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Old 04-05-2012, 02:59 PM   #1
joe4444
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Default Beer tastes stale even when fresh. Why?

Unless I brew something darkish or a very hoppy ipa, almost every one of my beers end up having the same exact stale taste from the moment it finishes fermenting until it is gone. The beers generally taste good, but instead of that nice full bodied backbone, they seem to have this one taste that reminds me of a BMC type taste. The most recent batch that exhibits this flavor is a pale ale that ended up at 1.010 (was aiming for 1.015, but got 82% attenuation from wlp005).

I've done all grain for about 3 years, use a charcoal filter for water, then phosphoric acid in mash to hit 5.5 room temp pH in gatorade cooler, batch sparge, full boil (although not very rolling due to weak apartment stove), use whirfloc and yeast nutrient, counterflow into a carboy, oxygenate, add stir-plated yeast starter, temperature controlled fermentation for 10 days, then another 10 days dry hop, no secondary.

I would think oxygenation, but the taste is there immediately, and there is only one transfer from the carboy to co2 filled keg, through the dip tube, no bubbles in the line.

I can not figure it out. Any ideas where this taste could be coming from?

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Old 04-05-2012, 05:04 PM   #2
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charcoal filters don't remove chloramine from your tap water...and most cities use chloramine instead of chlorine. Bind the chloramines with campden tabs for 5 minutes before you start brew day.

Oxygenation...do you decant the starter? since you have a stir plate your yeast starter is essentially very oxidized beer, thus most recommend crash cooling and decanting the funky wort and only pitching the yeast cake.

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Old 04-05-2012, 05:06 PM   #3
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Thanks for taking a stab...

I used to use campden tablets on all my previous batches for chlorine, (no chloramines in my water). Then I got the charcoal filter which I used this last time with the same stale result.

I also decant my starters.

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Old 04-05-2012, 05:09 PM   #4
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What do you sanitize with?

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Old 04-05-2012, 05:17 PM   #5
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Can you describe the taste a little bit more? You say stale at one point and BMC at another. I've not had a BMC that tastes stale...bad yes...but not stale. What do you mean when you say it tastes like BMC?

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Old 04-05-2012, 06:02 PM   #6
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I clean with oxiclean and sanitize with starsan.

I guess the taste reminds me of how a cup of BMC that has been sitting out for a day smells. I guess the best analogy is that it tastes like beer that came out of unclean taps.

I usually go straight from one beer being on tap, to running some starsan through the taps, to putting the next beer on tap. I also switched tap lines like 6 months ago, and the taste is the same as before I changed the tap lines.

It is just a faint taste, and it is more of the aftertaste, but it is always there.

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Old 04-05-2012, 06:04 PM   #7
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How fresh/old is your grain?

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Old 04-05-2012, 06:05 PM   #8
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I get my gain from brewmaster's warehouse, crushed, and usually use within a week of it arriving.

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Old 04-05-2012, 06:06 PM   #9
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Ok, so that's probably out. Ever tried bottling a batch to see if its somewhere in the kegging system?

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Old 04-05-2012, 06:15 PM   #10
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The only batch I've bottled recently is a quad, but that was so dark and full of flavor, no way you'd taste anything.

I did bottle a Belgian IPA about a year ago, and now that I think about it, I don't think it has much of a stale taste. But it was also 8.5%, hoppy with a good amount of belgian yeast character, might have hid it.

Also, the taste is so immediate after kegging (i've pulled a sample almost everyday since I hooked it up to co2), seems like it would be hard to pick up the flavor so quickly, but possible.

I did not notice the flavor in hydro sample I tasted before kegging though, so maybe it could be the lines... I'll definitely try replacing those as a cheap option.

Good idea, thanks.

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