Band-Aid/Plastic Flavors from WLP500?

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CascadesBrewer

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I brewed a Belgian Pale Ale that has some plastic/band-aid flavors. I am trying to nail down the source. I feel like the yeast/fermentation is the most likely source, but I am not sure.

At the end of May I brewed a split batch of a Dubbel, with 2.5 gal fermented with WLP500 and 2.5 gals fermented with WLP530 (both those batches seem very good). The yeast may have been a bit stressed since I pitched one pack into a 1.073 beer (it was a only a 2.5 gal batch). The WLP500 batch finished at 77% attenuation. I harvested yeast from both batches, and used a 16 oz jar of slurry for the Pale Ale (well, maybe 12 oz of slurry after decanting the beer on top).

I had about a 24 hour lag time on the Pale Ale fermentation, but fermentation went well. I held the temps at 66F for the first 4 days of fermentation, then ramped temps up to 72F for 4 more days before letting it finish at ambient temps.

Could these off flavors be from the yeast? Did I ferment too cold? My tap water is treated with Chloramine, but I am fairly certain that I treated my brewing water with half a Campden tablet. The grain bill seems pretty simple (Pale Malt + Vienna + Caramunich + Munich + Crystal). The beer was hopped with a total of 1.5 oz of Amarillo.
 

day_trippr

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Band-Aid is a classic chlorine/chloramine indicator. Is it possible your half campden was insufficient?
 

Vale71

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I stopped using WLP500 because the beer ended up tasting like cough syrup. I wouldn't be surprised if that (combined with low-ish fermentation temps) were the cause for the medicinal taste.
 

Big Monk

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I stopped using WLP500 because the beer ended up tasting like cough syrup. I wouldn't be surprised if that (combined with low-ish fermentation temps) were the cause for the medicinal taste.
When it comes to the classic Trappist yeasts, I prefer Wyeast.
 
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Band-Aid is a classic chlorine/chloramine indicator. Is it possible your half campden was insufficient?
Possibly...though half a tablet has always worked fine for me (~8 gals of mash water) and I am generally pretty good about adding items and checking them off my brew sheet.

I stopped using WLP500 because the beer ended up tasting like cough syrup. I wouldn't be surprised if that (combined with low-ish fermentation temps) were the cause for the medicinal taste.
I could see where the flavor/aroma that I am getting could be described as a bit cough-syrup-like. I see one article that WLP500 gives "earthy" flavors fermented cool.

When it comes to the classic Trappist yeasts, I prefer Wyeast.
You find there is a difference between the "equivalent" White Labs and Wyeast offerings? (WLP500/1214/Chimay, WLP530/3787/Westmalle, WLP550/3522/Achouffe)
 

Big Monk

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I could see where the flavor/aroma that I am getting could be described as a bit cough-syrup-like. I see one article that WLP500 gives "earthy" flavors fermented cool.
Earthy typically means phenolic, spicy, etc. What you are describing seems medicinal/solventy.

You find there is a difference between the "equivalent" White Labs and Wyeast offerings? (WLP500/1214/Chimay, WLP530/3787/Westmalle, WLP550/3522/Achouffe)
Yes. Wyeast is superior in my opinion. Especially the big three Trappist yeast: 1762, 1214, and 3787. I also think 1388 and 3522 are better than the Abbey/Other offerings from WL.
 
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Yes. Wyeast is superior in my opinion. Especially the big three Trappist yeast: 1762, 1214, and 3787. I also think 1388 and 3522 are better than the Abbey/Other offerings from WL.
Interesting info.

How would you recommend I put my fermentation chamber to work when fermenting with these yeasts? I feel like locking the temps at 66F is not what they want. I have only had the chamber for a few months. Before that I fermented in my cool lower level (65F in the winter, 70F in the summer). I feel like I might be better off pitching at 64F, then moving my fermenter into a water tub at ambient temps.

BTW, this beer has significantly improved since I posted. It was only brewed 1 month ago tomorrow, and I was tasted it less than a week in the keg. I think I might want to push it more to a "farmhouse" style yeast, but not too much toward a Saison. I like the idea of a very flavorful ale that does not require $20 of hops. I am mostly trying to get a feel for some of the Belgian yeast, and figured a lighter beer would show the character more than a dubbel or quad.
 

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For fermentation temperature, I suggest looking up the ideal temperature range for each yeast you use. I think that Trappist/Belgian yeasts like warmer fermentation temperatures than something like WY1056 - WLP001 or US05 for example.

I keep my beers at the middle of the range until fermentation is finished then just turn off the cooling for a couple of days. My house is heated or air conditioned for most of the year so temperature swings are not much of a problem.
 

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Hate to hijack the thread but I recently brewed a beer that a professional brewer tasted and he remarked it tasted like band aid. I agree, but since I'm new to brewing, I didn't know what the taste was. He said its caused by an infection. Something is hiding somewhere on my cold side equipment that's causing it.
This beer was brewed with all RO water and CaCl and gypsum additions. So no chlorine should have been in the water. This isn't the first time that I've had this flavor. Its happened a few more times. Probably 5 batches have turned out this way using either RO or my tap water. Also I have noticed my beers finishing lower than expected FG, which would confirm the infection?
Not saying chlorine doesn't cause this flavor, but could this brewer be wrong?
 

