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Old 10-30-2009, 10:24 PM   #1
pendragon
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Default Two batches, same funky taste/smell

I've now made two batches of beer since I started the homebrewing. Both are the Mountmellick brand canned extract. One being the Irish Stout and the other Brown Ale.

They both have the same odd taste and smell to them though. I really can't stand more than a couple tastes of either. The smell reminds me of the starsan sanitizer. Even though I've seen it everywhere that starsan does not need to be rinsed, the local brew store suggested rinsing the bottles prior to bottling. After sitting in the closet for a month, they have a nice pop when opened. There's a good 1-2 inches of head on it when pouring into a glass.

Here's how I'm cleaning/sanitizing the bottles if anyone could point out something that might be wrong. The bottles have no visble dirt or reside so they're soaked in a bucket of 5start pbw for about 30 mins and then soaked in a second bucket filled with starsan for around 30 mins as well. They then put into the bottom rack of the dishwasher to drain and dry. They're not actually washed in the dishwasher though. After drying they're put into a crate capped until ready to be filled. Which maybe a couple weeks later when ready to bottle.

When the bottles are taken out of the starsan and the bottle dumped into the bucket. The starsan leaves soap bubble looking foam inside the bottle. Once dried this there is no apparent film. Although the outside of the bottles seems to have a slippery film to them.

When using the bottling wand to partly fill a clean glass, at bottling time, the beer did not have this nasty after taste to it. As much as I've read that starsan contributes no off flavors, it seems theres is something going on there.

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Old 10-30-2009, 10:37 PM   #2
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This is probably going to start a decent debate, but here goes...

I've never used any chemical anything to sanitize my 12 oz. bottles. I get them good and clean with hot water and a brush, then I let them dry, then I put a piece of tin-foil over the top and put them into my oven. Slowly bring it up to 350, hold it there for half an hour, then turn it off and let them cool. I can take a bunch of rinsed bottles, cover them, load them, bake them and let them cool in about 2 1/2 hours. Usuaully, I bake them after dinner and let them cool overnight so the time issue is negligible. I use one-liter flip-tops occasionally, but I use b-bright to sanitize them since they don't fit in the oven, and they taste the same as the 12's.

The guy that owns my LHBS has been doing this for going on 20 years, and has even experimented with leaving bits of yeast cake in the bottom and baking them like that. He could taste burnt yeast in the ones he didn't clean, but there was no infection from it.

I can fit 46 12 oz. bottles into my oven, or I can swap a couple of those out for 22 oz. bottles. Almost enough for a 5 gallon batch, so I end up drinking a beer and a half or so at the bottom of the bottling bucket, for research and all that...

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Old 10-31-2009, 02:30 AM   #3
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[QUOTE=pendragon;1645511]
The bottles have no visble dirt or reside so they're soaked in a bucket of 5start pbw for about 30 mins and then soaked in a second bucket filled with starsan for around 30 mins as well.
QUOTE]

If you aren't rinsing them after the pbw soak then you are putting cleaner into your bottles.I've tasted mixed star-san and can not detect any flavor or odor from it.Here's a quote from another forum as a reply to your exact same question.

"I’d be really surprised if it was the StarSan causing the off flavor. A few years back, a former owner of HBA, Al, gave me a demo when I voiced similar concerns. He took a teaspoon of full strength StarSan and mixed it into a full glass of beer. We both tasted it, he to please me so I didn’t think he was trying to poison me. I could not tell it was in the beer. Al had stated that he was given the same demo from a high up rep in the company. Now that’s been many years ago, but I wouldn’t think the StarSan formula could have changed that much; I could be wrong though."

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Old 10-31-2009, 02:43 AM   #4
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One thing I would look at is that you mentioned that you are leaving the bottles for up to two weeks after you've sanitized them. For me, whether they're capped or tin-foiled or whatever... there's still a chance of getting some little microscopic bacteria in the bottles that will just wait for your nice cool beer to be placed in them for bottling. Maybe it's not very likely, but I wouldn't use the bottles after a 2-week wait. I'd re-sanitize them. Maybe it's a lot of work, but sanitizing is really really important...

