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Old 11-23-2009, 02:21 AM   #1
bendit
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Default Strong nail polish smell and creamy head

Hey guys,

I tried to make a beer similar to SNPA (recipe from Palmer's book but switched out some of the hops based on availability).

The beer seemed to taste great before I bottled in, but I am now into 3 weeks of the beer being in bottles and it has a really strong smell of nail polish (ethyl acetate?) and some of the beers have a ton of creamy head. The smell of the acetate is so strong that the beer is undrinkable.

Any idea what may have caused this?

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Old 11-23-2009, 03:34 AM   #2
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sounds to me that it might have a pelicle infection.Your bottling bucket might have been contaminated with something before you added the beer to it.

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Old 11-23-2009, 03:48 AM   #3
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A similar thread got similar responses, but I am unsure where it happened. I used a secondary and bottled directly from there. Maybe my siphon or my bottles were contaminated?

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Old 11-23-2009, 05:13 AM   #4
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Definitely replace your siphon hose, I've heard of lots of "mysterious" infections batch after batch that came down to the hose. They're so cheap, when in doubt, throw it out.

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Old 11-23-2009, 12:30 PM   #5
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If it smells like nail polish, I would think it was hot fermentation temperatures that created fusel alcohols. There may be some oxidation going on too.

What do you mean by thick creamy head? When you pour, or in the bottle? Remember that fermentation happens again in the bottle, so you might be seeing the krausen. Usually, wild yeast infections in the bottle form a thin film on the top of the beer. A sure sign of this is a white ring at the fill level.

Does the beer taste sour too? I've recently had someones beer that got a wild yeast/lacto infection. This caused it to gush when I opened the bottle, and made it almost impossible to pour because of all of the foam.

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Old 11-23-2009, 08:53 PM   #6
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Fermentation was done in my basement which stayed between 63-68f

Some bottles have about a 1/4 inch of head in the neck AFTER being opened (nothing before it's opened), and I think it's those same bottles that have a really thick head. For example, if I swirl my glass around, a ball of foam sort of forms in the middle of the glass.

Some bottles are worse than others, and one barely had any acetate smell at all.

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Old 11-23-2009, 09:06 PM   #7
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What was your bottle washing/sanitizing process then? Do you regularly take apart and clean the spigot in your bottling bucket?

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Old 11-24-2009, 04:06 AM   #8
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I rinse my bottles after use and put them a side until I need them. On bottling day, I soaked all my bottles in my bathtub with oxyclean. I then put them in the dishwasher with a rinse and heat-dry cycle.

I did _not_ wash each bottle with a brush since I had read that rinsing them immediately after use would do the trick of getting any gunk out and it would just need to be sanitized.

I used a secondary and siphoned straight from it to bottles. I soaked the tube and siphon in sanitized and flowed the sanitizing solution through the whole thing (siphoned it through). I found sanitizing the siphon to be very cumbersome since I don't have anything big enough to soak it in so I may have not cleaned it as well as it needed to be, but I did run sanitized through it.

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Old 03-24-2010, 05:55 AM   #9
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I'm having a similar thing with the head of my beer sort of clumping towards the middle of the glass, and a mild soap flavor. The bubbles on the head also look like soap bubbles instead of foam bubbles, in that there is that shiny rainbow-residue look. I used the recommended star san dilution in a bucket, soaked the bottles, dumped, and didn't "fear the foam." I'm thinking, however, that it may still be Star San because there is a mild almost burny-sensation on the tongue.

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Old 03-24-2010, 03:43 PM   #10
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The amount of StarSan residue in a full bottle of beer will not be enough to cause any kind of burning sensation. Unless you didn't dilute it first...

I would look at ferment temps, which should start a few degrees below the optimum, since the yeast will heat themselves up during the first few days, and then gradual warm it up towards the higher end of the yeast's range after the first week, or the first hard ferment has stopped.

Also, if you are using a "siphon" to bottle, I urge you to buy a bottling bucket and make you life less hellish. They are MUCH easier to use IMO and can reduce the risk of infections caused by starting the siphon with your mouth, and by reducing the total amount of surface area that a bug can hide on. Just remember to clean the spigot after each use and sanitize.

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