Home Brew Forums > Home Brewing Beer > Bottling/Kegging > why does my beer taste funny after I break the seal?
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Old 12-24-2010, 05:09 PM   #1
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Default why does my beer taste funny after I break the seal?

So I naturally carbonate my 5g keg beers. Taste great when I first pour that first glass.... I dispense with 5-10 psi as per Charlie Papazian's recommendations (he says 5 psi and I agree). Anyways, I had it in a refrigerator. I always try to drink a lot that first go, maybe have a party or something. But as time goes on it tastes worse. Shouldn't the CO2 keep it fresh? It's probably good the first week or so.. after that the favors change noticeably. After a week, if the beer taste too flat I put the psi to 25-30 psi over night... but that usually gives me a lot of foam while I dispense at 5 psi... anyway, i had like a gallon in there for about 2 months... and I wanted to empty the keg yesterday... so I drank it while my friends were here... and I must say, the taste gets worse and worse... It tasted sweeter to me.. the texture even looked different... maybe a little more syrup-y...

Anyways... is that normal? for a good beer to suck as time goes by? I noticed this in the past... I brought a keg to tailgate at a football in a different state... it was delicious when I cracked it opened... we didn't finish it... so I saved it... and the beer sucked the next time I had it... it was a while later though...

thanks.


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Old 12-24-2010, 05:15 PM   #2
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So I naturally carbonate my 5g keg beers. Taste great when I first pour that first glass.... I dispense with 5-10 psi as per Charlie Papazian's recommendations (he says 5 psi and I agree). Anyways, I had it in a refrigerator. I always try to drink a lot that first go, maybe have a party or something. But as time goes on it tastes worse. Shouldn't the CO2 keep it fresh? It's probably good the first week or so.. after that the favors change noticeably. After a week, if the beer taste too flat I put the psi to 25-30 psi over night... but that usually gives me a lot of foam while I dispense at 5 psi... anyway, i had like a gallon in there for about 2 months... and I wanted to empty the keg yesterday... so I drank it while my friends were here... and I must say, the taste gets worse and worse... It tasted sweeter to me.. the texture even looked different... maybe a little more syrup-y...

Anyways... is that normal? for a good beer to suck as time goes by? I noticed this in the past... I brought a keg to tailgate at a football in a different state... it was delicious when I cracked it opened... we didn't finish it... so I saved it... and the beer sucked the next time I had it... it was a while later though...

thanks.
No, that's not normal at all. I would wonder how you break down and clean and sanitize the kegs, and how you clean the lines of the keg. Since a keg is really just a big bottle, and no oxygen can get to it, the beer should last indefinitely.

Sometimes turning it up to 30 psi to carb it up again can cause a carbonic acid "bite" but it goes away once the beer has a chance to absorb it, and that doesn't sound like the problem here. I'd still correct that, and not have a "serving pressure" and a "carbing pressure", but that's not the cause of the off-flavor.


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Old 12-24-2010, 05:22 PM   #3
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I am pretty clean I would say... I never had an infection (that I know of)... after cleaning my kegs.. i usually sanitize with c-brite before I store... when I am ready to use... I sanitize again...

that first time I drink it, it is wonderful with the natural carbonation.. but I notice that it does suck more and more... I thought it should last a lot longer too... hence this post =(

Even if I don't drink it for a couple of months... the first glass is still good... you think it's an infection?

I shouldn't have a "serving pressure" and a "carbing pressure"... but let's say I drink 3 of the 5 gallons.... after time.. isn't the beer going to taste more flat?
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Old 12-24-2010, 05:27 PM   #4
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I am pretty clean I would say... I never had an infection (that I know of)... after cleaning my kegs.. i usually sanitize with c-brite before I store... when I am ready to use... I sanitize again...

that first time I drink it, it is wonderful with the natural carbonation.. but I notice that it does suck more and more... I thought it should last a lot longer too... hence this post =(

Even if I don't drink it for a couple of months... the first glass is still good... you think it's an infection?

