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Old 08-30-2007, 04:06 PM   #1
Justinnn
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Default Strange taste Still, Fermentor?

I have posted before about a strange seltzer like after taste in my AG brews. I tried doing a simple recipe, one of Edworts, to try and determine if it was something in my brew process, but I still have the same taste. I am thinking that it is my fermentor, I use a 5 gallon water jug, could slight infection be the cause of this, or perhaps the plastic in general adding this taste? Please respond with your thoughts, I am thinking about driving out to the LBS to get a class carboy.

Thanks,
-Justin

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Old 08-30-2007, 04:49 PM   #2
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I've never used plastic anything for fermentation aside from the original ale pale for my first couple brews but it's my understanding that a Better Bottle is special in its design/material in that it doesn't allow much oxygen to permeate it. On the flip side I've read here and other places that standard 5 gallon water jugs are NOT designed with the same materials so oxygen can move much more freely through the plastic. I'm not sure if oxidation could lead to a seltzer like taste but it could be. I'd definitely recommend picking up a glass carboy or Better Bottle. I prefer carboys but that's just me. A lot of guys on here swear by the Better Bottle.

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Old 08-30-2007, 05:00 PM   #3
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Here's a review and some info on Better Bottles if your interested. I'm using a better bottle for the first time for edworts apfelwien. I do love how light it is.
http://www.homebrewtalk.com/reviews/...oduct=19&cat=2

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Old 08-30-2007, 10:37 PM   #4
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a 5 gallon water jug isn't the same material as a better bottle. its probably picked up flavors from cleansers and sanitizers to a larger degree than the plastic used in PET bottles.
its probably even a little different than an ale pail plastic.
I'd swap the fermenting vessel out first and foremost.

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Old 08-31-2007, 12:24 AM   #5
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Are you using tap water or well water?

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Old 08-31-2007, 12:39 AM   #6
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plastic water bottles are fine for fermening over short periods.
You better bottle folks may want to actually read the claims on the BB site. They only compare themselves to ploycarbonate water bottles, an obvious inferior product. They do not however mention that alot of water bottles are indeed made of polyethylene terephthalate (PET). To my knowledge...and I'll leave myself open to being wrong.....polyethylene terephthalate is polyethylene terephthalate.
If you happen to know anyone who bought a BB when they were brand new you will find on the bottom "potable water only". I am not wrong on this....I had one. Got rid of it when I went stainless

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Old 08-31-2007, 12:41 AM   #7
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I don't know folks on this site so I'll add....the previous post is my own experiences and opinions...not to be construed as policy...no offence intended to anyone at all

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Old 08-31-2007, 01:02 AM   #8
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Properties: toughness, strength, heat resistance, barrier to moisture and gas. Density: 1.35-1.38 g/cc
Statistic: In 1999 PET accounted for 48% of plastic bottle resin sales, making it the most widely used resin in plastic bottles

Description: PET, also referred to as polyester, is a popular packaging material for food and non-food products because it is inexpensive, lightweight, resealable, shatter-resistant and recyclable. PET is clear and has good moisture and gas barrier properties. Its color may be green. The flakes and pellets of cleaned postconsumer recycled PET are in heavy demand for use in spinning carpet yarns and for producing fiberfill and geotextiles.

If you want to use water bottles, just look for the PET symbol on the bottom and you are using the same bottle all the BB owners are

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Old 08-31-2007, 05:45 AM   #9
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I'm not quite sure what seltzer tastes like, but I think this will help:

I think it would be your water jug. You want to use a food grade plastic bucket or a brew bucket (they are basically the same thing). You can get one at any wine or beer supply store (or eBay).

It may also be your water too. Did you check your PH levels? If you are doing a partial mash this is crucial. I was told by somebody on the forum that the mash water isn't so important , but the sparge water is (but don't quote me, I make sure both are at the right PH). Get some PH papers to test the water (again brew stores or a maybe a pool store).

It could also be that you boiled your mash at too high of a temperature. This can cause off flavors as well. It can cause a phenol-like taste.

I would start with what you are using for a fermenter though.

If you got a good home brewing guide, I would look at that too. Mine has saved me countless times (as well as the great people on the forums).

Cheers.

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Old 08-31-2007, 02:32 PM   #10
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Thanks for all your suggestions. I have alreay calculated in error due to water, including PH and Chloromines. Although I use tap water now, when I first started brewing I was in a city and was using distilled water due, to the high level of chloramines in city water. I got the same taste with distilled. I picked up a better bottle at the LBS last night. It was $24.99, an annoying price for a plastic bottle, but cheaper then what I have seen posted on this site. I am going to try another simple single infusion 2.5 gallon brew today and see what happens.

-Justin

P.S. Is it normal for the beer to smell very strong like alcohol right after taking the seal off the fermentor? I mean strong enough to make you think your inhaling dust off?

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