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Old 02-29-2008, 08:50 PM   #1
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Default band aid beer

well, I tried my band aid ale last night - it's about 3 weeks old now, in the bottle for a week. the bad band aid flavor is still there, but I was able to suffer through a half bottle before giving up - so either the flavor is getting better, or it's killed my taste buds. At this rate, I might be able to actually drink some of it ... someday...

sad thing is that it's a beautiful beer - nice head, clear, light tan. a good effort...on the visuals at least.

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Old 02-29-2008, 08:54 PM   #2
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Have you identified the cause yet? You are using to much bleach, change your procedures so this doesn't happen to the next batch. More info can be found in how to brew by John Plamer.

The cause are various phenols which are initially produced by the yeast. Chlorophenols result from the reaction of chlorine-based sanitizers (bleach) with phenol compounds and have very low taste thresholds. Rinsing with boiled water after sanitizing is the best way to prevent these flavors.

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Old 02-29-2008, 09:14 PM   #3
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I had this problem with an AG batch back a few months. I had a Styrofoam taste that was nasty ( think campfire with a Styrofoam cooler thrown on top ). I attributed it to too much chlorine sanitizer.

Switched to Star San. No problems now.

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Old 02-29-2008, 09:32 PM   #4
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Yes, the most recent two batches are made w/o using any bleach - but they are also ME beers rather than PM's. Since I"m going on vacation for 2 weeks, It will be another month before I narrow down what the issue was, but I suspect it was either:

1) bleach

or

2) maybe hot-side aeration(?) or some other issue w/the mash. maybe not pitching fast enough?

never had a bleach issue before, so not sure yet...

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Old 02-29-2008, 09:40 PM   #5
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Just remember when using bleach you only need 1/4 to 1/2 a cup of bleach for an entire 5 gallon carboy. The best solution is 1/4 cup of bleach and 1/4 cup of distilled vinegar to 5 gallons of water, kills nasties in less than 30 seconds and is mostly tasteless.

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Old 02-29-2008, 10:05 PM   #6
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I believe that the band aid flavor can come from excess bleach or from infections.

1/4 cup bleach in 5g water is much to much.
Mixing bleach with vinegar is dangerous.

From the complete joy of homebrewing:

"Never mix acids, ammonia or anything else for that matter whith chlorinated cleaners."

"For homebrewers, and effective sanitizing solution can be prepared by mixing 1/3 - 1 1/2 teaspoons (3 - 10 ml) of household bleach in 5 gallons of cold water. This mixture will yield chlorine in solution at 5 - 25 ppm - an effective sanitizer with a 1/2 - 1 hour soak, immersion, or contact with clean equipment."

That's much closer to the rate I used to use before I switched to no rinse sanitizers.

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Old 02-29-2008, 10:29 PM   #7
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hot side aeration should be a stale taste...a lack of flavor even...not a pronounced band aid taste.

and hot side aeration is very uncommon in the home brewery. You'd have to pour hot wort back and forth between two vessels to cause it...and it wouldn't do damage immediately but instead screws up the long term stability of the beer.

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Old 02-29-2008, 10:50 PM   #8
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It's possible I had a bacterial infection, or maybe it was the bleach.

I've switched from bleach, and will have to do another PM batch to see if I've ironed out the "bugs"..

glad to hear that I probably don't have a hot-side issue.

to sum up - changes I've made to my method to make sure this does not happen again:

1) switched from bleach to star-san
2) been more anal about sanitizing
3) preboiled and chilled top up water
4) cooled the wort as fast as I can and pitched ASAP

I don't have a wort chiller, but do an ice bath in the sink with the carboy. I can chill it down in about an hour (versus about 5 hours before of just letting it sit and cool). In the future, I've figured out that I can get more of the carboy in cold water if I put it in my brew pot in the sink, hopefully this will reduce my cooling time further. Maybe I could even drape a wet towel around the top of it as well.

Had a funny thought about getting a small motorcycle radiator and using it as a wort chiller. Anyone know if that would work? Probably still cheaper to buy a real wort chiller, LOL.

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Last edited by tranceamerica; 02-29-2008 at 10:56 PM.
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Old 03-01-2008, 01:28 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tranceamerica
Had a funny thought about getting a small motorcycle radiator and using it as a wort chiller. Anyone know if that would work? Probably still cheaper to buy a real wort chiller, LOL.
That would be a food safe motorcycle radiator would it?
I would think a wort chiller would be much cheaper
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Old 03-01-2008, 01:33 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tranceamerica
well, I tried my band aid ale last night - it's about 3 weeks old now, in the bottle for a week. the bad band aid flavor is still there, but I was able to suffer through a half bottle before giving up - so either the flavor is getting better, or it's killed my taste buds. At this rate, I might be able to actually drink some of it ... someday...

sad thing is that it's a beautiful beer - nice head, clear, light tan. a good effort...on the visuals at least.
A week in the bottle is way to early to determine final taste. Your saying 3 weeks from boil till drinking?? That's what hell of a green beer.
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