I shouldn't have a "serving pressure" and a "carbing pressure"... but let's say I drink 3 of the 5 gallons.... after time.. isn't the beer going to taste more flat?
Try something other than c-brite, like a no-rinse sanitizer. Maybe you're getting some off-flavors from the chlorine in the c-brite (or whatever it is in there- percarbonate?) or from the rinsing of it.

Try breaking it down, cleanign with the c-brite, rinsing well, then sanitize with something like star-san. Do the same with the lines- try BLC for the lines before rinsing and sanitizing.

If you keep the beer one one pressure- say, 10 psi at fridge temperatures, you can dispense AND keep it carbonated without ever changing it. That means it's not flat/too carbed/foamy- ever!

If you're getting good beer out of the first glass, even after time, it's probably not any infection. I wonder if your boost carbing with the high psi at times is giving you the carbonic acid bite I mentioned before.

What does the beer start to taste like with time? Stale? Sherry? Cloves? Maybe we can figure out what's happening.
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Old 12-24-2010, 05:44 PM   #5
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yea C-bright uses chlorine not good for beer ... give it kind of a medicinal flavor. i would suggest switching to a two step process. use PBW to clean the parts. completely dismantle the poppets and dip tubes and clean. then re-assemble and sanitize with StarSan. use some CO2 to push it out your keg through the out poppet.
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Old 12-24-2010, 05:56 PM   #6
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Not only that, chlorine is not good for stainless steel. Use PBW to clean and StarSan to sanitize.
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Old 12-24-2010, 06:04 PM   #7
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I suggest using the CO2 for your next batch and skipping the sugar based carbing. See if that makes a difference in your beer taste issues over time. It seems to work for just about everyone who tries it.


btw - in the proper concentrations and contact time Chlorine and SS are fine.
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Old 12-24-2010, 06:16 PM   #8
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I thought C-bright was a no rinse sanitizer... i could have sworn that is what that guy at the homebrew store said.... oops... lol... I'll try that...

by the way... contains sodium dichloro-traizinetrione dihydrate, sodium sulfate, sodium tripoly phosphate...

I cleaned the hell out of them... dismantle and soaked in oxi-clean.... put new gaskets on tubes and replaces the big o-ring.... they were super clean... And I here I was using RO water to get the least chlorine...

is PBW the same as oxi-clean? I got to get this StarSan... Yeah i think I will change from C-brite... smells funny when I sanitize ... LOL... can i use iodophor for now? I have some of that... I brought it to see complete conversion of starch...

Okay I'll try just keeping at 10psi... what if I change temperatures... let's say from cold to room then back to cold?

Yeah I'll get me some BLC and I probably need a gadget to clean the lines with... I cleaned it with c-brite in the past by filling a keg with c-brite and dispensing it in the lines... after a while i would drain the tubes... not the best way probably...

I'm not sure what it taste like.... all i know is that the favors change a lot.... I would say sweeter.. maybe less carbonated... maybe a sherry.... I don't have a developed palate yet... Had I known, I would have sent you a bottle before I tossed it last night... you would have had a taste and tossed it too.... but at least i would have gotten some feedback... no one liked it... including myself.... lucky i had some sam adam's... special 24 pack at BJs... had their holiday porter... good.... their american belgian white... good... and their chocolate... fantastic...

I have a keg... i made the same way.. I didn't crack it opened yet... but when the favors change I'll send you a bottle =) ... thanks... I learned to homebrew from books and stuff... and some online videos and forums... never brewed with an experience brewer... even though I think I am becoming one myself.... wish I did/do... learn stuff like this

thanks tipsy and yooper
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Old 12-24-2010, 06:33 PM   #9
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btw while researching for line cleaners...

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So, one day I ran out of BLC. No matter, it wasn't very good at cleaning my lines at Normal dilution anyway. I had the technical rep from 5 Star on the line to enquire about a color change in my Acid #5. Anyway, I asked him about their Liquid Line Cleaner and Acid Line Cleaner since I have pesky water.

Turns out, the LLC is PBW relabelled as a Line cleaner for commercial applications. Has something to do with required labeling in some jurisdictions. So, I have been mixing up a strong solution of hot PBW and letting my lines soak in that over night.

They've never been so clean and it's never been easier to clean them.


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