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Old 07-30-2012, 11:36 PM   #1
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Default Contamination, fusels, or intentional? Any experience with Exile ESB?

I've been brewing on-and-off (more off than on) for about five years now. Over probably 10 finished batches of beer, I've had two batches that I considered undrinkable. Both had a similar issue: a flavor that I was inclined to describe a "plastic-y." I had guessed this was due to high fermentation temperatures and the formation of fusel alcohols, or possibly some type of contamination.

Cut to this week, when I opened a six pack of a commercial brew: Evolution Craft Brewing's "Exile ESB." I got hit in the mouth with the same exact flavor in each and every bottle. I looked on Beer Advocate and the Exile ESB has pretty decent reviews. None of them jumped out at me as complaining about that particular flavor.

So now I'm wondering whether this is some intentional flavor that I just don't like, or whether it really is an error (and the brewery here just didn't control their fermentation temps or sanitation). Is anyone familiar with Exile ESB (or ESBs more commonly) and care to comment on whether that plastic-y note is supposed to be there. Is there anything in beers that is supposed to be plastic-y?

I know it's a long shot, but I appreciate any insight the board might provide. If it's an intentional flavor, I'd love to be able to plan around it in future brews.

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Old 07-30-2012, 11:43 PM   #2
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Chlorophenols, a byproduct of fermentation will cause this. Do you use bleach or is your water off, usually this is associated with poor sanitizing practices.
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Old 07-30-2012, 11:49 PM   #3
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I haven't had that particular beer, but I'd say you probably got a bad six pack. I've never tasted anything plastic-like in any of the ESBs I've tried.
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