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Old 10-31-2009, 02:48 AM   #5
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How long in primary? What was OG and FG? What temp were they fermented at? How long were they conditioned? All the above questions and more will impact your beer...

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Old 10-31-2009, 03:11 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by WollenBrew View Post
One thing I would look at is that you mentioned that you are leaving the bottles for up to two weeks after you've sanitized them. For me, whether they're capped or tin-foiled or whatever... there's still a chance of getting some little microscopic bacteria in the bottles that will just wait for your nice cool beer to be placed in them for bottling. Maybe it's not very likely, but I wouldn't use the bottles after a 2-week wait. I'd re-sanitize them. Maybe it's a lot of work, but sanitizing is really really important...


Yeah. I would clean and rinse whenever you feel like it, but sanitize on bottling day. Starsan only requires 30-60 seconds of contact, and there is no need to dry the bottles before filling them. Drop bottles in sanitizer, drain, and fill.
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Old 10-31-2009, 03:41 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RCCOLA View Post
If you aren't rinsing them after the pbw soak then you are putting cleaner into your bottles.
QFT.

And this may be a long shot, but are you using campden tablets? Bottled water? Perhaps the flavor you're tasting is chlorine/chloramines from your tap water.
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Old 10-31-2009, 10:47 AM   #8
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[QUOTE=RCCOLA;1645862]

Quote:
Originally Posted by pendragon View Post
The bottles have no visble dirt or reside so they're soaked in a bucket of 5start pbw for about 30 mins and then soaked in a second bucket filled with starsan for around 30 mins as well.
QUOTE]

If you aren't rinsing them after the pbw soak then you are putting cleaner into your bottles.I've tasted mixed star-san and can not detect any flavor or odor from it.Here's a quote from another forum as a reply to your exact same question.

"I’d be really surprised if it was the StarSan causing the off flavor. A few years back, a former owner of HBA, Al, gave me a demo when I voiced similar concerns. He took a teaspoon of full strength StarSan and mixed it into a full glass of beer. We both tasted it, he to please me so I didn’t think he was trying to poison me. I could not tell it was in the beer. Al had stated that he was given the same demo from a high up rep in the company. Now that’s been many years ago, but I wouldn’t think the StarSan formula could have changed that much; I could be wrong though."
I have the 2 oz packets of PBW. The instructions on the back say to soak in PBW and then soak in starsan. Underneath that in all capital letters it says "do not rinse"

One batch was made with ozarka spring water and the 2nd was made with tap water than was run thru a Pur water filter and then boiled for 15 mins before adding the extract.

No special tablets or anything like that. Just the can of montmellick extract, 2.5 lb corn sugar. The LHBS recommended adding sugar or DME to the extract since the single can itself wouldn't make 5 gallons. The stout was make with DME dark and the brown ale with corn sugar.
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Old 10-31-2009, 12:26 PM   #9
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I stopped doing canned prehopped extract kits because no matter if it was a light ale or stout I could taste this odd flavor. I also had issues getting extract to reach final gravities listed. Well a year later, I taste one of those bottles and the taste is gone.

So what am I saying? Well I think as a noob, like I was, extract kits are great because of how easy they are, but terrible on instructions. My suggestion for you is, if you gonna keep using them. Dont use the yeast that comes with them. Buy some S-05 or s04. Then when fermenting , keep ther temps low 60-68 to reduce esters/flavors. AND by no means should you even consider bottling untill after 3-4 weeks. After Bottling leave it alone for 3 weeks. Then just hide some and come back to them a month or 2 later. You will have great beer. Trust me.

On mine, I think my noobness caused me to hurry the process, ending with beer that had not finished. Get yourself a hydrometer . The carbonation in the bottle brings out some of the flavors that you couldnt detect a bottling time. Good luck.

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Old 10-31-2009, 01:03 PM   #10
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I always rinse bottles with my tap water. I don't believe in no rinse chemicals, the chemical will adhere to the surface of the container in small amount. Water is what beer is made of, why add chemicals?. I remember the ouchless bandages, damn they hurt.

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