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Old 11-02-2011, 06:24 PM   #1
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Default I've had same off flavor with first 3 brews, thinking of using secondary?

Hi all,

I've brewed 4 different batches of brews so far, all partial mash, and each time I feel like I can taste a distinct flavor, even though they were all different beers (brown ale, cream ale, bavarian hef, and a holiday spiced ale). I can't tell what this off flavor is, as I am new to homebrewing, but its a distinct sort of fruitiness/spice perhaps?? I typically brew and leave in primary for 4 weeks, then straight to bottling bucket and bottle. I am wondering if the off flavor is from the beer sitting on the yeast the whole time. I want to correct this (or attempt to) so thinking of using a secondary (glass carboy) this time. I also plan on dry hopping. It's been in primary for a week, and has reached final gravity (at least what the IPA kit I bought said should be FG of 1.019)

Think this is a good idea? Might work? Give it a shot?

One more question, if I do this, my primary has a spigot, but when I went to check FG some trub/yeast (a fair amount) came out with the beer. Should I use a racking cane instead of spigot? Any tricks to getting as much beer out without grabbing the funky stuff?

Thanks!!



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Old 11-02-2011, 06:30 PM   #2
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Two theories: 1-beer is green; 2-fermenting too warm.

What is your fermentation temp?

How long in primary?

How long in bottle?



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Old 11-02-2011, 06:32 PM   #3
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Sitting on the yeast shouldn't be the problem, I think the 4 week primary is a keeper and I've stopped doing secondary unless I'm doing a really light style beer. I've only done extract and partial mash and before I moved to PM I remember the beer having a little twang to it. For me that changed when I went to a longer primary (which you are doing) and more late addition for the extracts. Sanitation is always something to look at, fermentation temps, yeast strains were different I'm assuming? Try taking a bottle to your local brew shop, they guys at my store are really good at helping with off flavors. Also I'd say use a siphon for transferring to your secondary though. It's worth a shot with secondary though.

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Old 11-02-2011, 06:34 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hitransplant View Post
two theories: 1-beer is green; 2-fermenting too warm.

What is your fermentation temp?

How long in primary?

How long in bottle?
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Old 11-02-2011, 06:36 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HItransplant View Post
Two theories: 1-beer is green; 2-fermenting too warm.

What is your fermentation temp?

How long in primary?

How long in bottle?
Beer is green meaning it needed more time in primary? Each time I let them stay in primary for 4 weeks, and bottles for 3 weeks. I don't have a temperature regulator so I just let it do it's thing with whatever weather we're having here in southern Ca. But I think it's usually around 70 degrees for fermentation. To be honest though it could be anywhere from 65 to 73.
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Old 11-02-2011, 06:43 PM   #6
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Beer is green meaning it needed more time in primary? Each time I let them stay in primary for 4 weeks, and bottles for 3 weeks. I don't have a temperature regulator so I just let it do it's thing with whatever weather we're having here in southern Ca. But I think it's usually around 70 degrees for fermentation. To be honest though it could be anywhere from 65 to 73.
Your fermentation temp could be your biggest issue for your off flavors. Have you been using DME of LME?
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Old 11-02-2011, 06:49 PM   #7
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Your fermentation temp could be your biggest issue for your off flavors. Have you been using DME of LME?
Um the recipe called for 8lbs pale malt extract, it was thick and molasses like. Is that LME? the grains used for the partial mash were 1lb crystal malt, .5 pound honey malt, .5 pound biscuit malt. Also used white labs yeast california ale.

And yes all the yeasts have been different strains
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Old 11-02-2011, 06:49 PM   #8
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The fermentation process can increase the temperature of the beer as much as 5 or 6 degrees above the air temperature of your room. You really ought to work on temperature control, monitoring the actual temperature of the beer. I use the Son of Fermentation Chiller and a thermometer that sticks to the fermentor.

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Old 11-02-2011, 06:51 PM   #9
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The fermentation process can increase the temperature of the beer as much as 5 or 6 degrees above the air temperature of your room. You really ought to work on temperature control, monitoring the actual temperature of the beer. I use the Son of Fermentation Chiller and a thermometer that sticks to the fermentor.
So does the thermometer stick to the outside of the bucket like a sticker, sort of like those ones I had back in the day for my fish tank?
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Old 11-02-2011, 06:58 PM   #10
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What about your water? DO you know if your water has any Chlorine or Chloramine in it?

If I were you, I'd also drop that temp down to 62-65. You can use a "swamp cooler" to hit those temps. Google search. I don't think 70 ambient is terrible for that yeast, but I think you'll get a cleaner flavor dropping more if you can.

There is nothing wrong with keeping your beer on the yeast for 4 weeks, and bottling for 3. That still might make the beer "green", but it depends on the style. I don't think it would for your recipe, though. That should be fine.

What do you use for sanitizer? I highly recommend StarSan, or even Iodophor.

One other thought: You say your bucket has a spigot. Do you take it apart and clean each piece by hand, then sanitize before putting back together? You really need to do this directly after you empty the fermenter or bottling bucket. That spigot is an excellent place for bacteria to grow. Simply draining some hot water or sanitizer through it won't get all it clean enough. Trust me.

Don't worry, your problem is easily solved once you figure out what it is.



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