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4 BAD BEERS in a row

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Dave258

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I don't know if hot side aeration is what happened to me, but after doing about 10 all grain brews I decided to get a pump. I brewed 4 AG batches the first week with my new pump. Thought it was great.
I thought I had to recirculate the boiling wort for 15 min. to sanitize pump and silicone tubbing before pumping into fermentor. I just hung the tube over the side as I re-circulated letting it splash back into the boil kettle.
Long story short, after the beer fermented and was kegged, they tasted like ****! I tried to choke them down, but 4 kegs of nasty beer is tough to swallow. I dumped them all... tasted like metal, and I can't explain what else. They also had horrible to no head retention.
Think I might go back to gravity and lifting for a while!
I also just bought a used therminator that I am now afraid to even try. How do you guys/girls recirculate with a pump?
Thanks,
Dave
 

Bowtiebrewery

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I have a pump and have no problems with it attributing off tastes or poor head retention...
Is it a pump meant for brewing (i.e March pump)?
Did you change any other parts of your brewing proceedures, and what about the sanitation of your equipment?
How old is the grain?

There are a ton of factors that could create problems for you... Its highly doubtful the pump itself is the culprit... however here are my brewing and cleaning proceedures.

Before a brew day even if I have my stuff cleaned from the previous brew... I re-clean and sanitize all equipment... I run hot pbw or Oxyclean through the pump for a few minutes while i'm cleaning other items... I drain the pump conmpletely... Then run clean water through it push it out and into the sink leaving it primed with the clean water...

I check my connections and ball valves for any grunge or anything that should be cleaned... Vinyl High temp lines are all cleaned in the same manner as the pump as well as the fittings that are attached.

Also while recirculating PBW i recirculate through my HERMS coil (for you you should do this through your plate chiller... some brewers throw their counterflow or Plate chiller in the oven to sanitize it around 350 for a few minutes...)

Hope this helps
 

ruffdeezy

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I read somewhere that splashing hot wort is bad because oxygen is bad for hot wort or something, I don't remember exactly. Maybe your splashing back into the kettle was too vigorous.
 

Doc Robinson

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I pretty much do the same. After a brew, I pump regular water through the pump and CFC to clear out whatever is in there. Then I pump hot Oxyclean through the system and recirculate for 10 minutes while I clean other stuff. Finally, I pump regular water through it to get rid of any Oxyclean residue. On brew day, I recirculate Starsan through the whole system, turn off the pump, and leave the Starsan in all the tubing to keep it primed and sanitized. When it comes to pumping the wort, I turn on the pump and wait till all the Starsan is flushed and wort starts flowing...then I move the tubing to the carboys.
 

hal2814

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Tastes bad and no head retention? Is your pump leeching some sort of oil into your wort maybe? I doubt it's hot side aeration. I do a LOT worse than what you describe. In any case, it sounds like the pump is the common factor in all of the bad beers. Is that correct?
 
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Dave258

Dave258

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Yeah, the only thing that was different besides the new pump was my new camlocks. All my equipment is cleaned after brew day and before the next brew day. The pump is a march 809 same that evrybody uses so I don't think it was leeching anything into the wort. It is high temp tubbing so it can't be that.
I thought that I read somewhere that constant slashing and foaming of the wort takes away from head rtention in the final product because something with denaturing protiens???
Between sanitizing and chilling I had the wort free falling for at least 30 min. I thought that was the problem?
 

Zamial

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Not an expert but HSA is supposed to taste like wet cardboard from what I have read not metal. Also, I know oils will kill head. If you add these 2 items together, It sounds like your pump may be leaking oil or have a grease residue inside it.

The other "metalic flavors" may be from water passing through mixed metals. ALUMINUM is bad stuff. I know there are TONS of folks that use aluminum BK's with no reported issues...
I know, for a fact that mixing metals is a bad idea from liquid cooling computers...I know it is not exactly the same as brewing beer but the principle still applies. Heat + mixed metals = corrosion. The worst offender in this scenario is aluminum. Stainless, brass and copper all play fairly nice with each other, add in 1 aluminum component to the mix and it can get ugly FAST! Just something to keep in mind/an eye out for...

I hope you can get to the bottom of this! Best of luck! :mug:
 

tunoffun

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couldn't tell you. What I will say is that I have something similiar. What I did was build a copper 'wand' (simply a length of copper tubing a bit longer than the pot is high, w/ a 90 degree fitting on the business end and another short section of copper), along w/ a QD fitting. When I recirculate the contents of the brewpot, I hook up the wand to the output line of the pump and submerge it in the wort to prevent aeration. When I start chilling (I use an IC), I keep the wand submerged with the output aligned with the side of the pot & keep pumping. W/ the 90-degree fitting, it creates a whirlpool on its own, with minimal aeration, and also keeps the liquid moving around the IC for quicker cooling.

I've only used this once... and the beer from it is still in the primary. Won't be tasting it till saturday when I secondary. But I did taste the wort prior to pitching & it was yummy.
 

lamarguy

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Dave, it's not your March pump and I highly doubt you're suffering the effects of HSA (healthy yeast will scrub most HSA).

Did you use the same yeast for the last four batches? You mentioned you purchased a used therminator; were you using it to chill?
 

wyzazz

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Did you leave the standard gaskets in those camlocks, I've heard of folks getting off flavors from those. Bargainfittings and others sell food grade gaskets that work for these.

Metallic taste and no head retention sounds like oil to me, take apart those camlocks and the pump head and soak them all in hot oxiclean or PBW to make sure they aren't the culprits. Could also be a change in your water, high iron in water will give you a blood/metallic taste.
 

dogtailale

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I dont know what to say,
I believe your hot wort is fine.
Next step is cooling, you said you did not use the NTU therminator Also If there where any ickys they would or should have showed up in your fermenatation.

