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Old 10-13-2012, 02:26 AM   #1
Clifton
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Default Off flavor

I've brewed my first two BIAB recipes and both have a strange flavor in them. One taster described it as having the aftertaste of formaldehyde. The first one was Northern Brewer's Cream Ale recipe with Wy1056. I had a long lag phase (2 days) and I attributed my off flavor (astringent) to that. Now it has shown up in my second BIAB attempt, BM's Centennial Blonde (brewed with Wy1450). The Blonde had a shorter lag time, about 6 hours so that is not the culprit. The only thing they have in common is that both used the same base malt, canadian 2 row, and both were mashed low, I mashed in and walked away.

Any ideas where this flavor may come from?



Reason: multiple grammatical errors
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Old 10-13-2012, 01:12 PM   #2
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Mashed how low? Did you previously brew extract or traditional all grain? If your previous process included mashing were your current brews completely different from your previous methods mash temp?

I'm thinking it tastes a little hot from the low mash temp. You didn't say so i assume you had good fermentation.


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Old 10-13-2012, 02:46 PM   #3
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I previously brewed extract. The Cream ale I doughed in at 154, temp dropped to 148.8 so I added heat until I got to 150.4. I covered the kettle with a sleeping bag and walked away for an hour. Upon returning the temp was 146. I ferment in a temp controlled refrigerator. I had the temp set at 63 but fermentation didn't start so on the second day I raised it to 67. Finally had signs of fermentation after about 2.5 days. OG 1.041 FG 1.006.

The Blonde ale I doughed in at 154.7, temp dropped to 152. This time I didn't use the sleeping bag. I let it sit for an hour and tested for conversion. I pitched a 1 L starter of Wy1450 that was on a stir plate for 24 hrs and cold crashed for 24 hrs. I cold pitched and had airlock activity after 4.5 hours. Fermented at 65. I forgot to take OG but FG was 1.005.

Both batches used filtered (under sink carbon unit) municipal water. My water companies report doesn't give me much to work with so I don't know my total alkalinity.
Here is a link to it.
http://beckleywater.com/Documents/CCRReport.pdf
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Old 10-13-2012, 07:49 PM   #4
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http://www.kroc.org/Links/TroubleshootingGuide.htm

Here is a guide to off flavors and causes, could be phenols based on your description or possibly solvent like so take a look, it could be chloramines in your water and you can try Camden tablets
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Old 10-14-2012, 12:11 AM   #5
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My father-in-law works for the water company. If I remember correctly, I don't think my water has chloramines.
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Old 10-14-2012, 01:48 AM   #6
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If your FG was only 1.005 you have almost no sugars in there. Possibly not warm enough for the mash and sparge to draw the sugars out for your yeast. I usually mash right around 65-70c (149-158F)and sparge 70-75c (158-167F) to pull max sugars out without getting into the tannins. Was the yeast pack thin and once the food pack punctured? Did the package it swell up over the 3 hr rest time? If it was already swollen or did not inflate the yeast were dead. Regardless if there was no sugar in there they probably didn't last long. Not sure what they have in those packs for the booster but if there is any Artificial sweetener for the food it could contain Aspartame which would convert to Formaldehyde if it hit 86 degrees F, though I do not know that there would be enough to create that taste. Could be another bacteria got in there and out competed the yeast as well.
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Old 10-14-2012, 01:58 AM   #7
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The cream ale was made from a frozen vial of yeast. The Blonde ale was from a smack pack of 1450. I made a starter and decanted into 4 vials, one vial was used to make a second starter that was used for the blonde ale.
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Old 10-14-2012, 02:14 AM   #8
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Hard to say without post boil SG reading. Sounds more like another bacteria made it's way into the batch. Not aware of any known chemicals found in water that will give that flavor except the ones I previously mentioned. Almost has to be biological organism related. Someone else said it tasted like Formaldehyde, wonder if might have meant to say sulfur. How did the brew taste to you?
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Old 10-14-2012, 02:56 AM   #9
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It is very hard for me to describe. It does come through in the aroma. I'll take another sample tomorrow and try to describe it. My first impression is astringent but it's not that because I can smell it in the foam of the beer.
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Old 10-16-2012, 01:18 AM   #10
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I know I have high Calcium Bicarbonate levels but I'm not sure of the PPM. My water is a mixture to two sources. Sulfate is 8.4 and 69.4 at each source and Sodium is 32.5 and 146. I read somewhere that Sodium should be kept below 100 especially in the presence of Sulfate (usually best under 50ppm). Mine is likely higher that that. Could this be the cause of my harsh astringent type taste? The weird thing is that I can smell it. I read somewhere that old malt can cause off flavors. My base malt and water are the only two common denominators.


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