Off Flavor's A Few Days After Kegging

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Thank You and any help would be most welcome.

My last few brews I feel have had basically the same aftertaste. At first, my mouth can taste I believe what the flavor profile should be IE lemon, hoppy, or other flavors with a basic beer aftertaste. Within a week or so a strong taste of something overpowers everything, and I can only describe it in one way.

When I was younger my grandpa had a woodworking shop that he used every day to work on different projects for companies like Disney. That smell of his work area with all the dust on the floor and different wood stains is 100% of what my brain goes to as this flavor. Now that I am older I know he must have had epoxy or another chemical on hand that mixed with the wood smell to make his work area smell the way it did.

When I use to bottle I do not remember getting this off-flavor so quick or ever at all which is why I think something is off in my kegging process. When I keg pre- carbiniation I will taste the beer, and it will be cold and flat-ish but still have a good flavor. I will fill up the Keg with beer and stick it in the kegerator for about a week at 15 PSI and test it. If I feel like I enjoy the carbonation I will turn the PSI down to serving at 5 or 6 and wait another week or so. It is during that time the beer takes a bad turn. I toss the first few glasses, and the next few are good, but 2 weeks in and I get a solvent or epoxy flavor, and I toss most of it.

I have looked online for what this flavor could be, but with no luck, and it's consistent over my last few batches. Sometimes when I change from 30 PSI to 5 PSI I will get so much foam, that I will let out a lot of Co2 from the keg. Could that be a cause or using too much PPW. I know cleaning is a big issue, but I do not think this is causing my off-flavor I have really upped my cleaning game and that's when it started. All my brews have also been IPA with dry hopping which might be an issue.

I really just want to understand this flavor so I can fight it

Any advice would really help I have a brew coming up (NOT an IPA )and I really want it to be good. I did not want to make this post long as no one would read it. I might have already gone past that point, but if you want any more info please let me know.

Thank You
Thank You
 

Broken Crow

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Welcome to the fun! ...get ready for the nit-picking. ;)
You mention cleaning, but don't mention sanitizing so the leading questions we're going to ask will probably be;
What do you clean it with?
Do you use a sanitizer?
What is your process from fermenter to keg to carb? (with details)
 
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I am ready for anything...

I do use PPW hot water then Starsan for soaking and a spray bottle.

Process: Average for the last few brews

Fermenter: I use a bucket with an airlock. I use a yeast started that I make a few days before and I aerate the wort with a stone before adding the little guys. I let that ferment in my kegerator at the recommended temp and amount of time 2-3 weeks. I have a temp on-off switch to my kegerator that turns off when it hits the right temp. Once done sometimes I will do a dry hop or switch to another bucket, but I will try and do the transfer very slowly to stop air from being added. Then 2 weeks go by and it's time to Keg.

KEG: I put my beer bucket up high and drain the beer into the keg. Sometimes I will add sugar sometimes I will not. Either way, I put the keg in the Kegerator and hook up the gas line to about 30 PSI and shake it on and off for about a week. Then turn it down to 5 PSI and try it. Sometimes it's good for a few days but others are bad right away.

When I keg it with sugar or not I turn the frig down to server temp if that might cause an issue.

Sorry not familiar with CARB:

I read How to Brew and I feel like I am following all the basic and some advanced steps on how to brew. I just feel like I am doing something or not doing something at the last stage that is causing this epoxy/resin taste. That flat brew right from the bucket is good but it's downhill from there.

Thanks in advance
 

Broken Crow

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Could just be oxidation. I used to do the same open-top keg filling; siphon from carboy to open keg lid, but the oxidation drove me to closed transfers...well, to begin with they were 'relatively closed'. Once I began overfilling the keg with star san through the gas post, a line-less disconnect on the liquid side and the PRV pulled open until star san was running out and ensuring me there was no oxygen in the keg at all, then purging the keg with CO2; I did the same siphon but through the liquid disconnect and just left the PRV open (until I eventually got a spunding valve.) The siphon was very very slow, but I ceased to have oxidation issues, as well as having the assurance the keg had been entirely sanitized.
Just a thought, but hopefully others with better brains than I will chime in here.
:bigmug:
 
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PS if CARB is Carbonation then sometimes I force carbonate and other times I use honey or priming sugar. I normally get the amounts from the recipe or a calculator website. A few times it was really hard to get them carbonated, but that might have been due to a leak or high Hop amount. I head that could cause it.
 
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Thank you I will look into keeping as much Oxy out as possible. I am going to get a bottom-feeding bucket so I don't need to open the bucket at all from bucket to keg.
 

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One word of warning on this site: Always be mindful of your wallet!!
I'm as guilty as many on here of making recommendations that involve spending cash on more gear that may or may not sit well with you in the long term. Before spending any money on what sounds like a brew-bucket with a plastic spigot or maybe a fermonster (which I highly recommend and you might find this thread of use: Turning your Fermonster into a complete closed transfer system for cheap! ..or you might not) You could always try putting a gas ball-lock bulkead in your bucket lid if you are able to seal it, and doing a pressure transfer.
Spending money aside, as I said; I still did the siphon, only via the disconnect with the PRV open, and it was very very slow but, I did not have to spend anything to try that.
 
