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Old 09-20-2007, 11:44 PM   #1
Xiren
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I brewed a kolsch style a month ago. I had to pitch it because it had an infection. It had a vinyl hose taste and smell to it. I had some non-brewers but beer drinkers smell it, and they thought it was bad as well. So I dumped it out. Now, I have made another kolsch style, different recipe, and it smells and tastes the same way. I have had a kolsch from my local brew pub and it did not smell like this. I made sure all my equipment was cleaned and sanitized. I do not want to have to throw this batch out, but then I do not want to waste time hoping the smell/taste will mellow out. I used 9lbs of pilsner malt, .5lb of munich and wheat. I used hallertauer, 1oz for 60 min and 1oz for 15min. I pitched 2 vials of yeast, because I did not have time to make a starter. It took about 48 hours to see bubbles. I aerated by starsaning 2 buckets and vigorously pouring the beer back and forth, until it was too foamy. Is it possible that picked up a bug? Since I do not have an O2 aerating system, those that do not either, how do you aerate?
Thank you in advance.

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Old 09-21-2007, 02:52 AM   #2
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I just read a couple of your other posts and man, you seem to be having kind of a frustrating experience in general in homebrewing.

Let me tell you about my kolsch experience. A couple of years ago I made a kolsch recipe, extract with steeping grains. The ferment with the kolsch yeast smack pack was the messiest, milkiest, ickiest looking thing I have ever seen. The beer? I bottled it and waited a couple of weeks. I tried one and- "ick." Also, "WTF?" I wondered if I might have to toss the batch. Over time I tried a few more bottles and it was always the same- this batch of beer just didn't taste quite right to me.

Eventually I just forgot about it for about 2 or 3 months, if I recall correctly. When I happened upon it again, I put a couple in the fridge and when I tried one, Nectar Of The Gods!! Holy Sh*t was that stuff good. Did I really make this stuff? I couldn't believe my sudden good fortune. Unfortunately, I was then almost instantly brought back to earth by the realization that I had only a little more than half a case of the stuff left.

I don't know if this will work with your kolsch, but I suspect that patience may be the key for you. Put what's left of your batch in a cool, dark place and don't come back to it for awhile. You may find yours is transformed into something special, too.

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Old 09-21-2007, 02:52 AM   #3
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I'd start by replacing the plastic buckets. If they have gotten even a barely visible scratch, they can harbor bacteria that will ruin batches. Even better; try a batch using only carboys as the fermentation chambers.

Another idea is to do a single stage fermentation to reduce the contact with the racking equipment and the contact with the air.

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Old 09-21-2007, 03:33 AM   #4
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I was going to suggest new buckets. I just recently had to get a new bottling bucket and hoses.

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Old 09-21-2007, 03:35 AM   #5
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You said that you pitched two vials of yeast... What yeast did you use?

I made a Cream Ale a while ago with Wyeast 2565 and it was a really, really weird tasting beer at first. The first few bottles I opened tasted like cream corn. Then it got really winey/fruity/plastic tasting. Finally, after two months in the bottle, it started to taste "right", and of course, I only had a few bottles left.

In my experience, it's difficult to really introduce a bug in the beer if you've taken a good measure in sanitation throughout your brew day, after the beer has been chilled.

I use a similar method to aerate my beer. After it is cooled, I pour it into a 4 gallon (I brew 3 gallon batches) SS pot that has been heat/steam sterilized with a fine splatter screen on top to filter the hops and this introduces alot of O2 into the brew. Then I pour that into my sanitized carboy, yet again, introducing more O2. Then I shake like mad for 5 minutes or so and I have healthy fermentations.

I guess I would recommend that you let this one age in the bottle for a bit and make another batch. I've got an ESB that I thought was ruined because it first had signs of oxidation and then tasted really, really, horribly mouth puckering bitter and it was brewed on 8/4, bottled 8/17 and is just now (9/20) really just starting to come around.

Brew more! I've got an Oktoberfest Ale that is coming around in the bottles and a Hefe that will be bottled soon... almost three of cases small batch beer when you add in my ESB and I'm doing more next week! Brew more and let it mellow out. Maybe try a bottle once every two weeks to check its progress as alot can happen to a beer in that time.

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Old 09-21-2007, 04:30 AM   #6
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I aerate by putting the lid on and covering the hole with a sterilized piece of aluminum and hold it there with my hand. Then I shake the hell out of it for about 2 minutes. I also use one of these on the end of my hose when I siphon into the bucket in the first place:

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Old 09-21-2007, 06:35 PM   #7
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I used WLP029 for my yeast. Since I do not have my stir plate and was having a hard time getting fermentation started, I thought I might need 2 vials.

I use glass carboys for primary and secondary, but my buckets are new as of Father's Day this year. I used StarSan and let the bubbles get all over the buckets, just to be safe. I used a one step cleaner and my StarSan afterwards.

As far as me being frustrated, well, my beers are not tasting like I think they should. I hear of other people making their first beer and it being very good. I heard about this one lady, that supposedly, she makes a great beer, but does not drink it. I scratch my head over that one. For instance: I have a kegged beer and the older it gets, the more bitterness I can taste from it. My neighbors all say the beer is good, but I strongly disagree with them. (I think they do not want to hurt my feelings. HURT away. I do not want to make crappy beer) =)

Anyway, thank you all for your help. Guess I will sit on this kolsch and wait to see what happens.

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Old 09-21-2007, 06:51 PM   #8
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If you are using glass. add a cap full of bleach to it and allow it to sit over night. had a similar problem and used this tecnique and it fixed it. after it sat i used a carboy brush and cleaned as usual. Before i brewed again i rinsed and used iodafor to sanitize. Now i do this every 4 or 5 batches. I have not had a problem since.

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Old 09-21-2007, 07:32 PM   #9
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What temperaure are you fermenting these at? That yeast can get really funky above 65 or so. Some people have a lot of luck with it above that, but others talk about lots of off flavors.

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Old 09-21-2007, 07:48 PM   #10
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Well, that could be my problem, the 65*. I thought I was at 60-61, but I think 64* is more accurate. I had to do the wet t-shirt to keep it cool, but the water from the shirt has messed with my adhesive thermometer.

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