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Old 12-06-2011, 02:15 AM   #11
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So I finally got home to the keg and let it warm up so I can get the flavors. This batch seems to have mellowed out considerably in the past 3 days. Now that I know what I'm looking for there is indeed some papery taste to it, but no where near what I was tasting before.

Is it possible that oxidation can correct itself? I did let the keg sit for a while before chilling it, so some more fermentation could have occurred but I don't see that it was enough to level out the tastes I was running into.

I appreciate all the help, and even though I have read it 1000 times and told other brewers it, I should have just relaxed and let nature do it's thing.

In the future I will defintly look into boiling the water I use to clean and rinse to make sure it's de-chlorinated as well as be a little less eager to move things into the keg.

Again I'm very happy to know it was most likely not airborne and my assumption that if it was under positive pressure it was only what was in the fermenter could be causing the issue.

Still learning and glad I am. Thanks all.

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Old 12-06-2011, 02:53 AM   #12
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Just saw your post I had a similar problem and after all was said and done it turned out to be my hops. I had a few pounds of whole hops and they got funky. so If your using whole hops that might be it.

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Old 12-06-2011, 03:07 AM   #13
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I wonder about the change from a/c to heat, causing hot dry air currents rather than cool ones blowing past your fermenter. Maybe move to another area of the basement; or put a thermometer in a glass of water, and try it for a day at a time in different spots to see if it was in a hot spot.

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Old 12-06-2011, 04:56 PM   #14
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OK a couple of things:

Boiling would help if the water is contaminated, but boiling the water to de-chlorinate will only work if they chlorinate the water by dissolving Chlorine gas into it. If instead they use Chloramine, which is pretty common, it won't remove the chlorine. Instead try adding about 1 campden tablet per 20 gallons of water, OR you can add 320mg of ascorbic acid (vitamin C) per 20 gallons and that will drop out the chlorine regardless of how the water is treated.

Also, if it is chlorine causing the issue, you should be getting a distinctive band-aid, medicinal, chloroseptic kind of aroma and flavor. Go unwrap a new band-aid and smell it, and that is close to what you get when you have chlorophenols.

Papery/cardboard/musty are indications of oxidation. Oxidation is not really going to go away over time, but I have to say it doesn't make much sense to me that you would be getting that in terms of process, unless you are getting the mythical Hot Side Aeration, which is pretty hard to get on a homebrew scale. I mean it would take you really frothing the wort while you are heating it to cause those reactions in sufficient quantity to be a problem.


Actually, I suppose that would be a good question. What is your process for chilling and aerating your wort for pitching? Also, what is your process for transferring after fermentation?

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Old 12-06-2011, 05:31 PM   #15
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Process for chilling is simply move the kettle off of the flame and hook up the hose to the IC. Once it drops down to below 80 I stir while pitching in the yeast. Nothing majorly aggressive and it generally takes about 20-30 minutes to drop from boiling thanks to the pool pump in a bucket of ice water I use for the IC.

Based on what I've read on HSA, I don't think anything I'm doing would cause that.

Transferring to the keg may be where I got some oxidation. I clean my kegs, and flush both the keg and the beer lines with starsan then leave them in the fridge under pressure until it's time to keg. when transferring from primary to keg I used a new clean and sanitized hose to siphon (no auto siphon and new racking cane) from the primary about 3 feet above the keg into the keg. I didn't leave the hose submerged and it was splashing some on the last batch so that is a possible issue.

To your point weirdboy, I didn't get anything that strong at all, and nothing like the bandaid smell if it's that pronounced then I doubt that chlorine/chloramine was the culprit.

I suppose the next step is another batch of something similar and split it into 2 primaries all cleaned and sanitized the same way. I will try putting one at a buddy's house and see if that removes any off flavors. That would at least rule out environmental aspects from the basement.

Still not sure where the culprit is, but based on the tasting last night it IS getting better. The oxidation I'm tasting may have been secondary to under pitching/stressed yeast for at least this last batch because it is indeed improving as time goes by.

All in all I'm pretty sure I'm clean in the mechanics and process side of the brew, which means it's the chemistry part that I need to focus on.

This is a decent primer for me since I'll be trying an AG batch soon and need to make sure my water is in shape for it and will have to refresh my knowledge of water conditioning at the bare minimum.

But first I'll try the split fermentation to see if that gets me any changes.

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Old 12-06-2011, 05:34 PM   #16
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If it is oxidation it can be partially mitigated with PVPP treatment. You will have to rack off the sediment after about 72 hours.

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Old 12-06-2011, 07:41 PM   #17
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You mentioned boiling with a lid on - don't do that. Also, you can minimize the chance of oxidation while kegging by putting a barbed fitting on the end of your siphon hose, attaching it to a "beer out" QDC, and filling your keg via the "beer out" post on your keg. Purge the keg with C02 first and use the relief valve to purge the keg pressure as its filling.

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Old 12-06-2011, 08:43 PM   #18
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One thing that jumps out is pitching hot, and severely underpitching. 80F is way too hot, and one vial of white labs is woefully inadequate even if you've made decent beer in the past. Both of those things could be contributing to some off flavors, and getting them under control will definitely help your beer. I think many of the flavors people are attributing to aeration could also be similar stressed yeast flavors.

Make a starter on your next batch and don't pitch until your beer is below your fermentation temperature.

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Old 12-07-2011, 02:28 AM   #19
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An alternate to making a starter is you could pitch 2 (or 3) vials, if you don't have the time or equipment, or whatever. Of course, then you are spending quite a bit on yeast...


I agree though, the first thing I would focus on would be getting my fermentation under control. Proper pitching/fermentation temps, pitching healthy amounts of yeast, make sure you are adequately aerating/oxygenating your wort before pitching, etc. You want to eliminate variables rather than thrash around trying random things. If you are splashing when transferring to the keg, that is another area where I'd get it under control. Make sure your tubing goes all the way to the bottom of the keg when you are racking, and fills up from the bottom. Again, I don't think oxidation is the smoking gun here because those flavors usually take a while to develop. However, you want your process to be as rock-solid as possible so that it is easier to identify the source.

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Old 12-07-2011, 03:39 AM   #20
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If you can run your temperatures on the higher side the Saison yeast would be a great strain to use in your next batch. It loves upper 70's...I had my Saison yeast in the 90's and it was fabulous.

Good luck. Its unlikely the beer is displaying oxidized character sense you are kegging it off so fast. What you might be experiencing could simply be yeast bite...If in two weeks the beer tastes funny it might be a flaw, or it could just be the way the beer turned out.

My first lager, I thought was plagued with DMS...but the tasting panel said it was best beer I have ever made. I think the "paper" taste is probably just a lot of yeast...Once it drops down more the beer ought to taste even better.

Your on the right track I think

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