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Old 05-17-2012, 03:15 AM   #1
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Default Help with Off Flavor - Last IPA and Pale Ale taste Sour, Belgian-like

I entered my APA into a comp and scored a 41. Two months later, the same beer got a 18 and judges said it tasted like a Belgian, somewhat sour and I need to check my sanitation. I agree...something went wrong.

The keg didn't move since the previous comp. The other beers I bottled during that same BeerGun bottling run scored very well. So I chalked it up to a bad bottle or bad cap. Unfortunately, I'm now experiencing the same exact off flavor from a kegged IIPA.

Both beers are about 4 months old...certainly not fresh, but I wouldn't expect them to go bad like this...especially after tasting so great a few months ago.

The APA used to smell awesome, taste awesome...ton of citrus. Now, the smell is even off. I'm having a tough time describing it...the judges said Belgian-like and sour. It's definitely drinkable...but it's also definitely a unmistakable off-flavor.

Both beers were dryhopped. The IIPA for 7 days with 2oz of pellet hops. The APA with 1oz of Cascade Leaf in a bag suspended in the keg (so as the beer went down, the hop bag would no longer be in the beer). The bag was not removed.

Any help would be greatly appreciated.

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Old 05-17-2012, 02:56 PM   #2
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sounds like you have an infection somewhere. Maybe the beer gun or the tubing or just dirty bottles. Bottles previously used for homebrew are near impossible to get clean again.

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Old 05-17-2012, 03:44 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by maida7
sounds like you have an infection somewhere. Maybe the beer gun or the tubing or just dirty bottles. Bottles previously used for homebrew are near impossible to get clean again.
By that logic, carboys used for homebrew would be near impossible to get clean again..??
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Old 05-17-2012, 03:47 PM   #4
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The problem is that the DIPA never touched the BeerGun and it was never in bottles...it was kegged the entire time. And one of the beers on the same Pale Ale bottling run took 1st in its category in NHC 2012 1st round. I'm ruling out the beergun and bottles.

I think I'm getting this same off-flavor in my Rye IPA. The common denominator (besides the beer being brewed by me) is that all 3 were hoppy beers that were dryhopped.

I haven't found this off-flavor in any other beer besides these 3.

Things I'm considering:
1. Keg sanitation. I'm going to mark these kegs for a complete stripdown and OCD sanitation blast.
2. Auto-siphon and tubing. Already replaced.
3. Fermentation buckets that they were in. Will be replaced.
4. Dryhop bags. I'll be much more careful cleaning and sanitizing the strainer bags.
5. The dryhops themselves?

I want to avoid dropping a lot of money replacing all my buckets with 6.5G glass carboys.

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Old 05-17-2012, 03:55 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MrTheKing View Post
By that logic, carboys used for homebrew would be near impossible to get clean again..??
Maybe it's the pressure of carbonation or the super long amount of contact time but homebrew bottles can be really hard to get consistently clean. That's my experience. But since this guy is also having problems with his kegged beer it's probably something further up stream.
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Old 05-18-2012, 01:57 AM   #6
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Not sure where this whole bottle thing came up? I've got 22 cases of bottle accumulated over the years and they have served me well for an average of 200 gallons a year with not one infection.

I pour, rinse well, drip dry and box. On bottle day they get oxy, star San, then beer. Some of my bottles have seen probably 30 batches and they still look new and perform just as well

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Old 05-18-2012, 02:03 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by maida7

Maybe it's the pressure of carbonation or the super long amount of contact time but homebrew bottles can be really hard to get consistently clean. That's my experience. But since this guy is also having problems with his kegged beer it's probably something further up stream.
Maybe you're referring to beer stone, the hazy mineral buildup that can deposit in bottles. This is not connected to cleanliness. Bottles are quite easy to clean.
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Old 05-19-2012, 12:22 AM   #8
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Any chance you reused yeast from one batch to the other? Or we're all 3 of the problem beers made with fresh yeast? What is you current/previous method for sanitizing your hop bag? You mentioned you would change how you would do that.

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Old 05-19-2012, 12:24 AM   #9
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Make sure you are sanitizing the beer gun shaft. Not just running solution through it.

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Old 05-19-2012, 05:01 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by maida7
sounds like you have an infection somewhere. Maybe the beer gun or the tubing or just dirty bottles. Bottles previously used for homebrew are near impossible to get clean again.
I reuse bottles many times, a good soaking in oxyclean, rinse, run through the dishwasher on hi temp with vinegar poured in the bottom to remove the powdery substance left on them from the oxyclean., I run them through once or twice to remove any debris. Its easier that way. But I used to just use a scratch pad and a bottle brush with great results. Now I go the more time effective route of the oxy soak and dishwasher
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