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Old 04-18-2012, 11:51 AM   #1
mcduhamel
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Nov 2011
Shaker Heights, OH
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I've been brewing for 15 years, and during that entire time, I've almost always detected a certain flavor in beer I keg that I don't see in the same beer if I bottle it. The flavor is very hard to describe: it's almost reminiscent of keg lube (which I know is supposed to be flavorless), vaguely metallic (but not the dreaded copper penny flavor). Sometimes it's quite subtle; other times it hits me over the head. I've detected it in new kegs and used kegs. It shows up whether I force carbonate or keg condition. It appears in almost every style of beer I brew, but is more prominent in pale ales and bitters than it is in saisons and Belgians. I obsessively disassemble my kegs before use, clean with PBW, sanitize with StarSan, and flush with CO2 before transfer. Has anyone else ever experienced anything like this, and does anyone have any thoughts regarding what's going on?

 
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Old 04-18-2012, 12:05 PM   #2
jfrizzell
 
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What water are you using? Are you filtering? Doing any water adjustments?
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Old 04-18-2012, 02:54 PM   #3
GLWIII
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May 2008
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I had a similar problem, although a bit different off flavor, and took the same steps as you. I finally changed my keg line and that solved the problem right on the spot. Not saying that is your issue, but since you didn't mention it in your post I thought I would throw it out there.

 
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Old 04-18-2012, 04:39 PM   #4
mcduhamel
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Nov 2011
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jfrizzell View Post
What water are you using? Are you filtering? Doing any water adjustments?
I'm usually buying spring water and making no adjustments. That, though, is an interesting point.

 
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Old 04-18-2012, 07:38 PM   #5
Lennie
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Water wouldn't really explain the difference between kegging and bottling would it?

 
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Old 04-19-2012, 04:41 PM   #6
audger
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lennie View Post
Water wouldn't really explain the difference between kegging and bottling would it?
probably not.

can you describe the flavor any other way than comparing it to something that is flavorless (ever tasted keg lube? there is actually no flavor- only a certain mouth feel)? otherwise it seems pretty obvious theres your problem- kegs have keg lube on them, bottles dont. that would be a reason all your kegged beers 'taste like it' and bottles dont...

 
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Old 04-19-2012, 08:23 PM   #7
CS223
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I'm dealing with the same subtle metallic issue at the moment but with zero brewing experience to call upon, same fanatical cleaning regime with the same chems, RO brewing water. Could it be that the bottles are aging at room temperature and the kegs are kept at serving temperature after fermentation? Think I'm going to bottle a few and let them sit for 2 weeks at room temp, refrigerate two more bottles immediately and then compare them with the refrigerated keg.

 
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Old 04-19-2012, 08:49 PM   #8
Lennie
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I've had a metallic flavor issue before with my Belgian dubbel. I think mine may have been due to oxidation, although one can't rule out water or pH or yeast health as potential causes.

Its possible that kegging can result in more oxidation, depending on how you are handling the beer.

 
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Old 04-20-2012, 03:34 AM   #9
Chuck_Swillery
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Dec 2009
Traverse City, MI
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This is WAY out there but using a metal spoon to stir and/or aluminum brew kettle? If either is of cheap metal you could get some leaching but you'd likely notice that in both kegged and bottled.
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Old 04-20-2012, 03:36 AM   #10
jfrizzell
 
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Are you purging the head space in your kegs after you hookup the gas? Oxidation perhaps?
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