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Old 01-26-2013, 05:45 PM   #1
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Default Off Flavor...very strange one

Greetings,

Hopefully this is the correct place to post this question...

I have had a reoccurring aroma/flavor come through in a few beers that can only be described as rubber (not band-aid) and chemical. The off-flavor shows up sporadically over the last hand full of batches. Not one after another. It can show up, then the next few batches are totally fine, then it can show up again. A friend of mine is a certified Cicerone and her best thought was that it was from a chemical reaction somewhere in the process. The confusing part is that it has appeared in a British rye IPA w/British yeast, a rye saison w/Belgian yeast, a porter w/ amarican ale yeast and toasted coconut and vanilla bean, a "small beer" from a huge parti-gyle barley wine (the barley wine was totally fine) but the small beer was like greasy rubber. I have been brewing for 8 years and haven't ever tasted anything like this. Another friend is head brewer fro Lucette Brewing Co. here in town and he cannot figure it out either. Not even how to accurately describe it. I have judged beer competitions and read through off-flavors literature, but cannot think of anything that may have caused this or experienced anything like it. It literally tastes and smells like rubber, no joke. Not solvent-like, not band-aid, potentially medicinal but I have no reason to suspect any yeast issues or remaining sanitizer/cleaners.

I'm just curious if anyone has experienced anything like this before or has any leads. Any thoughts are welcome, thanks all!

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Old 01-26-2013, 05:50 PM   #2
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Rubbery? Like sulfur?

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Old 01-26-2013, 09:10 PM   #3
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Actually just read about this the other day in Brewing Classic styles by John Palmer. He calls it autolysis which is where yeast feed on each other and produce a rubber odor. To avoid it he recommends racking the beer to remove excess yeast as soon after fermentation as possible.
Hope that helps.

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Old 01-26-2013, 09:35 PM   #4
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have you been noticing a lot of dried krausen on the lid of your fermentation bucket?

i had this happen to a friend. he brewed 15 gallons of a stout, 3 different 6 gallon buckets, one got missed on the fermcap and krausened to the lid where when the krausen dropped its almost as if the dried krausen stuck on the lid went bad and then was dropping back into the beer creating an off flavor...

not sure if this is what you were going for but thats just my attempt at assistance

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Old 01-27-2013, 12:34 AM   #5
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I fermented all the batches in glass carboys that I made sure were very clean and had no residual cleaner or sani in them and there wasn't an issue that I could see with krausen falling into the beer that I noticed. I don't think it is autolysis because the beers were not on the yeast or in the primary very long at all. And it really doesn't smell like sulfur at all...

It really is just lust like rubber.....seriously.....

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Old 01-27-2013, 12:41 AM   #6
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Were any of these batches fermented with washed yeast?

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Old 01-27-2013, 03:51 AM   #7
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Have seen a thread or two on here where the poster was asking about the possibility of the rubber bung/stopper being the cause of a rubbery, type, off flavour. Don't suppose that could be a contributing factor in this case, could it?

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Old 01-27-2013, 04:27 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ogri View Post
Have seen a thread or two on here where the poster was asking about the possibility of the rubber bung/stopper being the cause of a rubbery, type, off flavour. Don't suppose that could be a contributing factor in this case, could it?
If you use the black rubber from a hardware store that is NOT food grade, you will almost definitely get off flavors from it. Those things smell like the inside of a Harbor Freight store!

I have a feeling this is not the issue considering the OP has been brewing for 8 years. I'm thinking he has a handle on that sort of thing by now.

I'm thinking it's a strange infection, or old equipment, or some other change in process or equipment that has gone undiscovered.

The reason I ask about washed yeast is because of yeast mutation and/or autolysis from multiple generations. Shot in the dark....
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Old 01-27-2013, 04:53 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Otto201 View Post
Actually just read about this the other day in Brewing Classic styles by John Palmer. He calls it autolysis which is where yeast feed on each other and produce a rubber odor. To avoid it he recommends racking the beer to remove excess yeast as soon after fermentation as possible.
Hope that helps.
hmmm.. mine sits on yeast about 2 -3 weeks after ferm is complete. 4 weeks or so mine always sit. no rubber here. just yummy beer.
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Old 01-27-2013, 05:41 AM   #10
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Here's a lame idea... What if one of your ball valves is being overheated while the fire is on. If the flame is on really high? I eyeballed inside of one of my valves and it looks like there is a plastic like sealing area. I wonder if those things can melt if exposed to direct flame? There are probably made of high temp Teflon. Maybe the fire is coming from around the pot and directly contacting something? Even a silicone sealing washer will burn eventually in direct flame.

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