Plastic taste with Wyeast!

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ol' rummie

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Does anyone else get a plastic tasting beer when using Wyeast?

I've only brewed about a half dozen batches with Wyeast, and about 5 of them have had a plastic taste (some worse than others), when I switch back to a dry yeast I have no problem. I don't use any plastic components. Just brewed a batch yesterday, and I can already smell it from the air lock. I have other batches that I let sit for 6 monthes after bottling and still can taste it.
Is this just a bad product?? after happening this many times, I ruled out that it was just a bad batch of yeast.

I have used several types of Wyeast, ferment at 66-70F.
 

WBC

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If you used bleach or idophor and did not rinse well this can happen. High fermentation temps can also play a part. I doubt it is the yeast. Explain what you did about sanitation, process?
 
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ol' rummie

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If you used bleach or idophor and did not rinse well this can happen. High fermentation temps can also play a part. I doubt it is the yeast. Explain what you did about sanitation, process?
I use bleach, and always rinse, fermentation temps are low (66-70F)
What sanitizer should be used with liquid yeast?
 

zoebisch01

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Since we're talking sanitizers....I am sold on Star-San and will never go back. It's just too friggin good, easy and economical.
 

Zymurgrafi

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I use bleach, and always rinse, fermentation temps are low (66-70F)
What sanitizer should be used with liquid yeast?
It is possible that your tap water has a high concentration of chlorine. Thus, even though you rinse your bleach sanitize you are still having chlorine enough to react with the yeast and create chlorophenols.

It is not a question of which sanitizer to use with liquid yeasts. Any yeast form will react that way with chlorine.

If you want to be sure to remove the possibility of that effect the only way is to switch to a no rinse sanitizer such as starsan or iodopher used in the proper concentration.
 
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ol' rummie

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It is possible that your tap water has a high concentration of chlorine. Thus, even though you rinse your bleach sanitize you are still having chlorine enough to react with the yeast and create chlorophenols.

It is not a question of which sanitizer to use with liquid yeasts. Any yeast form will react that way with chlorine.

If you want to be sure to remove the possibility of that effect the only way is to switch to a no rinse sanitizer such as starsan or iodopher used in the proper concentration.

I use bought water to brew with, I might be getting careless with my rinsing, usually rinse with cold h2o. I will be brewing again on fri. this time with absolutly no bleach or chlorine. I have a product called aseptox, its a no rinse sanitizer, I usually just use it for my kegs, I'll use it for everything from now on in order to rule out the bleach as a culprit.
The reason I suspected Wyeast was because I only started using that product recently ( I have been using bleach for sanitizing for about ten years, but I don't measure how much I use, and might be getting sloppy with it. )
 

Willie3

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One-Step is a cleaner and santizer in one, hence One-Step.

Contains no chlorine, which can leave a film on glassware and corrode stainless steel. One Step is an excellent oxygen based cleanser. Requires two minutes of contact time, no rinsing required! Environmentally friendly and non-toxic. Use 1 tablespoon per gallon of water. Sanitizes on contact.

- WW
 

Matt Foley

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I too doubt it is the yeast. But, I also had a few plastic batches, some with Wyeast and some with other. The most notable batch was an undrinkable cream ale. I, like an idiot, brewed with straight tap water. Since then I have brewed with a filter. I think the chlorine in the tap water was the culprit for me, but not rinsing bleach well enough makes sense too. Good luck.
 

WBC

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Get some Starsan and you will be a happy brewer. It leaves no tastes. Chlorine requires thorough rinsing and if any traces are still in the interior it will cause off flavors. You do not rinse Starsan and so it remains sanitary as long as it stays wet.
 

abru17

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I don't believe it was your water because then you would have had the same plastic taste in your dry yeast beers. Unless you used different water every time you brewed with Wyeast but I highly doubt that.

If everything is the same it must be have something to do with how you handle the Wyeast compared to the dry yeast. I would concentrate on that part of your brew process.

Here are a few areas to look at:

Did you make a starter with tap water for the beers that have the plastic taste?

No you not sanitize the outside of the smack pack before you open it? ( could lead to contaminations, long shot I know but still possible)

Is your starter fermented to hot? ( this could lead to phenolic taste in a very delicate beer)

Hope this helps, I have used wyeast and never had this problem. Plastic taste always makes me think infection or Chlorine.
 
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ol' rummie

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Went to lhbs they all they had was potassium metabisulfite, they tell me it is a no rinse sanitizer, but if I remember correctly, isn't that what is used in winemaking to stop the yeast activity?
 

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Went to lhbs they all they had was potassium metabisulfite, they tell me it is a no rinse sanitizer, but if I remember correctly, isn't that what is used in winemaking to stop the yeast activity?
Well, yes and no. No, it really doesn't stop yeast activity- not brewing yeast anyway. It's used in pretty high concentrations as a sanitizer for wine equipment and used in smaller concentrations in winemaking to preserve wine and prevent oxidation, as well as to kill wild yeast and bacteria.

I've used k-meta before, but I would recommend Iodophor and/or Star san for no rinse sanitizers for beer making. K-meta is safe, though, to use.
 

zoebisch01

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For real, just bite the bullet and order some Star-San online. You can keep reusing it as long as the pH stays low (I use strips to test). So you mix a batch from the concentrate and leave it in a spare carboy or bucket. It is a fairly steep upfront cost but the stuff goes a long way so in the end it is probably one of the cheapest sanitizers to use. Plus a huge benefit is it gets foamy so it covers the surface of whatever you have it in and clings to it. I don't think you could find a better product. No rinsing required, and I believe reading that the Yeast can actually benefit from any residual Star-San left in the fermenter, although this is probably negligible anyway because it is usually a very small amount.

I used to use One-Step which is a Peroxide cleanser/sanitizer. But the stuff has to be dissolved which is a pain, and you cannot reuse it. Bleach is cheap but nasty to use and screws up Stainless Steel, and must be rinsed. Iodophor is great but stains, and again must be rinsed...no thanks. Star-San is a foaming acid based sanitizer that can be reused over and over, is harmless to Stainless from what I can gather...but some claim you should not leave it in for extended periods of time, and it doesn't require rinsing.

[edit]After scouring some more threads, I found out it is a synergistic effect of the surfactant and the acid that allows Star-San to work, not just the pH. The recommended (safe) method is that if your Star-San becomes cloudy to toss it, or use distilled water to mix it. That all being said, I have been using Star-San and it is cloudy and I haven't had any troubles.[/edit]
 
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