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Old 12-29-2010, 12:52 PM   #1
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Default metallic off flavor

I brewed 1.047 english bitter. I used target vacuumed hops and regular sanitizing and brewing procedures.

It's been fermenting for 12 days in primary. I just took a sample, and it tastes and smells really nice, but the finish is very metallic and band aid like, as if I'm sucking nails

what could cause this? will it dissipate with time? anyone has similar experience?

This is the first time I boiled wort for 90 minutes - maybe this fact has something to do with it?

thanks

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Old 12-29-2010, 01:05 PM   #2
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Were you brewing in an Aluminum pot? If so you may want to make sure that you've boiled water (just water) in it for a good 60 minutes to season it. That solved the metallic taste I was getting.

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Old 12-29-2010, 01:13 PM   #3
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Do you use bleach? Is your water chlorinated? Possibly an old can of malt extract.

Or you picked up a wild yeast.

I don't think it is going anywhere.

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Old 12-29-2010, 01:13 PM   #4
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no, I use stainless steel..... the same equipment I've been using all the time....this is the first time I have this off flavor, so I suppose it's not the equipment....

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Old 12-29-2010, 01:16 PM   #5
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I started brewing in September here in Cambridge, MA when the temps were still in the 80s (F) and my ambient temperature was 77. My first 4 batches had a metallic/bandaid smell and taste - each batch slighlty less than the previous. My last few batches have not had this problem.

There are several things I changed since then. The biggest that may have had effect on this off-flavor are campden tablets and lower fermentation temperatures.

My opinion is that this off-flavor that I had (and probably you as well) is most likely the result of the fermentation temperatures (the temps in Boston have significantly droppped since September). What is your ambient temperature? You should shoot for 70F as a MAX, maybe even 68F ambient because the inside temp will be a few degrees higher than the outsuide temp as a result of fermentation. Or use a cold water bath if you don't have true temperature control.

The campden tablets may also play a role. In Cambridge we do have some chlorine in our water but they also definitely use chloramine to treat the water. Sitting water overnight or boiling water WILL get rid of CHLORINE but NOT CHLORAMINE. I treat all water that goes into the beer - mash, sparge and any fill water that I use if I do a partial boil.

I'm still trying some of the batches with which I have done both of these corrections but so far this seems to have done the trick.

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Old 12-29-2010, 01:31 PM   #6
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Echoing what ayoungrad said about chloramine. I had one batch that had a marked metalic flavor and I spent a long time trying to figure out where it came from, as it was the first batch I had that did that. I traced it down to the local water dept started adding chloramine to the water supply to combat other things that were making it into the water supply from farms up stream. I now measure out all of the water that I will be using (plus a touch) the day/night before and dose it with campden tablets. I haven't had a problem with it since then, but I ended up dumping 2 batches because of that metal taste before I figured it out.

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Old 12-29-2010, 01:57 PM   #7
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Quote:
Metallic flavors are usually caused by unprotected metals dissolving into the wort but can also be caused by the hydrolysis of lipids in poorly stored malts. Iron and aluminum can cause metallic flavors leaching into the wort during the boil. The small amount could be considered to be nutritional if it weren't for the bad taste. Nicks and cracks ceramic coated steel pots are a common cause as are high iron levels in well water. Stainless steel pots will not contribute any metallic flavors. Aluminum pots usually won't cause metallic flavors unless the brewing water is alkaline with a pH level greater than 9. Shiny new aluminum pots will sometimes turn black when boiling water due to chlorine and carbonates in the water.

The protective (grayish) oxides of aluminum can be enhanced by heating the clean pot in a dry oven at 250°F for about 6 hours.
-Palmer
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Old 12-29-2010, 02:32 PM   #8
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Just an FYI... I have always used stainless steel and have been using the same two grain suppliers. These off-flavors can be difficult to nail-down.

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Old 12-29-2010, 03:09 PM   #9
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I brew all-grain batches and when I have brewed darker beers they seem to have a metallic taste but not my lighter beers. (example.. I did an American Brown and a Kölsch on the same day)

Nobody else detects what I am tasting so I am wondering if it could be something more of an astringent quality from the darker grains? I generally mash for ~60 mins but I check for conversion before I sparge. I have been mashing around 154°.

My dark beers have seemed a little astringent to me, I have beers that I adjusted the chemistry and beers I have not and they still seem to have that dry/pucker factor that I want to get rid of! I am at work so I cannot access my grain bills.

I include the Kölsch to show it is not my aluminum pot or my water!

Any ideas from anyone!

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Old 12-29-2010, 06:09 PM   #10
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I know I'm not the most seasoned person on here by a long stretch but did you check the pH of the mash after you adjusted?

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