So now Im thinking your kegs, beer still green, blank blank blank
 

samc

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Oil in the pump or camlocks maybe on one batch. But surviving through 4 brews I highly doubt that as it would have been washed away or absorbed by the first 1-2 batches. I do a short recirculation through the plate chiller for a few minutes and have not experienced any issues like you describe.

Which Cam Locks did you buy? What about the o-rings?
 
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Dave258

Dave258

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I know, for a fact that mixing metals is a bad idea from liquid cooling computers...I know it is not exactly the same as brewing beer but the principle still applies. Heat + mixed metals = corrosion. The worst offender in this scenario is aluminum. Stainless, brass and copper all play fairly nice with each other, add in 1 aluminum component to the mix and it can get ugly FAST! Just something to keep in mind/an eye out for...

I hope you can get to the bottom of this! Best of luck! :mug:
No Alluminium. Just Stainless Keggles and copper IC

couldn't tell you. What I will say is that I have something similiar. What I did was build a copper 'wand' (simply a length of copper tubing a bit longer than the pot is high, w/ a 90 degree fitting on the business end and another short section of copper), along w/ a QD fitting. When I recirculate the contents of the brewpot, I hook up the wand to the output line of the pump and submerge it in the wort to prevent aeration. When I start chilling (I use an IC), I keep the wand submerged with the output aligned with the side of the pot & keep pumping. W/ the 90-degree fitting, it creates a whirlpool on its own, with minimal aeration, and also keeps the liquid moving around the IC for quicker cooling.
I was going to do the same thing if I kept using my IC

Dave, it's not your March pump and I highly doubt you're suffering the effects of HSA (healthy yeast will scrub most HSA).

Did you use the same yeast for the last four batches? You mentioned you purchased a used therminator; were you using it to chill?
For 2 I used us-05, one a 2000ml starter of wlp 300 the last a 2000ml starter of pac man.

Did you leave the standard gaskets in those camlocks, I've heard of folks getting off flavors from those. Bargainfittings and others sell food grade gaskets that work for these.

Metallic taste and no head retention sounds like oil to me, take apart those camlocks and the pump head and soak them all in hot oxiclean or PBW to make sure they aren't the culprits. Could also be a change in your water, high iron in water will give you a blood/metallic taste.
I got my first camlocks from pro flow dynamics, but bought the silicone orings from bargain fittings before the first use.

I dont know what to say,
I believe your hot wort is fine.
Next step is cooling, you said you did not use the NTU therminator Also If there where any ickys they would or should have showed up in your fermenatation.

So now Im thinking your kegs, beer still green, blank blank blank
I didn't use the used therminator on these four. I used my IC that has been used on every batch so far. I let my beer condition in the keg for 2 weeks before even tasting it. I even held on to it for another month. The taste got worse. Fermentation on all four of them looked fine. I even used a swamp cooler to keep them 66*-68*. My kegs always get hot water and oxy to clean. Totaly break them down evey cleaning. Clean the lines and faucets also each time.

Oil in the pump or camlocks maybe on one batch. But surviving through 4 brews I highly doubt that as it would have been washed away or absorbed by the first 1-2 batches. I do a short recirculation through the plate chiller for a few minutes and have not experienced any issues like you describe.

Which Cam Locks did you buy? What about the o-rings?
Stainless cam locks with orange silicone o-rings switched out for the black ones.

Thanks for the replies! Seeing as how the only thing I did different was recirculate the way I did, that is why I was blaming the taste on it. All my other procedures were the same, and 2 of the beers I have made multiple times. Any other suggestions? The beers were not made the same day. 2 were done monday 2 on friday. And still the same thing happened to each.
I have not brewed since, but hope to brew a couple of batches in the next 2 weeks.
 

tasq

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Yes I force carbed. I honestly don't remember if the hydro samples tasted off.
I'll assume you know about carb bite? It can introduce a metallic flavor in force carbed beer. I had my first experience with that a few weeks ago. It took a week to settle out.

Pardon me if I'm way off base here. :mug:
 

Gremlyn

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How long did you age the beers, under what conditions, and what are the specifics for carbing them?
 
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Dave258

Dave258

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I'll assume you know about carb bite? It can introduce a metallic flavor in force carbed beer. I had my first experience with that a few weeks ago. It took a week to settle out.

Pardon me if I'm way off base here. :mug:
I let it sit for another month after tasting the off flavors. Nothing settled.

How long did you age the beers, under what conditions, and what are the specifics for carbing them?
All four beers were in primary for 3 weeks total. one was dry hopped at the 2 week mark for the remaining week. All four were kept at 66-68 during fermentation. They all hit their expected FG. After 3 weeks they were kegged and put in kezzer at about 36*-38*. CO2 set at about 10-12 psi. They sat in the keezer for 2 weeks untouched. I then sampled them. One tasted ok the other three not so good. I gave them more time, and kept tasting. Then I left them alone from sept 15 till last saturday. They all tasted worse! They did not seem overcarbed, like I said no head retention at all, and one was a hefe. No head at all. Besides one being really metallicy, I can't explain what they tasted like. they tasted weird, not right. There was no sign of any type of infection, the only other thing I thought of was if my town changed something with the water. Since changing to all grain, I use water right out of the tap through a food grade RV hose. I use the water to make coffee, and haven't noticed anything though. I add 5.2ph stabilizer to my water...
I dont know what could have happened. I would like to brew to fill my kegs, but don't know if I should just brew one batch to see how it comes out before having to waste another 4 kegs??? This sucks!
 
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