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Old 08-07-2009, 03:56 PM   #1
JJDMusic
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I have been all-grain brewing for about two years now. Recently every batch I have made has been borderline undrinkable. Only my stout is still drinkable. All my other beers have a strong yeast quality to them. I batch sparge and do a 90 minute boil. Cooled with an Immersion chiller and pre chiller(IC in ice bath running to chiller in beer). I aerate with a drill fitting and pitch my yeast at a temp well below 80 degrees. I have tried pitching with out smacking the smack pack. I have tried the normal approach of smacking the pack and letting it swell. I have made starters the day before. I have made starters a week early and poured of the clear beer on top to pitch the slurry. Also, I use a chest freezer with a johnson control set to the low end of my yeast's range. I stick the temperate control probe in between a piece of bubble wrap and the side of the glass fermenter. I grab a taste after a week when I check the gravity and it is awful. Never gets better. I have let a normal gravity (1.054) sit for a month and the off flavor is still there.

If the beer is not a dark dark beer this off flavor is too dominate. I am very conscious of keeping my brew gear clean with PBW, and I sanitize with iodophor. My next beer will be an extract kit to see if the problem lies in my mashing technique.(If there is no off flavor in my extract beer than the problem must be in my mash.)

Do you guys have any clue what I could be doing wrong? I have made great beers in the past with out this problem but, I just can't seem to get past it now. And if you live in the south jersey area please come by and try this beer. Maybe we can figure this out together.



 
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Old 08-07-2009, 04:02 PM   #2
batfishdog37
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The only thing I can think of is maybe something in your water could be causing it. You say that only dark, dark beers come out decent or without an overpowering off-flavor. Do you know your water profile? Hard water is better for dark beers soft water for light yadda, yadda... DON'T GIVE UP!! What kind of off-flavor is it? Can you describe the flavor?



 
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Old 08-07-2009, 04:03 PM   #3
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Do you think something has changed in your water supply?

(I must have posted at the same time as above)
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Old 08-07-2009, 04:14 PM   #4
eschatz
 
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Yeah, you've gotta describe the off flavor. Plastic, rancid, apple, barnyard, butter, something else...
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Old 08-07-2009, 05:27 PM   #5
JJDMusic
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The best I can do to describe the flavor is Yeasty or Buttery, slick with little to no head. I don't use dish soap. My meads come out fine. But, they are Poland springs bottled water. How can I tell if I have hard or soft water? What should I look for in my water quality report? Also, I have a Pur water filter on my tap.

Reason: add the filter part

 
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Old 08-07-2009, 06:06 PM   #6
IXVolt
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You could buy water water from the store and see if you have the same results.

Also what temps do you mash at, and possibly try some dry yeast.

 
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Old 08-07-2009, 06:23 PM   #7
JJDMusic
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I mash in somewhere between 165 and 170 depends on the amount of grain. Mash temp holds a steady 152 for one hour in my cooler mash tun. My sparge water is around 186 to get the temp in the cooler up to 170. I stir every thing up pretty well and do a 15 minute batch sparge. I think I will brew my English Strong Ale with poland springs. I want to try one correction at a time to really pin point this problem. May have to waste some money, but it would be better than trying to sell all my equipment.

 
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Old 08-07-2009, 07:04 PM   #8
Hotspur
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JJDMusic View Post
The best I can do to describe the flavor is Yeasty or Buttery, slick with little to no head. I don't use dish soap. My meads come out fine. But, they are Poland springs bottled water. How can I tell if I have hard or soft water? What should I look for in my water quality report? Also, I have a Pur water filter on my tap.
Buttery? Are you doing a diacetyl rest, particularly if you're fermenting at lower temps? Try raising the fermentation tempt to ambient (65-70ish) for the last bit of fermentation, or for a few days after active fermentation has stopped.

 
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Old 08-07-2009, 07:06 PM   #9
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Old 08-07-2009, 07:11 PM   #10
eschatz
 
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Yeah, get your temps more inline to mid 60's. You're using a starter and pitching the correct amount (not over/under pitching), right? You're aerating. Are you using alot of pilsner malt? If you send your beer to someone who's a BJCP judge on here they can probably diagnose it for you. Any judges wanna step up to the fire line?


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