Spike Brewing 12.5 Conical Fermenter Giveaway!

Home Brew Forums > Home Brewing Beer > General Techniques > Help ID bitter off-flavor (taste like tonic)

Reply
 
LinkBack Thread Tools
Old 10-11-2012, 03:54 AM   #31
brewzombie
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Oct 2010
Location: Vancouver, BC Canada
Posts: 218
Liked 1 Times on 1 Posts

Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by lou2row View Post
If you go with bleach (and you might as well try before pitching everything) here is what we were told by the EPA to use to disinfect equipment and for sampling: 30 mls bleach in 1 gallon is around 400 mg/L. This will not harm faucets or fixtures, but will disinfect very well. It rinses easily and can be used throughout brewing area in case air born yeast/bacteria are elevated. Making a five gallon batch will let you soak everything overnight.
Also, try getting a hydrometer reading at bottling, then do a hydro reading a month later on a bad batch. See if your number drops much lower. This could help you discern if it is a bacteria/yeast that is the cause.

Do your bottles develop a ring around the inside of the neck at the beer level?
Lou2row: Assuming you're directing your comment to me, I did end up using bleach, but only 1 oz (30mL) per gal, in combination with 1 oz vinegar per gal. I only soaked about 1 hr, but other posts suggested this would work well.

I'll take a hydrometer reading at bottling, but I guess I'll have to let a bottle get flat to take a hydrometer reading after carbonation. I assume you're looking for the FG to keep dropping as a sign of infection.

I did not notice a ring in the bottles with this last batch (which had the flavour). However, they have conditioned 3 weeks and been in the fridge for several weeks if that makes a difference. Would a ring be a sign of an infection?
__________________

"glaaahhrb!"

brewzombie is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 10-11-2012, 04:00 AM   #32
brewzombie
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Oct 2010
Location: Vancouver, BC Canada
Posts: 218
Liked 1 Times on 1 Posts

Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by helibrewer View Post
Take a very close look at your water, in particular Sodium, Sulfate, and Chloride....also your alkalinity. Also get a pH of your mash. Acidifying your sparge water to between 5-6 pH also helps. You have tried a lot of things and it appears water is the common factor.
Hi Helibrewer: Water is one of the things I'm playing with. My water is essentially RO (super soft tap water treated with campden in the mash/sparge and CaCl2 and CaSO4 in the kettle). The mash pH was predicted at 5.4. I do not acidify my sparge water. Should I? My tap water has a pH of 7, but no dissolved buffers to hold a low pH. I could add the CaSO4 to the sparge water maybe... I'll buy a pH meter one day.
__________________

"glaaahhrb!"

brewzombie is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 10-11-2012, 05:02 AM   #33
kylevester
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Apr 2012
Location: Lafayette, IN
Posts: 226
Liked 15 Times on 12 Posts
Likes Given: 7

Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by brewzombie View Post
Hi Helibrewer: Water is one of the things I'm playing with. My water is essentially RO (super soft tap water treated with campden in the mash/sparge and CaCl2 and CaSO4 in the kettle). The mash pH was predicted at 5.4. I do not acidify my sparge water. Should I? My tap water has a pH of 7, but no dissolved buffers to hold a low pH. I could add the CaSO4 to the sparge water maybe... I'll buy a pH meter one day.
Your tap water should be pH 7 or so, EPA rules.

Soft due to a traditional ion exchange water softener or an RO system or just a natural water source that's soft?

An ion exchange system will give you lots of sodium ions and can adversely affect your beer. If you're starting with a very hard water source, you'll get a beer that tastes like salt.
__________________
kylevester is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 10-11-2012, 06:38 AM   #34
brewzombie
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Oct 2010
Location: Vancouver, BC Canada
Posts: 218
Liked 1 Times on 1 Posts

Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by kylevester View Post
Your tap water should be pH 7 or so, EPA rules.

Soft due to a traditional ion exchange water softener or an RO system or just a natural water source that's soft?

An ion exchange system will give you lots of sodium ions and can adversely affect your beer. If you're starting with a very hard water source, you'll get a beer that tastes like salt.
My intended point with the sparge water comment was that the water has insignificant alkalinity (and neutral pH) so I shouldn't need to acidify it. At least, that's what I read here on the forum.

In answer to your question, my water is naturally soft (essentially RO) straight from the tap. No sodium issues.
__________________

"glaaahhrb!"

brewzombie is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 10-14-2012, 10:25 PM   #35
YZ250
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Oct 2012
Location: Sydney, NSW
Posts: 12
Default

Hey Brewzombie,

Do you cold crash your beers before bottling or do you bottle at 18 or 20 degrees? (celcius) The fault in mine is always more pronounced when the beer is clear, cold and carbed....however doesnt get worse or better with age (have a pale ale thats 3 or 4 months in the keg and its as bad as the day I kegged it).

I had my mate around on the weekend and he concurred that it was the same fault in all the beers (I gave him 5) and he also concurred that the fault seems to be getting less pronounced with each batch I brew, which is something I noticed when I went through my brew log the other day. This is in line with a tip I got on another thread on this forum - that my brewkit is contaminated.

I mentioned earlier that I made my brewkit myself, what I didnt mention is that after stainless welding you need to passivate the welds or they will rust. I did this with a commercial passivating gel thats highly acidic. Theres a chance I didnt wash it off thoroughly enough and thats whats causing my problems. Soaked the kit in a basic soloution to neutralise any acid over the weekend and will brew again soon and keep you posted.

