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Old 08-04-2013, 08:42 PM   #1
dasdrewids
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Default Identifying an off flavor - "Paint"

I'd like to think I'm not a beginner, but let's be honest about it...

I did a partial mash Ayinger Maibock clone (from Clone Brews, with Wyeast 2633 Octoberfest blend yeast). As early as moving to the secondary, I was noticing an off taste. I decided to try secondarying in the keg I'm now "serving" from. I've let it age (starting down the route of this thread: http://www.homebrewtalk.com/f39/neve...en-beer-73254/ ... not going to dump it, but may drink it out of necessity before the next few batches come ready and I don't feel like buying anything) since May 5 (it's now Aug 4), the last ~2 weeks of which were carbed (hooked up, carbed to ~19psi, left alone til now). The taste is still there and it's being described by my roommates as "it tastes like what paint smells like". I would describe it as plasticy/rubbery, like opening a warm tacklebox. And it's definitely been there since before the beer went into secondary (it was in a glass primary, if that matters).

I'm wondering a) who's encountered something like this and b) what may have caused this? Basically, what can I work on to improve so that I don't have something like this happen again?

This is my first real lager, with a lager yeast and put in a proper lagering fridge (it's been <50F the entire time). Is it possible this is actually correct and I just need to let it age a lot longer? Would it have dissipated if I had done secondary in a different container and moved it to age in it's current keg (there's still a small amount of gunk, mostly small pieces of hops, ~3 pints in).

I wanna take this as a learning experience, so if anyone has some ideas or knowledge, it'd be greatly appreciated!

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Old 08-04-2013, 10:51 PM   #2
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Sounds like maybe a chlorine/chloramine issue in the water. I lost a couple batches to that awful plasticy taste when I moved to a new house several yrs back and discovered there was chloramine in the water (in my experience it did not condition out). Now I use campden and it's all good - here's an article on it.

Could also be some other causes for phenolic off tastes, as described here.

Edit: I lager in the keg rather than a separate secondary vessel, and you had proper temp control during fermentation sounds like. I don't think this is your issue.

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Old 08-05-2013, 04:22 AM   #3
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Could it be Diacetyl? Normally, with a lager, you bring up the temp 10 degrees when 2/3 done with fermentation to bring it to FG as well as to get the yeast to absorb any diacetyl (sometimes described as rancid butter flavor).

I am also thinking DMS (cooked vegetable smell) if you didn't boil for 90 min.

The obvious one would be fusel alcohols, but if it fermented at < 50, unless it wasn't well oxygenated, that is less likely.

For lagers, I highly recommend O2 injection and a suitable sized starter (1G is common). That could be the source of the issue.

Don't give up, lagers are worth the effort and love they require.

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Old 08-05-2013, 01:33 PM   #4
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Sounds similar to the problem I had with chloramines. What was your water source and have you use it for other beers. If it is city water check online and they probably have a water report available. If its is chloramines you can treat the water with campden tablets to break it down.

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Old 08-07-2013, 03:05 AM   #5
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You guys rock! I'm gonna test the Campden tabs as soon as I can stop by the LHBS. My last few brews I've been using Poland Spring (the landlord has it delivered in 5gal bottles but we're happy drinking from the tap, so it's unofficially my brew water now), but the lager may have been done with city water.

Cyclaman - I definitely didn't raise the temp at the end of the lager, so that could also be it. I don't think I'd describe the taste quite like either of those, though. "Medicinal" seems closer, but we'll see Thanks for the tips!

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Old 08-09-2013, 04:09 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dasdrewids View Post
You guys rock! I'm gonna test the Campden tabs as soon as I can stop by the LHBS. My last few brews I've been using Poland Spring (the landlord has it delivered in 5gal bottles but we're happy drinking from the tap, so it's unofficially my brew water now), but the lager may have been done with city water.

Cyclaman - I definitely didn't raise the temp at the end of the lager, so that could also be it. I don't think I'd describe the taste quite like either of those, though. "Medicinal" seems closer, but we'll see Thanks for the tips!
I wouldn't test by using campden tablets, contact your water utility and ask. I emailed mine asking about it and if they had more detailed info than on the report and was provided with the info I needed for making water adjustments. Don't risk another batch if you are unsure.
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Old 08-14-2013, 03:57 AM   #7
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I wouldn't test by using campden tablets, contact your water utility and ask. I emailed mine asking about it and if they had more detailed info than on the report and was provided with the info I needed for making water adjustments. Don't risk another batch if you are unsure.
I was testing the batch I already. I poured a pair of growlers, treated one, let them sit a couple days, and had friends try them. The tablets definitely improved the flavor, thought there's still some off flavor (more of an early taste, whereas the really bad stuff was more of a mid-flavor).

Here's my local water report: http://www.snew.org/PDFs/WaterQualit...ts/CCR2012.pdf

Looks like the chlorine isn't crazy, but maybe I hit it on an abnormal day? I may invest in some test papers to be certain...
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Old 08-14-2013, 04:04 AM   #8
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Originally Posted by dasdrewids View Post
I was testing the batch I already. I poured a pair of growlers, treated one, let them sit a couple days, and had friends try them.
Pretty sure it won't work on beer where the chlorphenols are already produced. You need to treat the water to remove the chloramine beforehand.
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