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Strawberry problems?

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Joewalla88

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So, I've brewed a lot of strawberry beers and generally they turn out great, but my last two strawberry beers have had some weird off flavors. I'm getting a plasticky bandaid thing. I think the difference is that these last two batches were with produce section strawberries as oppose to fresh picked or frozen. Maybe my filter isnt filtering out the chlorine as well as usual, but after searching around it seems like this is a common off flavor with strawberries. Anyone know what gives? Why is this so common with strawberries, and why would it start happening after I switch which kind of strawberries I use. This latest batch has only been going for a week, so maybe it's just not ready yet. I dont know.
 

Harleybrew32

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I tried a couple of brews with strawberries and both had that bandaid taste. i rinsed them really good the first time and second time i used frozen which i heated to 160F for 15min cooled in a water bath then added to secondary and racked my wheat on top of them. still had that bandaid after that i swore off strawberries.
the only thing i can think of it has something to do with the seeds on the strawberry, maybe?
would love to know myself.
 

day_trippr

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Phenols caused by wild yeast from the berries?

Cheers!
 
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Joewalla88

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This is what I was originally thinking, but after googling it it seems like a common strawberry thing. Funny thing, side note, the best strawberry flavor I have gotten is from the frozen strawberries st the dollar store. Generally way cheaper too. It's just weird that I've had success brewing with them in the past, but the last two not so much. I'm hoping it's just a yeast thing that drops off a bit after conditioning for a week or two. I'm not holding my breath, but fingers crossed.

It's a super green beer. I brewed it last weekend, but I used kvieking from Imperial which I'd heard could finish a beer that fast. Maybe that's the issues? I was really looking forward to this one.
 

day_trippr

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Well...maybe. When I was on a private water company with an evidently random chloramine injection schedule if I brewed on one of their "bad" days the band-aid character never left. If it attenuated at all, so did all the other characters in that batch...

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Joewalla88

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I asked the water treatment folks and they said they dont use chloramine. But who knows.
 

day_trippr

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And you'd have had the band-aid thing on other brews if the water was the issue. Point is band-aid doesn't disappear unless everything disappears.
I'm sticking with the wild yeast producing phenols thing. Aside from pasteurizing I don't think fruit can be sanitized easily.
I'm paranoid about it to always do low-temperature pasteurization on the frozen raspberries I've been using for brewing...

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Hoppy2bmerry

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I had heard that strawberry seeds may be the culprit, and using purée is helpful. I’ve only attempted a Strawberry brew once. Other issues happened some kind of contamination, but to get noticeable flavor a huge amount or dehydrated berries must be used. Otherwise one could have the aroma, and color, but not enough flavor, anyway that was my experience.
 
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Joewalla88

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I definately should've pasteurized them better, and maybe pureed them. I think I'm just going to go back to my old method. Use dollar store frozen strawberries, thaw them on the stove top and throw them in the blender. I always thought I was over doing it, but maybe not.
 
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Joewalla88

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I mostly thought it was strange that it was happening to specifically with the strawberry beers. I made a mango, papaya, guava hazy a while back and I'm pretty sure I just thawed and pureed those. And the kiwi IPA I just did was the same thing and no band aid. I thought maybe there was something specific to strawberries that I didnt know about.
 

day_trippr

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fwiw, a few minutes Googling and it does appear strawberries are notorious for harboring wild yeasts. Indeed there are pages showing ways to make strawberry "wine" with no yeast added. To me as a highly risk-averse brewer that's Red Flag City wrt cold-side additions - similar to raspberries and blackberries (which from first hand experience with our own canes are loaded with wee beasties) and unless one wants to live on the wild side requires pasteurization...

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couchsending

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Strawberries are notorious for creating those plasticy/band aid flavors/aromas. You didn’t do anything wrong it’s the Strawberries themselves. Some varieties are worse than others. From everything I’ve read/heard there are two solutions.

A metric crap ton of them for a much shorter contact time.

