Tripel now has strange flavor

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IJesusChrist

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9.5 DME Pilsen (3.5 start, 6 at 20 mins +0.7 lb for starter)
.6 Belgian carapils
.6 american caramel
1.5lb candi sugar
Estimated OG: 1.097
Estimated FG: 1.027
Estimated ABV: 9.21
Hop additions:
1 oz German Perle (~8% AA) @ 60 mins
1 oz Saaz (~4% AA) @ 15 minutes
Starter:
WLP530
2 Literstarter on stir plate
1.06 OG (.75 lb DME)
= 5.79 B cells = 1.32 cells/mL/P
(1.25 is target)

So I started this early in November and its been sitting at 1.010 for about a week.

I tasted it at 1.012 around 7 days ago and it tasted phenomenal (plus some yeast/hop flavors that were suspended since it hadn't cleared). No off flavors to speak of.

Then I tasted yesterday and there is a strange flavor, almost mouth feel. I've gotten this flavor often and I can't describe it perfectly, but I've come to the conclusion that it is probably oxidation. But I can't understand how!

When I take a hydrometer reading, I simply pour out enough beer to test, sometimes I'll take the airlock off so the water in the airlock doesn't get pulled into the beer. So there really is only enough airflow into the beer as there is beer in my hydrometer reading, but I've taken probably 4 hydrometer readings. Is this enough air/oxygen to oxidize my beer and cause some weird off flavors?

I can only describe it as kind of slimy, moldy flavor... I could maybe use wet cardboard but I'm not sure if thats the best fit. IF anyone is in southern california and KNOWS what oxidation tastes like I'd love to send you a sample.
 

m00ps

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When I take a hydrometer reading, I simply pour out enough beer to test, sometimes I'll take the airlock off so the water in the airlock doesn't get pulled into the beer.

what do you mean by this? can you describe exactly how you take readings?

4 readings in under 3 weeks is kinda pushing it. Im not positive it could oxidize a beer but its definitely more often thatn you need to be checking on it
 

philosofool

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This seems very unlikely to oxidize a beer to me. A 1/0th of a liter of air fully into your beer gets you like 1ppm O2 in beer--I mean, that's is 100% of the O2 is in the beer. If you're beer is still fermenting, there's no way your getting that much into your beer. Plus, the yeast will eat (drink? breathe?) it, which is why you can inject O2 into beer before fermentation and not oxidize the hell out it. I know oxidation is a popular theory of beer flavor oddness, but it's mostly a problem with (1) old beer and (2) beer that's been obviously mishandled.
 
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IJesusChrist

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what do you mean by this? can you describe exactly how you take readings?

4 readings in under 3 weeks is kinda pushing it. Im not positive it could oxidize a beer but its definitely more often thatn you need to be checking on it

I have a brew bucket with a nozzle. I usually take off the air lock, so its just a hole, and then open the nozzle to drain out the reading.

I took one reading to check - 1.012
Then another - 1.010
I thought it was done fermenting, and it was at 1.009, so I took another later, 1.009 (done).
 
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IJesusChrist

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This seems very unlikely to oxidize a beer to me. A 1/0th of a liter of air fully into your beer gets you like 1ppm O2 in beer--I mean, that's is 100% of the O2 is in the beer. If you're beer is still fermenting, there's no way your getting that much into your beer. Plus, the yeast will eat (drink? breathe?) it, which is why you can inject O2 into beer before fermentation and not oxidize the hell out it. I know oxidation is a popular theory of beer flavor oddness, but it's mostly a problem with (1) old beer and (2) beer that's been obviously mishandled.

This is my thought too. But I've had this taste so often, I can't wrap my head around where its coming from.

I can't figure this out. Its been following my beers on and off for about a year now.
 

m00ps

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Like a spigot? Thats probably risking infection unless you are able to clean the inside of the valve after each sample. But why intentionally draw in air ?
 

flars

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You have gotten this flavor often, with no solution? I would suspect your equipment. How often do you take the spigot apart for a thorough cleaning?

Take a SG sample with a cleaned and sanitized turkey baster. Does the sample have the same taste?
 

philosofool

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I have a brew bucket with a nozzle. I usually take off the air lock, so its just a hole, and then open the nozzle to drain out the reading.

