Damn it, same brew has gone skunky

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PersonalBrewer

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I've been brewing this same recipe for a couple of years.

This is the longest I have let one sit.

I've had a couple of brews where the mash temp got away due to thermometer hanging. But was within range and gravities were fine.

This was a modified Marzan.

Beer tasted fine, looks great. No problems with kegging it.

Now I'm trying to build up some kegs so I won't have to brew outside in the heat.

I'm on propane and love brewing outside but not in 95 degrees.

I'm thinking about tossing the remaining seven gallons, don't care to drink it.

Any thoughts or comments?
 

doug293cz

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Skunking is usually caused by exposing hopped wort or beer to light (specifically UV light, and maybe some of the shorter blue wavelengths.) Was there a point in your process for this batch where it could have been exposed to light (moreso than some of your other batches)?

Brew on :mug:
 
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PersonalBrewer

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Thanks for your input.

No UV that I'm aware of.

I say skunky, but it's developed a flavor whang that I don't enjoy.

Looks good, smells good, taste is not for me.

Other than more age, I cannot tell any difference in handling or brewing which is much the same as the last five plus brews of the recipe.
 

hotbeer

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What hops did you use?

You aren't confusing some of the hoppy flavors with skunky flavors are you?
 
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PersonalBrewer

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nah, same hops as always.

I guess it might have become contaminated, I've never had a contaminated batch. I thought it always smelled.

Marzen with Magnum 29 LBs
Type
#
%/IBU
11 lbs 8.0 oz​
Pilsner (2 Row) Ger (2.0 SRM)​
Grain​
1​
39.0 %​
9 lbs 4.0 oz​
Munich Malt (9.0 SRM)​
Grain​
2​
31.4 %​
6 lbs 8.0 oz​
Vienna Malt (3.5 SRM)​
Grain​
3​
22.0 %​
2 lbs 4.0 oz​
Caramunich Malt (56.0 SRM)​
Grain​
4​
7.6 %​
1.00 oz​
Magnum [12.00 %] - Boil 60.0 min​
Hop​
5​
16.5 IBUs​
1.00 oz​
Hallertauer [4.80 %] - Boil 20.0 min​
Hop​
6​
4.0 IBUs​
2.0 pkg​
S-23 SafLager West European Lager (DCL/Fermentis #S-23) [23.66 ml]​
Yeast​
7​
 

hotbeer

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Skunky still doesn't seem like what a contaminated beer will taste like. Sour or tart is what I'd expect from an infection.

Do you use those same hops in other beers?
 
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PersonalBrewer

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Have used those same hops multiple times and on other beers.

Magnum makes an excellent bittering hop. Magnum I often use for bittering hops. Hallertauer I often use with german styles of beer. I tend to like malty brews and use less hops than many would enjoy

Smells good, looks good (maybe a bit cloudy) has an unpleasant whang to the taste. Did not have this whang originally, after being kegged for a month or so and has been getting more prominent over time.

I haven't ever worried much about clear or cloudy ( I drink from a copper mug.)

I just had my wife smell it. Most acute sense of smell I have ever known, but not a beer drinker.

She said it smells like most beer.
 

jrgtr42

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Not knowing what a whang tastes like, 🤐
Can you be more specific as to exactly what off flavors you’re getting? Is it more like cardboard or sherry? Or specifically skunky, or something else.
My first thought, barring contamination, is oxidation. Maybe it just took a while for it to appear.
 
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PersonalBrewer

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More like cardboard.

I'm beginning to expect oxidation also.

Seems like that is about the only thing left.
 
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PersonalBrewer

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Took a sample by my local home brew supply who also has a microbrewery on site.

His verdict: low grade oxidation.

He said, if I hadn't asked him what was wrong he might not have picked up on it.

Having brewed it several times before, I know what it can taste like.

He suggested serving it to those who enjoy it and go on.

I've tossed about four gallons, may toss the other keg also.

Even if someone drinks it and likes it, I know it can be better.
 

Beermeister32

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That look like a really solid recipe, sorry to hear about the oxidation. Any idea how that occurred? Are you purging your kegs with CO2 after transfer? There are a lot of techniques out there for minimizing oxygen ingress into your beer.

