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Old 08-22-2009, 12:46 AM   #1
Griffsta
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Default Why does my brew taste horrible?

I have brewed about 18 AG batches. I have had 1 batch that was undrinkable, my 15th... WTF?

I can only describe it as a chemical-ish, bitter, "baking soda" taste. I dont really have any better of a way to describe it. Its crystal clear, and has good head retention, but tastes horrible. I wish that I had a better way to describe this taste, but I dont...But there is no way for it to actually be any sort of chemicals. I am very particular about sanitation and rinsing.

The recipe was supposed to be a light summer ale. I brewed it in early june. Recipe below.

It wasnt a yeast problem, because I washed the yeast and used it in my last 2 brews, which are good.

I dont want to have to pitch another keg. Does anybody know what Im doing wrong that would give it that taste?

9.55 lb Pale Malt (2 Row) US (2.0 SRM) Grain= 82.96 %
0.72 lb Cara-Pils/Dextrine (2.0 SRM) Grain 6.25 %
0.41 lb Munich Malt (9.0 SRM) Grain 3.60 %
0.33 lb Wheat Malt, Bel (2.0 SRM) Grain 2.85 %
0.45 oz Centennial [10.00 %] (60 min) Hops 15.1 IBU
0.50 oz Williamette [5.50 %] (5 min) Hops 1.8 IBU
0.25 oz Orange Peel, Bitter (Boil 5.0 min) Misc
0.25 oz Orange Peel, Sweet (Boil 5.0 min) Misc
0.50 lb Honey (1.0 SRM) Sugar 4.34 %
1 Pkgs WLP001

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GRIFFIN'S GROGGERY

PRIMARY 1 -
PRIMARY 2 -
SECONDARY 1 -
KEG 1 - Griff's Amarillo Pale Ale
KEG 2 - Christmas in Ireland Stout
KEG 3 - Bee Cave Hefewiezen
KEG 4 - Orange Honey Hefeweizen
KEG 5 - Dead Guy Clone
BOTTLED - SNPA Clone

_____________________________________________
Old Frothingslosh, the pale stale ale with the foam on the bottom, brewed from hippity-hops on the banks for the Upper Crudney in Lower Slobbovia.

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Old 08-22-2009, 01:06 AM   #2
Yankeehillbrewer
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Have you noticed any changes in your Water?
What do you use for a Fermentor?
What sanitizer? Maybe your using too much??
Fermentation temps?

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Old 08-22-2009, 01:32 AM   #3
s1080
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Would you describe it as a band aid taste?

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Old 08-22-2009, 05:31 AM   #4
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I think it helps to taste your wort during the brewing process. I'm guessing your problem is most likely something during or after fermentation. What was different from your other batches? Did you check your fermentation temperature? Did your yeast flocculate as you expected?

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Old 08-22-2009, 08:25 AM   #5
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It could be an infection with wild yeast - that would create the medicinal taste that you're describing. Since you said your yeast was fine, it was probably somewhere in your fermenting vessel. Since you haven't had issues with it since, chalk it up to a one-off warning to be extra careful in sanitation.

The other possibility that occurs to me, when you mention the 'baking soda' taste is actually an issue with gross hops - did you use the same kind/batch as you usually do? I've had soapy, bitter, just gross taste from poor hops in the past - just something else to consider!

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Old 08-22-2009, 11:10 AM   #6
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I use iodaphor, and Im pretty sure I am mixing it right.

I am using Pittsburgh water. Same as I always have. There have been no changes that I know of.

It started fermenting at about 71 degrees, but got down to about 68 for the remainder of the ferment.

I do brew outside, on a patio under an elevated addtion on my house. When brewing and boiling in a keggle, I do my best to keep the top covered during/after cooldown. I ususally cover it with a towel soaked in iodaphor (wringed out... not dripping). I suppose that wild yeast could be an issue, but I doubt it.

I dont htink that it is a band-aid taste.

I just want to know that its not something in my brew process (temps, water, etc...). Anything else, can hopefully be rectified.

__________________

_____________________________________________
GRIFFIN'S GROGGERY

PRIMARY 1 -
PRIMARY 2 -
SECONDARY 1 -
KEG 1 - Griff's Amarillo Pale Ale
KEG 2 - Christmas in Ireland Stout
KEG 3 - Bee Cave Hefewiezen
KEG 4 - Orange Honey Hefeweizen
KEG 5 - Dead Guy Clone
BOTTLED - SNPA Clone

_____________________________________________
Old Frothingslosh, the pale stale ale with the foam on the bottom, brewed from hippity-hops on the banks for the Upper Crudney in Lower Slobbovia.

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Old 08-22-2009, 01:27 PM   #7
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Default re: tap water

i live in nyc, usually fine for brewing. Have had a batch or 2 with an off taste (burnt plastic/ electric, maybe also astringent). If you use tap water i recommend using campden tabs to get rid of chlorine/chloramines. Tap water analysis can deviate throughout the year. During the summer, at times, the water smells more "chlorine-y", other times there may be a bit of a sulfur smell. My point is, it changes (either man-made change or environmental). Dropping a 1/4 tab of campden tab into your water is NOT expensive and should atleast take away any thoughts of cloramines contributing to this problem.

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Old 08-22-2009, 08:29 PM   #8
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I'm nowhere near you, but our local water company just decided to start doing breakpoint chlorine treatments. It was announced in the paper but I didn't know anything about it until another brewer showed me the article. That may be something worth looking into.

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Old 08-22-2009, 09:02 PM   #9
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Have you noticed if the batches that it happens are brewed at about the same time of year? The summer is usually when the larger cities will dump all kinds of things in their water to reduce lead levels caused by the old lead pipes getting warmer.

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Old 08-22-2009, 09:33 PM   #10
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Bitter and "baking soda" make me think astringent/tannins. Since you are thinking about dumping, why not try some gelatin first? It binds tannins, forcing them to drop out.

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