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Old 05-27-2010, 05:30 AM   #1
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Default rash of issues lately - most recent phenols

I recently brewed up what was looking to be a nice pale ale ala Mirror Pond. After a nice long fermentation I took a sample and it was GREAT! I dry hopped in a secondary for 10 days and re-sampled - BAD. Tasted like smoky burnt bandaids - A flavor I have not had the displeasure of having. Of course all the descriptions pointed to phenols, but none of the typical culprits made sense since the pre-dry hop sample was really good. Any ideas?

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Old 05-27-2010, 05:41 AM   #2
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So by "rash of issues lately" you mean you've experienced phenols in other recent beers? I started treating my water with campden tablets to remove chorine. Chlorine produces a bandaid flavor in beer. Levels of chlorine can change in your cities water from month-to-month. So if you have bandaid flavors in some beers and not others, it might be due to your city's water having more chlorine at that brewing time.

I suppose you could have heavily oxidized the beer during transfer and dry hopping which caused some off flavors.

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Old 05-27-2010, 03:23 PM   #3
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I have also had phenol problems lately. I think they were caused by chlorine in my tap water. I use a charcoal filter for my brewing water but I have been using tap water clean my bottles, carboys,tubing and bottling bucket etc. I have also always diluted my starsan with tap water. I started using campden tabs to solve the problem. I sure hope it works.

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Old 05-27-2010, 07:12 PM   #4
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I use campden tablets every batch. Oxidation is a possibility, but that taste did not seem like oxidation to me. I may have washed the secondary keg with too high of a concentration of iodine, but I can't be certain. I had to be in the dry hopping stage as the taste was not present prior to that. Would some wild yeast infection cause that taste?

The other problems I've had were different - an IPA whose FG was up around 1030 - I tried to pitch it on a cake but no luck in drying it. I am wondering if I did not mash long enough or the mash temp got too high. Also had an infected ESB a few months back. It has been some rough brewing lately. It seems that the more I try and tinker or advance my system, the more problems arise. Perhaps going back to one burner, simple one temp mash in a cooler and glass carboys....

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Old 07-21-2010, 05:19 AM   #5
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OK - this looks to have happened again. This time I split a 10gallon batch into 2 separate fermenters. Both have the same medicinal taste. Could I be mistaking medicinal for astringent?
Also, could not rinsing well enough after oxiclean (followed by sanitation) cause off flavors?

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Old 07-26-2010, 04:10 PM   #6
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Check your sanitation. Different infections can throw some pretty bad phenols.

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Old 07-26-2010, 06:21 PM   #7
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I would second checking out your water. I had several astringent batches recently (band-aid, plastic, gross), and I believe it started happening around the time I switched from spring water to tap water. It also occurred to me that our tap water can smell pretty chlorine-like at times. So I switched back to spring water for my last batch. If this turns out to be the factor, I'm going to invest in a charcoal filter.

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Old 07-28-2010, 03:53 PM   #8
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I actually invested in an RO system. Our tap water here can often have a very strong chlorine smell and taste. You can get some basic filter systems off ebay pretty cheap.

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Old 07-28-2010, 11:58 PM   #9
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I agree with Campden Tabs. Chlorine/ chloramine levels in water supplies fluctuate. Had a batch or 2 have a bit of that plastic taste. Since i used campden tabs, never happened again. They are also very cheap.

PREVENTATIVE MAINTENANCE= Change tubing every 6 or so months (about 10 or more batches) It's cheap, $5-$10 depending on how much. And I mean change ALL the tubing. from mash tun, from siphon, anything.. Also try changing ANY plastic equipment. I rotate plastic buckets-whether fermentation (new)/ sanitizing (old ferm pail)/ cleaning (old sanitizing pail). Get new racking tubes, auto-siphons,etc. after a year or 2 (some will say in less time). This is just preventative and most plastic products aren't that expensive.

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