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Old 02-11-2014, 08:00 PM   #1
roots4thought
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Default Off flavor

So I've brewed at least a hundred batches over the years and most have been extract. Started to get into all grain and I'm on my 10th batch or so. Ive recently done three batches of just a plain old American ale. 20 lbs 2 row and .5 each of biscuit and crystal 10L. 1oz cascade at start of boil and .5 oz at 15 and 5 mins left in boil. All three I've mashed in at 151 and lost heat for the 90 min mash time ending at around 140 degrees or so. Spathe at 168. All three have used wlp001 and have fermented at around 70 to 72 degrees till 1.000 or as close as I can get. I use tap water from San Antonio tx which is high in bicarbs but I filter through a charcoal filter. Also use 5.3 ph stabilizer but haven't actually tested the mash ph. The first one tasted like plastic and I eventually tossed it after a few months of trying to let the flavor settle out. The second was amazing and I loved it. The third is finishing up in my conical and after pulling the hydro same it has the same plastic type flavor going on. I really don't want to dump this one but am prepared to do so if needed. I use pbw for cleaning and star san for sanitizing with no rinse but some foam left that I dont fear! My question is this. I have four pounds of hops that I can throw different ammounts of each into the finished plastic beer to try and dry hop the nasty out of it. 1 pound each of cascade,ctz,chinook,mt hood. I'm also open to citrus or any other flavor that might be able to mask this plastic maybe bandaid type flavor. In all the batches I've made through a 10 year interest in the hobby I have never experienced this plastic type off note.

Also might be worth noting that I have successfully been able to make a oatmeal stout, a chimay gran reserve and a pilsner urquell by way of all grain in the same manor as the three American ale beers. 10 gallon batches. Help in anyway would be awesome. Thanks brewers!

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Old 02-11-2014, 08:18 PM   #2
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The plastic is often referred to as "band-aid," which is typically caused from wild yeast. Try closing your system, since you have a conical, by transferring to the conical without the wort being exposed to the environment. You probably have wild yeast floating around your brew area.

It's also possible that your equipment and lines are not getting all the way cleaned. My heat exchanger was clogging with trub even though I cleaned it, and I didn't know it till it was too late. The trub would mildew and contaminate the next batch.

Here is a link to some familiar causes of off flavors.
http://www.homebrewtalk.com/f39/new-...-beers-458357/


Cheers,

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Old 02-11-2014, 09:06 PM   #3
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Any way to try and fix or mask the band aid flavor?

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Old 02-11-2014, 09:13 PM   #4
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Chloramine in your tap water is a common cause of phenolic "band aid" off flavors. Get yourself some campden tablets. 1 tablet treats 20 gallons of water. You can break them in half, quarters etc to treat smaller volumes of water. Charcoal filter is effective in removing chlorine, but not chloramine. The charcoal filter has no effect on bicarbonates in your water. You could dilute with RO if you think the bicarbonate is excessive. No way to tell the effect on your mashing without a pH meter.

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Old 02-11-2014, 09:13 PM   #5
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Also might be worth noting that I do transfer with the lid on the conical through the blow off barb and I also use a small pump to recirculate the boiling wort (without splashing) so that the pump is sanatized and the lines are sanatized before I use that same pump to pump cooled wort to fv. The thing that's killing me is the first time I had this issue I took a sample to my lhbs for a second opinion and they said it tasted like it wasn't band aid but maybe green or not mashed right. Wish I could send a sample over the net to someone who knows off flavors so they can tell me what's what. Thanks again.

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Old 02-11-2014, 09:17 PM   #6
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Also... The good one was clear after sitting in a keg for a few weeks and the first crummy one was cloudy after 2 or more months in the keg. The third seems to be cloudy as well.

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Old 02-11-2014, 09:43 PM   #7
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There are a couple things to check for. There are some clues in your post as to some things to look out for. The clarity issue could be a clue for a couple things. One is that there are wild yeast in your brew as those are notorious for not being very flocculant and can cause weird plasticky phenols as well. The other is that you might be oversparging and getting alot of husky, tannic flavors into your beer that can cause off flavors and haze issues. This can happen from oversparging (Check gravity of runnings towards end of sparge to make sure they don't drop too low), too hot of a sparge (keep sparge around 170), or sparge water whose pH is too high (most common and least looked at reason, you can treat the sparge with some acids). As mentioned before, chlorophenols could be causing that as well from chloramine so definately use campden. That will not age out.
Also, what was your goal with that brew? Why would you want an American ale with a FG of 1.000? That is a gravity usually only achieved with a crazy dry saison or a sour that had other bugs eating away at the dextrins. Keep that mash as close to your conversion temp the whole time. Things are way to unpredictable and unrepeatable with an 11 degree drop during your mash.

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Old 02-11-2014, 10:29 PM   #8
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The goal is a dry beer with little to no hop. I have always just let my beers ferment until they stop changing. If it stops at 1.000 then I keg it. If it stops higher then I keg it there. Thanks for the help. Sounds like I got wild yeast. Can a huge amount of hops (dry hopped) mask the gross flavor or am I gonna toss this no matter what?

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Old 02-12-2014, 05:07 AM   #9
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Its too bad we can't distill legally yet. Looks like a beer down the drain.

One question: do you add water after the boil? So many people do this and most of the time is fine. However, if the wort temp gets below 163° F, the wild yeast, bacteria etc from the water will survive and infect the beer. Just a thought.

good luck on the next batch

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