I brewed my first batch, an English IPA (Maris Otter, East Kent Goldings, WLP023 Burton Ale Yeast) about a month ago.

Bottled on the 4th November, priming with dextrose monohydrate brewing sugar.

All went to plan (or so I thought) but the beer has a distinct chlorine flavour (although the underlying beer flavour is OK).

I sterilised the bottles with Young's Brew Steriliser and Cleaner and for some stupid reason, didn't read the instructions regards rinsing thoroughly (everything I'd read up to this point had involved "StarSan" so I naively presumed rinsing was not required).

I'm not sure what flavour/s to associate with green beer (I've read many times not to dump a beer so early) so I could do with some reassurance that my suspicions are correct, and to put this down to experience and move on.

Does "green beer" taste like chlorine?


Spoke to supplier, the chap insisted Young's Sterliser/Cleaner is bleach/chlorine based, and it is not just Sodium Metabisulphite (although it may well be an ingredient) so rinse well!

Batch dumped.

  • Can you find the ingredients of your Young's Brew Steriliser and Cleaner ?
    – Philippe
    Nov 20, 2015 at 15:24
  • There's no ingredients listed on the container unfortunately, not a lot coming up online either! :/
    – robmcvey
    Nov 21, 2015 at 13:26
  • 1
    FWIW, I would also avoid products claiming to be a cleaner and santizier all in one. You normally need two products one to clean and one to sanitize. Many people can get a way with these all in ones for a little while but once you encounter a large enough soil/bacterial load (older and older equipment for example) these one step products will fail you. The all in ones tend to be good cleaners and weak sanitizers, depending on how clean the gear was to start with.
    – brewchez
    Nov 23, 2015 at 13:41

3 Answers 3


Sorry, beer that tastes like chlorine doesn't get better. Been there, dumped that.

Green beer flavors tend to be excessive amounts of the expected flavors (sweet, bitter, hop aroma, yeastyness) and sometimes cidery flavors (from oxygen exposure leading to acetaldehyde). These will reduce / go away with some aging.


Dump it. I can't find information about the active ingredients in Young's Sterilizer and Cleaner, but if it requires rinsing it's very likely a bromine or chlorine based cleaner. Bromine and chlorine are both poisonous in high concentrations, so you should not consume the beer.

  • I read that it contains Sodium Metabisulphate, but it must contain something else, since SM is a sanitizer not a cleaner...
    – Philippe
    Nov 20, 2015 at 15:23

'Green beer' doesn't normally taste like chlorine, but everyone's palate is different. The most common source of chlorine is the brewing water. Its possible you can't taste the chlorine in your water if you drink it regularly as tap water. When the chlorine combines with phenols in the malt it can begin to peak over the threshold of flavor detectability.

The good thing about chlorine is if you fill a bucket with all your brewing water first the night before it will dissipate naturally. If its chloramine (more stable version) you'll need to either boil the water or use Campden tablets to get rid of it. That's a pain.

If you know you don't have chlorine in your water supply, then perhaps it is just a green beer flavor; and chlorine is just what it tastes like to you.

I'd keep the batch but start your next batch. Hopefully, the current batch will age out some and become tolerable.

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