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Home Brew Forums > Home Brewing Beer > All Grain & Partial Mash Brewing > Recipe question... band-aid/musty taste.
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Old 06-04-2008, 11:46 PM   #1
r2eng
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Default Recipe question... band-aid/musty taste.

OK, I have brewed many extract batches, 4 PM's, and now am on my 4th AG. I am anal about using Oxi-Clean for cleaning, hot rinsed, then Star-San for sanitation and a hot rinse.

I bought an Austin Homebrew Supply kit for a clone of McTarnahan's amber. After mashing, the color was very dark... looked like a porter I am drinking now! I just transferred to a secondary, and tasted the Hydro-sample and it was awful. Tasted like band-aid's.

My questions are, could this be the peated malt? Am I mistaking the taste of this grain with medicinal/band-aid flavors? If it is not the peated malt, is there anything that can be done to save it? It smells excellent, but tastes bad.

Recipe/brewing notes:
10.5 lb 2-row
1/2 oz Peated Malt
1/2 oz Black Roasted Barley

hops were Chinook and Cascade per recipe.

yeast was
Wyeast Northwest Ale 1332

mash at 150F for 60 min, batch sparge w/175F water, boil volume 6gal, boiled for 60min, ended with 5.25 gal w/ OG 1.056 (recipe called for 1.055). Cooled in 30 minutes to 68F, pitched swelled yeast, rigorous fermentation for 3 days.

transfer to secondary, SG 1.020 after 7 days fermentation, low activity on bubbler. FG called for is 1.014.

Then the sample taste test....

Thanks for your help!
Eric


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Old 06-05-2008, 02:04 AM   #2
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The normal cause of the "band aid" taste is chlorophenols, which are usually caused by excess chlorine interacting with the tannins in the grains, but I have heard can also be caused by infected yeast. If you brewed with tap water that smells heavily chlorinated (like mine does very occasionally), then I would suggest an activated charcoal filter to reduce the chlorine.
If your water supplier uses chloramines, campden tablets are supposed to be able to neutralize them. Do a search for chloramines.
You don't use chlorine bleach for cleaning or sanitizing, so that won't be a problem.
If the cause was infected yeast, then it is unlikely to happen again unless the infection was caused by inadequate sanitation on your part.

The good news is that I have had probably hundreds of brews that tasted disgusting when transferring to the secondary, but which tasted fine after maturing.

Are you sure that the recipe contained 1/2 oz each of peated malt and roasted barley? I find it difficult to believe that these amounts could cause the beer to turn out very dark (but I've never used peated malt, or such a small amount of roasted barley).

-a


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Old 06-05-2008, 02:18 AM   #3
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Thanks for the input!

I am not "sure" as it was a kit from Austin Homebrew Supply, and was pre-crushed and mixed in one bag. Maybe they overloaded the peat?

Since I have no experience with peated malt, I am not sure of the smell/taste. Maybe it can be mistaken for a rubbery/band aid taste?


Eric

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Old 06-05-2008, 03:02 AM   #4
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Maybe Forrest will see this thread and look into the problem.
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Old 06-05-2008, 03:30 AM   #5
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I appreciate that!

Although I am not sure what it was. I just want to find out if it was my issue and then fix it, or avoid peated malt flavor! The darker color is interesting, actually

Here's a picture... Only my second amber, but pretty dark. Here's a link to a pic of the secondary:

http://www.r2dm.com/images/McTarn.jpg

Reason: added pic link...
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Old 06-05-2008, 05:10 AM   #6
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Yes, some peated malts carry a heavy phenolic character that can sometimes be described as medicinal or plasticy (ever had Laphroaig scotch?). But it will diminish with some conditioning, so don't be too quick to judge the beer.

Also, in volume the color of a beer looks a LOT darker than it will in the bottle, particularly if you still have some suspended yeast. Again, I bet some conditioning will help improve your perception of the beer tremendously.
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Old 06-05-2008, 05:24 AM   #7
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One thing I've noticed, you say that you rinse after sanitizing with StarSan? StarSan is meant to be a no-rinse sanitizer, so if your off flavors are caused by infection, rinsing may be the cause. You never know what's in your tap water.

That being said, I'm sure it just needs to age. Most of my off flavors are just because the brew is too young.
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Old 06-05-2008, 02:12 PM   #8
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PM me your name so I can look into the issue.

Forrest
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Old 06-05-2008, 02:25 PM   #9
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PM'd, thanks Forrest.

Flyguy: I do understand the color of a bulk beer is darker... but I have brewed ambers before. Also the Hydrometer sample is dark brown... same color as my porter.

My water hasn't been a problem in the past. Maybe this does just need to age a long time.

I'll go try to find a scotch ale with peated malt and compare. This is a really odd thing. I guess hot rinsing after Star-san could be an issue. I'll change that technique immediately.

Eric
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Old 06-05-2008, 02:56 PM   #10
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just opened my Dave millers Homebrew Guide for ya and looked it up. Page 277 on troubleshooting says. Chlorinated water, mutated yeast, and or wild yeast. Also mentions the cause of poor sanitation but it doesnt sound like thats your problem.


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