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Old 08-23-2012, 11:59 AM   #11
Aug 2012
Posts: 9

Originally Posted by chiteface View Post
I'm usually going for grapefruit flavor without as much bitterness...that being said cloudy with a color change would concern me too. Did you change to kegging at some point? Or have you been doing that all along?
Hi chiteface....i've been kegging all along; never tried bottling. Odd thing is that my first couple of batches turned out great, then all of a sudden everything started going awry. I've looked through my notes and I don't see anything about my process that changed. Baffling!

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Old 08-23-2012, 12:07 PM   #12
Sep 2011
Jacksonville, FL
Posts: 128
Liked 8 Times on 8 Posts

This is the only thing i could find with grapefruit but you might wanna check the link for more info...

Tastes/Smells Like:
Fruit, especially banana, to a lesser extent, pear, strawberry, raspberry, grapefruit
Possible Causes:
Esters are a naturally occurring byproduct of fermentation. Certain ales are supposed
to have these fruity flavors, such as Belgian ales and Hefeweizens (German Wheat
beer) and certain types of yeast produce more esters than others. Strong fruity flavors
or fruity flavors that are inappropriate for the style of beer are sometimes a result of
under pitching or high fermentation temperatures. As a general rule, the higher the
fermentation temperature, the more esters the yeast will produce. In addition to high
fermentation temperatures, low oxygen levels can also help increase the production
of esters.
How to Avoid:
Always pitch enough yeast for the gravity of your beer and oxygenate well. Keep
fermentation temperatures under 75F when possible. Fermenting over 75F has
been shown to drastically increase esters. Fermenting between 60F – 65F will reduce
ester production considerably, however, be prepared for a slower fermentation. Lastly,
always use the correct yeast for the style of beer being brewed. Yeast strains made for
Belgian or German wheat beers are made to produce fruity characteristics, so if you
are trying to avoid beers that taste like bananas, avoid using these strains.

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Old 08-23-2012, 12:14 PM   #13
rwinzing's Avatar
Jun 2009
Bordentown, NJ
Posts: 453
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I agree you should bottle a few as well. Then you can find out if it is in the kegging or process prior to the keg.

Also have you changed your beer lines in your keggerator and have they been cleaned. Then I would check the hose you use to tranfer into the keg. Maybe your beer line is causing this.

If you bottle a few use different hoses. Lines are always one of the first things to go.
Friendly Acres Brewing

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Old 08-23-2012, 01:11 PM   #14
Mar 2005
Posts: 172
Liked 23 Times on 17 Posts

Sounds to me like there is a source of infection (acetic acid bacteria at a guess). Based on your description of your sanitation procedure, it doesn't sound like you push sanitizer through your dip tube. If you don't, then it is unlikely that sanitizer is reaching the inside of the tube. When you draw your first beer up into the dip tube it comes in contact with an unsanitized surface which may hold a reservoir of bacteria. These then multiply producing esters and clouding your beer (bacteria are small and stay in suspension well).

Have you ever had beer flow backward into your gas lines? If so, the source of infection may be in your gas lines, or even your regulator.

If it happens on more than one keg, I'd suspect the gas lines. If it's the same keg, I think the dip tube is a likely culprit.

I'd disassemble the keg and soak of the parts in a bucket of sanitizer. Replace all gaskets.

I'd replace all of the gas tubes and soak all of the gas fittings in sanitizer.

As for cleaning the regulator, I'm not sure how I'd do that. I'd probably attach it to a keg of sanitizer, pressurize the keg and then turn the CO2 off. Then I'd use the pressure bleed valve on the regulator to reduce pressure in the line and suck the sanitizer back into the regulator. Probably let it sit that way for a few hours or overnight. Then I'd take the tube off the barb on the regulator and turn the gas on to blow the sanitizer out.

Yeah, it sounds like a lot of work and money; but seriously it spoiled 10 beers.
Good luck.

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Old 08-23-2012, 01:31 PM   #15
Darkness's Avatar
Oct 2011
Turners, MO
Posts: 493
Liked 51 Times on 42 Posts

Every one keeps talking about the kegs. MAKE SURE YOUR SIPHON IS CLEAN!!
If it only happens after transfer then I would look at what it touches from fermenter to keg. Had the same thing and it was the siphon for me. Buy new hose, brush the lift tube and inside main body with soap and water. Then sanitize. Hose, soap and water are cheep compared to BEER. I have dumped 45g this year cause of a infection and it freaking sucks every time. I also would suggest taking apart your conecters and thumb taps and cleaning them.
Why can't every day be a Brew day?

You Stay Classy Brew Nation!!

"He who dies with the most beer didn't drink enough!!"
(that's from me)

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Old 08-23-2012, 05:47 PM   #16
bwarbiany's Avatar
Jul 2011
Mission Viejo, CA
Posts: 2,971
Liked 1363 Times on 757 Posts

Originally Posted by Darkness View Post
Every one keeps talking about the kegs. MAKE SURE YOUR SIPHON IS CLEAN!!
Another reason I don't like an autosiphon... Harder to clean.

If you think it might be your siphon / racking cane, you *might* be able to boil this, even if it's plastic. I once had two batches go bad at once in the secondary, and it was due (I think) to the racking cane / tubing. I tended to store that stuff in a bucket with my mash paddle way back then, which I think could have been harboring bacteria and been the actual source of the contamination. I boiled anything that was hard plastic and replaced all tubing, and it was better.

But for me, I later bought a stainless racking cane, and I think that's a better option. Given how easy it is to break the plastic canes, it can be a money saver in the long run (and it's not that expensive to begin with). And it makes cleaning/sanitizing a cinch, as you can boil it.

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Old 08-23-2012, 06:29 PM   #17
DirtyHaus's Avatar
Jun 2011
Tampa, FL
Posts: 60
Liked 5 Times on 4 Posts

I started out the same way, had a few good batches then the next 8-10 had similar off flavors. In my experience I found it was all due to high fermentation temps. I haven't had any issues with funky flavors since I added a fridge with temp controller to my setup.

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Old 08-23-2012, 07:10 PM   #18
CBXBob's Avatar
Mar 2012
Grants Pass/ Nuevo, Or. / Ca.
Posts: 486
Liked 100 Times on 65 Posts

Cleaned beer lines and tap? Gather up some 22oz bombers, bottle 1/2 the next batch, keg the rest. That will help you narrow down the culprit. The tap can harbor bacteria, taking it apart is a pain, back flushing with sanitizer or BLC (beer line cleaner from National Chemicals) would help rule that out as a cause.

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Old 02-07-2014, 06:29 AM   #19
Aug 2012
Posts: 9

SOLVED!! After much research, I finally stumped upon a very old article that said poor aeration can cause the grapefruit flavor. Since then, I ensure that I spend an adequate amount of time aerating before pitching. No more grapefruit and the last 5 batches have been normal.

Many thanks to everyone for their insight and suggestions. I learned a lot.

Cheers (finally!)

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