I do a fair amount of Marzens, and they are a bit more forgiving that a Helles or Pilsner. I’d suggest you take that keg, add your gelatin, a teaspoon of acorbic acid (dissolved in cooled water) and a 4.3 ounce corn sugar addition and let the keg sit at room temperature for 2-3 weeks to carbonate / condition. Then lager the keg for 4-6 months at 34F. If possible the gelatin would be better added cold if you have a keg injector, otherwise do it when you add the corn sugar.

I’ve had Marzen kegs RADICALLY improve over this time period, give it a try!
 
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PersonalBrewer

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That look like a really solid recipe, sorry to hear about the oxidation. Any idea how that occurred? Are you purging your kegs with CO2 after transfer? There are a lot of techniques out there for minimizing oxygen ingress into your beer.

I do a fair amount of Marzens, and they are a bit more forgiving that a Helles or Pilsner. I’d suggest you take that keg, add your gelatin, a teaspoon of acorbic acid (dissolved in cooled water) and a 4.3 ounce corn sugar addition and let the keg sit at room temperature for 2-3 weeks to carbonate / condition. Then lager the keg for 4-6 months at 34F. If possible the gelatin would be better added cold if you have a keg injector, otherwise do it when you add the corn sugar.

I’ve had Marzen kegs RADICALLY improve over this time period, give it a try!
I sincerely appreciate your suggestion on how to improve the keg. I will attempt all of it, but might be tough to lager the keg for 4-6 months.

I am reading the low oxygen thread,

I did bleed off 02 with CO2 when I filled the keg. However, in attempting to build up enough brewed kegs so I wouldn't need to brew in the heat these sat ar room temp for several montss. That and the fact that I hadn't been paying attention to Oxygen during the process (other than to bleed off the keg) is probably why this happened.
 

doug293cz

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I sincerely appreciate your suggestion on how to improve the keg. I will attempt all of it, but might be tough to lager the keg for 4-6 months.

I am reading the low oxygen thread,

I did bleed off 02 with CO2 when I filled the keg. However, in attempting to build up enough brewed kegs so I wouldn't need to brew in the heat these sat ar room temp for several montss. That and the fact that I hadn't been paying attention to Oxygen during the process (other than to bleed off the keg) is probably why this happened.
Yeah, the room temp storage is likely part of the problem. Oxidation, and other staling reactions, occur much faster at room temp than refrigerator temps.

Brew on :mug:
 
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PersonalBrewer

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That look like a really solid recipe,.... I’d suggest you take that keg, add your gelatin, a teaspoon of acorbic acid (dissolved in cooled water) and a 4.3 ounce corn sugar addition...
Fixing to give this a try, Is Karo syrup a corn suger that I can use?

Just add gelatin, teaspoon of acorbic acid and 4.3 ozs of Karo syrup?

I can keep it at 40 degrees for some months but don't think I can get it colder.
 

Beermeister32

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I've never used Karo Syrup, but the ingredients list below has Vanilla and Sodium, so I say no. Use just regular Brewers Corn Sugar (Dextrose). Heat up 4 to 4.3 oz with water in a small sauce pan until boiling. Toss it in.

Let a teaspoon of the Knox gelatin bloom in a 1/4 cup of water for 10 minutes then raise temperature to 160F in microwave using little bursts. Toss it in.

Ascorbic acid - dissolve teaspoon in 1/4 cup pre-boiled but cooled water. Toss it in.

Purge your headspace 15 cycles with CO2.

40F is fine. You will be happy with 40F. See you in 4-6 months!
 

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PersonalBrewer

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I never bottled so I had no idea there was such a thing as brewers corn sugar.
Will pick some up and give it a whirl..

Thanks for the posts and helping me with a solution.
 

Beermeister32

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This will set it up as a carbonated keg to tap directly.

If you want to bottle using regular bottle conditioning, hold off on adding the corn sugar until just before bottling, that way it will carbonate in bottles.
 
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PersonalBrewer

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Done, just as specified, now going to let sit 2/3 weeks at room temp.

Beermeister32, sincerely appreciate your helping me on this.

Thanks for giving me by the numbers what to do and dumbing it down enough for me to not miss anything.

Have a great day!
 

VikeMan

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I never bottled so I had no idea there was such a thing as brewers corn sugar.
Corn sugar, dextrose, and D-glucose are all the same thing. There's nothing special about "brewers" corn sugar, other than the (sometimes) higher price. Also, for (future) bottle/keg priming, you could use regular old table sugar.
 

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