Another "I think I ruined my first batch" thread. What went wrong?

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MTB

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Brewed this past Friday and took hydrometer readings today. After taking the readings, I took a sip of the beer and it tasted like straight up plastic.

I believe the problem is that I boiled 3gals water and didn't cool it enough before transferring it to my fermenting bucket. It took FOREVER to cool down.

If I had a sanitizing issue then here is how I handled that process - I filled a spray bottle with a mixture of Star San. On the bottle, it said to spray the surface and wipe away with a brush cloth. I sprayed everything (inside the bucket, dial thermometer, spoon), let it sit for 10 seconds, then wiped away with a paper towel. Did I do it wrong?

If the yeast was the problem - I used Munton's yeast. I cooled my 2gal of wort to 60-65deg and the 3gal in my fermenting bucket was around 85-90deg. I mixed the 2 and assumed the final temperature would be sufficient for the yeast. Fermentation temperature was 70-75 for the first few days and now it is around 65-70.

What do you guys think?
 

trizzant

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Not sure about the plastic taste is, I haven't read anything about that. As for the StarSan it is made to be ingested without effecting the taste of the beer. Wiping it with a paper towel afterwards basically nulls out the fact that you sanitized. The paper towel could have bacteria on it. I doubt anything is wrong. Wait 3-4 weeks and bottle.
 

theredben

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Worst case scenario you are looking at around 90* when you pitched the yeast. That is not high enough to kill them. Next time wait for the temp to come down though, it is better for the yeast that way.
 
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MTB

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Wow, you guys are fast. Thanks for the responses/support!

For my future batches, I think I'm just going to buy 2gals of spring water from the store to add to my wort.

As for sanitizing, is it sufficient for me to just spray everything down with Star San and not wipe?
 

MeatyPortion

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Wow, you guys are fast. Thanks for the responses/support!

For my future batches, I think I'm just going to buy 2gals of spring water from the store to add to my wort.

As for sanitizing, is it sufficient for me to just spray everything down with Star San and not wipe?
Yeah. StarSan and OneStep are both designed to be no-rinse sanitizers so there's no need to wipe them off and, as stated in one of the posts above, wiping them with a cloth will negate any sanitizing done.

This is not to say that your batch is ruined. Just give it some time and let it ferment.
 

triethylborane

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Adding spring water is not going be much different than adding tap water in terms of bacteria. Nothing a little star san & ethanol cannot cure. Also boiling water removes oxygen and can be problematic for aerating the wort.

I fill with tap water, which is pretty decent here in Denver met. area (except for Englewood!).

Wort never tastes good to me. I like beer.
 

Yooper

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"Plastic taste" tends to be chlorophenols. That usually is from chlorine or chloramines in the brewing water. But pitching the yeast at such a high temperature could be a big contributor.

Next time, don't pitch the yeast until the wort is 70 degrees or under, and try to keep the fermenting beer under 70 degrees. That will make a huge difference. Try using spring water from the store instead of tap water if your water company using chloramines or chlorine.
 
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I'm curious about the "I filled a spray bottle with a mixture of Star San. On the bottle, it said to spray the surface and wipe away with a brush cloth." So you grabbed a random spray bottle, filled it with a starsan solution, then followed the instructions on the bottle? As in the instructions for whatever was originally in the bottle? :drunk:
 

cyraxx

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If you have the time, I would suggest boiling your 3 gallons of water before brew day (say, the night before), cooling it a bit in your sink and then putting it in your sanitized fermenter to cool the rest of the way before brewing (cover the opening in the lid or carboy with some sanitized foil). This way it will be cooler when you add your wort

I agree with Yooper that the most likely cause is tap water (if that is indeed what you're using). Next time just buy a few gallons at the store and use that. I would also like to add that pitching at a higher temperature can have some adverse effects...what I suggested above will help you get the temp down easier.

Finally, I would like to reiterate the "don't wipe" advice. Don't wipe.
 

Homercidal

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I think Yooper is right. Sounds like Chloramines or similar from the water supply. But it's still young, so hang on to it for a few weeks. You never know.
 

zachary80

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If you have the time, I would suggest boiling your 3 gallons of water before brew day (say, the night before), cooling it a bit in your sink and then putting it in your sanitized fermenter to cool the rest of the way before brewing (cover the opening in the lid or carboy with some sanitized foil). This way it will be cooler when you add your wort
If you boil it the day ahead, aren't you opening yourself up to contamination since you've removed the chlorine/chloramine?
 

3PegBrew

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Here's a small suggestion:

1) Grab a beer bottle.

2) Drink the beer.

3) Hit yourself over the head with the empty beer bottle.

4) Remember everything everyone said in response to your question.

