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Home Brew Forums > Home Brewing Beer > Beginners Beer Brewing Forum > an odd smell/taste reminiscent of modeling glue
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Old 09-04-2009, 01:59 PM   #1
mboll101
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Default an odd smell/taste reminiscent of modeling glue

so, i'm on my second batch- and the second one turned out the same...ok- but with a moderate smell and taste like the modeling cement some of you used as a kid...solvent, paint thinner, plastic-y. I changed everything for the second batch..water, hops, grains, kettle type. the only thing that was the same was a PET style plastic carboy for the primary. is this the cause? i have been doing everything by the book and have no idea what the problem is. help?! have been conditioning in bottle for two weeks...maybe just more time?


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Old 09-04-2009, 03:18 PM   #2
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What was fermentation like (time in primary, secondary, temperature). When did you bottle?

More info necessary.

What was the recycle number of the plastic carboy you used? Did you get it at a home-brew shop?


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Old 09-04-2009, 04:06 PM   #3
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hey broadbill thanks for the reply- here is more info. its a Five gallon plastic carboy "Better Bottle" , stain-resistant, non-porous PET plastic that is supposedly impermeable to oxygen. at about 72 degrees, it sat for a week in primary, and another week in secondary ( secondary is a plastic 6 gallon bucket) both of these were purchased from norther brewer. i've only waited a another week in bottle to taste, but my last batch i waited another 2-3 weeks and the taste is still there. its wierd. this is a pale ale with wyeast american ale, and the second one was a califorinia white labs. no yeast starters. I've been really throrough with sanitation. the only thing i didn't do was boil water when adding to wort in the primary. could this cause an issue? i am using bottled water.
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Old 09-04-2009, 04:25 PM   #4
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Well, it should be from the Better Bottle...plenty of people use them with no ill effects on their beer.

I don't think its a sanitization issue, nor do I think it is from the water you used to top-off your fermenter.

The most likely explanation is fermentation temperature...high fermentation temps cause yeast to produce large amounts of fusel alcohols...which definitely taste solventy and like paint-thinner like.

You mention 72 degrees...was that the temperature that you kept your beer at, or the temperature of the room that you kept your beer? Active fermentation will raise the temperature of your beer, and if it was in a 72F room to start with, you are looking at your beer getting into the 80s at the peak of fermentation activity.

The solution to the problem would have been more time in the fermenter. A week in primary/a week in secondary is probably not long enough for the yeast to do their thing, even with the best of fermentations, and especially not long enough for them to clean up all of those fusel alcohols they produced in the warm ferment. More patience is needed...maybe a month in the fermenter between primary and secondary.

Your best bet might be to go put those bottles somewhere out of the way and forget about them. A couple of months of aging won't hurt this beer one bit...maybe more. In the meanwhile, look into how to control fermentation temps....swamp coolers are the cheap way to do it.

Hope this helps!
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Old 09-04-2009, 04:47 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by broadbill View Post
You mention 72 degrees...was that the temperature that you kept your beer at, or the temperature of the room that you kept your beer? Active fermentation will raise the temperature of your beer, and if it was in a 72F room to start with, you are looking at your beer getting into the 80s at the peak of fermentation activity.

The solution to the problem would have been more time in the fermenter. A week in primary/a week in secondary is probably not long enough for the yeast to do their thing, even with the best of fermentations, and especially not long enough for them to clean up all of those fusel alcohols they produced in the warm ferment. More patience is needed...maybe a month in the fermenter between primary and secondary.

Your best bet might be to go put those bottles somewhere out of the way and forget about them. A couple of months of aging won't hurt this beer one bit...maybe more. In the meanwhile, look into how to control fermentation temps....swamp coolers are the cheap way to do it.

Hope this helps!
+1 - I had my first batch in bottles for almost 3 months before I started to think " Hey, this isn't nearly as bad as I first thought! ".

Follow broadbill's advice - just work on keeping actual fermentation temps lower, and give the fermentation more time before you bottle. The higher the OG is, the longer the fermentation & conditioning time will be ... rule of thumb.
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Old 09-04-2009, 05:38 PM   #6
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thanks guys...i appreciate it and will work on this!
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Old 09-04-2009, 06:37 PM   #7
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Sounds like it could be fusels. I'd get that temp controlled and get it (the beer, not the room) under 70. Can't say for sure it's that, but sounds like that.
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Old 09-04-2009, 10:30 PM   #8
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I agree with what everyone else is saying but also would like to ask what sanitizer you use? If it is bleach and you did not get it rinsed completely you may have some off flavors.
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Old 09-10-2009, 05:02 PM   #9
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its just onestep- should be ok. Batch number 3 went off last night- i have it in a more temp moderated area, so we will see what happens in the next few weeks- thanks all for the help. cheers.


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