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Old 06-25-2009, 04:15 AM   #1
Musketear
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Default IPA Off Flavor

I just finished a well hopped IPA, but there is definitely an off after taste. I would describe it as being medicinal, which I think is usually related to phenols. However, I am very meticulous about sanitation, and don't think that was the cause. My friend who was brewing in a different location has the same problem.

My suspicion is that I let it dry hop in the secondary for about a month, and my friend said that his was dry hopping for a long time as well. Could it be that I let it dry hop too long?


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Old 06-25-2009, 04:43 AM   #2
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Most of what I've read says that phenols are related to sanitation issues or infected/wild yeast. Did you and your partner use yeast from the same place/lot? I think that both of you getting an infection is unlikely, but you never know.
What about ya'll's fermentation temperatures? If they were too high (75*+) it could cause increased fermentation activity and an increased risk of bacterial contamination, as well as production of alcohols (aka fusel alcohols) other than ethyl alcohol. This will give your ale a much harsher taste. Hope this helps. Luck - Dwain


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Old 06-25-2009, 05:54 AM   #3
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What do you Secondary in? It could very well be that you let it sit on the dry hops too long, but I would think that you would be getting more of a grassy,earthy taste. Not medicinal. I like 10 days on dry hops myself.
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Old 06-25-2009, 12:03 PM   #4
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First thing I would look at is fermentation temperature. And fortunately since you both have similar results we at least can compare. Do you use temperature control or able to accurately assume what the fermentation temperature could have been, can your friend do the same? If you fermented in the 70 degree region or below then we can eliminate that as a factor.

Another recommendation is give it 3-4 more weeks to condition. It may be that what you are detecting is the taste of the beer being green. If it is fusel alcohols though it won't go away.

You know for like my first 6 or 7 beers I always detected an off taste. I couldn't figure out what it was, then I went on vacation and left a batch in the keg for about 4 weeks. When I got back the beer was perfect. Turns out I had been drinking the beer too early. I'll sometimes still drink the beer green though if I am low in stock and thirsty. lol
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Old 06-25-2009, 03:22 PM   #5
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what kind of sanitizer and cleaner do you use?
if you use oxyclean and either use too much per gallon of water and/or dont rinse it well enough (no slippery residue) you will get that taste.
also if you dont rinse your sanitizer well enough (assuming it is a san. that you need to rinse)
another cause that was alluded to earlier is if you get an infection or wild yeast strains, which can happen if you dont have enough liquid in your airlock. and if you dont already use alcohol in the airlock rather than water.
and yet another which was also mentioned is that the beer is too "green" so after you warm condition for two weeks try fridging it for another two.

i had this happen a couple times and it was because of the oxyclean residue. to correct i used significantly less per gallon of water and rinsed fiendishly.
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Old 06-25-2009, 06:22 PM   #6
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A medicinal flavor in beer can be the result of chlorine in the wort from the water or a residual chlorine based cleaner. I am not familiar with Oxyclean's makeup, but from the comments here, I suspect it has a chlorine based chemical in it. Breweries avoid using chlorine cleaners to clean vessels that come into contact with the beer. They generally use caustic, acid and peroxide based cleaners. If you are using tap water and not removing the chlorine by boiling or filtration, this can also cause problems with a medicinal flavor.

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Old 06-25-2009, 07:21 PM   #7
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Chlorine sucks. I -should- be boiling my water before mash as well but who has the time! Not to mention I can only boil 7.5g at a time. Maybe I can modify my hot water heater to maintain the water at just below boiling temps.... that way I can pull it from the tap nearly ready to go. That could cause trouble in the shower though when the toilet gets flushed....


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