5) Drink another beer.

6) Recycle.
 

cyraxx

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zachary80 said:
If you boil it the day ahead, aren't you opening yourself up to contamination since you've removed the chlorine/chloramine?
The boiling isn't what removes the chlorine/chloramine, that's why it's been suggested that he use bottled water. I could be wrong, but I think it would be fine if it remained in a sealed, sanitized container. Your beer will be sitting in there longer than over night, and that won't (shouldn't) get infected. I feel tart as long as sanitary practices are used he shouldn't have a problem.
 

Yooper

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The boiling isn't what removes the chlorine/chloramine, that's why it's been suggested that he use bottled water. I could be wrong, but I think it would be fine if it remained in a sealed, sanitized container. Your beer will be sitting in there longer than over night, and that won't (shouldn't) get infected. I feel tart as long as sanitary practices are used he shouldn't have a problem.
Well, chlorine is removed by boiling, or simply by sitting out overnight. Chloramines, common in many municipal water supplies, do NOT boil out. You can treat with campden tablets, and let sit, or buy bottled spring water.

I never boiled my top off water- I have very good water with a good taste and no contamination- but for poor water supplies that must be boiled, I'd recommend spring water rather than boiling anyway!
 

Homercidal

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I may be wrong, but I think that boiling helps remove the chlorine from the water, which is what you want in any of the water used for brewing. And you can also use Campden Tablets to remove chloramine I think...

Lots of people boil their top-off water the day before they brew. It gives time to create a sanitary water for cooling their Extract Beers after boiling.

EDIT: Too slow!! LOL!
 
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MTB

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Thanks for all the replies guys. I already feel confident enough to start another batch.

It's real early in the game. Leave it in the primary for 3-4 weeks and then bottle and wait another 3 weeks.
Is it ok if I move it to my secondary soon? I ordered another recipe kit and had the grains crushed before shipping. I would like to brew this batch soon so that the grains don't go stale.

"Plastic taste" tends to be chlorophenols. That usually is from chlorine or chloramines in the brewing water. But pitching the yeast at such a high temperature could be a big contributor.

Next time, don't pitch the yeast until the wort is 70 degrees or under, and try to keep the fermenting beer under 70 degrees. That will make a huge difference. Try using spring water from the store instead of tap water if your water company using chloramines or chlorine.
Thanks for the info, I didn't know a matter of only a few degrees made such a difference. I will keep that in mind next time.

I made a wort chiller earlier in the week and I am planning to buy spring water for the next batch.

I'm curious about the "I filled a spray bottle with a mixture of Star San. On the bottle, it said to spray the surface and wipe away with a brush cloth." So you grabbed a random spray bottle, filled it with a starsan solution, then followed the instructions on the bottle? As in the instructions for whatever was originally in the bottle? :drunk:
No no, lol. On the Star San label, it says to "rub" with a brush cloth or something like that. The spray bottle I have is the one sold from Midwest.

If you have the time, I would suggest boiling your 3 gallons of water before brew day (say, the night before), cooling it a bit in your sink and then putting it in your sanitized fermenter to cool the rest of the way before brewing (cover the opening in the lid or carboy with some sanitized foil). This way it will be cooler when you add your wort

I agree with Yooper that the most likely cause is tap water (if that is indeed what you're using). Next time just buy a few gallons at the store and use that. I would also like to add that pitching at a higher temperature can have some adverse effects...what I suggested above will help you get the temp down easier.

Finally, I would like to reiterate the "don't wipe" advice. Don't wipe.
K, I'll leave all the wiping that needs to be done in the bathroom :cool:

Here's a small suggestion:

1) Grab a beer bottle.

2) Drink the beer.

3) Hit yourself over the head with the empty beer bottle.

4) Remember everything everyone said in response to your question.

5) Drink another beer.

6) Recycle.
:rockin:
 

zachary80

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Well, chlorine is removed by boiling, or simply by sitting out overnight. Chloramines, common in many municipal water supplies, do NOT boil out. You can treat with campden tablets, and let sit, or buy bottled spring water.

I never boiled my top off water- I have very good water with a good taste and no contamination- but for poor water supplies that must be boiled, I'd recommend spring water rather than boiling anyway!
So if I want to eliminate the chloramine from my brew water, would letting it sit overnight work? I top off with distilled
 

Yooper

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So if I want to eliminate the chloramine from my brew water, would letting it sit overnight work? I top off with distilled
No. Chloramine is there for the long haul, that's why water suppliers use it.

You can treat the water with campden tablets, I think one tablet for 10 gallons (or 1/2 tablet- I can't remember since I don't have chloramine in my water) and let it sit a bit to cause a chemical reaction that will cause the chloramine to disipate.
 
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