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Old 05-05-2012, 12:39 AM   #1
kansas_cty_shfl
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Default Conquering an off flavor

Need a little help here. I've had a pretty consistent off flavor in most of my beers. Sometimes it's faint, some it's not, sometimes it's not there at all. I'm thinking it's a band-aid like flavor and my tap water has chlorine in it so I'm wondering if that is the culprit. I began filling up my 10 gallon mash tun and tossing a campden tablet in but that hasn't seemed to make a difference. Just last night I got to thinking that I mix up my oxyclean and star-san with my tap water to clean and sanitize my bottling bucket and carboy on brew day. Is there any way there would be enough residual chlorine from that to cause off flavors or do I need to start looking for something else?



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Old 05-05-2012, 12:49 AM   #2
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If you think its the water, try a brew with distilled/Ro water.
The amount of water for cleaning shouldn't cause the off flavors.
Weird the campden didnt help.
Water profile available by chance?



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Old 05-05-2012, 01:01 AM   #3
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I actually do have my water profile, and since I was cleaning up my office recently it is actually readily available.

Here's what Ward Labs had to say.
Na: 3
K: < 1
Ca: 19
Mg: < 1
total hardness, CaCO3: 52
NO3-N: 0.1
SO4-S: 2
Cl: 3
CO3: 6
HCO3: 58
total alkalinity, CaCO3: 58

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Old 05-05-2012, 01:19 AM   #4
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to my limited knowledge band-aid like flavors are often produced by fermentation at high temperatures (limited because i never experienced this myself) but if you think its your water then use, as suggested store di/ro water or buy hose carbon filter for RVs (around $20) or pour water in your hlt day before brewing (chlorine evaporate/degrade), anyway i dont really believe in chlorine off flavors as its rather unstable and volatile compound and most of it disappear during boiling (but i use carbon filter myself)

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Old 05-05-2012, 02:27 AM   #5
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Band aid off flavor is most likely phenols, which can be from fermentation troubles, chlorine/chloramines or some infection. I traced a phenol problem to my plate chiller being full of nasties ( even w back flushing) I've since taken up a more vigorous regimen and replaced a suspect bucket as well. I perceived the off flavor as more like the way cough medicine coats ones throat-different phenols express differently. Campden will take care of your brewing water, I use distilled or filtered for star san.

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Old 05-05-2012, 04:01 PM   #6
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I've considered infection and fermentation temps but I really think I have both those in check. Admittedly its always a struggle to keep my fermentation temps in check but I can keep it below 70. My last batch got up to about 75 for about a day, but that was probably three weeks into it. I'm usually pretty thorough about sanitation (at least I think so), and all of my equipment is in good shape. I can't see any scratches in my better bottle and I disassemble the spigot on my bottling bucket, which I think is the only place where nasties can hide. There are some really superficial scratches at the bottom of my bottling bucket but I have a hard time believing anything would be left behind in there after I'm done cleaning. All of my tubing is fairly new but maybe I'll replace all of that just to be safe.



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