__________________
YZ250 is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 10-14-2012, 11:58 PM   #36
brewzombie
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Oct 2010
Location: Vancouver, BC Canada
Posts: 218
Liked 1 Times on 1 Posts

Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by YZ250 View Post
Hey Brewzombie,

Do you cold crash your beers before bottling or do you bottle at 18 or 20 degrees? (celcius) The fault in mine is always more pronounced when the beer is clear, cold and carbed....however doesnt get worse or better with age (have a pale ale thats 3 or 4 months in the keg and its as bad as the day I kegged it).
Hi YZ250. I don't cold crash before bottling (no means to do so), but I would say the fault does seem to worsen once carbed/chilled. It usually worsens with aging though.

Quote:
Originally Posted by YZ250 View Post
I had my mate around on the weekend and he concurred that it was the same fault in all the beers (I gave him 5) and he also concurred that the fault seems to be getting less pronounced with each batch I brew, which is something I noticed when I went through my brew log the other day. This is in line with a tip I got on another thread on this forum - that my brewkit is contaminated.

I mentioned earlier that I made my brewkit myself, what I didnt mention is that after stainless welding you need to passivate the welds or they will rust. I did this with a commercial passivating gel thats highly acidic. Theres a chance I didnt wash it off thoroughly enough and thats whats causing my problems. Soaked the kit in a basic soloution to neutralise any acid over the weekend and will brew again soon and keep you posted.
So you're saying you may have an acidic residue that is being partially removed with each batch you brew? I hope for your sake that is your problem. I'm using a homemade cooler with SS braid for a mashtun and an aluminum pot for a brew kettle. I don't have any welds so that's not a possibility for me. My off-flavour has diminished somewhat recently, but I chalk that up to my diligence in improving my process.

I just bottled this past weekend and wasn't sure whether I detected anything before bottling. I usually don't notice much of anything, but my brew buddy and I agreed that there was "something" there, but neither of us can really put it into words. We'll have to wait and see if it develops into the strong tonic bitterness that is so familiar after 3 weeks of bottle conditioning and a few days in the fridge. I'll report back when I know.
__________________

"glaaahhrb!"

brewzombie is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 10-15-2012, 01:26 AM   #37
BryanJ
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Jan 2010
Location: Ithaca, N.Y.
Posts: 284
Liked 5 Times on 5 Posts

Default

Do you use an electric heating element for the boil?

__________________
BryanJ is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 10-15-2012, 05:43 AM   #38
brewzombie
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Oct 2010
Location: Vancouver, BC Canada
Posts: 218
Liked 1 Times on 1 Posts

Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by BryanJ View Post
Do you use an electric heating element for the boil?
No. I use a propane burner and try to maintain a vigorous boil.
__________________

"glaaahhrb!"

brewzombie is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 10-15-2012, 05:55 AM   #39
helibrewer
HBT_SUPPORTER.png
Feedback Score: 1 reviews
 
helibrewer's Avatar
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Nov 2011
Location: Santa Rosa, CA
Posts: 3,102
Liked 181 Times on 165 Posts
Likes Given: 39

Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by brewzombie View Post
My intended point with the sparge water comment was that the water has insignificant alkalinity (and neutral pH) so I shouldn't need to acidify it. At least, that's what I read here on the forum.

In answer to your question, my water is naturally soft (essentially RO) straight from the tap. No sodium issues.
Acidifying the sparge water keeps the pH low while straining the grains, helping to prevent tannin extraction. You lose significant buffering after the first runnings.
__________________
Something is always fermenting....
"It's Bahl Hornin'"

Primary:
Brite Tank/Lagering:
Kegged: Hefeweizen, Chocolate Hazelnut Porter, Kumquat Saison, Tart Cherry Cider, Belgian Tripel, Maibock Bock, Ommegang Abbey Ale Clone, Belgian Golden Strong, German Pils (WLP830)
Bottled: Belgian Quad (Grand Reserve), Derangement (Belgian Dark Strong)
On Deck:
My Site: www.restlesscellars.com
helibrewer is offline
SeanRRogers Likes This 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 10-15-2012, 09:44 PM   #40
brewzombie
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Oct 2010
Location: Vancouver, BC Canada
Posts: 218
Liked 1 Times on 1 Posts

Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by helibrewer View Post
Acidifying the sparge water keeps the pH low while straining the grains, helping to prevent tannin extraction. You lose significant buffering after the first runnings.
I completely get what you mean. How would you propose I do so without a pH meter and without any real buffering capacity in my sparge water to start with? Remember the buffering capacity of my sparge water itself is essentially zero. My thinking is that since I batch sparge and my water has no alkalinity to raise the pH that I'll be fine without acidifying it (ie the remaining buffering capacity of the highly diluted wort will suffice). I usually just run off the first runnings then do a single batch sparge. I've considered doing 2 instead (for efficiency reasons), but haven't tried it yet. If you still think I have a problem, I'd be happy to try acidifying if you can recommend a foolproof way without overshooting the target pH without a pH meter.
__________________

"glaaahhrb!"

brewzombie is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Reply


Quick Reply
Message:
Options
Thread Tools


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Help with Off Flavor - Last IPA and Pale Ale taste Sour, Belgian-like BrewThruYou General Techniques 11 05-21-2012 01:32 PM
Off Flavor Advice (Pool flavor?) Mishkan General Techniques 12 06-17-2011 11:32 PM
Help with my Bitter, Please! TriggerDog General Techniques 7 08-11-2010 04:44 AM
off flavor taste help mlucia General Techniques 1 04-24-2009 02:57 AM
Bitter astringent/tannin flavor Phan71 General Techniques 6 07-29-2007 11:28 PM