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Old 09-30-2011, 03:43 PM   #1
eldutcho
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Default Off Flavour/No head

Hi guys, I'm a fairly new brewer and I have some questions about the two batches of home brew that I've made so far. Both have been your standard Coopers/Munton's style extract kit, where you have to add sugar. The first batch I used only table sugar, and the second I used about 2/3 corn sugar and made up the rest of the sugar needed with table sugar
-The problem with both beers has been a weird taste thats almost like band-aids/mediciney. I don't feel its a sanitation problem, as I'm fairly sure I was quite thorough. I've read a few threads that talk about the off tastes I've mentioned, but they seem to be more of a result of high ferm temps(If I remember correctly). This also strikes me as somewhat odd as a cause because both batches sat in my fruit cellar which is fairly cool through the whole summer
-The second problem was only with regards to my second batch. I primed with the recommended amount of sugar before bottling, and the carbonation is just weird. For some reason the beer seems more like a pop than a beer, no real head but lots of bubbles.
Just hoping to get some answers on what I might have done wrong, I'll just post some general info about the batches

-Water is from a well, I live in the country, water is moderately hard
-Both kits were no boil kits, but to get a feel of the whole process I did boil the diluted extract for 15 mins
-First batch I transferred to secondary, second batch I left in primary

So I guess to sum it all up, should I step away from the add-sugar kits? Should I pick out a recipe and use only malts for my fermentables? I really wouldn't mind ending up with something that doesn't taste terrible

ps. Sorry for the essay

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Old 09-30-2011, 03:46 PM   #2
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Band-aids makes me think maybe some oxidation of the finished beer? Maybe splashing when racking or bubbling through the racking cane?

Where is Florence, ON?

B

EDIT: Never mind I see you're near my friend Steve in Petrolia.

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Old 09-30-2011, 03:49 PM   #3
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When you say "fairly cool" what temperature are you talking about? Fairly cool for Texas is about 75 average (even though that's still really warm to my hot-blooded self).

For the carbonation, how long has it been in bottles...and did you refridgerate the bottles before you popped the top?

Also, there's nothing wrong with the Coopers kits as long as they're fresh but in my opinion it's more fun to have a full length brew day whether its with steeping grains or an all-grain day. I feel like i'm more directly influencing the final outcome, but like i said, if a Cooper's kit is fresh there's no reason you couldn't come out with a decent beer if all other factors are ideal.

Edit: i've had a band-aid taste with some older hops too, and if these kits are pre-hopped that could be another factor. Primarily oxidation, but could also be old hops.

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Old 09-30-2011, 04:00 PM   #4
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Zixxer,
My cellar is usually around 15-20C(60-68F) in the summer, it has been in the bottles for about 2 months at this point. The bottles were put in the fridge for an hour or two before drinking.
birvine,
I'm fairly sure I didn't splash the beer around too much when bottling, but I'll be sure to be more careful with it next batch.
And yes, Petrolia's about 20 minutes away from me, wonderful old town.

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Old 09-30-2011, 04:06 PM   #5
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In general, I would suggest using either recipes you see here on HBT or use something like the Festa Brew kits which are simple and really tasty. In general, don't worry about a secondary, just primary for 3-4 weeks. In general, chill the beer pre-drinking for 24 hours or so after they have conditioned for 3-4 weeks at room temp.

B

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Old 09-30-2011, 04:07 PM   #6
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OK, i see one issue eldutcho.

Take a bottle (just one, so you aren't wasting a bunch on this experiment) and stick it in the fridge for a week. Then pop the top.

For the temps, did your cellar fluctuate between those temps during fermentation or was it a constant temp? If it was constant we'll keep going. If you're not sure, or if your temperature swung from 60-68 during fermentation then you're beer could have swung from 60-78, some vigerous fermentations will create a heat zone despite ambient temperatures being within reason.

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Old 09-30-2011, 04:50 PM   #7
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Band aid flavors usually come from chlorine/chloromine. You used moderately hard well water. Maybe some of the minerals in it are causing the band aid flavor? And if you used the cooper's carb drops,after 7 weeks,they start to over carbonate,& give soda size bubbles in the beer. you'll get a carbon hit from the over carbonation too. They seem to just keep carbonating to 7 or 8 weeks. I stopped using the carb drops,& now bulk prime with table sugar,dextrose (corn sugar),demerara sugar (raw cane sugar). That should take care of the carb thing. You could try jugs of spring water to brew/top off with. It's cleaner & softer than the well water you've been using. That might cure the band aid problem.
What cleaners & sanitizers do you use?
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Old 09-30-2011, 07:10 PM   #8
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I generally clean my stuff with baking soda and sanitize with potassium metabisulfite. I will try to keep a bottle in the fridge and test it out. I'm also going to bring a bottle to a lhbs and get someone's opinion firsthand.
As for the temp question, it may have fluctuated around 10-15f I suppose, but it doesn't ever get significantly warm down there.
Thank you guys for all your replies. It seems like a Great community here.

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Old 09-30-2011, 08:01 PM   #9
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Well,cooper's sells sodium metabisulfite, for sanitizing,& smells like chlorine bleach to me. I stopped using it since you have to rinse with so much hot water to clean it off everything. Maybe yours is causing the same effect? If it is the same,it could cause the band aid flavor.
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Old 09-30-2011, 08:21 PM   #10
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What would you recommend sanitizing with as an alternative? I should add I used sulfite for sanitizing during making some mead over the last little while and it turned out great. No funny tastes, but then again mead has some significant weight taste-wise and could possibly cover it up.

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