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Old 04-08-2011, 01:39 PM   #1
Cold Country Brewery
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Default 2 batches, both plastic-y flavor

My last two batches, a IPA and a IIPA have both had a plastic-y taste. The IPA just a slight plastic taste, but the IIPA is stronger. Both of them you get the hop flavor up front, then plastic, then a slight bitter hop finish.

-I used different hops in each batch
IPA – All Centenial
http://www.northernbrewer.com/docume...dRingerIPA.pdf
IIPA – Cluster hops and “hopburst blend” http://www.northernbrewer.com/docume...s/115dream.pdf

-I used both a primary and secondary on both (yes plastic Ale Pale). The IPA sat in the primary for 3 weeks and the secondary for 2. The IIPA sat in the primary for 1 month and the secondary for 1 month.

-Both ended up with a very big creamy head; almost too creamy for an IPA.

The Ale Pales are not scratched – they are probably 4 years old, but only have been used half a dozen times or so.


Any suggestions?

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Old 04-08-2011, 01:46 PM   #2
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Ditch all plastic. Buckets don't have to look scratched to be harbouring bacteria. All plastic..... Hoses,siphons, vinyls, bungs, etc anything cold side. Don't try soaking in bleach just spend a bit of money and buy all new plastics.

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Old 04-08-2011, 01:55 PM   #3
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Plastic taste can be attributed to phenolic off flavors, specifically chlorophenolics. Common causes:
chlorophenols in water
improper rinse of chlorine sanitizers

are you using clorine based sanitizers? Try using filtered tap water on your next batch as well.

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Old 04-08-2011, 02:09 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by theschick View Post
Plastic taste can be attributed to phenolic off flavors, specifically chlorophenolics. Common causes:
chlorophenols in water
improper rinse of chlorine sanitizers

are you using clorine based sanitizers? Try using filtered tap water on your next batch as well.
We have great tap water, I've never had a problem with it before. I'm using StarSan...just rack on the foam!
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Old 04-08-2011, 02:14 PM   #5
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Are you doing full boils with these kits, or topping off? If topping off, what kind of water?

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Old 04-08-2011, 03:02 PM   #6
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Sure it could be water, but i feel that its more infections. Brew an extract batch with distilled water and see if its the chlorine. If not i would say its an infection in your equipment

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Old 04-08-2011, 03:08 PM   #7
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I'm supporting the "probably your water, possibly infection" line of thought.

My buddy's dishwasher doesn't do a good job of rinsing the bleach off the dishes and unless you rinse out a glass afterwards, anything you drink will taste like fresh molded plastic.

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Old 04-08-2011, 03:09 PM   #8
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I need to replace all my plastic pieces too. I try to replace everything once a year to avoid any badness... It's a fairly inexpensive insurance.

I ferment in glass, so there's no issue there (except my back hates the weight)... Consider glass carboys?

hmmm, tap water... no chlorine there unless you add it. Starsan shouldn't impart any flavors.

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Old 04-08-2011, 03:14 PM   #9
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It's not from plastic! I use plastic in my brewery, and I don't have a plastic taste.

Plastic-y flavors are almost always from chlorophenols- from chloramine or chlorine in the brewing water. It is worse when the fermentation temperature gets above 70, but it's even present with cooler fermentation temperatures. Chlorine boils off, and even letting brewing water sit out overnight will allow the chlorine to disipate. But chloramine does NOT boil off. Check with your water company to see which they use.

I'd try a batch with reverse osmosis water from the store. I think that will fix the problem.

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Old 04-08-2011, 03:57 PM   #10
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I agree it's probably not from the plastic itself. I guess an infection is possible. As for water and chloramine, here's an article that was published in Brewing Techniques in 1999 that covers pretty comprehensively what happens to chlorine and chloramine with different types of treatment. Chloramine DOES boil off, but it takes a long time. Over 60 minutes, pretty much all of it will be gone. Many people, though, even if they do boil their topoff water only boil it for a few minutes to sanitize it, and this isn't long enough to break down the chloramine. My first batch had a weird taste to it for a while (that eventually seemed to fade after a few months) -- sort of plasticky, or like licking an envelope or something. Other batches didn't have that taste at all, and they were all full boils lasting at least 60 minutes.

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The data show that all chlorine (free and chloramine) can be removed from water by boiling, aeration or
standing though very long times (relative to those for free chlorine) may be required. The easiest and fastest method
of chloramine (and chlorine) removal seems to be the simple addition of Campden tablets to the water.
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