Phenolic Flavors and Aromas in Beer-Detection and Prevention

Phenolic flavors and aromas in beer are most frequently described as clovey, spicey, smokey, band-aid-like, or medicinal flavors and aromas.

Besides in a number of beer kinds the place a few of these flavors are thought of acceptable, these compounds are for probably the most half thought of a flaw.

The commonest supply of the clove-like and spicey aromas in beer are the basic German hefeweizen-style yeasts.

These yeasts convert ferrulic acid from malt right into a compound which smells identical to cloves, 4-vinyl guaiacol. The explanation most hefeweizen and different German wheat primarily based beers show a lot clovey phenolics is as a result of wheat comprises extra ferrulic acid than barley.

Many different yeasts produce detectable phenolic flavors as properly. Many Belgian yeast strains and a few British yeast strains will produce the identical compound, though on a a lot smaller scale.

One of many major culprits of off flavors attributed to phenolic flavors and aromas are wild yeasts. These wild yeasts will produce many kinds of phenol compounds, however most of those should not the generally accepted clove or spicy aromas and flavors, however a robust medicinal band-aid-like taste which isn’t nice in any respect.

Chlorine’s Impact on Phenolic Flavors

Earlier than attributing the medicinal flavors to wild yeast, you need to be conscious of the impact that chlorine has on beer.

If you brew with extremely chlorinated water, the chlorine reacts with
naturally occurring phenols within the beer to kind chlorophenols. It is a
widespread flaw in residence brewed beer and is simple to treatment by filtering with
activated carbon or utilizing both bottled water or Reverse Osmosis (RO)

The yeast strains which produce the widespread clove-like
phenolic flavors and aromas in beer accomplish that as part of their regular

These yeast strains have enzymes which a lot of the different
brewers’ yeasts lack. In case you are having issues with phenolic aromas
and flavors in your beer, a change in yeast will in all probability clear up the

Mash and Sparge’s Impact on Phenolic Flavors

Lots of the homebrewer’s issues stem from their mash and sparge routine.
Phenols extracted from malts in the course of the mash and sparge are known as
polyphenols, or tannins.

These polyphenols react with proteins within the
wort to kind chill haze or everlasting haze. Generally if hot-side
aeration happens, oxidized fusel alcohols flavors in beer are created.

In case you are having
issues with polyphenols, you’ll be able to scale back these compounds by
controlling your sparge water temperature (beneath 170°F or 77°C),
lowering the sparge time, and through the use of brewing water low in alkalinity.

One other supply of polyphenols in your wort is from malt and hop
additions. When hops are added within the boil, polyphenols are extracted
and find yourself within the wort.

Excessive wort pH will improve this extraction however
the polyphenols won’t dissolve readily till the pH drops beneath 5.5.

Tannins within the husks of malt are there to behave as an astringent
inhibitor in opposition to fungal and bacterial assault.

The vast majority of the
polyphenols in wort come from the malt. In case you are having astringency
issues from polyphenol extraction in your malts, strive stopping the
sparge when the SG reaches 1.010, hold the sparge water pH beneath 5.5,
and hold the sparge water temp beneath 167°F (75°C).

Sparge water
acidification is just not usually completed by the homebrewer, however stopping your
sparge early and controlling sparge water temp are simple fixes.

One downside in attempting to detect phenolic issues in your beer is that many individuals are insensitive to those aromas and flavors
which many discover objectionable.

These persons are genetically incapable
of detecting phenolic flavors or aromas. So, what do you do in case you simply
cannot detect the issues others discover in your beer? About the one
factor you are able to do is have another person style your beer for you.

Be taught to
depend on their senses. I am positive they will not thoughts, in spite of everything, they are going to
be getting a continuing supply of free beer.

There are a number of different sources of phenolic flvors which make their manner into your beer.
One is spoilage micro organism in your brewing water.

Algae produce many
phenolic compounds and are present in any water provide which is uncovered to
daylight. Water sources uncovered to industrial waste will likely be excessive in
phenols. Be cautious of utilizing water taken from a floor supply.

and lakes used for municipal water provides are a giant supply of phenols.
Micro organism is one other supply of phenols. If you encounter an issue
which you’ll’t clarify readily, begin searching for bacterial
infestations in hoses or valves.

Be sure to rinse properly in case you are
utilizing a chlorine primarily based cleanser in your brewery.

As you’ll be able to see, there are a lot of sources for phenolic notes in homebrewed beer. Take note of the objects
listed above and preserve correct sanitation and you should not have any

Data for this text was tailored partially from Beer Flavors from, How To Brew, by John J. Palmer, and New Brewing Lager Beer, by Gregory J. Noonan.

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