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Old 10-21-2010, 02:55 PM   #1
Fletch78
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Default Couple Issues: AG #2

I bottled my second AG yesterday and again, I'm disappointed.

I noticed the strong cat-piss aroma again, it's the same odor I blamed on Simcoe Hops for my first AG batch (bottled a month ago, and tasted a bottle yesterday and the cat piss is still there). I only used Citra and Amarillo in this second batch.

I'm trying to think of what I did the same in both batches. The grains, the LHBS, the yeast, ferm temp, pretty much everything was different batch 1 to batch 2.

Here's what was the same:

-Lots of Amarillo, some dry-hopped.
-Bleach used as sanitizer
-Same primary vessel

After listening to the podcast from a couple years ago about going 50 ppm hydrochlorite into water, then adding same amount of vinegar for ph to make it more toxic in small concentrations for a no-rinse sanitizer, I'll be doing that from now on. But I just found that podcast yesterday, after it's too late. Is it possible that trace amounts of the bleach from sanitizing the primary bucket would have this strong of an impact in a heavily dry-hopped beer?

I'll post the exact recipes if any of you think it's relevant. Thanks!

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Old 10-21-2010, 03:04 PM   #2
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I don't like overly hopped beers. I've had an all Amarillo IPA once and it did smell a little like cat piss to me and that thing was a commercial offering, not something that was straight out of the fermenter and in the bottle, so the aroma had the time to fade quite a bit.

You are using very citrus oriented hops. I would try using something like EKG that is a lot more grassy to see if I still have the cat piss problem.

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Old 10-21-2010, 03:06 PM   #3
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I would stop using bleach, and toss the primary if it's plastic.

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Old 10-21-2010, 03:12 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jfr1111 View Post
I don't like overly hopped beers. I've had an all Amarillo IPA once and it did smell a little like cat piss to me and that thing was a commercial offering, not something that was straight out of the fermenter and in the bottle, so the aroma had the time to fade quite a bit.

You are using very citrus oriented hops. I would try using something like EKG that is a lot more grassy to see if I still have the cat piss problem.
The curve ball in all this was batch #1, with alot of Simcoe and Amarillo, the aroma from the airlock during dryhop was amazing, exactly what I was going for, the "Perfect Beer" if you know what I mean. But somewhere between dry-hop and bottle and pint glass, something was lost in translation.

I'll switch out my fermenter, change sanitizer. Also, each batch was 3 oz total of dryhops, perhaps I'll pull that back to 1 oz.
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Old 10-21-2010, 03:20 PM   #5
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Fletch, FWIW I normally use unscented oxy/sunclean for a cleaner then star san for a sanitizer.

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Old 10-21-2010, 03:28 PM   #6
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You might think about only changing one element at a
time to better figure out the problem.
MB

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Old 10-21-2010, 03:48 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by smokjunkee View Post
You might think about only changing one element at a
time to better figure out the problem.
MB
I agree 100% with this. If I was having issues isolating the undesirable tastes. I would get some 1 gallon jugs. If you know people that like wine it will help get rid of it. I would also do some cooking with it...maybe even a freebie mulled wine party for friends and family. Then start with some SMaSH recipes. That should point the guilty finger at what you are not liking...

It is better to do up 5 1 gallon batches to know what the problem is and dump/give away 1 or 2 than to dump/give away a 5 gallon batch...IMO.
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Old 10-21-2010, 04:02 PM   #8
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First, I'd stop using bleach. Clean with PBW or Oxiclean and Sanitize with StarSan or Iodophor, they are so cheap it's almost foolish not to use the purpose made No-Rinse Sanitizers.

The above being said, I think your problem is probably the hops. I'll echo the above suggestion and tell you to stay away from the American Citrusy hops, they arent' for everyone.

In addition, can you tell me how long your second batch was in bottles/keg/primary/secondary? Amarillo doesn't really strike me as "Catty" but Simcoe is from start to finish.

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Old 10-21-2010, 04:26 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wyzazz View Post
First, I'd stop using bleach. Clean with PBW or Oxiclean and Sanitize with StarSan or Iodophor, they are so cheap it's almost foolish not to use the purpose made No-Rinse Sanitizers.

The above being said, I think your problem is probably the hops. I'll echo the above suggestion and tell you to stay away from the American Citrusy hops, they arent' for everyone.

In addition, can you tell me how long your second batch was in bottles/keg/primary/secondary? Amarillo doesn't really strike me as "Catty" but Simcoe is from start to finish.
Batch #2: Primary about 18 days then bottled yesterday. The dryhop was for about 8 days.

I've never had a commercial IPA that I didn't like. So I assumed I'd like the C-hops that are so prevalent.
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Old 10-21-2010, 04:33 PM   #10
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Anyone else think that maybe tannins could be confused with cat piss? That's just a thought, and would make me look at the sparge process.......I agree though that it may well be the hops, and also with changing one thing at a time to find out the cause.

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