I took one reading to check - 1.012
Then another - 1.010
I thought it was done fermenting, and it was at 1.009, so I took another later, 1.009 (done).


The nozzle sounds like a potential source of contamination. Mouthfeel is something I find contamination changes. How old is this fermenter? Do you break down the nozzle and sanitize the parts after a batch? Do you ever bottle and are your bottled beers usually contamination free?

Also, have you considered intentionally oxidizing some beer you don't think is oxidized to see if that is the flavor your picking up? One nice thing about sensory training for oxidation is that you can oxidize any beer at home to see what it tastes like: get a six pack of a beer you like; open a bottle and pour out an ounce or two; recap, shake, and wait an hour (probably half that will be fine). Taste it, side by side with one of the undoctored beers. This difference is oxidation.
 

GHBWNY

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I have a brew bucket with a nozzle. I usually take off the air lock, so its just a hole, and then open the nozzle to drain out the reading.

I took one reading to check - 1.012
Then another - 1.010
I thought it was done fermenting, and it was at 1.009, so I took another later, 1.009 (done).

If you're pulling your sample off the bottom of the bucket instead of the top, could you be getting some flavors from the trub that don't represent the beer as a whole?
 
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IJesusChrist

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Like a spigot? Thats probably risking infection unless you are able to clean the inside of the valve after each sample. But why intentionally draw in air ?

You have to draw in air to remove the liquid...
 
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IJesusChrist

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You have gotten this flavor often, with no solution? I would suspect your equipment. How often do you take the spigot apart for a thorough cleaning?

Take a SG sample with a cleaned and sanitized turkey baster. Does the sample have the same taste?

I clean thoroughly every time, including taking apart the spigot.
 
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IJesusChrist

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Also, have you considered intentionally oxidizing some beer you don't think is oxidized to see if that is the flavor your picking up? One nice thing about sensory training for oxidation is that you can oxidize any beer at home to see what it tastes like: get a six pack of a beer you like; open a bottle and pour out an ounce or two; recap, shake, and wait an hour (probably half that will be fine). Taste it, side by side with one of the undoctored beers. This difference is oxidation.


I will actually do this to confirm.
 
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IJesusChrist

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If you're pulling your sample off the bottom of the bucket instead of the top, could you be getting some flavors from the trub that don't represent the beer as a whole?

No, it's the whole beer. I've bottled batches before - every single beer has the flavor.

This will be the first that I keg with this flavor. I'll see what happens after carbonation... maybe it's something that can easily be hidden by carbing.
 

m00ps

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If every beer has the flavor it is definitely in your overall brewing process. Im guessing from sampling/sanitation. Try getting a wine thief or something and use that instead of the spigot to see if that makes a difference
 
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IJesusChrist

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I would say you have something onther then yeast active. The yeast WPL530 should go to 80% is the listed max and that would give your FG as 1.019.

Take everything apart and sanitize

call it Christ's Tripel sour

http://www.whitelabs.com/yeast/wlp530-abbey-ale-yeast

This is actually a clone from a brewery in my hometown, their attenuation is greater than 80%, based on their OG/FG, they get it around 1.012 or lower with the same OG.

I will resanitize again (sigh).
 

N4teTheGreat

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Just a thought, but, there's no way you would be able to sanitize the spigot in between samples right? There will still be a little beer stuck in there when you close it. I presume it's possible that is getting infected and then getting into your samples / bottling.

-- Nathan
 
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IJesusChrist

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Just a thought, but, there's no way you would be able to sanitize the spigot in between samples right? There will still be a little beer stuck in there when you close it. I presume it's possible that is getting infected and then getting into your samples / bottling.

-- Nathan

It's true, this may be my issue because it tastes fine on the first reading...
 

m00ps

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yeah thats why its not recommended to use the bottling spigot for sampling. YOu cant get all the leftover sugary wort out of there. It attracts fruit flies and all kinds of stuff. Grab a wine thief. its like $7
 

sfish

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This is actually a clone from a brewery in my hometown, their attenuation is greater than 80%, based on their OG/FG, they get it around 1.012 or lower with the same OG.

I will resanitize again (sigh).

Hold on a second ~ it could therefore be your yeast has some blended brett in it.
 
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