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Old 10-07-2013, 05:51 PM   #1
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Default Help, Something going wrong after racking to keg

Been reading a lot on Homebrewtalk but first time poster, but still can't figure out what I am doing wrong. I have been brewing extract kits for just under 6 months now, and have been enjoying it very much, just wish beer tasted a bit better. All were partial boils starting with 2.5 – 3 gallons of water. All were cooled down with an immersion wort chiller (could only get down to 70). I decided to build a kegerator last February (before I started brewing) and have brewed and kegged 4 different beers since then, all in kegs (not bottling). So far every batch I have made has come out of the keg very sweet. All 4 of them tasted great while transferring from better bottle to the keg, which is the part I can’t figure out (why it tastes good prior to keg but with an over powering sweetness after carbonation).

I have carbonated using both the set and forget method and let sit for about 10 days and setting it to 30 psi for 24 hours and then setting to the recommend pressure for 5-7 days. Fermentation temperatures are probably on the high side. The stick on thermometer read 72 on the most recent brew, can’t remember what they said for the other ones.

From reading on the forums I had a few ideas of what I may be doing wrong, but the fact my roommate also brews beer and has also done 3 of the 4 beers I did and all 3 of his that we both brewed at different times came out between pretty good and real good, while mine were all overly sweet (very similar flavor, masking the actual flavors of the beer). Main difference is he bottles instead of kegging. He also has never rehydrated yeast for any of them.

Brew details:
1. Northern Brewer Irish Red Ale
a. Nottingham Ale Yeast
b. Rehydrated yeast per instructions
c. O.G. 1.044, F.G.1.008
d. Transferred to secondary after 2 weeks
e. Kegged after 4 weeks at 11 psi via set and forget method (~10 days)

2. Brewers Best Robust Porter
a. Nottingham Ale Yeast
b. Rehydrated yeast with cold water (instead of warm water per instructions)
c. O.G. 1.043 F.G. 1.012
d. Transferred to secondary after 2 weeks
e. Kegged after 2 weeks at 12 psi
f. Bottled a 12 pack of this one after about 3 weeks straight from tap using ontario bottle filler and complement
i. Tastes plain awful (dumped both bottles I have tried) ~2 months after bottling
ii. Still sweet but another taste I can’t really describe at moment

3. Brewer’s Best English Pale Ale
a. So far the best beer I made yet, but still had same sweetness just not as bad
b. Nottingham Ale Yeast
c. Dumped yeast right into better bottle
d. O.G. 1.52 F.G. 1.012
e. Kegged after 4 weeks; 30 psi for 24 hrs; 12 psi for 5 days

4. Northern Brewer Nut Brown Ale
a. Probably the worst one yet for the sweetness
b. Nottingham Ale Yeast
c. O.G. 1.044 F.G. 1.010
d. Dumped yeast right into better bottle
e. Kegged after 5 weeks
f. Sat in keg for 1 week with enough pressure to seal and remove oxygen, but not always on CO2
g. 30 psi for 24 hrs; 6 psi for 9 days

I’m not sure what is going on between fermentation and carbonation and appreciate any help anyone can provide. Let me know if I left any needed information out.

Would naturally carbonating the next batch help at all?

Thanks

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Old 10-07-2013, 06:04 PM   #2
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When was the last time you cleaned your lines?

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Old 10-07-2013, 06:07 PM   #3
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Opposite of my findings. Bitterness only really comes out after carbing.

Crystal malts impart sweetness.

Scale that back next time.

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Old 10-07-2013, 06:10 PM   #4
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I'm going to throw out a guess that your problem lies in your kegs or your cleaning procedure. Did you buy your kegs used? Were they actually refurbished? Sometimes people will get kegs that were not refurbished (replaced o-rings, etc), so some residual soda may be in there somewhere. I would suggest giving your kegs a very thorough cleaning, replace all the o-rings, and see if that helps.

Also, what are you using to clean them? Is it possible that whatever you are using may have some sweetness to it? Just a thought.

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Old 10-07-2013, 06:10 PM   #5
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Clean my lines using PBW, rinse and sanitize either right after I kick the keg or just before tapping the next one. Sanitizing is always done same day I tap the keg.

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Old 10-07-2013, 06:15 PM   #6
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reverendj1,
Thought that might have been it myself. Bought all my kegs used, didn't change anything before the Irish Red or Porter, except for cleaning with PBW using keg/carboy cleaner I built. After those two beers I soaked each keg for 24 hours with PBW solution, rinsed and then changed all the o-rings and lid gasket. Sweetness went slightly down with the English Pale Ale, but then came back stronger than either of the first three with the Nut Brown Ale.

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Old 10-07-2013, 06:32 PM   #7
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Not sure what could cause that. Maybe bottle half and naturally carb it and keg half of your next batch.

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Old 10-09-2013, 12:58 AM   #8
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I'll try that. Hope that works

Any other thoughts?

Thanks for the input so far

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Old 10-09-2013, 02:15 PM   #9
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I've just got this strong feeling it has to be something with your kegging setup, but who knows. Before you refill one of your kegs (that had the sweet flavor), clean it thoroughly, fill it with water and burst carb it for a few days to see what happens. If there is any off flavor in the water it will be pretty noticeable. After that, do what jro238 said.

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Old 10-09-2013, 02:28 PM   #10
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I think I agree with the others on here for the most part, about your kegging set up. With your FG readings, it looks like you shouldn't get much sweetness there. There is one other thing though, I'm wondering if you are picking up the banana flavor esters from fermenting in the higher range of the yeast and mistaking that for sweetness. I did a beer that fermented hot one time and the Banana flavor was intense enough to fool me into thinking it was also lending some sweetness to the beer.

Definitely clean your kegs (especially the posts and popoffs), clean your lines and your faucet. And try to get those fermentation temps down in the mid 60s. I've found hitting 70 will always leave some banana flavor in there.

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