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Old 03-16-2011, 09:38 AM   #21
Chuginator
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Thanks, Mack- I will try the kosher salt! For the first two experimental batches, I used One Step. I'd been using One Step and/or bleach in years prior (in completely different equipment), with the same flavor defects emerging. I am now using Star San exclusively, but haven't tasted the batches made with that yet- that will be a couple of weeks away.

Studmonk3y, I've read the same thing, hence the switch. I figured that since I'd been running into the same problems even when brewing with completely different ingredients and equipment that the common factor is ... me (I wasn't joking when I said I might have to wear gloves and a mask!).

I'm picking up some helpful hints - such as cold crashing before bottling. All good stuff that this old-timer never did back in the 90's, and am looking forward to trying it out. Even after I finally get a good batch I hope to have kept good enough records to go back, identify what I did right, then repeat two 1-gallon batches (one using the right way, the other the wrong way) in an effort to confirm the findings. The cost and time of knowingly producing another bad batch is insignificant (and hell, it's only one gallon); it will be so worth it!

I'd like to brew another two batches this weekend, in order to keep the pipeline going. Considering it takes 6+ weeks to determine the results of the batch (and a busy spring/summer is approaching rapidly), I'd better put my nose to the grindstone. I want to have this problem figured out for a single entry to a small competition this summer, but more importantly - for this coming fall when I can hopefully go back to the all-grain world and ramp back up to 5-gallon batches.

Thanks again, guys- I appreciate the input.

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Old 03-28-2011, 03:37 PM   #22
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Bottled two one-gallon batches yesterday - the first ones using Star San. Had a taste test, and at this stage anyway, NO PROBLEMS!!! I FINALLY FIGURED IT OUT! In the batches previous, I could already detect the off-flavors at bottling time, so I'm confident that insufficient sanitation (using One Step) was the problem.

One Step can take a hike.

I'm one happy guy!! I can finally start thinking about going back to all-grain.

Thanks for all that replied.

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Old 03-28-2011, 04:04 PM   #23
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Chuginator View Post
WOW. Thanks, guys! This place rocks!

I'm using One Step as a sanitizer, figuring that my use of bleach in the past may have been a contributor to phenolics.

I think I will indeed try another batch, but be even MORE paranoid about sanitization (maybe I should wear a mask?!), and drop those fermentation temps. At 64-68F, would I be looking at a two-week fermentation?

Would you also recommend that I rack or not rack after one week? The reason I didn't on this batch is because I didn't want to introduce any more risk of contamination.
don't get too paranoid - just make sure its clean and sanitary and you'll be fine, its not a hospital. and don't be afraid to leave it on the yeast for longer... i would never entertain racking off the yeast in a week.

i know beers can be built quickly and i've had some attenuate out very fast, but even those stay a minimum of two weeks in primary before i move them to conditioning/secondary/whateveryouwanttocallit...
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Old 03-28-2011, 04:10 PM   #24
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Thanks for that input - after doing a lot more reading, I've since adopted a three week ferementation period in primary with no racking to secondary. Then in bottles for another three weeks, then it hits the refrigerator.

I'd read about cold crashing the fermenter before bottling, which I will try next time - I forgot about it on yesterday's bottling.

DAMN I'M HAPPY!!! I can successfully brew beer again. I was starting to get pretty down about it.

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Old 03-28-2011, 04:24 PM   #25
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It has a distinct Belgian wang to it
huhuhuhuh.......
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