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Old 11-28-2011, 03:56 PM   #1
bernerbrau
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Default My keg tastes terrible.

OK. I think the verdict is in.

I can't keg any of my light beers because of an unpleasant bitter taste that my kegs are imparting. With darker/hoppier beers, the hops usually mask the flavor enough that you can't really tell unless you're looking for it.

I just put my pale ale in the keg this weekend and it's there, but fortunately there's enough hops in there to salvage the beer.

Carbonating water in a soda bottle using the carb cap imparts no off flavors, so the gas and lines are out. Taking samples out of the top with a turkey baster yields the same off flavors, so the beverage line is out.

The only thing left I can think of is that I'm not cleaning my kegs thoroughly enough. But I'm baffled as to how that can be. Here's my process:

I'm taking everything apart and soaking all the pieces in PBW. This includes pulling the o-rings off the posts and taking out the poppets. The keg gets filled with hot water and then PBW twice for an hour each time, and then I'm siphoning the entire 5 gallons of PBW through the line with the dip tube, which I hold open with some pliers, also twice. Then everything gets sanitized and assembled, and I put a gallon of star san into the keg which I shake around vigorously after sealing everything up, and I push the star san out with CO2. Then I let the foam settle and push the rest out.

Anyone have any ideas? At this point I'm about ready to just give up and go back to bottling.



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Old 11-28-2011, 04:05 PM   #2
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Does the beer taste OK at the end of fermentation? Could there be an issue somewhere between fermentation vessel and serving keg?



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Old 11-28-2011, 04:06 PM   #3
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The beer tastes fine post fermentation...

I suppose I could try tasting water that's been racked through my autosiphon.

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Old 11-28-2011, 04:08 PM   #4
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I'd use a small mirror to take a look around the inside top of the corny keg and make sure that's all clean.

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Old 11-28-2011, 04:11 PM   #5
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Put a gallon or two of distilled/spring water in the keg after performing your normal cleaning/sanitizing regiment. Let the water sit in the keg for a couple days, then serve some of the water up through your draft lines and taste it. See if the water picks up the same flavors you are getting in the beer.

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Old 11-28-2011, 04:14 PM   #6
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If the bad taste is from all your kegs then I would look elsewhere - your water perhaps. If it is just one keg, toss it. Unless you really want to spend hours searching, money + a day brewing, 3 -6 weeks waiting to find it happened again....!

From your description it certainly does not seem like you are not cleaning well enough.

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Old 11-28-2011, 04:22 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by stevedasleeve View Post
From your description it certainly does not seem like you are not cleaning well enough.
What would you do differently? I thought I was being pretty damn thorough.

EDIT: Disregard, I misread the double negative.

The thing is, even after all the soaks and stuff the keg still smells like, well, keg.
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Old 11-28-2011, 04:25 PM   #8
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Maybe you're overcarbing the beer in kegs and getting a real carbonic acid bite. Try pouring a pint and letting it sit in the fridge for 20 minutes. Taste it again.

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Old 11-28-2011, 04:28 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bobby_M View Post
Maybe you're overcarbing the beer in kegs and getting a real carbonic acid bite. Try pouring a pint and letting it sit in the fridge for 20 minutes. Taste it again.
Done that already. No dice.

Also, it tastes nothing like the "seltzer" flavor I get when I carb water in soda bottles.
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Old 11-28-2011, 05:27 PM   #10
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i didnt read anything about using a dip tube brush... you probably have stuff in the keg that simple soaking isnt going to remove. get some brushes and have at it. most of the kegs i buy have dried on soda or other food products inside everything. they will not come off with soaking alone.



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