Tried a strawberry wheat...it tastes like plastic

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jdog2050

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Hey all; I'm doing a strawberry wheat. It was tasting great for a while, then 4 days after adding the strawberries...BAM...plastic taste.

I washed the strawberries fairly well I think, then I froze them for two days.

I also used reconstituted yeast from a bottle of Erdinger.

I double racked too (once to a sanitized bottling bucket, then back to my more secure primary bucket in one night).

Where do you think the plastic taste most likely came from?
 

lamarguy

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Most likely a wild yeast or bacterial infection if you're experiencing a plastic or band-aid off taste.

We've got a lively thread going about just that. Hopefully it will shed some light on the matter.

sanitizing blueberries?
 
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jdog2050

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blargh! The band-aid taste is EXACTLY it. I got so much advice on freezing it. Guess I gotta start over.
 

obezyana1

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I worry about infections from fruit so I stick with using cans of the Oregon Farms fruit. It doesn't cost too much more than frozen and it's pasteurized, so no need to worry about infections. I just make sure to sterilize the can and can opener before opening and then adding it to the carboy. Maybe I'm just being paranoid, but better that than worrying about off tastes.
 
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jdog2050

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That's what I'm wondering about. It definitely has that bandaid taste, and at the moment it doesn't seem like something that will age out. It's way too strong.

Never the less, I put way too much work into it not to bottle it.

This is a sad day.
 

Fat Guy Brewing

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A couple of questions back for you:

When did you add the strawberries in the process? While cooking? In the primary? In the secondary? If in the primary or secondary, how many days had passed since first brewing?

You say that you tasted it 4 days after adding strawberries. Are you bottling or kegging? Give us some dates or a timeline, either kegging or bottline, it would still need more time.

As a fan of fruit beers, I am interested in learning and helping if I can.
 
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jdog2050

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I added the strawberries in at secondary. It's been almost exactly three weeks now since brewing (2 weeks of primary and 1 of secondary at this point).

I will be bottling.

I would actually be bottling tonight--do you think I should give it one more week in secondary?
 

Fat Guy Brewing

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Sorry I couldn't check in last night. If you still have it sitting with strawberries in the secondary, I would try racking back to the primary and leaving it there for another week. It may just need more time. I had to triple rack a raspberry beer. Have you cleaned any equipment with bleach, that would also be a source of band-aid taste.
 

Scotty_g

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I made a batch of strawberry melomel with 15# of honey and 12# of frozen strawberries that smelled and tasted awful (I don't remember specifically a band-aid taste, but definitely a rocket fuel taste) for the first year. After 18 months it was starting to come around, though, and it's getting better all the time (24 months now). We put the berries in a nylon bag and dropped them in 2? weeks after the fermentation started, similar to adding in the secondary. So yes, be patient--very patient.

I second the comment about bleach. If you did use bleach without rinsing, that's most likely the source of off flavors. Go ahead and re-brew with confidence after you get some one step or star-san.
 

g_rath

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I made a strawberry blond last summer that was a big hit. I pasteurized them in a big pot and mashed them up as they were thawing. I covered them and let them cool and I didn’t have any problems with contamination. I tossed them into the primary bucket when fermentation started to slow. Don’t give up. I would give it some time, if its still bad, well it’s a learning experience.
 

monty3777

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Are you comparing the taste to another strawberry wheat you have been drinking?If not you may be surprised that perhaps the taste isn't too far off. I just bought some strawberry wheat (brekenridge or something like that) and I was surprised how much it tasted "off". If I would have brewed that beer I would have been disappointed. Perhpas the problem is with the combo of strawberry and wheat - not your brewing. Just a thought
 

Schlenkerla

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I worry about infections from fruit so I stick with using cans of the Oregon Farms fruit. It doesn't cost too much more than frozen and it's pasteurized, so no need to worry about infections. I just make sure to sterilize the can and can opener before opening and then adding it to the carboy. Maybe I'm just being paranoid, but better that than worrying about off tastes.
I have sworn off Oregon Fruit for awhile. I used it for making fruited ciders. Every batch turned out to be infected, bottle gushers, super tart and sour. This didn't occur until the batch was several months old. I sanitized everything that touched the fruit too. Can, can opener, entire blender

These have been the only infected bevos that I have made in 4+ years of doing this. I was puzzled by this. Started using flavored extracts.
 
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jdog2050

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Are you comparing the taste to another strawberry wheat you have been drinking?If not you may be surprised that perhaps the taste isn't too far off. I just bought some strawberry wheat (brekenridge or something like that) and I was surprised how much it tasted "off". If I would have brewed that beer I would have been disappointed. Perhpas the problem is with the combo of strawberry and wheat - not your brewing. Just a thought
Overall, thanks for all the help guys.

I didn't use any bleach, just an iodine solution.

Really, my method was pretty standard other than not sanitizing the strawberries better (if I ever do fresh fruit again, I will be picking up some campden tablets).

If the bandaid taste will always be there, I think I'm just gonna bottle this puppy, put it in the closet, and just forget about it.

I definitely don't have 24 months like another poster suggested because I move around quite a bit in the course of a year. But, I will give it like 2 more months.
 

starrfish

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anyone use Campden tablets to sanitize fruit?
how is it done?

Going to heat pasteurize 1st 5lbs (15 min steep at end of boil will take care of any nasty things), second 5lbs is going into secondary... this will need some kind of sanitizing (i'm assuming Campden tablets), correct?

How many tablets per pound? should these berries be sanitized before freezing? should I make a puree for secondary? might need to "sanitize" blender with some tequila first.

thanks!
 
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