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Thank you, and I will look at what you suggested. I did make a sour beer 2 brews ago and I feel like my buckets might need to be retired after and getting a bottom feed bucket is just a bonus. I just did some research on purging Oxy from kegs before filling and I think that might be my issue. I have been just cleaning them out filling them from the top and that's it. The beer is being exposed to a keg's worth of oxy.

Thanks Again let me know if you think of anything else or anything on brewing from personal experience.
 

Broken Crow

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!
That's very useful information! I've not done a sour yet myself, but from what I've read from others here that could be your whole issue. Do a search on here or sours... I've seen some very experienced, long-time reliable members highly recommend using entirely different equipment to keep sour 'left-behinds' from infecting subsequent non-sour beers.
Hopefully some of the more experienced in that will weigh in here.
 

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Maybe when you taste solvent, it's really becoming acetic (vinegar)? That would be likely a leftover from your sour project. Don't throw it away, just label it and save it for future sour batches.

I'm generally confident that you're experiencing oxidation, even if that's not the complete explanation for spoilage.

Buckets are somewhat oxygen permeable compared to other containers, not only due to the HDPE material, but also a possible sketchy seal between the bucket and lid.

Siphoning beer from one bucket to another (secondary) is absolutely contributing some oxidation (I'm not interested in debating this fact for the folks who wish to keep doing it).

Siphoning beer into an open keg is also another way oxygen definitely gets in. Fill the keg to the top with starsan, push it all out into a bucket. Vent gas. Connect your siphon to that hose and fill the keg down the "out" line. This process can only be improved if you are able to add a gentle CO2 supply into the top of the fermenter while draining out of a spigot. Even easier with a vessel that can take a couple psi.
 

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One thing, unless I missed is, is you have not mentioned the style of beer you are brewing. That being said, I would look at the keg being used as a sour keg. I tend to keep sour and non sour equipment separate. If I have to clean a keg after a sour, replace ALL rubber. if that is not a possibility, use a mild bleach solution and rinse and clean as usual.
Transfer: I have been brewing longer than I want to remember, and kegging for over a decade and a half. I have only been transferring under pressure for a year or two, fermenting in a 10 gallon Corny keg and only with NEIPA and IPA styles. I have used a siphon to transfer for years and years with no problem. I am careful to fill from the bottom with a long hose to avoid aeration as much as possible. I purge my kegs with a CO2 added to the OUT port and vent through the top.
Hope this helps.
Cheers
 
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Perhaps I misunderstood, but if you fill from the top, seal and shake it, unless you have purged the remaining airspace in the top of the keg, you will be shaking air into your beer.

Also, if you are priming with sugar in the keg, are you letting it sit at room temp to carbonate before you move it to a cold kegerator, so the yeast can do their job?
 
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Thank You guys for all the Help.

My last few brews have all been IPAs. This weekend I think I am going to try and get back to my roots with a simple beer to minimize any complications of anything happening. Any suggestions?

Yes, Thanks JAReeves I am doing almost exactly what you said, and the way you explained it makes sense and I feel dumb for not seeing that before. I guess I did not think the head space left in the keg was enough to turn a beer, but that makes sense. To make it worse I tend to pull nowhere near all the beer from a 5-gallon bucket hoping to get only the middle clear beer so the headspace is even more. I do however when I do add sugar keep it in the kegerator, but at the fermenting temp for at least 2 weeks then drop it.

I do not think my issue is my sour beer because I believe I had this issue before I made the sour. I also believe the sour one after a few weeks started to have the same flavors just masked due to its sour nature. I did from reading How to Brew get a separate bucket just for sour.

I did a lot of research today on a "close transfer system" and before my next brew, I am going to try and set something up either with a buck or glass carboy. I might DIY something.

I wanted to find a way of moving beer from a bucky/carboy to a purged sealed keg without having to open anything and just moving the system around with CO2. I see you can do that with some higher-end metal fermenters, but I need to keep it cool so it has to fit in my kegerator. I was going to DIY something with a bucket or Carboy with a very low PSI. I just don't want to open the fermenter to let air in.

OR

Do you guys think thinking opening the fermentor for a second to add the racking stick is such a small amount of air it's not worth trying to avoid it? I will also not do what JAReeves said and do it the right way.

Thanks Again Guys
 

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Is the weird flavor just from beer that's in the lines? If you pour 2 in a row is the second one better?
 
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No, it's the whole batch. Right now I have a Zombie Dirt IPA I got from a kit and It's been sitting for a month or so still cold. Every once in a while I will try it again thinking maybe this glass will be better(hoping it was just beer shock), but it is always the same, and I always pour 1 or 2 out to clear the line and some to the beer gods. I don't mind wasting it as it's not very good.
 

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Perhaps I misunderstood, but if you fill from the top, seal and shake it, unless you have purged the remaining airspace in the top of the keg, you will be shaking air into your beer.

Also, if you are priming with sugar in the keg, are you letting it sit at room temp to carbonate before you move it to a cold kegerator, so the yeast can do their job?
I inject CO2 to the bottom of the keg through OUT port, venting through the top vent. CO2 tends to settle in the keg. I rarely prime in the keg. What I have found, that except with the very hoppy brews, filing the kegs from the top has not been a problem. once filled, I purge the keg with CO2 at about 20 psi, venting several times, inspecting the seals. In hundreds of keg, I have not had a problem
 
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