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Old 02-18-2013, 01:06 AM   #1
canihaveurpants
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So since I've been kegging I've noticed a particular off flavor on many of the hoppy beers I have brewed. My current method involves Primary for 3 weeks, kegging, and then sticking the keg in my kegerator under pressure.
After doing some thread reading today I've come to a mini-epiphany that immediately transferring the kegs to a cold environment is not giving my beer enough time to properly condition.
My latest batch, an all-Belma pale ale that I was excited to try, is definitely showcasing this unpleasant off flavor that I am trying to extinguish. I pulled it out of the kegerator today and am going to let it sit for 3 weeks at room temperature and then pop it back it. Hopefully this is where I have been going wrong.
Any thoughts?

 
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Old 02-18-2013, 01:12 AM   #2
Cyclman
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Should fix it. Beer still needs to be conditioned, even in a keg. Other thought, are your kegs fully clean / sanitized, lots of places for bugs to hide. Good threads on cleaning kegs.
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Old 02-18-2013, 01:17 AM   #3
canihaveurpants
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Thanks for the suggestion. I'm pretty diligent about cleaning my kegs. After a keg kicks I disassemble completely and soak it in a PBW solution overnight. I then air dry and put it in my storage area until ready for use. Before racking to the keg I fill with a starsan solution and am sure to give enough contact time to hopefully kill all the baddies.

 
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Old 02-18-2013, 01:27 AM   #4
Yooper
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If you have off-flavors that need time to condition out, then the easy way to fix it is simply to prevent the off-flavors from occurring in the first place.

Off flavors tend to come from two areas- fermentation problems (temperature and yeast pitching rate), and water. Fix that by pitching the proper amount of yeast at the proper temperature, and using good brewing water, and you should be all set.

I'm routinely drinking pale ales at 3 weeks.
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Old 02-18-2013, 01:42 AM   #5
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I agree with Yooper. I drink my IPAs and Pales as early as 2 to 3 weeks with no off flavors. Controlling ferm temps and using the correct water is the key. Also, I've found that any amount of chlorine in my tap water causes all kinds of different strange off flavors from plastic to burnt plastic to medicine to cloves.

One thing I will say about hoppy beers is that they do tend to change A LOT in the first few weeks of being in the keg. The hop profile tends to change and diminish a little in the first 3 weeks. Letting the carbed beer sit at any temp for a few weeks will level this out and kind of set the character of the hops, but I don't know that I would call that an off flavor. That's just hops oxidizing and fading. If it takes you months to kill a keg then by all means let the beer sit in the keg a few weeks before drinking it, but if you enjoy fresh hoppy beers then you need to control all the variables and make the beer as clean as possible right out of primary.
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Old 02-18-2013, 02:04 AM   #6
canihaveurpants
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Thanks guys. As you suggest, I've also been looking at my tap water as possibly conflicting with hoppy beers. I use campden tablets and an RV filter but don't alter the water besides that.
That being said, my latest batch which I have in my fermentation chamber at the moment (an SNPA clone) used distilled water in an attempt to rule out my tap water being the issue. Will be ready to keg in a few weeks and I am excited to see the results.

 
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Old 02-18-2013, 09:51 PM   #7
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Using distilled is good to try, but you may find the finished beer lacking in character without any sulphate or calcium chloride additions. I've also found that I tend to be very sensitive to astringency in beers and keeping my sparge water below 170 and below 6pH has made a huge difference in eliminating astringency and how I perceive the hops.
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Old 02-19-2013, 12:00 AM   #8
canihaveurpants
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I am actually an extract brewer so I've come under the impression that distilled should work for me due to the minerals inherent in the extract. This is my first attempt going the distilled water route so at least this will allow me to rule out my tap water as being my issue.

 
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Old 02-19-2013, 01:18 AM   #9
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Distilled water should be fine for extract brewing.

 
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