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Old 01-28-2009, 05:50 AM   #1
darkestdays
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Default Ok guys, I think I have a problem with "off flavors"...

Hey everyone,

My extract beers have had an almost astringent aftertaste to them, but its been hard to place a finger on. Some are worse than others, and sometimes its barely noticeable, but it has been getting better.

It is usually something I do not notice until I take a chug of my beer and have a little burp come up. Something that shouldn't be there...

I would be happy to completely eliminate this problem though. Here is a list of things that I know I am doing correctly...

I am steeping the specialty grains at around 160 deg (give or take a couple). I have an electric stove. They do sometimes touch the bottom of the pot, and I do sparge them with water.

There is a ring on the bottom of the pot after boiling my wort, but I try to scrub it clean each time before use . I stir my wort regularly with the lid off.

I am adding my ingredients at the right time. I feel like I am cooling my wort in a reasonable time frame.

My fermentation temps seem to be alright. I do mostly ales at around 65 to 72 degrees. Fermentation seems to take effect in a reasonable time frame.

Bottles are sanitized in the dish washer with no soap. They are washed in dish soap and rinsed before going in with labels removed. I bottle right out of the dishwasher. I make sure there are no smells or particles in them before washing.

I use sanitized equipment...

I usually use spring water from kmart, natural spring water from a town away, or boiled city water from the tap. All have had the same results..

The only things that I can think of are that I'm messing up my steeping process with the specialty grains, or that I am oxidizing my beer somehow. Any help will be appreciated, and I will try to answer any questions. Thanks in advance!

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Old 01-28-2009, 06:19 AM   #2
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dont wash with dish soap. If the bottle looks clean, no residue, then a sanitizing agent will get the job done.

Why do you think steeping is the problem?

NEVER use a lid when boiling wort, that may be the problem. As wort evaporates it releases DMS, look it up, you do not want this in your wort

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Old 01-28-2009, 06:21 AM   #3
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Could be extract 'twang' try getting a different brand of extract too.

Make sure you are not splashing the wort when you are bottling it or mixing in the priming sugar.

Also, make sure you are using the correct size secondary as described here:
Pick the Correct Size Secondary Fermenter | Brewer's Friend

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Old 01-28-2009, 07:25 AM   #4
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Originally Posted by darkestdays View Post
It is usually something I do not notice until I take a chug of my beer and have a little burp come up.
I'm going to guess you sanitize with bleach and you're tasting chlorophenols. The burp thing is a ringer.
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Old 01-29-2009, 12:43 AM   #5
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If you're using an aluminum pot and scrubbing the layer of oxididized aluminum off you could be picking up a "twang" from that. If you think that your steep is the problem, try a different method. I mix up pre-heated water and my grain at about 1.5 qt./lb in a smaller stockpot and let that sit for 30-60 minutes covered with a couple of towels. Then I pour it through a large strainer and pour 170 degree water through it into the main brewpot and proceed from there.

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Old 01-29-2009, 04:01 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hopsalot View Post
dont wash with dish soap. If the bottle looks clean, no residue, then a sanitizing agent will get the job done.

Why do you think steeping is the problem?

NEVER use a lid when boiling wort, that may be the problem. As wort evaporates it releases DMS, look it up, you do not want this in your wort
I usually soak the bottles in dish soap, rinse them out well, and then put them through the dishwasher, but I will try using just the sanitizer next time.

I don't know if steeping is the problem, but I didn't know if the off flavor was from tannins released from the grains.

I have had the lid on a few times, but not for the whole boil. I'll make sure to leave it off from now on. Thanks for the advice!
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Old 01-29-2009, 04:05 AM   #7
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I'm going to guess you sanitize with bleach and you're tasting chlorophenols. The burp thing is a ringer.
Hmm.. You may be right. I do sanitize my primary with a bleach soak before each use, but I make sure to rinse it out quite a few times with HOT water, and I smell it to make sure there is no bleach smell.

Do you think that small amounts of bleach may be getting into the beer? Should I just use strictly sanitizing solution?
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Old 01-29-2009, 04:07 AM   #8
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Originally Posted by cuinrearview View Post
If you're using an aluminum pot and scrubbing the layer of oxididized aluminum off you could be picking up a "twang" from that. If you think that your steep is the problem, try a different method. I mix up pre-heated water and my grain at about 1.5 qt./lb in a smaller stockpot and let that sit for 30-60 minutes covered with a couple of towels. Then I pour it through a large strainer and pour 170 degree water through it into the main brewpot and proceed from there.
I use a stainless steel enameled pot for brewing, and I don't think I've scraped any of the enamel off. I do like that steeping method though, so maybe I'll give that a try. Thanks!
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Old 01-29-2009, 12:18 PM   #9
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I have had a "twang" from my first 3 extract beers. This batch (which is still in the primary), I did a late extract addition, to reduce caramelization (which may have been responsible for the "twang), and for a few other reasons. I tasted it when I took my first hydrometer reading - no twang, so I am hopeful it will be gone from this batch.

While I am not an expert, others have stated the extract twang can be from the caramelization.

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Old 01-29-2009, 07:01 PM   #10
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Do you think that small amounts of bleach may be getting into the beer? Should I just use strictly sanitizing solution?
I think bleach sticks to plastic. I used to leave a bleach solution in my buckets between batches, then hose it out and fill with StarSan. I absolutely ruined two batches with chlorophenols.

Now, I leave my buckets full of imitation Oxi Clean Free, rinse that out thoroughly, and mix my StarSan with very-slowly-carbon-block-filtered water. Still, I managed to taint a recent batch either from cleaning keg parts with bleach or not filtering my priming solution well enough. I feel like I need to be just as paranoid about chlor[ine|amine] as infection - I've lost three brews to the former and two to the latter!

If the beer makes burnt bandaid burps, it's chlorophenol.
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