I have a problem plaguing all my pale ales--I'm getting a soapy, floral flavor that is not good. I have not
noticed the flavor in my brown ale, stout, hefe, or strong scotch ale.
There are 5 problem beers: 1 extract (with steeping grains) and the rest AG. I don't have all my brewing notes in front of me, but here are all the possible causes of the problem that I can think of:
I left the beer in the primary or secondary too long. On average I believe all beers spent 10 days in primary and 1-3 weeks in secondary. I wouldn't think this would be a problem but in my search I came across this
from How to Brew.
Using Galena for bittering. I know that at least 4 of the 5 used 1/2oz of 13.1%AA Galena for bittering. I think the 5th beer did too, but like I said I don't have my notes in front of me right now. I only found a couple scattered references to Galena having a soapy flavor across the internet, but this was one of the few things all beers had in common. However I've used Galena in most (if not all) of the beers mentioned above that do not have this problem.
High bicarbonate water. My water here has 121ppm HCO3 and I've found some references to excessive bicarbonates creating a soapy flavor.
Beers are green? I haven't found any references to green bottle conditioned beer having a soapy flavor but I'm still considering it, mostly because the most recent beer I tried (a Belgian pale ale that was bottled 3.5 weeks ago) has the most noticeable soap flavor out of all of them. I just threw one bottle in the fridge the other night to see how things were progressing and this thing is very soapy.
Soap in bottles. I use my dishwasher to sanitize my bottles but I never put any soap in the cycle. I wonder if there could still be some soap residue from a previous cycle. This only occurs to me because I never recall tasting the soapy flavor when I taste hydro samples.
Possibilities I've eliminated:
-- Soap residue on equipment--I don't use any kind of soap to clean any of my equipment. All equipment is hosed off with hot water after use and sanitized prior to using.
-- Sanitizer. I've used Star San and One Step on at least a couple different batches
-- Yeast -- used 3 different kinds across the batches.
Anyone have any kind of idea what would be causing this?