View Full Version : rubber aftertaste !?

02-06-2011, 10:32 PM
Bottle my first batch of Joe's Ancient Orange last night. Twas only a bit short of a gallon so I had a partial bottle that I sampled. I know it is still very young (only 3 months old). Still really sweet and high alcohol taste which I expected.

What I didn't expect was an aftertaste that I can only describe as "rubbery". Kinda like water would taste from a garden hose on a hot summer day. Anyone have any ideas as to why this would be? I've used the same equipment, hoses, etc., for my cider earlier in the year and it didn't have this aftertaste. I'm hoping it will go away with more aging.


02-06-2011, 11:33 PM
Did you let it breathe a bit before tasting?

This is a common taste in young meads, though, honestly 3 months of age seems long enough to mellow most of it, but I am speaking from very limited experience.

Try letting it breathe and if the rubber taste recedes, it should age out.

Chevette Girl
02-06-2011, 11:44 PM
Did you make any modifications to the recipe as printed?

I had one modified JAO do this (black raspberry), it tasted like rubber stopper smells, only that particular stopper has been in service through several batches before and since, with no other occurrences of rubber-flavoured wine... Another suggestion is to try treating it with copper (either a clean piece of plumbing copper pipe or a penny that was still made of real copper scrubbed till shiny), but it didn't work on mine. And age hasn't seemed to do much for it, although I haven't tried letting it breathe, perhaps I should go pour a glass and experiment :)

02-07-2011, 02:07 AM
Autolysis maybe? It can leave a rubbery smell and taste.

02-07-2011, 02:28 PM
A rubber smell/taste can be imparted by certain mercaptans and disulphides, too. Although this generally isn't a problem with Joe's recipe (since it is balanced enough with nutrients so as not to stress the yeast excessively during fermentation), in other recipes, when nitrogen is limited, some yeasts can produce sulphides. Once those sulphides react with ethanol, mercaptans and eventually disulphides are produced. They do smell nasty.

Mercaptans will respond to the copper treatment (as Chevette Girl mentioned), but disulphides do not -- they will require a combined copper/ascorbic acid treatment, and they can take months to finally resolve. Sometimes, despite your best efforts, the problem doesn't go away.

Chevette Girl
02-07-2011, 11:22 PM
Copper and ascorbic acid, huh? Well, I know what to try next time I dig out a bottle, thanks wayneb!

02-08-2011, 12:08 AM
Right! Just so you know, disulphides are a more reduced form of mercaptans (sometimes called polymercaptans). While copper is able to react directly with mercaptans in order to form copper sulphide (which drops out of solution), it won't react to disulphides. In order for the copper to remove disulphides you need to add an oxidizing catalyst that breaks the polymercaptan bonds. That's what the ascorbic acid does for you. Here's a really good article discussing the process:

02-15-2011, 04:00 PM
I'm gonna open another bottle this weekend. If it is still "rubbery", then I'll try treating it.

Thanks for all the info !


08-09-2011, 06:02 PM
I know I'm resurrecting an old post but I'm so happy I could just bust :o

I have had my JAO variant aging away in bottles for just over 6 months now, hoping and praying that the rubber-stopper aftertaste would go away.

Well, this past weekend I am happy to report, I cracked open a bottle and was very pleasantly surprised by HOW GOOD IT WAS! Better yet, even my wife liked it (although it was still a bit sweet for her).

The moral of the story: When in doubt, let it age!

08-09-2011, 08:16 PM
You know, I think that describes pretty well the taste I... well, tasted, in my raspberry JAO variant. It is very young, and my more aged batch doesn't have it. Maybe it'll just age out... Very informative!

08-09-2011, 11:50 PM
The moral of the story: When in doubt, let it age!

Indeed. Glad it turned out okay!

08-10-2011, 12:33 AM
Fantastic, sign me up!