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Old 06-01-2010, 04:37 PM   #1
Judochop
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Default Something went very wrong - paint strainer or sauce pan?

Brewed an IPA (style not relevant to the subject except for additional sympathy extraction) that turned caustic. The only 2 things I changed in my recipe/procedures were:

1) Switched to dry yeast (Safale-05) for the first time
2) The use of a 5-gallon (nylon?) paint strainer I bought from Lowes.

I didn’t do anything weird with the yeast, I don’t think. I boiled 2 cups of water, let cool to 75’ish, and rehydrated yeast with water in a sanitized ziplock bag. I smooshed the bag all around with my fingers to fully rehydrate. I picked up this technique from BrewStrong – I think Palmer specifically – so I ought to be fine in that regard for heaven's sakes. There just one point of concern I do have, and that is that I kept forgetting I was boiling water upstairs and let my Calphelon “no-stick” sauce pan boil dry a couple of times before I got my head straight. I’m not sure what raw heat to a non-stick does. Maybe something bad? Maybe something was leaching from my sauce pan into my rehydration water, and thus my Safale-05 was doomed from the start?

As for the nylon paint-strainer bag, I’ve searched high and low on the forums and have found no words of warning here. Everyone says, “just go to Lowes and buy a paint strainer bag”, so that’s what I did. The package doesn’t say “Nylon” anywhere on it though, and I wasn’t able to find the manufacturer online for more details. It does say “with elastic”, but I presumed (perhaps incorrectly) that that only refers to the stretchy band across the top rim of the bag. I did NOT let that part into the wort – I kept it clear, binder-clipped to the edge of the kettle.

The beer was totally foul. The flavor was similar to the beers I was making when I was using a chemically-treated garden hose to dispense my brewing water, but twice as nasty. I’ve not had any off-flavors in the 8 or so batches I’ve brewed since the hose days, so I am ruling out basic sanitation/oxidation issues. I am 90% confident I introduced an infidel chemical at some point.

Anybody know their Calphelon stuff? Anybody rehydrate dry yeast in a ziplock? Anybody been to Lowes for a hop bag recently? Any thoughts either way?

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Old 06-01-2010, 05:21 PM   #2
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Non-stick can release some nasty vapors if overheated. Not sure what temp that is, and whether or not you will taste it. Did you smell anything when the non-stick was real hot?

I highly doubt Safale-05 was a cause.

5 gallon paint bags are what most people are referring to, and most likely what you got.

Did you use a different water? Could your area water supply possibly have changed? Fermentation temps different?

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Old 06-01-2010, 05:27 PM   #3
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Non stick coating starts to degradate around 600 I believe.

What sanitizer do you use. I have used way to much iodophor in the past and it imparted a medicinal/ hose like taste to that keg of beer.

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Old 06-01-2010, 05:31 PM   #4
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This won't be of much help but I would like to say that I have been using US-05 for 95% of my brews and the paint strainer for 100% of my brew over the past year or so and haven't had any issues. I have even used the ziplock technique to hydrate.

Even if the pan led to some off flavors I would guess that it wouldn't result in the yeast not working properly. If anything it would make the water taste off but when your talking about two cups in an entire batch I can't see how it would make a dramatic impact on the flavor (especially an IPA).

Just my two cents.

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Old 06-01-2010, 05:37 PM   #5
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I suppose I smelled a little bit from the sauce pan, but I interpreted that as just 'heat'. No idea if I reached 600 or not, but it was pretty damned hot! It was sitting on simmer for 20 minutes or so without water, I reckon.

I use StarSan, and I have a batch of solution premade.

I used my same ol' water I always use (not from the hose, obviously). I'm in Chicago, so it's the water every one of us here is using. I think it'd have made the front page of the forums if all of sudden every homebrew using Lake Michigan water turned foul!

My ferm temps were pretty darned good, if I do say so myself. I started @ 66 for a day, went up to 68 for four more days, then I raised it to 75'ish for a couple more to ensure a solid finish. 75 is at the high end, but esters should have already been worked out by then, and more to the point, what I was tasting was certainly not esters.

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Old 06-01-2010, 05:38 PM   #6
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I definetly think it was the overheated non-stick sauce pan. My wife has a parrot and the vet warned her not to use non-stick cookware anywhere near the bird because the fumes can kill it if the pot is overheated. It's also not good for us humans but probably not kill us. Most non-stick is made from PTFE or teflon and the toxins given off when overheated are odorless. If it can kill a bird and make a human sick imagine how it could make your beer taste.

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Old 06-01-2010, 05:42 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BuonAnno View Post
This won't be of much help but I would like to say that I have been using US-05 for 95% of my brews and the paint strainer for 100% of my brew over the past year or so and haven't had any issues.
Yeah, that seems to be the case. Noboby seems to blame the paint strainer. I just wonder if Lowes changed their line recently.
Quote:
Even if the pan led to some off flavors I would guess that it wouldn't result in the yeast not working properly. If anything it would make the water taste off but when your talking about two cups in an entire batch I can't see how it would make a dramatic impact on the flavor (especially an IPA).
I'm sure that there are certain chemicals which if added to wort, even in a small quantity, would wreak havoc with a beer during fermentation. Whether or not those kinds of chemicals are found in 'no-stick', I haven't the foggiest idea though.
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Old 06-01-2010, 05:45 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sawdustguy View Post
I definetly think it was the overheated non-stick sauce pan. My wife has a parrot and the vet warned her not to use non-stick cookware anywhere near the bird because the fumes can kill it if the pot is overseated. It's also not good for us humans but probably not kill us. Most non-stick is made from PTFE or teflon and the toxins given off when overheated are odorless. If it can kill a bird and make a human sick imagine how it could make your beer taste.
I don't have to imagine!



Thanks for the vote, Guy. This is where I'm leaning too. Right or wrong, I'm getting a new pot.
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Old 06-03-2010, 02:23 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BuonAnno View Post
Even if the pan led to some off flavors I would guess that it wouldn't result in the yeast not working properly. If anything it would make the water taste off but when your talking about two cups in an entire batch I can't see how it would make a dramatic impact on the flavor (especially an IPA).

Just my two cents.
A toxic two cups of water rehydrating the yeast def would be an issue. The yeasties are waking up and taking all that in so every cell has whatever that water had. That is what I'd blame. I always boil mine in a elcheapo stainless pot for that reason.
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Old 06-03-2010, 01:50 PM   #10
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the paint strainers I bought really smelled chemically. I boiled them in a couple changes of water before I used them - they smelled neutral after that. Could that have contributed?

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