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Old 10-19-2010, 07:27 PM   #1
jjones17
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Default Red Hook Clone - Rubbery taste?

Hi fellow brewers,

I have many all grain, PM, and extract batch recipes under the belt - enough that I have had to buy a new belt so-to-speak.

Many of the beers I make are pretty good IMO, not blowing my own horn just stating the obvious. Most of the beers people love.

The only 2 that have given me trouble was a scottish beer, and an ESB. A month or so ago I decided to try to brew another ESB to see if I could get it right. I did the "Red Hook" clone from HBT recipe database, and I used the liquid london ESB yeast from wyeast. It was a smack pack, the pack was a good 6 months old perhaps more (I wish I knew for sure, but I don't).

Anyway, I bottled it yesterday and it had a strong 'rubbery' taste to it. I have never had this before, and upon researching this it looks like that may indicate phenols - typically from high pitching temps, or infection. Some mention it could be from dead yeast (autoylsis or however you spell it). I pitched the yeast around 65F and fermented around 63F with 3 weeks on primary trub, and I am pretty anal about my sanitation and cleaning. i regularly use unscented oxyclean to clean, and diversol to sanitize and I have never had problems. I used a glass carboy.

What I am suspecting here is that the yeast I used was not all that viable. In fact, I worry it may have been mostly dead. I remember smacking the pack and it taking a good few hours to swell. It really did not swell all that much, and I only brewed a 2.5 gallon batch so I figured it was ok.

Honestly, this is my second stab at using liquid yeast and was a bit worried about waiting too long before pitching. When I pitched, it smelled like yeast I guess - noting now that the beer smells quite a bit like the way the smack pack smelled.

I did not dump the beer, I will give it a month or so to see if that flavor goes away. Has anyone else experienced this before? Any words of wisdom or tips are welcome.

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Old 10-19-2010, 10:33 PM   #2
madavis25
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Could be chlorophenols which can come chlorinated water if you used water straight from the tap. I had a band aid flavor once, even though I didn't do anything different. I usually use straight tap water without letting it sit. After that, I took apart all my kegs and cleaned and sanitized all the little parts. I haven't had the problem since.

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Old 10-20-2010, 01:42 AM   #3
Homebrewtastic
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Could well be skunk caused by lights.

If it's phenols it could be caused by using chlorine based cleaners in your vessels. Might also be the Ph level of your water. But that's unlikely if you haven't had this problem before and have been using the same water.

Yeast also produce phenols. That's the clove like character you get in a nice Belgian ale. But again, some phenols come off as plasticy/rubbery.

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Old 10-20-2010, 06:52 PM   #4
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I do not think it is skunked, just given the fact I changed nothing since my last brews. The water does not seem to point to it either, this was a full boil and I have always used tap water. Now, if my NEXT brew (which will be ready to bottle ina week) tastes the same, then I can narrow it down.

Right now I am thinking the yeast, wondering if it might settle out. Hoping... would love a good ESB for winter that I do not have to buy

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