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Thanks, that's a good read.

I could be getting tannins due to not checking my runoff gravity. I usually sparge until I reach my target pre boil volume. I also never sparge higher than 160*, so that's good.

I have so much to learn, but it's fun.
 

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fwiw, runoff pH is as important as gravity wrt over-sparging. Preferably keep the former below ~5.6 and the latter above ~1.008 to avoid extracting excess tannins and silicates...

Cheers!
 

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I can definitely see me oversparging.

At what point during the sparge should I be checking the pH and gravity?
 
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Hate to hijack the thread but I recently brewed a beer that a professional brewer tasted and he remarked it tasted like band aid. I agree, but since I'm new to brewing, I didn't know what the taste was. He said its caused by an infection. Something is hiding somewhere on my cold side equipment that's causing it.
What yeast are you using? What fermentation temp?

I am not sure I have ever had a beer where I detected tannins, but it is common in red wines. I see that article mentions sparging and tannins, but I am not sure they ever register as a band-aid or plastic flavor.

How does your flavor match up with the description in the Sanitation section?

Wild yeasts and unwanted bacteria may be to blame for smoky and plastic-like flavors, especially if the effect gets worse with time or if the phenolic character is accompanied by acetic or lactic sourness. Look at hard-to-clean pieces of equipment and consider replacing plastic pieces if the issue comes up repeatedly.
 

turbo 6

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Last one was US05 and BB NEEPAH at 67*-72*, both turned out tasting like a band aid smells. Used big mouth bubblers for both. This has only happened when using the big mouth bubblers. Never had a bad batch using my glass carboys.
I ordered an Ss Brewtech Chronical, should be here Friday.
 

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Just an additional thought not everyone thinks of. I treat my sanitizer water for chlorine. I was bottling at the time and my first 5/6 batches had the same band-aid flavor. Subtle, but it was there. Started treating the water for my sanitizer and never an issue again. I was rinsing the bottles wit Star San right before filling. That residue I guess was enough to be a problem. Not saying it's your problem too but it would be an easy fix if it were.
 

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How are you treating your sanitizer water? What’s your routine on brew day?
 
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To followup on the Belgian Pale Ale....after the Belgian Pale Ale, my next brew was an American Pale Ale. It also has some of the same Band Aid/Plastic flavors leading me to believe something else is at work other than the yeast.

Old Campden? I have read mixed info about the shelf life of Campden tablets. My pack is MANY years old. I just picked up a new pack and the new tablets look, smell, and taste (yuck!) the same as the old ones. This seems an unlikely source since recent brews have been fine.

Infection? Is there a specific type of infection that causes these flavors? I have not noticed any other "infection-like" flavors in these beers (like sour flavors). I guess an extra level of cleaning and sanitation is needed before my scheduled brew day tomorrow.

I feel like the off flavors in the Belgian Pale Ale have gotten better to where I enjoy drinking the beer. The American Pale Ale was only kegged 1.5 weeks ago.
 

turbo 6

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In my case it was just as the pro brewer told me. It was hiding in the valve on my FV. I thought I rinsed it enough but obviously not enough.
 
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Never had a bad batch using my glass carboys....In my case it was just as the pro brewer told me. It was hiding in the valve on my FV. I thought I rinsed it enough but obviously not enough.
hmmm...I don't have enough evidence to point fingers, but I did move from fermenting in a 6.5 gal glass carboy for a long time to brewing in a pair of 3 gal PET Fermonster fermenters with spigots. I like the convenience of the spigots, but those plastic spigots have a lot of hard to clean crevices. That said, the American Pale Ale was split into two different fermenters and kegs. Hmmm...my auto siphon, my airstone, and my kegging tube are common equipment.

Sometimes I taste the American Pale Ales and wonder if it is really an "off flavor" or just a bad recipe. It is a Simcoe/Amarillo Pale Ale with a grain bill of Pale Malt + Munich 15L + White Wheat.

I am planning a double brew day tomorrow for an American Lager and a Kolsch. I guess if I have an infection lurking in my equipment and I am not able to rid myself of it, these two beers should highlight the problem.
 

turbo 6

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Check everything on the cold side. The pro brewer told me it was going to be easy to find. It was.
He also said stuff like this happens to home brewers all the time. You learn and move on.
 

kh54s10

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hmmm...I don't have enough evidence to point fingers, but I did move from fermenting in a 6.5 gal glass carboy for a long time to brewing in a pair of 3 gal PET Fermonster fermenters with spigots. I like the convenience of the spigots, but those plastic spigots have a lot of hard to clean crevices. That said, the American Pale Ale was split into two different fermenters and kegs. Hmmm...my auto siphon, my airstone, and my kegging tube are common equipment.

Sometimes I taste the American Pale Ales and wonder if it is really an "off flavor" or just a bad recipe. It is a Simcoe/Amarillo Pale Ale with a grain bill of Pale Malt + Munich 15L + White Wheat.

I am planning a double brew day tomorrow for an American Lager and a Kolsch. I guess if I have an infection lurking in my equipment and I am not able to rid myself of it, these two beers should highlight the problem.
Easy way to find out if it is in the fermenter spigots - ferment one in the 6.5 gallon glass carboy! But to eliminate everything else, you would have to use nothing in common with the others after the boil.
 
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