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Home Brew Forums > Home Brewing Beer > General Beer Discussion > Disaster: Phenols
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Old 07-17-2013, 11:26 PM   #1
Bones1948
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Default Disaster: Phenols

Brewed an Anchor Steam ale clone (extract) by the book. Very compulsive regarding sterilization. Used Y-yeast. Beer VERY turbid after fermentation despite use of clarifying agent in last 15 minutes of boil. Cold crashed at 30 degrees for 3 days. No change in turbidity. Harsh phenolic taste like drinking a bottle of Campho-phenique. Nasty!

Any chance the phenolic taste will disappear with conditioning?

Dump it?

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Old 07-18-2013, 12:25 AM   #2
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Too early to dump. You don't mention exactly where you are at in the process but it sounds like you let it ferment out and then cold crashed it. My guess it is still very green and not carbed. If it is fermented out I would go ahead and bottle it and let it carb for 2-3 weeks and give it another try and it should be better. If you want to post your entire process we could give you an idea of where you might have picked up the off flavor.

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Old 07-18-2013, 01:48 AM   #3
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How about water? Do you filter? Chlorine / chloramines in city water can destroy a batch.

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Old 07-18-2013, 03:09 PM   #4
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REVELATION!
Back-tracked my process. I mist all surfaces of the Blichemann with Everclear to sterilize. Bro'n-Law gave me a Mason jar of Kentucky moonshine for Xmas so I used that because I wouldn't put that nasty stuff in my mouth. Strong odor of alcohol but tasted terrible. It's been sitting in the cheap /99 cent plastic spray bottle for months. This morning I misted my hand with it and the odor of alcohol was VERY faint. Faint sensation of alcohol on palate. It's my conclusion the alcohol leached/evaporated through the plastic over the past 7 months leaving only a weak solution of ETOH and water; too weak to kill all the micro-organisms. (Or most probably wife added water to it to do the kitchen windows!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Deny, deny, deny!
Verdict--Blichemann not adequately sanitized due to weak alcohol solution in mist bottle. (the Blichemann had been sitting open on the porch for several weeks catching bacteria and wild yeast. Simple wash with soap and water, rinse, then misting with the weak ETOH solution did not kill all the bugs hence the turbidity and phenolic taste.
5 gallons of elixir of the hopp down the drain.
sls

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Old 07-18-2013, 05:17 PM   #5
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And suddenly you have - ta da! - a Belgian beer!

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Old 07-18-2013, 05:46 PM   #6
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Don't dump it. Give it time and it very well might turn into a good beer. There are tons if threads on here covering this topic and it is worth waiting to see if it improves.

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Old 07-18-2013, 07:26 PM   #7
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More thoughts: The liquid in the squirt bottle is very slimy and turbid. It's now my bet the ETOH may well have reacted with the plastic in the cheap 99 cent bottle thus lowering the ETOH concentration below the minimum amount needed to kill wild yeasts hence the phenolic taste.

I won't dump it yet. The turbidity has settled an inch in the neck of the bottle. I'll store the beer and give it a taste in a month and get back with all.

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