Freeze Dried

Again It’s totally common. It’s just strawberries. Nothing you did necessarily.
 
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Joewalla88

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Well, crap. I guess that's what I get for changing things up. Well, if this doesnt turn out, I'll try again with my old process. I guess it's a not broke dont fix sorta thing.
 
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Joewalla88

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Well. I'm just going to see what happens, and if it tastes like trash, I'm going to drop in a bunch of dollar store fruit. if that doesn't work I'm dumping it and starting over. Are these the same chlorophenols that are bad for you?
 

GRBC

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I had a strawberry beer that tasted like band-aids burned with match. Left it in a keg for a year and it turned into the most delicious, refreshing beer ever. So if you can afford to tie up a vessel for a while, let it ride and see how the brett transforms those phenols.
 

Jayjay1976

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I had a strawberry beer that tasted like band-aids burned with match. Left it in a keg for a year and it turned into the most delicious, refreshing beer ever. So if you can afford to tie up a vessel for a while, let it ride and see how the brett transforms those phenols.
That sounds amazing. Hey @Joewalla88 you might consider bottling it and putting it away for several months to a year.
 
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Joewalla88

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I had thought about pitching some brett or sour bugs and shoving it aside, but I just dumped it instead and started over. I'll go back to doing it the old way. Next time I get something like that I'll throw it in a carboy and hide it in the basement.
 

henchman24

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Strawberries are notorious for creating those plasticy/band aid flavors/aromas. You didn’t do anything wrong it’s the Strawberries themselves. Some varieties are worse than others. From everything I’ve read/heard there are two solutions.

A metric crap ton of them for a much shorter contact time.

Freeze Dried

Again It’s totally common. It’s just strawberries. Nothing you did necessarily.
This. I've had issues getting strawberries to work in beers over the years. Switch to freeze dried pretty much solved it all. I use freeze dried powder though it can be kind of a pain to get dissolved, but I get better yield and better flavor. But just freeze dried slices work too.

If you really want to use fresh, make sure they are as ripe as possible and use a lot... at least double. If they are at all white, don't use that berry for the beer.
 

jekeane

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I had thought about pitching some brett or sour bugs and shoving it aside, but I just dumped it instead and started over. I'll go back to doing it the old way. Next time I get something like that I'll throw it in a carboy and hide it in the basement.
Brett actually seems to increase the plastic notes. There has been a fair amount of discussion on this over on the milk the funk site. Popular theories are the seeds carry a polyphenol that expresses as plastic to varying degrees. Underripe white sections of the strawberry are the culprit. Many people prefer using the freeze dried strawberries and havent report plasticky issue with them I have use puree with success but it takes a lot.
 

ckeati2

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I had a strawberry beer that tasted like band-aids burned with match. Left it in a keg for a year and it turned into the most delicious, refreshing beer ever. So if you can afford to tie up a vessel for a while, let it ride and see how the brett transforms those phenols.
What was your storage for that year? Cool basement or room temp? Makes me question a couple recent batches I dumped after only giving it a month in a keezer.
 
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Joewalla88

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I actually read that about brett too, which was part of the reason I decided against holding onto it, plus that's just not the beer I wanted. Like I'd mentioned before, I've had a lot of success using frozen dollar store strawberries. I've never had a problem using them. Maybe there' processed in a way that knocks the seeds of or something. IDK. These last couple strawberry beers were just made with big produce aisle strawberries. I think typically they have lots of seed, and I'm assuming lots of other bugs from sitting open in the store. I'll just go back to how I used to do it, and never use "fresh" strawberries again. Kinda bummed though. The little strawberry patch at my house, is about to explode. Guess I'll just let the kids eat them.
 
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Joewalla88

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Second times a charm. It's a hazy IPA with strata and mosaic hops and 4lbs of dollar store frozen strawberries. Might be one of my favorites it turned out great this time around.
 

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Harleybrew32

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awesome, glad to hear you got it straightened out.
looks like a nice beer!
cheers
 
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