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Old 01-09-2008, 12:10 AM   #1
DirtyMick
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Default Death by Peated Malt

Greetings to all,

I was really hoping to be enjoying a nice malty Scottish Ale in January 2008, but after a month and a half of fermenting, kegging and conditioning I have discovered that my beer has been tainted with a "Reek".
I am guessing the peated malt is responsible. Talk about being dissappointed... The beer is beautiful, great head retention perfect color, but the nose is of Band-Aids and it has a funky phenolic taste that I cannot tolerate. Here is the recipe:
6 lbs Pauls Mild Ale Malt
10 lbs Maris Otter Malt
0.5 lbs CaraPils
2.0 lbs Crystal
2.0 lbs Honey Malt
0.06 lbs (1 ounce) Simpsons PEATED Malt
0.06 lbs (1 ounce) Roasted Barley

1 oz Kent Goldings for last 60 mins

Single mash infusion @ 158 to 164 DegF

Boiled 6.5 gallons down to ~5 gallons in 120 mins.

My OG was a bit low for all the Grain ~1.090, I used Wyeast 1728 Scottish Ale Yeast to ferment it down to ~1.021 in about a month @ ~65 to 70 DegF.
I tasted the beer before kegging and the phenolic taste was noticeable, the nose was not bad however. Now after two week of aging I can't stand the stuff. All I can focus in on is the phenolic medicinal taste and the band-aid / anbesol nose that is completely overwhelming.
Is there any hope for salvage?
I was warned about Peated Malt but had no idea how potent its affects could be.
Has anyone else had a similar experience?
I am curious if the yeast has any blame in this. Anyone had a bad experience with Wyeast 1728? Could the highish fermentation temp cause this?

I am thinking of brewing the same recipe, MINUS the Peated Malt and probable changing over to an English or American Ale yeast, any suggestions or tweaks for the recipe?
Thanks in advance,
DirtyMick

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Old 01-09-2008, 12:18 AM   #2
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It doesn't sound like the peated malt, sorry to disappoint. That would be an overpowering bacon taste. I'm not good at infections yet, I've been lucky enough to not have one....yet.

Bandaid + phenolic = ?

You didn't mention, but at 1.090, this is a Strong Scotch Ale, right? Perhaps let it age for another month, minimum, to see if the funk subsides? After all, 1.090 to 1.020 is a pretty powerful beer, our 080808 RIS was 1.088 and most people are aging it 7-8 months..... Just a thought.

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Old 01-09-2008, 12:44 AM   #3
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Did you sanitize with Bleach? Star-san? Iodophor? Something else?

Quote:
http://www.howtobrew.com/section4/chapter21-2.html

Middle of the page on off flavors -

Medicinal
These flavors are often described as mediciney, Band-Aid™ like, or can be spicy like cloves. The cause are various phenols which are initially produced by the yeast. Chlorophenols result from the reaction of chlorine-based sanitizers (bleach) with phenol compounds and have very low taste thresholds. Rinsing with boiled water after sanitizing is the best way to prevent these flavors.
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Old 01-09-2008, 01:04 AM   #4
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Band-aids phenolics are usually an infection, unfortunately...

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Old 01-09-2008, 01:06 AM   #5
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I made a scotch ale with 3 oz of peated malt and has nothing close to bad flavour.

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Old 01-09-2008, 03:09 AM   #6
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I used Iodophor to sanitize the carboy used for the primary, and One Step to sanitize the Keg. But I noticed the Reek before kegging...

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Old 01-09-2008, 03:30 AM   #7
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I suspected the Peated Malt after reading
The Home Brewer's Answer Book by Ashton Lewis
He describes phenolic flavor profiles coming from either the yeast or a contamination of wild yeast, peat smoked or heavily roasted malts, or from chlorine contamination from either bleach residue or tap water...
I don't use tap water in brewing and stopped using bleach a few years ago.
The beer did not look unusual during fermentation, and I was surprised at how healthy the fermentation was. The only unusual thing I can think of was that I noticed after I had racked off the primary there was a layer in the yeast cake that looked unusually dark almost charcoal like. It was a very thin layer almost right in the middle of the yeast cake (the total sediment thickness in the bottom of the carboy was ~1.5" thick).
Maybe I got some funky yeast strain???

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Old 01-09-2008, 01:59 PM   #8
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Could be wild yeast or the high temperature. I'd give it 3-4 months. If the problem is the peat, it should start mellowing by then. [Although, it doesn't sound like the peat to me either.] My first batch of Old Bog Water used 8 ounces of peat and was undrinkable for the first year, ok the second, and now at 5 years, right tasty.

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Old 01-09-2008, 03:00 PM   #9
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One single ounce of peated shouldn't cause that. Other suspect ingredients are 2 lbs of Honey Malt (too much, but shouldn't cause medicinal or phenolic characteristics) or the Mild Ale Malt (never used it, can't speak for its integrity).

Never used 1728, so I can't help much there, but their info doesn't make me suspect it, except perhaps for the high temperature, as David said.

Quote:
Ideally suited for Scottish-style ales, and high-gravity ales of all types. Can be estery with warm fermentation temperatures.

Origin:
Flocculation: high
Attenuation: 69-73%
Temperature Range: 55-75° F (13-24° C)
Alcohol Tolerance: approximately 12% ABV
I agree that it sounds like an infection, but also that it shouldn't hurt to let it age for a bit and see if it improves.
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Old 01-09-2008, 03:32 PM   #10
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Two pounds of honey malt in a 5 gallon batch produces a flavor which, to me, tastes very strongly of tannins.

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