Home Brew Forums > Home Brewing Beer > All Grain & Partial Mash Brewing > Need help with an off flavor!
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Old 01-13-2009, 08:05 PM   #1
bushump
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Default Need help with an off flavor!

Hello everyone,
I have been having some troubles with my all grains. I am getting what to me tastes like a chlorine flavor with my all grain brews the last few batches.

Timeline is as follows:

Tried brewing all grain Blue Moon clone. Chlorine taste after fermenting. Cleaned everything with bleach and thought I just didn't rinse it well enough and chalked one up to not being thorough enough.

Next I tried brewing a pale ale. Same chlorine taste after fermenting and bottling. I had switched to using oxyclean on this batch because I didn't want the bleach involved again. I also switched from a regular garden hose to an RV drinking water safe hose this time.

Next I brewed an extract kit to see if I can get it turn out fine and it was one of the best Irish Red Ales I have had from extract. Used oxyclean to clean everything on this one and kegged this one for my first keg beer. Great!!

Now I go back to all grain and try rasberry wheat. I am now using oxyclean all the time. I go to keg it and I can somewhat detect the chlorine flavor and smell but I keg anyhow. After carbing I can definitely taste it again.

I brew a dunkelweisen within a few days of the above rasberry and they ferment at the same time. I tried it as I am kegging and it didn't seem to have the off flavor, so I think, FINALLY! Yet after carbing and trying it has the same off flavor but not as distinct as the others.

I have been sanitizing with Idophor the entire time I have been brewing. I had some dark beers (stouts) turn out fine with all grain brewing. I am at a loss for what to do because my buddy lives pretty much down the street from me and uses the same city water and he has no problems. I never tested my mash Ph and don't know if that is a possiblity. I guess I am looking for direction because I don't want to continue to keep spending money on the grains to have swill to drink, if that was the case I could just go buy PBR and have the same results.

Thanks for any help you guys can give me!!!

Brandon


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Old 01-13-2009, 08:26 PM   #2
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I had a similar taste, although I wouldn't necessarily call it a chlorine taste. But it was kind of a chemical/plastic taste. Upon advice from some experienced brewers at my local home brew club, I tried using campden tabs in my brewing water. They said that chlorine/chloramines in the water sometimes do not get completely filtered out of tap water, either due to a bad filter, flow rate, or simply high levels of those chemicals. Campden tabs (sodium metabisulfite, IIRC) combines with the chlorines and reacts with them to form sulfur dioxide which gasses out throughout the brew day, or overnight if you let your strike water sit out. Since using 1/2 campden tab per 10 gallons of brewing water, I have not had even the faintest hint of this off flavor in my beer! Campden tabs are cheap, so grab some and change nothing else about your brewing set up. If they worked, then the problem is chlorine and/or chloramine in your brewing water. If not, I'd move on to a different sanitizer.


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Old 01-13-2009, 08:36 PM   #3
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TwoHeadsBrewing is right! the Campden bonds with the chlorine and evaporates when it is boiled, and also can evaporate overnight like what is mentioned above.
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Old 01-14-2009, 01:15 AM   #4
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I have a batch of california common ale waiting to brew. I will try that. So if I am boiling with 10 gals of water for mashing I only need a 1/2 tablet, correct? Do I need to crush it up or just drop the tablet in. Thanks for help. I hope this helps otherwise I am going to be completely perplexed.
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Old 01-14-2009, 01:28 AM   #5
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I usually gather all my water into one place for treatment all at once. strike water and sparge water. I usually prepare 15gallons for a 10gallon batch

Crush it between two spoons, toss it in and stir until dissolved. The neutralizing of the chlorine is done in about 5 minutes.

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Old 01-15-2009, 04:41 AM   #6
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I don't mean to sound like a smart ass but I mean this honestly. I was reading Homebrewing for Dummies in the bookstore yesterday and noticed that it had a great section on off flavors. I advise you to check it out. Please don't take me the wrong way. I am actually concidering purchasing the book myself. Hope this helps!

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Old 01-16-2009, 11:19 AM   #7
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Any chance dropping 1/4 of a tablet in a already kegged beer would help to save the beer? I am going to definitely try the tablet on the my next brew but just trying to save a keg or two of beer if possible.
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Old 01-16-2009, 11:29 AM   #8
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I had a off flavor when I started brewing as well I changed two things and it has never come back. I stopped using Idophor and went to Star san and I stopped using dry yeast and went to White labs and the off flavor has never come back. I don't know which one it was I am just glad it worked out for me.
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Old 01-16-2009, 04:15 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bushump View Post
Any chance dropping 1/4 of a tablet in a already kegged beer would help to save the beer? I am going to definitely try the tablet on the my next brew but just trying to save a keg or two of beer if possible.
No, adding it after the beer has fermented is not going to work. If your flavor truly is phenolic then the compounds will not be broken up by the campden tab. You have to remove the chlorine before it enters the fermenter so that the compounds cannot be formed during fermentation. But hell, it sounds like a good experiment to me...especially if you have a batch you were going to dump anyways.
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Old 01-16-2009, 04:37 PM   #10
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Stop the bleach as it leaves a residual behind and is hard to rinse off. I suggest Starsan as it gets eaten by the yeast and has no flavors and you do not rinse at all. It keeps working while wet to kill bacteria.


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