JBU > Introductory

4 Reasons Why Your Beer Tastes Metallic

Ever wonder why some beers have a hint of metal to them? No, that is not a new flavor profile. Here’s why.

4 Reasons Why Your Beer Tastes Metallic

1. Beer in a Can

It is a common myth that beer from a can will taste metallic, so you should only buy beer in bottles. Most canned beers are lined with a polymer coating so that the beer never even comes into contact with the aluminum of the can. If your canned beer tastes metallic, it could be your nose playing tricks on you. Try transferring it to a glass and preferably one that will enhance your beer’s style. To learn more about beer styles and the correct glasses check out The Case for the Proper Glassware or Serving the Perfect Beer: Temperature, Pour and Glassware. If you’ve poured it and it still tastes like you are drinking liquified pennies here are some more possibilities.


2. Low-Quality Grain

It is possible that the brewer used a lower quality grain or grain that was not stored properly, so it absorbed odors around it. As the ingredients in the brewery’s beer are usually fresh most likely in the next batch it shouldn’t be a problem. If you notice it is, this might be the reason…


3. Iron, Copper and Nickel Oh My!

There are two ways in which your beer comes into contact with these metals at the brewery. The first is water. Water is an important part of the brewing process and some areas have water which is high in iron content so it may cause the metallic flavor. The second is what you are most likely thinking, most of the equipment at the brewery if it is not stainless steel then it is made of iron or copper coated in nickel. Beer has the ability to corrode nickel and so if it’s not monitored carefully the beer will come into contact with the iron or copper of the equipment causing the metallic taste.


4. Take Time to Oxidize

Breweries that choose stainless steel equipment rather than copper and iron can still be susceptible to metallic flavoring. When the machines are cleaned, if they are not given enough time to oxidize before the next batch then BINGO! Beer with a metal off flavor. Read more about other off flavors in beer with this article from Belgian Smaak.

Next time you pop open a beer and it smells and tastes a little metallic you can let everyone know that no coins were actually harmed in the making of this beer.

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