Ammonia Smell (and taste)

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soup67

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The recipe was a 70 IBU Rye IPA, about 15% rye, using all Amarillo. This was my first AG batch using the municipal water. My water system treats with chloramine, so I added a tiny bit of potassium metabisulfite and some gypsum. Previously I've used bottled water with no additions with good results.

Racked to keg today after a 15 day primary and 5 days of dry-hopping in the secondary and of course had to have a taste. It has a strong ammonia smell and not so strong ammonia taste. Is this the rye or do I have other issues? Fermentation in the mid-60s and fast. No sign of infection in the primary or secondary.

Should I let it condition at room temp for a while or chill and carb? Any other thoughts?

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Skyforger

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I would leave it at room temp for a while to see if it's something the yeast can take care of. If off-flavors like that are going to leave, it's usually going to be due to continued yeast activity or the mellowing that happens with carbonation. You can carbonate whenever, so might as well give the yeast a shot first.

After only 20 days I certainly wouldn't jump to any conclusions. It could be a transient issue.

Did you use any yeast nutrient with DAP in it? That basically releases ammonia into the beer to give the yeast nitrogen, and will disperse. Never heard of an ammonia smell associated with it, but I suppose it's possible.
 
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soup67

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Thanks Sky. I did use some yeast nutrient, but no more than usual. I doubt that's the problem.

I have read that rye can create a faint cat-urine like aroma-- this might be what I was getting, but it was a little shocking. Anyone else experienced this?

I'll let it condition for a couple of weeks and re-taste.
 
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soup67

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Or could it be the hops? I get a faint wiff of the same thing when I smell the Amarillos in their bag.
 
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