From the HBD Archive
From: Tom Hotchkiss <trh@hpestrh>
Subject: Old Faithful, revisited
Date: 1989-12-13 16:28:33 GMT

John Simpson writes:

> Also, these beers have the 'old faithful' feature if opened
> anywhere near room temperature (I discovered this while
> wearing a white dress shirt :-( ) but when served ice cold
> they don't have enough carbonation. This could be due to
> variation between bottles and/or their age (~1 week). The

The 'old faithful' effect that I witnessed in one of my batches is quite
a bit different from the one you describe. At this point, I am thouroughly
convinced that my problem was due to an infection of some sort. Anyway,
the beer started out just like any other batch, it was mildly carbonated
(the way I like it), and tasted good except for a slight "off flavor."
The 'old faithful' effect didn't begin to show at all for over a month,
at which time I noticed that I was getting more head than before. This
slowly got worse, and after something like 4 to 6 months it was nearly
impossible to pour a beer due to all the foam. This occured in chilled
bottles. Once I accepted the fact that the beer was bad, I opened the
remaining warm bottles (the ones that hadn't blown up), and this was
like diffusing tiny time bombs! Beer shot up more than 8 feet from the
bottles when I opened them!

Even at this point, the off flavor wasn't all that strong. I also don't
know how to describe it accurately but I'll try. It tasted kind of
"antisepticy," or "plasticy." At first I thought it was too much
hop bite, but then realized the flavor was slightly different than
a strong hop bite. So, I guess the best way to sum it up is "like a
strong hop bite with a hint of plastic." I don't know if this flavor
is due to the infection, but I do know that it isn't due to my
equipment. I have used the same equipment for many batches, and I haven't
tasted this flavor in any other batch.

Now that I've finished, I realize that I haven't addressed your problem.
I guess if you have an infection, it's acted much faster than the one
I experienced.

T. Hotchkiss
trh@hpestrh.hplabs.hp.com

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