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Old 06-20-2011, 05:43 AM   #21
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Interesting point on the filter, Dg.

Curious how big the filter would need to be to get a decent flow through it? Also, wondering if any desirable components would be filtered out as well...

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Old 06-20-2011, 06:45 AM   #22
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Are you milling grain in the same place you are filling the fermenter?

Also it is odd for several issues to crop up all at once, or is it that you are more critical now that you are looking closely at everything?

I'd change up on sanitizers to help combat anything that has found a way to defeat StarSan. A bleaching job and good rinse is a cheap insurance method. Then go back to your normal routine of StarSan.

Also skip the secondary from your brewing process. Usually not needed and it just introduces an additional point of infection potential.

Any of this occur along with a change in the CO2 tank? Bad gas, dirty rusty tank? I run mine with a sanitary filter on the gas line just in case - $5 insurance policy.

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Old 06-20-2011, 06:54 AM   #23
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Man Jason that sucks, sorry to hear you're still having trouble. I like the idea of using an IC on you're next batch, my cfc always worries me, you never know what's in there. I always cap the ends after the final rinse. Do you ever pull samples halfway through fermentation and check the actual temp? After that long recirc through the chiller did any gunk come out?

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Old 06-20-2011, 12:07 PM   #24
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Yes, I do mill my grain in my shed where my brewery is. However, I have a fermentation chamber that is closed before milling and stays closed for the next 4hrs at least.

I do recirculate the boiling wort for at least 15mins through the CFC.

Good point about the the filter. Maybe I can do a split batch and filter half to see what changes in flavors might occur.


I have changed Co2 on the last two batches with same results. I also bottled an IPA a few months ago that had a faint similar set of off-flavors.

When doing my PBW recirc I did notice gobs of dark stuff flowing through my silicone hoses after about 20mins. After 2hrs of recirculating I noticed a good size patch of gunk in the floating in the tank that looked like I dumped a can of cinnamon in it. So, obviously my cleaning practices have not been what they should have been. After listening to the Brewing Networks two segments with the guy from 5-Star Chem I realized I have not being using a proper ratio of PBW/water. I think I was told a long time ago from some experiencds homebrewers that 1oz per 5 gallons is good. After reading the container it actually calls for 1-2oz per gallon for brewing kettles, and .75oz per gallon for tanks and fermenters.

Once I did that this weekend with a 2.5oz/gallon ratio my kettles cleaned up like they've never been used to brew with.

Paul - Thanks for the PBW/StarSan split, I'm going to need it.

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Old 06-20-2011, 01:28 PM   #25
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Do you use an Autosiphon in your process?

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Old 06-20-2011, 01:31 PM   #26
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Sometimes I do. If I'm going from my glass carboy to the keg I do. If I'm using my conical I transfer right to the keg from there. My last brew in the conical had the common off-flavor still in the conical so that rules out the auto-siphon I think.

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Old 06-20-2011, 01:35 PM   #27
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It sounds like you may have solved your problem with the thorough cleaning of the cfc. I always use at least one ounce per gallon of pbw for my bk and cfc cleaning. It's expensive, but it works well.

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Old 06-20-2011, 04:09 PM   #28
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I was just doing some searching for testing labs. I was thinking of maybe trying to have some samples analyzed for bacteria. Does anyone have any experience in this area in regards to cost or effectiveness?

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Old 06-20-2011, 04:43 PM   #29
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It would be more likely this is a wild yeast - fungus problem rather than a bacteria if the buttery smell of diacetyl and sourness do not develop.
Typical CIP systems use 5% sodium hydroxide solution followed by phosphoric acid rinse to remove caustic residue film from piping.

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Old 06-20-2011, 05:01 PM   #30
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One more thing to consider. A friend of mine warned that the acidity of StarSan will attack the soft copper. Intellictually I agreed but in practice I never really cared. Until I saw the effects first hand. I often keep a kettle full of recently used starSans in one of my kettles until the next time I brew. Once I forgot to take the little copper do-dad that I built to get the last bit of wort from below the valve and left it in the kettle for a full week (or so). When I went to brew again, I discovered that it was severely pitted and corroded looking.

If you're using StarSans to sanitize your CFC you might be beating up the internal copper... It could even be a little leaky where it's burnt through from the inner coil to the outer! Ever since I discovered the beating that copper took, I have limited my sanitize recirc of my CFC to 5 minutes or less. Mr. Talley says that you only need 30 sec contact time...

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