I've had no problems with off flavors in my previous batches. Lately, however, my last two batches have an off-flavor that's tough to describe. I've heard of beers having a band-aid flavor so maybe my mind is just telling me that's what it is, but this flavor hasn't been present in my first two batches. I'm trying to think of any differences in my process that could be the cause, but the only things that I've changed have been:
1. Late extract addition after flameout instead of all at the beginning. I dump half in at the beginning and other half after flameout. The only reason I've tried this is because I've heard numerous times it can produce clearer beer and result in less of that tangy "extract" flavor some people experience.
2. Temp increases in summer. To combat this, I've used a swamp cooler and I've managed to keep my wort temps at 63-67.
3. Kegged beer. I got a kegerator a couple of months ago, and my last two batches have been kegged.
4. Better bottle. I don't see this having any affect on my beer, but I've used it in the last two batches that have the off flavor.
Other than that, I really can't figure out what's causing this. My wife thinks I'm crazy, but I can definitely notice an off flavor. Since I'm new to homebrewing, having made only 4 batches, it's hard for me to describe the flavor. Looking at Palmer's off flavor list, I'd say it falls under the medicinal category but I've never used bleach.
To clean my corny kegs, I've used the correct ratio of oxiclean free and water. I let them both soak for about an hour and then thoroughly rinsed them. I'm thinking about buying a beer that I've previously made that turned out great, either Midwest's Amber Ale or their Belgian Wit and bottle instead to see if it has anything to do with the kegs. Any ideas? I'd appreciate any feedback. Thanks.
Also, I just read on a site that some people have problems with their kegged beer if root beer was previously in the keg and was absorbed into the o-rings. I picked these two corny kegs up from a soda distributor and cleaned and sanitized them with oxiclean free and starsan. Could my o-rings be the issue?