunks could be yeast from fermentation. This is natural. Many beers filter out the yeast before bottleing. Some brewers leave the yeast in to naturaly condition the beer in the bottle.

    Old beer is not necessarily bad beer. It just needs to be stored properly. Store beer cold preferably in a dark area. Room temps are OK for short term stroage. Cooler temps are much better for long term storage. Hot temps are very bad and can skunk a beer failry quickly. The drakness requirement is not as important if the beer is already in a brown bottle. Green and clear glass can be a problem.

    Now not all beers are better as they age. Hop flavors tend to diapate over time so IPAs are better younger. Strong alcohol flavors mellow over time so strong beers tend to improve with age.

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by Pynis McDermott
    Good advice, and I will try to pay more attention to hidden date coding. However, what seems to puzzle me is that the Total Wines, where I purchased, has seemed to increase their inventory of this beer. In fact, they even had a display set up and started putting it in the refridgerated section. I assume this is because they have been selling more off the shelf. However, this does not mean that the six pack I purchased wasn't old inventory.

    Can anyone explain what the large white chunks might be? Natural sediment is one thing in a craft beer, but these cloud the entire bottle and are more than just standard sediment.
    I believe 60 minute is bottle conditioned. Meaning they put in yeast (or just don't filter the beer) at bottling to provide natural carbonation.

    Also, there are proteins in beer that you just can't get rid of. Over time those proteins coagulate and form sediment or the floaties you describe.

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by Maida7
    Hot temps are very bad and can skunk a beer failry quickly. The drakness requirement is not as important if the beer is already in a brown bottle. Green and clear glass can be a problem.
    Extremely high (and low) temperatures are bad for beer, but it is light exposure that causes what people usually refer to as skunking. That's why beers in the green and clear glass are usually skunked.

    This is a general comment because people usually ask the question, it is OK for beer to go from warm to cold. It will not harm or skunk the beer. It's the extreme temperatures you want to avoid.

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    [QUOTE=Maida7]The chunks could be yeast from fermentation. This is natural. Many beers filter out the yeast before bottleing. Some brewers leave the yeast in to naturaly condition the beer in the bottle.QUOTE]

    I am not unfamiliar with your standard yeast sediment in bottled beer. What I am talking about is a bottle full of 1/4" round white chunks that appear to me to be the root problem. I can honestly say that I have consumed nearly 350 bottles of this beer over the last year, and this is the first occurrence. None of the other bottles had the same taste, or chunks, and I am just trying to identify. Perhaps it is spoiled yeast microbes that are the root cause of the problem.

    I am not isolating this incident to IPA's only, but my personal experience has proven that this particular occurrence has happened to me with two different IPA's brewed in two different locations by two different brewers.
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  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by mtbfool
    Of course, with IPAs, you typically want them as fresh as possible. If there is sediment on the bottom of the bottle or floating around it's not going to be super fresh,
    Um, no and no. You need to to study up on the origins of IPAs and how they came about and why they were designed to last a long time in the bottle. Sediment doesn't matter as an indicator of freshness. In reality you don't want "freshness" in any fermented beverage because aging is what makes for the smoother and more complicated tastes.

    Contamination is contamination and isn't isolated to IPAs. What sometime happens with IPAs is when dry hopping is done the hops contain wild yeasts or bacteria that leads to off flavors. Most contamination issues arise out of issues in the sterilization process.

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    Quote Originally Posted by themanmonkey
    Um, no and no. You need to to study up on the origins of IPAs and how they came about and why they were designed to last a long time in the bottle. Sediment doesn't matter as an indicator of freshness. In reality you don't want "freshness" in any fermented beverage because aging is what makes for the smoother and more complicated tastes.

    Contamination is contamination and isn't isolated to IPAs. What sometime happens with IPAs is when dry hopping is done the hops contain wild yeasts or bacteria that leads to off flavors. Most contamination issues arise out of issues in the sterilization process.
    Well, I've done a fair amount of research when it comes to beer, fermentation, and IPAs. I know what the history of IPAs are,and what is common knowledge is disputable. Regardless, today's IPAs and especially American IPAs is best when consumed fresh and are also intended by the brewers to be consumed fresh. The malt profiles of today's IPAs are fairly simplistic. The first thing to fade when aging a beer is the hop profile. So if you age a hoppy beer with a simple malt profile, you aren't going to be left with much.

    Ask any brewpub if freshness matters when consuming their beers.

    Hops very, very rarely contain wild yeast or bacteria. Granted, when dry hopping a beer there is an exposure to outside air that will increase the chance of an infection.
    Google: humulus lupulus bacteria
    Last edited by mtbfool; 10-15-2009 at 08:20 PM.

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    Question?

    Quote Originally Posted by mtbfool
    <snip>I know what the history of IPAs are,and what is common knowledge is disputable. <snip>
    I am curious about what common knowledge you refer to as disputable?
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  22. #22
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    White chunks are usually yeast. Brewers yeast is good for you. And, unless the yeast is contaminated, shouldn't taste bad. That said, yeast can be contaminated by a dirty bottle, or dirtly line to the bottle before being capped, or a dirty tank.

    I ran a beer store for years. I recommend buying beer only from stores that only have only cold beer storage when possible. Especially if you live in a warm climate. Beer that has been warm is MUCH more likely to have off flavors. Hop character fades fairly rapidly in california IPAs also. Drinking a bottle of IPA that is one month old will taste much different from a 4 month old bottle. If you like hops, the fresher, the better. The older they get, the less they taste like IPAs and the more they taste like amber/ red ales.

  23. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by dsnow23
    White chunks are usually yeast. Brewers yeast is good for you. And, unless the yeast is contaminated, shouldn't taste bad. That said, yeast can be contaminated by a dirty bottle, or dirtly line to the bottle before being capped, or a dirty tank.

    I ran a beer store for years. I recommend buying beer only from stores that only have only cold beer storage when possible. Especially if you live in a warm climate. Beer that has been warm is MUCH more likely to have off flavors. Hop character fades fairly rapidly in california IPAs also. Drinking a bottle of IPA that is one month old will taste much different from a 4 month old bottle. If you like hops, the fresher, the better. The older they get, the less they taste like IPAs and the more they taste like amber/ red ales.
    This makes sense. And if you drink a particular IPA long enough over time, like I do with WCIPA, then I can definately say this is my experience.
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