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Old 09-08-2012, 01:28 AM   #1
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Default 2 infections in a row what am i doing wrong?

My last 2 batches were both ipas and they both tasted like the same infection. It tastes like medicinal burning rubber smell and taste. The first one tasted infected after fermentation was complete. I really sanitzed well before my next batch and it tasted amazing after fermentation. I was very happy, and then I dry hopped it and one week later I went to rack it to my keg and it had that same infection taste. The beer itself does not look infected nothing weird growing in it. Any advice on what it is and what to do next.

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Old 09-08-2012, 01:46 AM   #2
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From the BJCP Study Guide (hope this helps):

This is an aroma and taste often compared to Band-aids (tm), medicine chest or disinfectant. Chlorophenols are particularly offensive members of this family with bleach-like flavors in addition to the ones listed above. High levels of phenols are generally produced by bacteria or wild yeast, both of which indicate a sanitation problem. Phenols may also be extracted from grain husks by overcrushing, oversparging or sparging with hot or alkaline water. Chlorinated water or sanitizer residue are possible sources of chlorophenols.

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Old 09-08-2012, 02:06 AM   #3
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What water are you using/do you filter or treat it? Was there visual evidence of infection?

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Old 09-08-2012, 02:47 AM   #4
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There was no visual infection and i use tap water treated with campden tablet. My most recent batch tasted great after 7 days and then infected after dry hopping was done on day 14.

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Old 09-08-2012, 01:08 PM   #5
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camden tablets...guess its not chlorophenols. There could be lots of things going on in your process, dont assume its infection. Unless your equipment is carrying the infection from batch to batch then your problem likely lies elsewhere, given that its a consistent issue.

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Old 09-08-2012, 01:17 PM   #6
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Any ideas on where I should start. After the first infection I upped my sanitation. You mentioned it may not be infected so would that mean wild yeast or something else?

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Old 09-08-2012, 02:47 PM   #7
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It's doubtfully wild yeast, but it may be. Chlorophenols are usually water or infection based, more often water though. What is your sanitation regimen? How much chlorine and chloromine are in your tap water? Campden should knock those out, but maybe the amount you're using isn't enough to treat your tap water.

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Old 09-08-2012, 02:50 PM   #8
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Sounds like my summer beers before I got temp controlled fermentation.

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Old 09-08-2012, 02:59 PM   #9
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I clean with oxyclean and then soak and spray equipment with onestep. I don't know the levels in my water and haven't been brewing in this city all that long. I have downtown omaha tap water and use 1/4 campden tablet for 7 gallons of water. I had been fermenting in the summer around 75 degrees but my last batch I temp controlled in a fridge at 65.

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Old 09-08-2012, 03:38 PM   #10
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I soak and spray equipment with onestep.
I know, I know, OneStep is s'posedly a 'no rinse'..... but..... and try this for yourself, it'll leave a very thin film behind after drying. I've been through this myself, when I got my startup kit, it came with OneStep as a no rinse, all purpose cleaner/sanitizer. I used it as such and most of the time had no problems with any flavor. But, a few batches in I tasted a plastic-y flavor, it tasted like my bucket. I fermented the next batch in glass, paying extra attention to cleaning and sanitizing (with OneStep). Got the flavor again. Thought maybe a low level infection had gotten my equipment, so I replaced all plastic; bungs, airlocks, racking cane and tube, got a new bucket (luckily, I'd recently started and didn't have a ton to replace). Needless to say, got the same thing a couple batches down the road. Did some reading and asking around and decided to start using StarSan (no rinse, acid based sanitizer). Started using the OneStep to clean/soak/scrub and the StarSan to rinse and sanitize. I still do that to this day, although I interchange Oxy Free and OneStep regularly, and I haven't tasted that flavor since.
I don't know exactly what your flavor is, or what's causing it, but the OneStep as a sanitizer comment jumped out at me. Everything else is one par, campden in the water, cleaning and sanitizing is good (OneStep sanitizes well, just needs to be rinsed IME). Something to consider. Good luck.
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