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Old 05-15-2012, 01:11 AM   #1
blackdogbrewer
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Default Consistent Off-Flavor after Secondary Transfer

My brew buddy and I have been running into the same problem for the past 4 batches now (two reds, and esb, and a saison).

For background, we use iodine to sanitize following the no rinse concentration, plastic tubing and racking cane, both primary and secondary are fermented in glass carboy's, and aim for at little splashing as possible during transfer.

We brew the batch, it tastes great after primary fermentation (still young of course, but no noticeable off-flavors), then when we open up the carboy after secondary to keg and we get the same off-flavor, just different intensities. It is a metallic, bitter taste. Everything I read about possible sources say it could be the result of a bad pot. We do boil tap water in an enamel pot but brew in a stainless pot, but I would think if the problem was in the pot it would be present the whole time, not just after secondary fermentation.

We are stumped as to why we are getting this off flavor. We have been able to reduce the intensity of flavor but it is still there, and only present after secondary. Does it need more time in primary?, fermentation temp too low? Has anyone else had this problem and found a way to fix it?

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Old 05-15-2012, 01:16 AM   #2
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Skip the secondary all together. Give the brew long enough in primary to be ready for drinking (except for carbonation) and then transfer to serving keg. I would even get one of the red carboy caps and fit it so that you can transfer with a CO2 push. Fit the other end of the tube (from the racking cane) with a liquid QD and transfer into keg via the liquid post.

I did that for a batch of mead that was in a glass carboy, as well as initially with my sanke fermenters. Now I have both gas and liquid posts to use on the fermenter, so it's even easier.

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Old 05-15-2012, 02:13 AM   #3
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Why the iodine? It shouldn't be required after the no rinse Sanitizer. Your metallic taste sounds like improperly rinsed iodine.

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Old 05-15-2012, 02:23 AM   #4
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Try using StarSan for a few batches (at least) and see if you get the same flavors... Although I'm sticking to my comment about skipping racking to secondary. I've used the no secondary method for over 30 batches without issue. I ONLY rack to another vessel for aging on elements that do best off the yeast, or to get off of one (to stop it's contribution) before adding another. That's for my beers, mead is different.

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Old 05-15-2012, 02:31 AM   #5
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My $.02 ... I had what I thought was a metallic flavor too, and it carried from batch to batch. It drove me crazy ...

One day, when cleaning an empty carboy, I tasted the gunk at the bottom of the keg, and sunuvabitch if it didn't taste just like the off flavor in my beer.

It was from not so careful siphoning from the fermenter to keg, taking the dregs off the bottom of the carboy and into my finished beer.

I now brew 5.5 gallon batches to I don't have to get the siphon all the way into the yeast cake just to make up my volume.

My last batch is perfect, no aftertaste whatsoever.

For what it's worth, my metallic tasting aftertaste was more pronounced when burping. I don't know why, but that's when it really came around.

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Old 05-15-2012, 02:38 AM   #6
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I agree about making sure you don't suck up the trub/sediment from the bottom of the fermenter.

I typically plan to leave 3-4 quarts behind in my fermenter when transferring to serving kegs. I have a dip tube cut to leave 3 quarts behind in fact. So far, I've not had a yeast cake go above that level (in my tall 1/4 keg fermenters). In my 50L keg fermenter, I cut it to leave 4 quarts behind, since I knew I had at least 10 gallons in there, and I had three 3 gallon kegs to fill. Worked out great.

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Old 05-15-2012, 03:54 AM   #7
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Golddiggie - did you find the yeast and trub gave off flavors? If yes, what was it?

I take it your not fermenting in bucket or glass?

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Old 05-15-2012, 04:01 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ultravista View Post
Golddiggie - did you find the yeast and trub gave off flavors? If yes, what was it?

I take it your not fermenting in bucket or glass?
No off flavors for me.. I make sure that the lines are clean when I transfer. When I was using a racking cane, and could adjust the depth, I made sure that IF I picked up anything other than beer, I pulled back up to get just clear brew. I'll probably make another dip tube to leave 1 gallon behind in my normal fermenters, at some point. Although most of the time I only have about 2qt of yeast/trub in the bottom.

I'm fermenting in 1/4 barrel sanke kegs mostly. I did one batch in a 50L keg (9 gallons out) too. I ferment my meads in 1/6 bbl kegs (just over 5 gallons) and have dip tubes for those too. After two rackings on the mead, I can use the long dip tubes, to leave very little behind. I age big brews in 25L kegs. I have two going right now. One has a 12% wee heavy and the other a ~9% old ale in it. The wee heavy has 3oz of oak cubes in it (about 3 months there so far) and the old ale has an 8" length of medium toast cherry wood honeycomb cut in it. Looking forward to moving those to serving kegs in a few more months. Might do the wee heavy soon, but haven't decided. Need to pull a taste sample first.
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On Tap: Caramel Ale, Mocha Porter II, MO SMaSH IPA
Waiting/Carbonating: 12.5% Wee Honey II, 8.9% Old Ale, English Brown Ale, Lickah ESB, Mocha Porter II
Fermenting
K1:
K2: Epic mead
K3: TripSix
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Aging:mead
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Old 05-15-2012, 03:59 PM   #9
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TBAY- I'm not using anything other than iodine to sanitize, we make the solution at a concentration that is no rinse

I think we will just skip the secondary all together for the next try, and if we end up having to use the secondary I'll make sure to stay away from the dregs. Thanks a lot everyone

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Old 05-15-2012, 10:11 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ultravista
My $.02 ... I had what I thought was a metallic flavor too, and it carried from batch to batch. It drove me crazy ...

One day, when cleaning an empty carboy, I tasted the gunk at the bottom of the keg, and sunuvabitch if it didn't taste just like the off flavor in my beer.

It was from not so careful siphoning from the fermenter to keg, taking the dregs off the bottom of the carboy and into my finished beer.

I now brew 5.5 gallon batches to I don't have to get the siphon all the way into the yeast cake just to make up my volume.

My last batch is perfect, no aftertaste whatsoever.

For what it's worth, my metallic tasting aftertaste was more pronounced when burping. I don't know why, but that's when it really came around.
This describes my last three batches!

I'm def gonna pay more attention to my racking process!
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