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Home Brew Forums > Home Brewing Beer > All Grain & Partial Mash Brewing > Off Flavor...very strange one

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Old 01-27-2013, 05:55 AM   #11
bobbrewedit
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Well, being as we are all shooting in the dark, here goes...

I used to let my beer fall 8-10" from my kettle to my funnel where it would splash and spin down into my fermenter. I noticed that every so often I would pick up the same bad flavor that would all but ruin the batch. Long story short, the best answer I could come up with was the beer picking up something from the air. I've since reduced the cascade and open air contact time and have not had another issue.

Is it possible ur picking up a contaminant from the air?

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Old 01-30-2013, 07:06 PM   #12
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Thank you all for the "shots in the dark" it's appreciated!

I use the rubber stoppers form homebrew shops that are appropriate for my carboy neck size. I use alcohol in the airlock unless it's a big beer in which case i'll use a blow-off hose into a 1/2 gallon growler with either acid or iodophor.

I don't usually wash yeast, I know the guys from the local brewery so often I use their yeast (Wyeast 1056). I have pitched onto yeast cakes in the past fairly often and at least one batch that had this rubber flavor was pitched onto a cake from another beer. I later tried the first of these two beers and it did have the rubber flavor, as did the beer I racked onto that cake. BUT, after that experience, I pitched yeast from a vial and from a smack pack and still got the rubber flavor in subsequent beers. It doesn't happen every time. It seemed to go away, then would come back, then go away ect.

I us a siphon sprayer for "average" OG beers. The siphon sprayer hangs inside the carboy as the beer comes out of the chiller. So air-born infections are possible, but I've done this method for ever with good results. Not sure what to think...For big beers, I use an O2 stone with minimal splashing into the carboy.

Keep the ideas coming though...it's appreciated. Below is "pretty much" what is in my kettle (keggle). The orange o-rings are supposedly rated to temps over boiling. I am replacing these two rings in suspect that they may be a cause of the issue. The example below is for a mash tun but it's pretty much the same thing I use in my kettle. I have used these same o-rings for years now without problems. Now might be the problem...

http://www.northernbrewer.com/shop/s-s-cooler-valve-w-barb.html

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Old 01-30-2013, 07:48 PM   #13
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Do you oxygenate the wort before pitching? I'm wondering if the yeast are being stressed out and producing off flavors. Have you tasted the wort before pitching to see if the flavor is present? If it's present there, then you know it's somewhere in the boil process. Have you changed anything about your process lately, or acquired any new equipment?

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Old 01-30-2013, 08:03 PM   #14
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What kind of mash temps are you using? I struggled with a similar off flavor for some time (only in paler beers), and changed up a number of variables at once. I got a lot stricter about mash temps (I think I was mashing much too low), got a lot stricter about protecting fermenters from light, and started using much fresher hops. But I think one of my biggest changes was that I'd been pitching onto a full cake, which was bringing way too much trub and dead yeast into the new batch.

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Old 02-12-2013, 11:15 PM   #15
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My mash temps change depending on the beer. Saison mashes are usually low (150 ish), scotch ale usually higher (156-7) as examples. I do oxygenate with an O2 stone and oxygen cylinder. I have tasted the wort before fermentation, I haven't really noticed the flavor...I don't think. Ill change the equipment and see how it goes. Thank you everyone!

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Old 02-12-2013, 11:30 PM   #16
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Do you notice the off flavor right out of the primary? Are you kegging or bottling? If kegging, maybe something in your CO2 supply?

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Old 02-13-2013, 12:38 AM   #17
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Burnt plastic/ burnt electrical- had 2 batches develop this few years ago. They weren't back to back, but like 2 out of 3 or 4. All my research and I figured it was chloramines in my water supply. At times the level is too high and has an adverse reaction and the result is this burnt plastic or electrical fire smell (and taste). Since, I have used Campden tablets to treat my water (1/4 tab per 5 gallons) and have not had the same problem since (3+ years). I can't say 100% this was the problem, all seems good now

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Old 02-13-2013, 04:47 PM   #18
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+one on the Campden tablets. they are cheap so i just throw about 1/2 a tab per 5 gallons just to be sure. i never had my water tested before. this cycle i use works well with the CampTab's. its cheap insurance for the mind!

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Old 02-13-2013, 09:36 PM   #19
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Yeah, I am listening to the Basic Brewing Radio episode on water chemistry and they mentioned that the off flavor from using non-boiled non-filtered tap water is chemical, rubber. They mentioned that campden tablets, sodium metabisulfate or pre boiling the water can get rid of this.

Do you ever add straight tap water to the beer? Is it possible that you top off post boil? Perhaps your municipal water supply doesn't have consistent additions of choline/chloramines to the water supply?

Hope you figure this out!

Edit, personally I have extremely hard water so I always use bottle or RO water, so I have never tried anything to get rid of cholamines

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Old 02-14-2013, 05:16 PM   #20
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Bummer.
You say the flavor comes and goes.... Is this from the same batch? or batch to batch? It could be old beer lines in your keg fridge. I had some lines go bad and dumped some beer because of it It was not a rubber taste, but it was not pleasant and took me forever to find the problem...
Good luck!

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