I have brewed some 20l batches where I have kegged half in a 9l corny keg, and bottled the rest with sugar for priming (plain white sucrose). In a couple of these batches the kegged beer has been fantastic, but the bottles have a chemical/fusel-like flavor, and in one batch quinine-like bitterness. None of these flavors were apparent in the kegs, even after several weeks.

The bottles have generally been stored in room temperature (20-21°C) for about two weeks after priming, and then stored cold (3-6°C).

What could be the cause of these off-flavors?

Edit: Thanks for the answers. I was pretty sure that the beer wasn't infected, but I guess I have to accept that I probably was a bit sloppy at some point :-)

  • I've given up bottling for this very reason :). Plus it's a messy pain.
    – PMV
    Commented Feb 17, 2011 at 19:43

2 Answers 2


Sounds like poor sanitation to me. Be sure you sanitized the bottles well, and that you boiled the sugar in some water first. Or a contamination could have been picked up during racking with that equipment or the bottling equipment.

  • Gotta go with brewchez's answer on this one. Sounds like an infection.
    – TinCoyote
    Commented Feb 17, 2011 at 18:01
  • Same here, have had the same problem and it was cause of infection.
    – Martinj
    Commented Feb 18, 2011 at 15:47
  • 1
    Also, a smaller concern than sterilizing your sugar by boiling, but consider sanitizing your bottle caps if you currently aren't--especially if you're buying them from a bulk-bin where who-knows-what can get onto them
    – STW
    Commented Feb 22, 2011 at 12:44

Using Sucrose (table sugar) to carb could be adding a wineish flavor, I'd recommend switching to corn sugar.

Also, what Brewchez said.

  • corn sugar is also known as dextrose or glucose.
    – chezy525
    Commented Feb 18, 2011 at 15:42
  • 2
    Down voted because when it comes to the amount used for priming, sucrose won't taste winey. Furthermore, I have used it many times for bottling and its a fine sugar. Also, I have never experienced cider like qualities when added to a recipe. Good yeast doesn't create off flavors because of the presence of a super clean sugar. Whether dextrose, sucrose, glucose or fructose. Brewing mythology, IMO and experience.
    – brewchez
    Commented Feb 18, 2011 at 21:59

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