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Old 10-28-2009, 08:10 PM   #1
korrosion
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Default Got an off flavor

I seem to be having a problem with my hoppier beers. All of my best beers have been very malty like a Belgian Wit or Scottish Ale. Every time I make an IPA, APA or other hoppy beer I get this flavor that I thought at first was from Chlorine (polyphenols). I get it whether it is extract or all grain batches. I am now carbon filtering my water regularly and I still get it. I have even carbon filtered, boiled, then let it sit over night to remove chlorine and it's still there.

The off flavor is sort of hard to explain but I can smell it, taste it, and it comes up with a burp after I take a drink. I guess I would explain it as plasticy?

Recently I brewed two batches back to back, one American Brown Ale, and one Dark IPA. They were extract batches and known good recipes from the LHBS. The Dark IPA has this off flavor bad, the Brown Ale doesn't have it at all. I followed the exact same process on both of these and brewed them on the same day, fermented them both together at a temp controlled 65F. I did use a different yeast for each (us-05 (IPA), Cal. V(Brown)).

At this point I am wondering if it is a mineral problem with my water. I know Fort Collins has very soft water, maybe I should be adding minerals for my hoppy beers? I have also noticed that my beers don't have a nice um "smooth" hop flavor like a commercial beer but more "harsh". That is the best I can explain it.

Thanks for the help!

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Old 10-28-2009, 08:17 PM   #2
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This is a really stupid question, but are you letting them age long enough once you bottle? Everything I've made that was well-hopped has been pretty nasty until I let it sit for a good month or so. One of the brews I've done a few times tasted like pine-sol for a few weeks, then was absolutely delicious later.

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Old 10-28-2009, 08:25 PM   #3
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It seems to get a little better with age but is still detectable after a couple months. I also noticed it gets a little better as the beer warms up. Maybe that is just the malt overpowering it at that point. It really kills me on the aroma though, I just can't stand to smell my IPAs and its a travesty!

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Old 10-28-2009, 08:30 PM   #4
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I had that aroma/taste once in an ESB. It did go away, mostly. I attributed it to the US Goldings. EKG next time!!!

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Old 10-28-2009, 08:46 PM   #5
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It has happened with so many different types of hops. Off the top of my head would be; Amarillo, Cascade, Target, Northern Brewer, Centennial, etc. All of them when used in greater quantities...

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Old 10-28-2009, 08:52 PM   #6
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Maybe you don't like hops??? j/k

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Old 10-28-2009, 08:54 PM   #7
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LOL I loves them!

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Old 10-28-2009, 09:32 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by korrosion View Post
I am now carbon filtering my water regularly and I still get it. I have even carbon filtered, boiled, then let it sit over night to remove chlorine and it's still there.
None of this will get rid of chloramines. Get rid of that (and all other chlorine) with campden tablets. Also read the following article about phenolic flavors.

http://www.carolinabrewmasters.com/examstudy/Offflavors.htm#Phenolic
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Old 10-28-2009, 09:44 PM   #9
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rocketman this is great info, I think I do have the phenols. That site had a great explanation. However my city does not use chloramines, I checked into that already and forgot to mention it, sorry. Here is a copy of our water report:
http://www.fcgov.com/water/pdf/dw-chemicals.pdf).

Any other ideas that may cause phenols? I do usually use us-05 dry yeast with my hoppy beers, could this be the cause?

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Old 10-28-2009, 10:12 PM   #10
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Water reports almost never list whether they are using chloramines or not. You have get the info by talking to someone at the water department. You can also tell by filling up one white bucket (larger the better) with your tap water, and another with distilled water. If your tap water has a more greenish tint, it has chloramines. You should just do a test batch (maybe 2 gal or something) using good spring water bought at the store.

If there's still a plastic taste, it could be any of the following:

1) You're using a chlorine-based sanitizer and not rinsing with boiled water.
2) You've got a recurrent infection (I think wild yeast typically makes phenols).
3) Your malt is just bad.

You just gotta test one thing at a time to figure out what it is.

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